Export (0) Print
Expand All
Expand Minimize

Windows Media Player and Internet Communication

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

This section provides information about:

  • The benefits of Windows Media Player

  • How Windows Media Player communicates with sites on the Internet

  • Procedures for configuration of Windows Media Player

Resources Describing Windows Media Player Configuration Options

This section of the white paper describes Microsoft Windows Media Player (also called the Player) in the context of use on a server. The Player is not commonly used in a server environment, unless it is being used to test a Windows Media server, so this section of the white paper does not provide extensive information about implementing a specific configuration for the Player. For example, this section does not provide information about allowing or preventing downloads of codecs or other software for the Player. (A codec, short for compressor/decompressor, is software that compresses or decompresses audio or video data.) This section of the white paper also does not describe Windows Media Services, which is described in a separate section of the white paper.

For information about implementing a specific desktop configuration for Windows Media Player 9 Series in your organization, see the white paper titled “Using Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 in a Managed Environment: Controlling Communication with the Internet.” The white paper includes information about allowing or preventing downloads for the Windows Media Player 9 Series (for example, downloads of codecs or other software for the Player). This white paper can be found on the TechNet Web site at:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=29133

Note that there are differences between Windows Media Player 9 Series in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Media Player 10 in Windows Server 2003 with SP1. However, the applicable Group Policy settings affect these two versions of the Player in the same way. Specifically, Group Policy settings in the following locations have the same effect on both Windows Media Player 9 Series in Windows XP SP2 and Windows Media Player 10 in Windows Server 2003 with SP1:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Media Player

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Media Digital Rights Management

For a list of additional resources, see “Related Links,” later in this section.

Benefits and Purposes of Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 10 is the media player included with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). The Player enables playing and organizing digital media files on computers and on the Internet. If you choose to use the Player on a server, you can listen to radio stations, search for and organize digital media files, and (with the right hardware) play CDs and DVDs, create custom CDs, and copy files to a portable device.

Windows Media Player 10 is described in this white paper because it can access media files on the Internet. In a highly managed network environment, you might want to control access to the Internet, including access gained through Windows Media Player. The rest of this section briefly describes how the Player communicates with the Internet, and how to control this communication.

Overview: Using Windows Media Player in a Managed Environment

Windows Media Player 10 in Windows Server 2003 SP1 is an integral component of the operating system and is installed by default. The Windows Media Player interface is accessed by navigating to Programs\Accessories\Entertainment or All Programs\Accessories\Entertainment from the Start menu. The Player is not commonly used in a server environment, unless it is being used to test a Windows Media server. If you do not want the Player accessible, you can use Group Policy to block access to the Player. The procedure for this configuration method is described later in this section.

How Windows Media Player Communicates with Sites on the Internet

The Windows Media Player has a number of features that connect to sites on the Internet. When a person at a server selects a feature such as the media Guide or Skin Chooser\More Skins, Windows Media Player connects to www.WindowsMedia.com through either a local area network (LAN) or a modem connection. When a person at a server selects a feature such as Music, Radio, or Movies & TV, Windows Media Player connects to a related site, by default, a site at MSN.com such as radio.msn.com.

WindowsMedia.com is a Web site operated by Microsoft and is tightly integrated into Windows Media Player. Media Guide is a Web page provided by WindowsMedia.com. Other services provided by WindowsMedia.com include the Player updates and download support for codecs, skins, and visualizations. (A codec, short for compressor/decompressor, is software that compresses or decompresses audio or video data.)

To support the playback of secure content, Windows Media Player will also contact:

  • Non-Microsoft digital rights management (DRM) license servers

  • Microsoft DRM upgrade service

The other common Internet connections that Windows Media Player makes are to Windows Media servers run by content providers.

For details about how Windows Media Player 10 communicates with the Internet, including details about what information is sent, see “Related Links,” later in this section, and see the privacy statement for Windows Media Player 10 on the Microsoft Web site at:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=46465

Procedure for Controlling Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player can be configured as described previously. This subsection provides a procedure for using Group Policy to prevent users or administrators from starting Windows Media Player.

noteNote
For information about implementing a specific configuration for Windows Media Player in your organization, see the sources listed in “Related Links,” later in this section.

To use Group Policy to Prevent Users and Administrators from Starting Windows Media Player

  1. See Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy, for information about using Group Policy. Ensure that your Administrative templates have been updated, and then edit an appropriate GPO.

  2. Click User Configuration, click Administrative Templates, and then click System.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Don’t run specified Windows applications.

  4. Select Enabled, click Show, click Add, and then enter the application executable name, Wmplayer.exe.

Related Links

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft