Microsoft Debuts Windows Media Add-ons Site

Microsoft on Thursday announced the launch of, a new central clearing house for enhancements to Windows Media Player (WMP) 9 Series. The site features over 100 player enhancements from 20 different companies and Microsoft, and highlights the new extensibility model in WMP 9 Series, which makes it much easier to create such add-ons than it was with previous Media Player versions. These enhancements include new visualizations, skins, power toys, and other add-ons.

"We are incredibly impressed with the quality and range of plug-ins already available from the development community for Windows Media Player 9 Series," says Dave Fester, the general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Now Windows XP customers have one easy place to find out how they can get the most out of these exciting new enhancements."

Microsoft's new WMP 9 Series enhancements, available for free today, include:

- Tweak MP Plug-in Powertoy - A new WMP 9 Series plug-in that offers easy access to some of the more advanced settings of the player, including queue-it-up configuration, enabling and disabling of automatic volume leveling on CD burning, enabling and disabling of automatic playback of CD on insertion when the player is open, and more advanced control of full-screen options and animations. Tweak MP also appears to fix one of my few complaints about WMP 9 Series by adding more control over the way the names of ripped audio files are created.

- Official Xbox Live skins - These new skins include enhancements for WMP 9 Series, including cross-fading and equalizer settings. The official Xbox Live Plus! Party Mode also adds an additional skin for Plus! Digital Media Edition (DME).

- New themed visualizations. New 3-D visualizations include an interactive equalizer set on a 3D liquid pool that moves to the currently playing music, a new Picture It! Visualization II that turns your media player into an animated picture gallery, and new Softie the Snowman II visualizations that feature 3D enhancements and more animation, all set to a wintry mood.

Additionally, third party companies such as Anark, CyberLink, InterVideo, QSound, Sonic and other have enhancements available on the site today. Other enhancements from Ahead, AnalogX, Dolby Labs and others will be available soon, Microsoft says. For more information, please visit the Web site.

TAGS: Windows 8
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