Our friends in Media Player have done a fine job with Media Player 9. One slight problem: I think they got their first use experience a little wrong. Usually when I launch Media Player, I want to listen to my music, not watch a trailer for Scooby Doo 2. You can go to Tools > Options > Player and un-check “Start Player in Media Guide”, but you actually have a few other options, too.
Our friends at MSDN have got documentation on the few command line parameters available from Media Player.
You can specify which mode you want it to launch in, which device to play, even which playlist to start.
1) I created a playlist called “Best Music” which is actually an auto playlist with all of my 4- and 5-star music.
2) I created a shortcut in my quick launch bar and pointed it to:
"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" /Playlist "Best Music" /Task MediaLibrary
3) I changed the default icon to the green arrow in %SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll which distinguishes it from the plain, old Media Player.
Now I'm one click away from my favorite tunes.
A note: I thought it would be cool to launch this shortcut as minimized so that Media Player would just live in the tray. It turns out that Media Player launches and disappears when you do this! You either have to launch Media Player again without the “launch minimized” option set or kill the process. I’m sure they’ll get that fixed for Longhorn.