Windows Media Player 11 Library Search Tips

One thing Windows Media Player 11 finally supports is an effective search. As you search the results are narrowed quickly to albums, artists or songs specific to your search criteria, which eliminates the mess of digging through tracks. If you happen to subscribe to URGE and have a music library on your local computer, you get results from both. The search results look nice with stacked album art, but the important thing is getting results. In addition to basic searches, I’ve got a few tricks for getting better searches from large music libraries.
Find an Exact Phrase using Quotes which means a search for Madonna might return the Black Madonnas and Madonna, while searching for “Madonna” will return only Madonna.
Exclude Albums from an Artist search by typing either Aerosmith NOT “Toys in the Attic” or use a minus in place of NOT like this Aerosmith -“Toys in the Attic” to show all Aerosmith songs and albums except those found on Toys in the Attic.
Narrow a Search by Combining Search Terms using Aerosmith AND “Toys in the Attic” or use a plus sign in place of AND like this Aerosmith + “Toys in the Attic” to show only albums
Combine searches with OR to search for multiple tracks or terms. Say you want to find the version of Cars by both Gary Numan and the remake by Fear Factory. You could use the search query Cars Artist: “Gary Numan” OR Artist: “Fear Factory”
Note: Make sure when using modifiers like the above example Artist: to put a space between the colon and the start of your term or the search will fail in some cases (which I’m hoping will be fixed by final release).
Here’s a list of all the search modifiers you can use to quickly narrow a search. Some seem very useful, like Album: or Title: or Genre: but who’s really going to search for tracks with or without DRM?

Desired Search Search Modifier
Album Name Album:
Performing Artist
(person on a single track)
Genre Genre:
Song title Title:
Album artist AlbumArtist:
Music composer Composer:
Orchestra Conductor Conductor:
Contributing artist ContributingArtist:
Album release date DateReleased:
Length of track in seconds Length:
DRM Protection Protected:
Your 1-5 Star Rating Rating:
Content Provider ContentProvider: