Windows Media Player - Play ALL Video & Audio Formats Easily

WMP Play ALL Video & Audio Formats Easily

Everything you need to know right here to get you easily set up in no time using Windows Media Player and Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack. 

***This Applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10***

Are you frustrated having your Audio or Videos not being able to play. Or have to keep installing a bunch of Junk Media Players and Codec’s to be able to play them and then have the nuisance of these Media players being all different and poor design and also causing conflicts between them from Codec’s installed on your system.

Well I can tell you that for over 13 years of experience, in not only Audio and Video Technology, but in using the very easy to use Windows Media Player to play every type of Audio and Video Formats there is, that you can make life so much more easy, trouble free and enjoyable every time you want to watch a video or listen to your music. This does exclude Web Videos and Audio to a major extent, as they use provided media players and usually flash player is the source which you install it for your browsers. 

I will also add that WMP, just like most all Media Players, are not designed for playback or streaming on the Web. You can play audio Metadata files easily from some online radio stations, if they provide a Metadata file download to listen to their stations live. I will also add that you no longer have to worry about Media Rights or anything like that. 

Myself and hundreds of people I know and millions more around the world use the "FREE" *Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack*, which has been around for a long time and is the best in the world. It is 100% safe of any malware. Tested by McAfee and I know for a fact it is clean. You might get the download blocked or marked as unknown from Windows as Shark007 engineers refuse to pay Microsoft to register it. So just turn OFF smart screen filter in Windows Defender to download it and then right click on it >>Properties>>Unblock>>Apply and install it.

It takes 10 minutes to download and install and set up and you are all set to go for good for a trouble free experience and enjoyment. I also have not heard of any issues or complaints from anyone ever.

I will also add, that Windows Media Player is very easy to use after you use it a couple of times. It also lets you create easy playlists to load your selected files into each one separately and are in a nice sorted order in the playlist pane at your fingertips at all times. It also lets you update previously created playlist to add or remove files in them. You can also name them however you want to.

I would highly advise everyone to try it out, as I am pretty positive after a couple weeks, you will never want to go any other route than this. I suggest you uninstall all other Media Players and absolutely any other Codec Packs, as Shark007 will uninstall them anyways (Codec Packs Only) on its installation and then restart your PC first before installing Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack.

I have put together a little tutorial of how I have set WMP for over 10 years on all operating systems and I will add an additional section later for using FFDShow A/V settings instead of the default Shark007 LAV settings for people who have multi speaker systems such as 5.1 surround sound and it allows more features than the default LAV Splitter.

But the quick set up is to install Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack, close the 64bit settings app. Check the box on the bottom in the 32 bit settings app to play all in WMP, close it out, restart PC, and you are all set to enjoy all your A/V.

So here is a very detailed description of setting up WMP and Shark007. I threw in a few links for some free online Radio Stations, even your Local radio Stations in your area, but they play in your browser and not in WMP.

This is everything you will need to know. It is actually very simple to do and within a few days you will have it mastered. Basically after initial setup of about 45 minutes, the only time you will spend is making quick easy playlist or modifying them with more content.

Note: You can obviously always just select a file or files from its folder location and play them.

Your Playlists no matter if Audio or Video, will be in your Music Folder.

Initial One Time WMP Set Up: Takes about 15 Minutes:

You have to install Shark007 first to play any Videos and Audio Files.

Now on your first initial use of WMP, you should select Recommended Settings.

Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack Set Up:

Before beginning, you need to uninstall any other codec packs you may have installed. 

You should also uninstall all other Media Players as you will never need any of them again.

Restart PC.

Download and install the Codec Pack complete Installation.

*** Free Shark007 Advanced Codec Pack Download and Information: Be sure to get the correct package for your Operating System. 32bit or 64bit System does not matter.

Shark007 Download Link:

When Installation is complete, Close Out the 64bit Settings App.

Now select the box on bottom, “Shark007 Suggested Settings” Close the settings app.

NOTE: Any future settings or changes, you will have to run as ADMINISTRATOR.

There is also a built in Thumbnail Viewer provided by Icaros and shows them on your Audio files with Album Art and all popular Video files.
You can access this program only by opening the 64bit Settings App (ADMIN) and select it. Or download "Icaros" standalone installer on the Shark007 Website and install it again so you can access it from a shortcut on your desktop.

Now for Windows 10, Go here and set WMP as default player for Audio, Video and Photo, if you want WMP for photo viewer too.

