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Windows Media Player and space bar pause

    Discussion générale

  • Caiobrz had an excellent and longstanding user question: why doesn't Windows Media Player globally support space bar as pause?  I thought it'd be good to give it its own thread for any interested.

    Those of you who have used Windows Media Player way back in the day may recall that the simpler Windows Media Player 5.x/6 (mplayer2.exe) did actually support the space bar as a global "play/pause" button.  But WMP6 (as we'll call it) does not support TABbing between UI elements, which is generally an important piece of accessibility.  And likewise - once you've TABbed to a UI element, you select that element with ... the space bar.  As such, the player hijacking any press of the space bar to mean Play/Pause would block accessibility.  Plus - what if you're editing metadata?  Does a space there mean you want a space in "PaulSimon" or does it mean you want to pause the clip because your boss came in?  Hopefully you can see that there are constraints, regardless of their merit, as to why space bar does not act as a global "play/pause" button.

    However, feedback reached the right ears and as of WMP11 (and WMP12) if the UI focus is on the relevant clip in the playlist OR on the play/pause button - space bar will indeed act as a Play/Pause button when you're viewing the clip.  Clearly this isn't as useful as a "global" hotkey - but it's about the most meaningful possibility available.

    So when you're playing a clip in the player - either have the focus on that clip in the playlist OR on the play/pause button in the player's controls, and you should indeed see the space bar acting as play/pause for you.


    Disclaimer: The above is solely my own interpretation in my own words.  I always solely represent and speak for myself. :)
    vendredi 27 novembre 2009 07:32

Toutes les réponses

  • Adding pause by spacebar would be redundant because wmp12 already has full integration with standard media control buttons on dedicated media keyboards and mice and other HID.

    Press the media play/pause buttons that are located elsewhere on the keyboard else press ctrl-p which isn't hard AND goes along with the rest of wmp's ctrl based controls.

    That said, yes wmp should have more accessible controls to fall in line with all the major free media players out there... it just doesn't, imo, need it. Why have a triply redundant control scheme?

    exploring wmplayer 12 secure internet sharing
    vendredi 27 novembre 2009 09:33
  • This reason is completely ASININE. It is the key for play/pause for practically everything excepting some Flash web players, because pause is extremely important and the key is extremely large. But on WMP it does NOTHING. I had to witness my tech-idiot dad watching a DVD with the graphical controls sitting idle over the video so that he could hit the pause button using the touch pad... because apparently companies are still making laptops that require one to hold Fn to use the media functions.
    lundi 6 décembre 2010 00:14
  • Adding pause by spacebar would be redundant because wmp12 already has full integration with standard media control buttons on dedicated media keyboards and mice and other HID.

    Press the media play/pause buttons that are located elsewhere on the keyboard else press ctrl-p which isn't hard AND goes along with the rest of wmp's ctrl based controls.

    That said, yes wmp should have more accessible controls to fall in line with all the major free media players out there... it just doesn't, imo, need it. Why have a triply redundant control scheme?
    Because space is easier to access suddenly / faster and more precise for accurate pause needs / is the only choice when you are eating and just have a single clean finger / the user doesn't use a keyboard with media keys? Or just because it won't hurt anybody? Will redundant shortcuts hurt you or eat more ram from your system? Meh...
    jeudi 20 janvier 2011 06:49
  • Thank you.
    vendredi 25 février 2011 22:48
  • Who ever decided to change things up a bit because it's redundant to use the space bar as a pause/play action is a moron! This is one, of many reason, i don't use WMP or RealPlayer because of this simple thing left out due to their own individual interests instead of what is the most convenient. 

