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Watching recorded TV with Windows Media Player

I “cut the cord” years ago and have been using Windows Media Center to record television for ages.  It is with great sadness to see Microsoft drop Windows Media Center from Windows; however, that doesn’t change the fact that I literally have years (several seasons) of content to catch up on…

I used to be able to just launch Windows Media Center on my regular machines and point the library to the main machine (the one doing the recordings) and the wife acceptance factor was high.  Those days, unfortunately are no more.  So what to do?

Luckily, Windows Media Player is capable of watching these recorded files.  It’s not a perfect solution however as I don’t get the nice little thumbnails and easy access to all of the associated metadata; but the filename is enough to get the gist of the show and which order I should watch them in.

I’ve been using this for a while now, however one thing has been really annoying…

With Windows Media Center, I could quickly skip through the commercials – doing so in Windows Media Player has been really annoying as I’ve had to play a guessing game using the mouse over the Seek bar.

Well no more, I just found the correct keyboard shortcuts! (As well as when/where you can utilize them.)

  • Right Arrow: Skip forward
  • Left Arrow: Skip backward
  • Shift + Right Arrow: Skip forward (small)
  • Shift + Left Arrow: Skip backward (small)
  • Ctrl + Right Arrow: Skip forward (large)
  • Ctrl + Left Arrow: Skip backward (large)

There is still an annoyance with this approach in the fact that you have to have the current focus on the Seek bar; but once that is the case… I can bend the video to my will and commercials are far less annoying.

As it turns out, pressing the Tab key 4x upon initially launching Windows Media Player will focus the Seek bar.

For the record, I really wish Microsoft would reconsider their position on Windows Media Center and make it available as a separate product… furthermore, I’d like to see it available on Xbox One.  And, yes, I’m willing to pay for it.  I’d be first in line to pay $99 for a Xbox Play Anywhere copy!

Published Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:16 AM by CorySmith
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