For Earlier Versions of Windows Operating Systems, Go here:

Now you should select your one time WMP Options Settings. To add the Tool Bar to top of Library View, just to the right of Library>Playlists, - Right click and select “Show Menu Bar”. Now it is just above there.

Now I will show you my set up for 10+ years and never once have I ever had one issue playing anything.

Select Tools>Options.

First, I will show each setting per Tab.     

Library Tab:


Security Tab:

Privacy Tab:


NOTE: Uncheck 4 boxes above only if you do not want this option.

I want to tell you that when you start WMP the first time, It is going to start loading all your Audio, Video and Photo files. This will, depending on amount of files you have in your Pictures, Videos and Music Folders in your User Account, take awhile and use some system resources while loading them.

And yes, you can view and play photos as a slide show in WMP.

These are loaded in to the Default Playlists in the Playlist Pane. Personally, I do not even keep any of these files in default folders and these playlists can be very messy and unorganized. It is best to create your own playlists and name them accordingly in a clean and orderly fashion. 

But to stop this from taking place, You can uncheck the boxes shown above, APPLY and clear History and Clear Cache. Then go here below and Apply Media Changes.

*** Plug-ins & Network Tabs, I do not touch.

Now there is also another way to stop this and even add more Folder Locations for the Default Library Playlists, which again, I do not use.

You can right click on the chosen Default Playlist and select Manage ??? Library. Then choose to remove it or add more.

You can add the Default Shared C:\Users\Public Folders Location same type Folders to auto load from others on your PC or PC’s across your network or add any other Folders.

You can also customize the Library Navigation Pane to display some info about playlists and can hide them here too from Navigation Pane. You can select any one playlist and this is for setting all playlists options in the Navigation Pane.

NOTE: Be sure to select the ALL Playlists as shown, or only 5 will be displayed in Navigation Pane.

Now to finish out Navigation Option Settings, In the Middle Pane that displays the files from a selected Playlist on the left, you can choose all types of column display options. To do this, Select a playlist with Videos in it and right click on the top column and select Choose Columns. 

*** You really only need Title, Artist, and Length.

You can also Sort your Items with other options to your preferred preference.

Also, whenever you have selected a Playlist on Left Side Navigation Pane and you want the files showing in the Middle Pane to be removed from view, just select the Playlist Button on top left.

Now back to the remaining WMP Options settings as shown below.

Player Tab:

Devices Tab:

Performance Tab:

*** I do not touch Rip Music or Burn Tabs.

NOTE: Be sure to select APPLY after each Tab Setting and when done settings up everything or making any changes, to Apply Media Information Changes.

Now, select the Play Tab on the right hand side, you can toggle it on and off, but really all you ever need is it to be on.

*** I will add that there are some playback features for WMP. You do not need to use them as Shark007 has everything already and these may cause conflicts.

You can use the WMP Equalizer, as the Default LAV playback does not have one.

*** I will explain later how to use FFDShow for custom setup and unlimited settings for Audio and Video.

To access the WMP playback features, right click on the playing Video while NOT in full screen mode.

Enhancements>>and select the first one in list and then toggle through the selections.

Now for your Video playback and Playlist window size:

While in the Playlist view, you can put the top left corner of WMP towards top left of screen and place mouse diagonally on the bottom right hand corner and hold left mouse button down and drag the size of the window to your liking and then place the whole WMP on your screen where you want it to open each time. (Just like sizing your Explorer or Browsers). 

Now when you can play a video, you can set up the Video normal windows mode size using the same procedure. However, setting this size mode does not always want to cooperate. So I have learned that setting play back window in normal windows mode at 100% is not ideal unless you do not want the whole display screen covered. Or use 200%, if you want full window on playback. (This is not full screen mode), I will explain that next. 

So I select the 200% and then it is almost full screen mode. This is best for dual displays on your system. For people with single displays, you may want to watch a video and still have part of your desktop displayed for other purposes. so use 100%.

To set this up, On Video Screen, right click and select Video and set like shown, or use 100% if you choose. Leave the other 2 selected on top. Also, the 2 arrows show where you can switch to playlist view.

This will switch you back to Video view.

Now creating playlists:

Top Left


Create Playlist

Backspace to clear highlighted area and Label it.

Go to folder location of the media files. 

EXAMPLE: Such as a folder for Tom Petty and subfolders for 3 different albums. Open one folder to match your playlist name you just created

Now select all files in that folder, right click on any highlighted area and select to add to WMP.

Stop playback. Select Library View. Now the files are loaded in playlist on right side Play Tab. 

Go to bottom of list and select the last Item, now scroll back to top, hold the Shift Key down and select the top Item to highlight all items in the list.

