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To find a term in the glossary, click the letter of the alphabet that is the first letter in the term you want to look up.

You can also read glossary terms within the text of Help by clicking the underlined glossary term links. After you click a glossary link, the glossary term and definition appear in a pop-up window. To close the window, click anywhere on the screen.




The traditional format in which audio and video are transmitted by using a wave or analog signal. An analog signal may not work with digital speakers; computers use digital signals.

anchor window

A small window that can appear in the lower-right corner of the screen when Windows Media Player is in skin mode. You can use the window to return to full mode and access other commands.

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bit rate

The number of bits transferred per unit of time, typically expressed in bits per second.


A transmission medium designed for high-speed data transfers over long distances. Cable modem services and DSL are examples of broadband networks.


An area of computer memory reserved for temporarily holding data before that data is used on the receiving computer. Buffering protects against the interruption of data flow.


To copy files to a recordable CD.

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Text that accompanies images or videos, either as a supplemental description or a transcript of spoken words.


See definition for: compact disc (CD)

CD burner

See definition for: disc burner


See definition for: compact disc-recordable (CD-R)


See definition for: compact disc-rewritable (CD-RW)


In a DVD, a portion of a title, such as a scene or sequence. A title can contain one or more chapters.

See also: title


An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.

compact disc (CD)

An optical storage medium for digital data.

compact disc-recordable (CD-R)

A type of CD on which files can be copied, but not erased or replaced.

compact disc-rewritable (CD-RW)

A type of CD on which files can be copied, erased, and replaced.


A process for removing redundant data from a digital media file or stream to reduce its size or the bandwidth used.

connection speed

The maximum rate, in bits per second, at which data can be transferred between a network and a computer or device.

content provider

The person or organization that distributes Windows Media files (for example, a record, movie, or streaming media company). The content provider may also be the content owner.

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Data represented as binary digits (zeros and ones).

disc burner

A device used to copy files to recordable CDs and DVDs.


To transfer a file over a network in response to a request from the device that receives the data. Downloaded content is kept on the receiving device for playback on demand. In contrast, streamed content is played as it is delivered.

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error correction

In Windows Media Player, a process to ensure that digital audio data is read from the CD-ROM drive accurately during playback or copying. Using error correction can prevent undesirable noises that are not part of the original material.

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file format

The structure or organization of data in a file. File format is usually indicated by the file name extension.

See also: file name extension, file type

file name extension

A set of characters added to the end of a file name that identifies the file type or format.

See also: file format, file type

file type

A description of the content or format of a file. File type is usually indicated by the file name extension.

See also: file format, file name extension


A combination of hardware and software that enforces a boundary between two or more networks and prevents unauthorized access to a private network.


One of many sequential images that make up video.

frame rate

The number of video frames displayed per second. Higher frame rates generally produce smoother movement in the picture.

full mode

The default operational state of Windows Media Player in which all of its features are displayed. The Player can also appear in skin mode.

See also: skin mode

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See definition for: High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD)

High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD)

A patented encode/decode process that improves the quality of all forms of digital audio recording and playback by increasing resolution and reducing distortion that occurs during analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion, digital processing, and digital filtering.


See definition for: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The Internet protocol used to deliver information over the World Wide Web.

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In Windows Media Player, a database that contains information about digital media files on a computer, a network drive, or the Internet.

licensed file

A Windows Media file that has an associated license that defines how the file can be played. The restrictions stated in the license vary depending on the license creator. When a CD track is copied by using Windows Media Player, a license can be assigned to the newly created file. Under that license, the file can only be played on the computer where the file was created.

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media information

Information about digital media content such as the artist, title, album, producer, and so forth. Also known as metadata or tags.


See definition for: Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)

The committee that creates international standards for coding audio-visual information to a digital, compressed format. The acronym MPEG is appended to the beginning of individual specifications developed by the committee. For example, MPEG-2 refers to the standard, ISO/IEC - 11172.


See definition for: Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)


A content delivery method in which a single stream is transmitted from a media server to multiple clients. The clients have no connection with the server. Instead, the server sends a single copy of the stream across the network to multicast-enabled routers, which replicate the data. Clients can then receive the stream by monitoring a specific multicast IP address and port.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

A specification of the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA). The specification defines a protocol for describing music data, such as note on and note off messages; a file format for storing music data, called Standard MIDI; and a standard hardware interface.

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online store

In Windows Media Player, a Web site that offers digital media content by subscription or for purchase.

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The set of rules on a computer and a portable device that allow digital media files and other information to be synchronized.


A list of digital media content.


A connection point in a computer through which a peripheral device or another computer can communicate.

portable device

A mobile electronic device that can exchange files or other data with a computer or device. Examples of portable devices include Pocket PCs, portable digital music players, and Smartphones.


A set of formats and procedures that enable computers to exchange information.

See also: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

proxy server

A server located on a network between client software, such as a Web browser, and another server. It intercepts all requests to the server to determine whether it can fulfill them itself. If not, it forwards the request to another server.

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To copy digital media content from an audio CD. Content may be converted to a different format during the ripping process.

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A user interface that provides an alternative appearance and customized functionality for software such as Windows Media Player.

skin mode

An operational state of Windows Media Player in which its user interface is displayed as a skin.

See also: full mode, skin


A method of delivering digital media across a network in a continuous flow. The digital media is played by client software as it is received. Typically, streaming makes it unnecessary for users to download a file before playing it.


In Windows Media Player, the process of maintaining digital media files on a portable device based on the rules in a partnership or actions specified by the user. This may require copying digital media files from a computer to a device, updating information on the device, or deleting files from the device.

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See definition for: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)


On a DVD, typically, the largest unit of content, such as a movie or TV program, is called a title. There is not a consistent standard across all DVDs and because of this, a DVD can contain one or more titles.

See also: chapter


An individual song or other discrete piece of audio content.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

The protocol within TCP/IP that governs the breakup of data messages into packets to be sent via IP, and the reassembly and verification of the complete messages from packets received by IP.

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See definition for: User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

User Datagram Protocol (UDP)

A connectionless transport protocol in the TCP/IP protocol stack that is used in cases where some packet loss is acceptable, for example, with digital media streams.

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In Windows Media Player, a graphical display that changes in response to the audio signal.

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Windows Media file

A file that contains audio, video, or script data. The content of the file is encoded with one of the Windows Media codecs.

Windows Media Format

The format of a digital media file or stream that was encoded with Windows Media codecs.

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