Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Windows Media Player Tip for Christmas

Dan Ariely just wrote in the WSJ that he likes New Year's resolutions every year for about a week: for five days before New Year's Day and two days after. Sounds about right to me. At nine days before, I'm getting the jump on things: Regular blogging!

As I type this, we're listening to some Christmas music--Nowell Sing We Clear, Vol 4--which brings me to...

A few years ago, I ripped all of my CDs to mp3. I have them all on a portable hard drive plugged into an old netbook that is now my official media server and added a nice set of wireless speakers. Still, there was a thinness to the music that just about had me ready to find space for my old stereo system. Then, I learned this neat trick, which might be dubbed "a set of Bose speakers built into Windows Media Player". It can be turned on and off while music is playing, so you might begin by starting a track in Windows Media Player so that you can hear what the effect adds to the music.

In Windows Media Players 10, go to the menu bar and choose

  • View / Enhancements / SRS WOW Effects
  • Click the Turn on link and then do any of the following:
  • To enhance the bass, move the TruBass slider to the right.
  • To enhance the stereo effect, move the WOW Effect slider to the right.
  • To optimize sound output according to your speaker size, click the speakers link until one of the following options appears: Normal Speakers, Large Speakers, or Headphones.

In Windows Media Players 11, right-click on the title bar and proceed as for WMP 10.

The method for getting to the controls under Windows Media Player 12 were invented by someone who is still caught in Colossal Cave's maze of "twisty little passages, all alike".

  • Click the Switch to Now Playing button in the lower-right corner of the Player.
  • Right-click an open space in the Player, point to Enhancements, and then click SRS Wow effects.
  • Proceed as for WMP 10.

Don't be afraid to give it a try. You can always turn it off if you don't like it. Let me know what you think of it.