Now Right Click on the top Highlighted Item area and in the menu select >> Add To

Select your new created playlist and that is it. Now select the Clear List above.

NOTE: If you are adding more files to an existing Playlist, it only shows 8 playlists, so you would select the Additional Playlists and then choose the Playlist in the listing. 

Now above, click on Save List and then Clear Playlist.

Now go to the playlist on left side and click it ONCE to view the files in the Center Pane.

And in the list of files showing in the middle, right click to only play one file or to select all in the menu. If you right click on a file in the list and select to play all, it will play the file you selected when you right clicked on it as the first to be played.

You can also hold down CTRL KEY and select random files in the list. 

You can also select a file and hold down the shift key and the next file you select, all files between the 2 you selected will play. You must right click after highlighting them on one of the highlighted files and select Play.

OR, double click on any playlist on left side and all files in that list will load into Play Tab and start playing.,

To clear the Play Tab, simply select Clear List above and then select Playlist on top left of the Playlist Pane.

I now want to explain that if you already created a playlist and want to add more files to it anytime, you can do so as if adding files to a new Playlist but add them to an existing one. However, these files you added in the list will now be on the bottom of the list in that Playlist. 

So to get the Playlist reorganized in most likely Alphabetical or Numerical order, you must do this after adding additional files to the Playlist.

Double Click on the Playlist. It will load all files in the Play Tab. Stop Playback. Go to Playlist View from Video View. 

Now select where the Red Arrow is in the photo below >>Sort By>>File Name or however you choose to sort your Playlists.

After you select to sort them, Select the SAVE List button above and then Select Clear List and then select Playlist on top left.

You can Search for files by name or artist. You can also Rip/Burn Mp3 files and Sync data with your devices.

Now the Playback Features:

To Toggle between Normal Video Mode, Full Window Mode/Locked to Full Screen Video Mode, Just Double Click on the Video as it is Playing. Or you can go Full Screen Mode on bottom Right of WMP.

You can use the Slider Bar to jump around on the A/V Play Track.

You can Toggle On and Off the Shuffle and Repeat Selections for playback here.

You can Toggle between 3 Playback Time Views by double clicking to set each mode.

Current Playing Time/Total Length

Current Playing Time

Reverse Playing Time Countdown 

Stop – Previous/RW – Play/Pause – Next/FF – Mute/VC-UP/DN

You can also create Album Art for your Music Files in WMP. I have never done this, so I have no advice on it.

 I would also use a different program to Rip/Burn Mp3 files instead of WMP. This is just my Opinion and Preference.

***** That is all. You are all set and ready to go *****

Now you can play any Audio or Video Files, including DVD, Blue Ray, and the new UHD 4K Videos, 3840×2160, all trouble free and with total enjoyment and ease.

***NOTE: UHD HEVC x265 (3840×2160 Resolution ) 4K Videos require supported GPU and TV/Display hardware.

NOTE: Windows 10 Auto deletes your Thumbnail Cache from Disk Clean-Up Utility App when it reaches about 600MB. 

This is very aggravating for thousands of people as when it deletes them, Windows Explorer has to reload all Thumbnails again, which slows searching for files in folders, especially if you have a lot of them. To prevent this from happening, See my link below:


Advanced FFDShow Setup (Optional): 

Now if you have Quad, 5.1 or 7.1 speakers (all configurations possible), or want to switch old Video 4:3 aspect ratios to 16:9 wide screen ratios, then you have to set up FFDSHOW to get those features and many more available such as Loudness, Equalizer, Mixer and every other possible A/V tweak or setting.

With FFDShow, you can switch aspect ratio of 4:3 Videos easily to 16:9 Wide Screen on the fly if you want and adjust your advanced settings for speaker configurations to get sound out of all of them. Plus FFDShow has numerous Audio and Video Tweaks and Settings. You can also select other Aspect Ratios, such as Cinema Scope.

The default settings mentioned earlier use the LAV splitter. You may also see the White LAV Icon in the Taskbar Tray when playing some files using FFDShow, But FFDShow is fully operational with your selected settings. 

The FFDSHOW Video Task Tray Icon is Red. The Audio is Blue. You can right click on these 2 Icons in the Taskbar tray and Select or Deselect Settings by clicking on the left hand side of the Item in the list. These rules also apply for the White LAV Icon for selections or changes.

Setting up FFDShow for use:

Initial setup - 32bit Settings App:

Note: These are my settings that has worked great in every Windows Operating System from XP to 10. Only marked areas have changes made to each category. 

