Tips, Tricks & Tweaks: Windows Media Player (Part 2)

8/7/2012 3:29:52 PM

WMP enhancements

Windows Media Player 12 has been designed to replicate many of the features you would expect to see on a traditional home stereo, complete with a mixer, equaliser and other audio tweaking devices. The software equivalent of the myriad of knobs and sliders you’d see on high-end stereo equipment are known as playback enhancements in Windows Media Player, and they’re even easier to use than their physical counterparts. Using the built-in playback enhancements for Windows Media Player, you can adjust and optimise audio and video on the fly to best suit your situation, speaker system and tastes.

Description: Some of the extra enhancements you can make to your listening experience.

Some of the extra enhancements you can make to your listening experience.

To access playback enhancements, you must be in the ‘Now Playing Mode’. Click the icon in the bottom-right of the Player Library to switch to ‘Now Playing Mode’. Right-click anywhere in the Now Playing window and choose ‘Enhancements’ to see the list of available playback enhancements.

A brief handful of these enhancements are:


In the Crossfading and auto volume levelling window, click ‘Turn on Crossfading’ to have Windows Media Player gradually fade out the song at the end and then have the next song on the playlist gradually fade in. Move the slider to the left to shorten the overlap between songs. Move the slider to the right to lengthen the overlap.

Description: Crossfading


Auto volume levelling

In the ‘Crossfading and auto volume levelling’ window, click ‘Turn on Auto volume levelling’ so that Windows Media Player automatically adjusts the volume level between songs to make them more similar. Windows Media Player does so by analysing the song during playback, and then adding the auto volume levelling information after the song has played all the way through. Clever, innit?

Description: In the ‘Crossfading and auto volume levelling’ window, click ‘Turn on Auto volume levelling’ so that Windows Media Player automatically adjusts the volume level between songs to make them more similar.

In the ‘Crossfading and auto volume levelling’ window, click ‘Turn on Auto volume levelling’ so that Windows Media Player automatically adjusts the volume level between songs to make them more similar.

SRS Wow Effects

These allow you to enhance the lowfrequency bass and stereo sound performance (i.e. panning between left and right channels). The options here are pretty straightforward.

Move the TruBass slider to the left to reduce the low-frequency effect, and move it to the right to boost the low-frequency sounds.

Description: SRS Wow Effects

SRS Wow Effects

Move the WOW Effect slider to the left to decrease the stereo sound performance and move it to the right to increase it. This enhancement creates more of a surround sound kind of effect.

You can have SRS Wow optimised for your speaker type by clicking the text in the top-left with the arrow next to it. Choose from normal speakers, headphones or large speakers.

Dolby Digital Settings

These settings are similar to the speaker type setting in the SRS Wow effects. However, these settings only affect Dolby Digital content, which is great for remastered music or live bands. Within this menu you can choose from three different presets:

·         Normal: Reduces entire range of Dolby Digital for quieter playback.

·         Night: Boosts dialogue while toning down other sounds. Good for laptops.

·         Theatre: Increases dynamic range of all sounds for more dramatic differences between soft and loud sounds and a fuller listening experience.

Description: Dolby Digital Settings

Dolby Digital Settings

It’s down to what works best with the type of music you’re listening to and your stereo/PC setup.

Top WMP Plug-ins

Plug-ins add and enhance an otherwise standard bit of software. Here are some of our favourite WMP plug-ins:

·         Lyrics Plug-in ( Now you can see what Bob Dylan was actually singing.

· Scrobbler ( Add the music you listen to into your profile.

·         WMPKeys ( Edit those shortcut keys for WMP.

·         DFX Audio Enhancer ( Tweak your sound settings even further.

Keyboard Shortcuts


Video size 50%


Video size 100%


Video size 200%


Toggle display for full-screen video


Switch to Player Library


Switch to skin mode


Switch to Now Playing mode


Add to playlist


Add to burn list


Add to sync list


Previous (item or chapter)


Next (item or chapter)


Turn shuffle on or off


Eject CD or DVD (this doesn’t work on computers equipped with two or more CD or DVD disc drives)


In the Player Library, show or hide the menu bar


Create a new playlist


Restart video


Switch the view of items In the details pane


Show shortcut menu

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