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Windows Vista hints and tips

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Searching in Media Player

If you have a very large music library on your hard disk drive it can be difficult finding the specific track or album that you feel like listening to. However, the advanced features of the search facility in Windows Media Player 11 can help. With the library selected in Media Player, enter a four digit number like 2003 or 1995 into the search box to display all the tracks produced that particular year.

It is possible to seearch for music genres in your library by typing genre:country or genre:pop into the search box. The results of these two searches would show all the country music or all the pop music.

You can prevent items that you don't want from appearing in the list of search results by placing a minus sign before them like this: genre:rock -queen. Enter this into the search box and you'll see a list all the rock music in your library, but not if it's by the rock group Queen.

Logical operators can be used to create more specific searches. For example, you could list all the jazz and blues music in your library by entering genre:jazz AND genre:blues into Media Player's search box. Notice the AND in capitals, which means match the first term AND the second one. You can also use OR and NOT to narrow down your search, for example, Beyonce OR Beatles.

You must use quotes when you are searching for items that use two or more words, like "Hotel California" OR "Smoke on the Water". This would find all the tracks or albums that contained these titles. You can find all tracks by a particular artist using a search term like albumartist:enya or if you want to find all the music by a particular composer, then enter something like composer:bach.

Music can be given ratings and they have interesting uses. For example, if you fancy listening to the best music in your collection then enter rating:5 to list all the music you have rated with five stars. You can even find which albums an artist has contributed to using the following search term ContributingArtist:Eminem.

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