Config Tab – Select FFDShow Audio:

Close Out.

Config Tab – Select FFDShow Video:

Aspect Ratio Switcher - 4:3 (1.33:1) to 16:9 WS (1.78:1)

On Screen Display - If you like your video info on the screen. Choose Info you want and use arrows UP/DN for position, Select Location, Fonts and Colors.

Close Out.

There is Unlimited Audio and Video settings that are available.


Settings App Setup for FFDShow:

In the SWAP Tab: You MUST select in left column: 

 Select>> FFDshow codec for - XVID/DIVX/MP4V 

 Select>> FFDshow codec for - AAC audio in Direct Show Players. 

 Select>> FFDshow codec for - MPEG2 codec in Direct Show Players ********

In the SWAP Tab: You MUST also on right side column:

 Select>> The 1st box, Use FFDshow for MP2/3 instead of Microsoft. 

 Select>> Disable Microsofts Video Decoder ********

MKV Tab:

 PC Playback

  Select>> Enable Haali Splitter

MPG~MP4 Tab:

 MPEG2 specific Playback (DVD) ********

   Select>> Set MPEG2 to use FFDshow

H264/5 Tab:

 "ONLY SELECTION ON RIGHT" USE FFDshow's H264 ********


 AVI Playback ********

  Select>> Disable Media Foundation for AVI


NOTE: For AC3 Audio/Video Files Setup for Audio Enhancements; (Multi Speakers, Equalizer, Loudness Control, Etc.) 

***Keep Disabled if you are not playing files with AC3 Audio***

Config Tab – 

 Select>> (Uncheck) Disable AC3 Filter

 Select>> Config Items>>AC3 Filter Config

AC3 Filter Icon on Taskbar Tray is Orange.

Right Click on it and select "Adjust Track to open the AC3 Settings Main Tab as shown above.





"To play DVD's" - You might have to do these changes using FFDShow. Not necessary for Default LAV Splitter Setup.

SWAP Tab: You MUST select in left column:

 MPEG2 codec in Direct Show Players ********

   Select>> Use Microsoft codec (default) 

SWAP Tab: You MUST also on right side column: 

  Select>> Enable Microsofts Video Decoder ********

MPG~MP4 Tab:

 MPEG2 specific Playback (DVD) ********

  Select>> Set MPEG2 (system default)


***NOTE: Be sure to reset back to FFDShow for non DVD use,  

In the SWAP Tab:

MPG~MP4 Tab:

H264/5 Tab:

Taskbar Tray Icons Access - FFDShow:

Video - RED ICON - Right Click for Quick Switching Menu - Double Click to Open Settings:

Audio - BLUE ICON - Right Click for Quick Switching Menu - Double Click to Open Settings:

Default LAV Setup & FFDShow - WHITE ICON - Right Click for Menu - Double Click to Open Settings:

***To View Information about the File playing, just hover over the Red or Blue Icon on Taskbar Tray, or open the settings and select the Info Tab.



***Also for unusual or unpopular formats and file types, you may have to enable the codecs for them.



Restart PC after first initial setup of WMP and Shark007. 

***A couple tips of great advice:

1. You should always Auto Hide your Taskbar. Because when you move your mouse down, the pointer hits the bottom of the display 90% of the time anyways and it pops right up. It also stays on top of any open Applications except Full Screen Mode watching a video. But with Windows Media Player, just double click on the Video to escape full screen. Web Videos, they have Exit FS on their players or use escape key or Windows Logo Key to pop taskbar up. You also gain more Viewing area on your Display and gain an extra row for Icons. And when you are all kicked back to watch a movie, especially in the dark for a theater feel, you do not want this bright taskbar with lighted Icons. Pretty annoying. So Keep that in mind.

2. If you have Dual Displays, you should Extend their Displays to the other Displays and not Mirror them. You get twice the working space for everything and can move your videos to either display and especially if you have a HDTV for a second display and slide Media Player or Web Video over to the TV. I suggest to use the same resolution for both displays. 1280x720 is great. It is a little larger view on your desktop then the usual default 1366x768 resolution and it perfect for the matching 720p HDTV. Or even if the HDTV is 1920x1080i, a 1080i HDTV also plays HD 1280x720 Digital Television. But if you plan on watching 1920x1080 videos, then I suggest the obvious, to at least set the TV to that. Use good HS HDMI cables with gold plated connectors. They are cheap and a couple dollars more then the non gold plated connectors.

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Last updated January 31, 2021 Views 15,693 Applies to: