Windows Media Player

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Windows Media Player is the standard multimedia player for Microsoft® Windows® systems.

Supported formats

According to Microsoft® Knowledge Base Article 316992, Windows Media Player supports the following formats "out of the box":

Type Supported formats
Microsoft® media formats
  • Advanced Systems Format (.asf)
  • Audio Visual Interleave (.avi)
  • Audio for Windows (.wav)
  • Microsoft® Digital Video Recording (.dvr-ms)
  • Windows Media Audio (.wma)
  • Windows Media Video (.wmv, .wm)
Microsoft® media metafiles
  • Advanced Stream Redirector (.asx)
  • Windows Media Audio Redirector (.wax)
  • Windows Media Download Package (.wmd)
  • Windows Media Player Playlist (.wpl)
  • Windows Media Redirector (.wmx)
  • Windows Media Video Redirector (.wvx)
  • MPEG-1 (.mpeg, .mpg, .m1v)
  • MPEG Audio Layer III (.mp3)
  • MPEG Audio Layer II (.mp2, .mpa)
  • Metafile Playlist (.m3u)
Industry standard
  • Audio Interchange File Format ( .aif, .aifc, .aiff)
  • CD Audio Track (.cda)
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.mid, .midi, .rmi)
  • Sun Microsystems and NeXT (.au, .snd)

Common Issues

MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 playback

Microsoft® does not bundle codecs for MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 with Windows and recommends purchasing them as part of a "DVD decoder pack" from a third-party vendor.

The symptom associated with a missing codec is Windows Media Player displaying the cryptic "C00D11CD" error code immediately after opening an MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 coded file or stream. At that point, you must purchase the appropriate codec, perhaps from Microsoft's® list of approved vendors.

Streaming from VLC

To date, the only option for streaming from VLC to Windows Media Player is to:

  • Transcode the file or feed into WMV format
  • Encapsulate the transcoded stream in the ASF container format
  • Use MMS or MMSH for the stream transport

This has also been discussed in the forum.

Otherwise, Windows Media Player does not appear to support streaming for anything other than its proprietary formats.

"Windows Media Player 9 Series can play files in a wide variety of digital media file formats, but Windows Media Services 9 Series cannot stream all of those files. In certain cases, you may need to convert digital media files into a compatible format before you can stream them." [1]

Streaming to Windows Media Player over HTTP is supported, but the multimedia stream must be converted to a Microsoft-proprietary format with Windows Media Encoder beforehand.

Streaming is known to work with Windows Media Player 9 or higher. In particular, Windows Media Player 8 does not interoperate with VLC. This has also been discussed in the forum


If you discover problems with your Windows Media Player please download the latest version:

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