WMP 11: Transfering Music And Video to Your portable

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Windows Media Player 11 Main Screen
Main screen of WMP 11. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Windows Media Player 11 is an older version that has now been replaced by WMP 12 (when Windows 7 was released in 2009). However, if you still use this older version as your main media player (because you may have an older PC or are running XP / Vista), then it can still come in very handy for syncing files to portable devices. You may have a smartphone, MP3 player, or even a storage device like a USB flash drive.

Depending on your device's capabilities,  music, videos, photos, and other types of files can be transferred from the media library on your computer and enjoyed while on the move.

Whether you've just purchased your very first portable device or have never used WMP 11 to sync files before, this tutorial will show you how. You'll learn how to use Microsoft's media software program to automatically and manually sync files straight to your device.

If you need to download Windows Media Player 11 again, then it is still available from Microsoft's support website.

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Connecting Your Portable Device

Windows Media Player 11 Sync tab
Sync menu tab in WMP 11. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

By default, Windows Media Player 11 will set the best synchronizing method for your device when it is connected to your computer. There are two possible ways that it will choose depending on your device's storage capacity. This will either be automatic or manual mode.

  • Automatic Mode If a device you connect has 4GB or more storage, and the entire contents of your WMP library will fit on it, then this mode is used.
  • Manual Mode This is selected by WMP when a device you plug in has less than 4GB of storage space.

To connect you portable device so Windows Media Player 11 recognises it, complete the following steps:

  1. Click on the Sync menu tab near the top of Windows Media Player 11's screen.
  2. Before connecting your device, make sure it is powered up so Windows can detect it -- usually as a plug and play device.
  3. Connect it to your computer using the provided cable once it is fully powered on.
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Transferring Media Using Automatic And Manual Syncing

Windows Media Player 11 Sync button
The sync button in WMP 11. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

As previously mentioned, Windows Media Player 11 will select one of its synchronizing modes when you have connected your device.

Automatic File Syncing

  1. If Windows Media Player 11 is using the automatic mode, simply click on Finish to automatically transfer all your media -- this mode also makes sure that the contents of your library doesn't exceed the storage capacity of your portable device.

What if I Don't Want to Transfer Everything to my Portable?

You don't have to stick to the default settings which transfers everything. Instead, you can select which playlists you want to transfer every time your device is connected. You can also create new auto playlists and add them too.

To choose the playlists you want to automatically sync, follow these steps:

  1. Click the down-arrow below the Sync menu tab.
  2. This will display a drop-down menu. Hover the mouse pointer over your device's name and then click on the Set up Sync option.
  3. On the Device Setup screen, choose the playlists you want to automatically sync and then click the Add button.
  4. To create a new playlist, click the Create New Auto Playlist and then complete choose the criteria on which songs will be included.
  5. Click Finish when done.

Manual File Syncing

  1. To setup manual syncing in Windows Media Player 11 you'll first need to click Finish when you have connected your portable.
  2. Drag and drop files, albums, and playlists to the Sync List on the right-hand side of the screen.
  3. When you are done, click the Start Sync button to begin transferring your media files.
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