Posted by: kurtsh | August 31, 2006

BETA: Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 RTWed today

FOR THE CONSUMER
It seems that the concept of "sharing media content" is quickly becoming pervasive throughout all of our media products.

First, the initial device to be released under the Microsoft Zune brand is announced as providing the ability to share music between other Zune devices – either as "temporary copies" or as part of the ability to be a one-man "DJ/radio station broadcast for your friends".

Now Windows Media Player 11 will provide the out-of-the-box ability to be the hub of all your music, videos, movies, and photos… while other devices like Xbox360s, Windows Media Center PCs, Zune Players, and other devices connect to it to seamlessly access it’s content as if it were local. (It’s essentially subsuming the functionality of Windows Media Connect and building upon it.)

<taken from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/play…>
The new Media Sharing feature of Windows Media Player 11 lets you enjoy the contents of your Windows Media Player library from anywhere in your home. If you have a home network (wired or wireless), you can use Windows Media Player 11 to stream the contents of your library to networked devices. For example, if you have an Xbox 360 or other digital media receiver (DMR), you can use Windows Media Player to stream music, pictures, and videos from your computer to that device. This even works with music that you’ve downloaded from PlaysForSure music stores and services.

And make no mistake:  It goes unmentioned but you can bet that Zune devices will work just fine with it.  This of course meaning that  Windows Media protected content will seamless sync and be accessible between these devices.  Look for an update to come with the XBox360 this holiday season to provide richer sharing functionality between Windows Media Player 11 & Zune devices.

FOR THE BUSINESS
The new Media Player has several implications to the corporate customer. 

  1. PLAYER MANAGEMENT
    There’s obviously a new .ADM file for applying Active Directory tattooed Group
    Policy settings to systems with Windows Media Player 11.  While most of the original .ADM file settings should apply, there will be unmanaged components of the player unless you apply the new Group Policy template for WMP11 so remember this in your installation.  The new .ADM file can be found in the WMP11.EXE package in the 11 distribution executable.  (I’ve posted it so you can also download it at http://www.evilkoala.org/download/wmplayer.zip.)
  2. DEPLOYMENT PACKAGING
    The current player is a WinZIP recognizable executable so you can take it apart if you’d like.  It’s unfortunately NOT a .MSI making distribution a little tougher.  (I’ve got a question out to the development group about this) however be aware the distribution doesn’t have any formal deployment documentation yet.

THINGS TO REMEMBER
Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 requires the following:

DOWNLOAD:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/play…


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