How to Listen to a Song URL in Windows Media Player 12

Man writing music on piano and a tablet computer
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You're probably already familiar with the abilities of Windows Media Player 12 to play digital music, videos and other types of multimedia files on your PC. You can also use Microsoft's popular jukebox application to stream songs from websites rather than having to download them first.

There's a feature in WMP 12 that allows you to open the URL of a song located on any network, be it on your home network or the Internet, in order to stream the contents. This capability is particularly useful for listening to songs when you don't necessarily want to download them—especially if they are large files or you're running low on hard drive space (or both!)

How to Open a Song URL in Windows Media Player 12

To stream an audio file using WMP 12:

  1. If you're not already in Library view mode, press CTRL + 1.

  2. Click the File menu tab at the top of the screen and then select the Open URL option. If you don't see the menu bar, press CTRL + M to enable it.

  3. Now use your Web browser to find a free MP3 download on the Internet that you'd like to stream. You'll need to copy its URL to the Windows clipboard—usually, the best way is to right-click the download button and then choose to copy the link. 

  4. Go back to Windows Media Player 12 and right-click on the text box on the Open URL dialog screen. Left-click Paste and then click the OK button.

Your chosen song should now stream by means of WMP 12. To keep a list of songs that you'd like to stream in the future, create playlists so you don't have to keep copying links from your Web browser and pasting them into the Open URL screen.