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

Stream a track to preview it before downloading or purchasing it.

Man writing music on piano and a tablet computer
Gary Burchell/Taxi/Getty Images

You're probably familiar with the abilities of Windows Media Player 12 to play digital music, video, and other media on your PC. You can also use the popular jukebox program 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 and stream the contents. This capability is particularly when you want to listen to a song but not necessarily download it—especially if it's a large file 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. Select the File menu tab at the top of the screen and then select Open URL.

    If you don't see the menu bar, you can press CTRL + M to enable it.

  3. Use your web browser to find a free MP3 download that you'd like to stream. You'll need to copy its URL to the Windows clipboard. Usually, the best way to do this 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 select OK.

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 browser and pasting them into the Open URL screen.