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Windows xp for dummies - Rahbone A.

Rahbone A. Windows xp for dummies - Hungry minds , 2001. - 430 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-0893-8
Download (direct link): microsoftwind2001.pdf
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ëA Visualizations are those swirling thingies that twitch to the music’s beat after you insert a CD. Beneath the swirlies, two little arrows let you choose different types of visualizations. Choose Download Visualizations from the Tools menu to find more. Or right-click on a swirly thing to choose from a menu of swirlies.
A Right-click on the swirling visualization and choose Album Art from the pop-up menu. Media Player replaces the swirlies with the CD’s art, if it can find it on the Internet.
A Play your CDs — or anything else — in random order by choosing Shuffle from the Play menu or clicking the tiny Shuffle button shown in Figure 13-1.
A Want to play a CD over and over to see if you get tired of it? Start playing it and choose Repeat from the Play menu. The CD keeps playing until you click the Stop button.
A Feel free to tweak the sound to suit your ears. Choose the SRS WOW effects by clicking the little buttons or by choosing from the View menu’s Now Playing Tools area. The WOW effect adds a 3-D quality, and TruBass artificially cranks up the bass. For less gimmickry control, choose the Graphic Equalizer. Sculpt the sound yourself or choose from pre-selects including Jazz, Acoustic, Rock, Rap, and more.
Playing DVDs
Microsoft raves about how Media Player plays DVDs. But that’s a lie. Windows XP can’t play DVDs right out of the box. See, even though you’ve bought a Windows XP computer, a DVD drive, and a DVD, you need something else: special software called a decoder. This bit of software, called a codec because itconverts one format to another, enables your computer to translate numbers on a disc into videos of galloping horses on the screen.
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Unfortunately, Windows XP doesn’t come with a DVD codec, so you must pick up one somewhere else. Where? Well, most computers with DVD drives come with DVD playing software — a little box with its own little controls. That software installs its own DVD codec in Windows, and Media Player simply borrows that. But if you don’t have DVD playing software, there’s nothing to borrow, and Media Player ignores your DVDs.
A If you choose Windows Media Player instead of your third-party DVD player to watch DVDs, the controls are pretty much the same as they are for playing CDs (described in the preceding section).
A You probably need to update your DVD software so that it will work under Windows XP. Otherwise your DVD software won’t work under Media Player, either. Head for the Web site of your DVD player’s manufacturer and look for a Windows XP patch or upgrade. If you’re lucky, the manufacturer won’t charge you for the upgrade. Some companies, however, make you buy a new version.
A DVD stands for Digital Video Disc, Digital Versatile Disc, and Dick Van Dyke.
Playing MP3s and WMAs
Windows XP plays MP3 files, the standard for storing music on computers and the Internet. Windows XP also handles Microsoft’s competing format, WMA files.(You can create MP3s if you buy Microsoft’s add-on software described in the sidebar on the next page.) To listen to an MP3 file — whether you downloaded it from the Internet or created it using another program — follow these steps:
1. Open Media Player.
If you don’t see its icon on your Start menu or taskbar, click the Start button, choose All Programs, and choose Windows Media Player from that menu.
2. Choose Open from the File menu.
The Open box appears, ready for you to root through your folders for the appropriate file.
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3. Locate your MP3 or WMA file.
Open the folder that holds your file.
Having trouble finding your MP3 file? Then choose Search from the Start menu; choose Pictures, Music, or Video; and click in the Music and Sound box. After you click the Search button, all your MP3 and WMA files appear in the Search window.
4. Double-click the file that you want to hear.
Media Player immediately begins playing the song.
A If you’ve told Media Player to catalog all your media files, as I explain in this chapter’s “Finding Media on Your Computer and Putting It into the Media Library” section, click Media Player’s Media Library button. Media Player lists your MP3s in the Audio section, sorted by Album, Artist, and Genre.
A Media Player lets you create playlists of your favorite tunes, as I describe in the “Creating Playlists” section, earlier in this chapter. That lets you make a list of what files you’d like to play, and in what order.
A Although Windows Media Player does a decent job of playing MP3 files, the program’s just too big and bulky. For a more versatile and slim player, check out Winamp at www.winamp.com .
A Blatant plug: For everything you want to know about MP3, check out my book, MP3 For Dummies, 2nd Edition, published by Hungry Minds, Inc. Or, if you see a friend’s copy, grab it.
Creating WMAs or MP3s
Media Player lets you copy songs from your CDs onto your computer, but only in the WMA format. That’s too bad because MP3 is much more popular and is supported by every portable MP3 player. Microsoft hopes WMA will catch on because of Microsoft’s marketing muscle. Plus, WMA files are half the size of MP3 files.
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