Windows Media Player 12 Free Plug-Ins

Improve WMP 12 with free plug-ins that add features

Windows Media Player 12 is part of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. It accepts third-party software plug-ins just like previous versions of Windows Media Player. They typically add new options or improve existing built-in features. Here are some of the best free plug-ins designed for digital music tasks.

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Windows Media Player Plus

The Windows Media Player Plus plug-in can be thought of as more of a toolbox than one particular add-on. It contains a lot of tools to enhance Windows Media Player 12. For example, if you want to ​edit advanced metadata information, its Tag Editor Plus tool gives you several options. Editing embedded album art is just one option — you can directly view, change, or remove an image for a song.

You can also perform other useful tasks using Windows Media Player Plus such as disk numbering, stopping or closing the WMP program after a playlist finishes, or configuring it to remember the song you were playing next time you launch WMP.

This free plug-in is highly recommended if you want to add a range of useful tools for organizing and playing digital music.

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WMP Keys

WMP Keys webpage

The problem with most jukebox software including Windows Media Player 12 is that the keyboard shortcuts they use are normally nonconfigurable. However, if you install the WMP Keys plug-in, you'll suddenly have a way to customize WMP 12 hotkeys. Not every keyboard shortcut can be customized using WMP Keys, but the common ones such as Play/Pause, Next/Previous, and Forward/Backward scan can be changed.

If you like using keyboard shortcuts to speed up repetitive tasks but don't like the defaults, then WMP Keys is a handy plug-in to use.

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Lyrics Plugin

Lyrics Plugin home page

Lyrics Plug-In is the type of add-on that is the most popular way to expand the usefulness of Windows Media Player 12. Rather than displaying all the words at once like some lyrics plug-ins do, this add-on uses timed lyrics so you see the words on the screen in real-time as the song plays.

Lyrics Plug-in uses an online database to do this, so you need to have internet access to use it.

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Directshow Filters

Directshow Filters adds support for FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and other formats. Although these open-source codecs aren't true Windows Media Player plug-ins, they bridge the compatibility gap. When you install them, it's possible to play FLAC files directly in WMP 12.

In addition to playing FLAC files without having to convert them to a lossy format, Directshow Filters also adds support for Ogg Vorbis, Theora, Speex, and WebM audio formats.

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