    Using space bar, I don't have to look at my keyboard to pause something. Pressing Ctrl+P, I do have to look just to make sure I got the right keys. A 5 year old would be able to give you tips on this, why couldn't the people at Microsoft do the same?

    mercredi 2 mars 2011 09:49
  • It isn't due to being redundant, it's due to being already in use.  You can't make your car's gas pedal generally be your turn signal because it's already in use as a gas pedal.  As noted in my write-up, space bar is used as a UI selection action which is required by accessibility. 
    jeudi 3 mars 2011 17:49
  • 2 zachd if an alt+shift combination separately works for every app so I understand ypur mind about a "car pedals". For example I can press a power botton on my computer and send that one to hibenation state and not only powering off although! that button is "a power button" :) MS comunity loves to underfill any their app. Maybe it's fear of "eurocomissions". give a green light for third-party programmers.. So that programmers begird that OS, don't they? :) be pay tribute to Marketing Specialist and analyst who works in microsoft.
    jeudi 3 mars 2011 23:15
  • Your reasoning, if it really can be considered to rise to that level, is wrongheaded and bizarre. That behavior you describe above, where space is used to select -- I don't even know what you're talking about. Does anyone outside of microsoft have any idea what that is or how to use it?

    But here's what really chaps my rear, if you click on the slider in media player, space will pause/unpause.

    If, however, you alt-tab away from media player and then immediately alt-tab back, space does absolutely nothing unless you go and reclick the bar. Useless. Could you educate me why this is in my interest?

    As pointed out here numbers of times, space is the biggest freaking key in sight. Many laptops don't have play/pause buttons. Every other music player on the planet uses space to play/pause. And nobody has any idea what you're talking about saying space serves some other indispensable function.

    Fix the problem already!!!

    dimanche 5 juin 2011 17:19
  • Yes, many people know what I'm talking about as regards the spacebar.  Go have your mouse break and you'll see it in action.  You being unaware of other people's needs doesn't change their needs. =]  Heck, you already trying to use the spacebar instead of the mouse already shows you trying to use a small subset of the kind of functionality in question. =]

    Interesting idea, cool feature, the current compromise is what you have.  Sorry: if there are further betas of WMP/WMP-including-products in the future, it would be good to mention in beta feedback your support for this at that time... but short of that, I don't really see this going anywhere. 

    Note that I'm probably more on Your Side than many other people on the planet.  You can 'shoot the messenger' by calling a current reality wrongheaded and bizarre, but I'm not really sure how productive that is. =]

    mardi 7 juin 2011 15:05
  • The Windows Media Player Plus! plug-in includes an option to let the space bar play/pause anytime. After installing the plug-in, you can go to Tools - Plug-in properties - Windows Media Player Plus! - Hotkeys - Local Hotkeys to enable the option (press Ctrl+M if you don't see the Tools menu).
    Tim De Baets
    http://www.bm-productions.tk
    mardi 7 juin 2011 20:27
  • And again some 3rd party plugin required to enable VERY BASIC functionality in MS product. And again no x64 support.
    lundi 4 juillet 2011 08:25
  • That's all very well, but we should not forget one simple fact: using space bar to play/pause IS CONVENIENT. If something is convenient for user and is possible to implement properly (look into any other media player, there are other players as (or even more) complex than WMP that still support spacebar pause) it should be implemented.
    lundi 4 juillet 2011 08:29
  • Yes, many people know what I'm talking about as regards the spacebar.  Go have your mouse break and you'll see it in action.  You being unaware of other people's needs doesn't change their needs. =]  Heck, you already trying to use the spacebar instead of the mouse already shows you trying to use a small subset of the kind of functionality in question. =]

    Interesting idea, cool feature, the current compromise is what you have.  Sorry: if there are further betas of WMP/WMP-including-products in the future, it would be good to mention in beta feedback your support for this at that time... but short of that, I don't really see this going anywhere. 

    Note that I'm probably more on Your Side than many other people on the planet.  You can 'shoot the messenger' by calling a current reality wrongheaded and bizarre, but I'm not really sure how productive that is. =]


    I'm a professional windows developer of 15 years who just bought my first Windows 7 machine and I'm astounded and dismayed that not only is this obviously superior solution (the standard in netflix the largest single source of internet traffic not to mention youtube) not an option but that customizing your keyboard shortcuts is still not enabled by Windows.  Talking to people who develop on Mac machines telling me about all the customization they can do it gets pretty embarrasing.  I guess that's why Microsoft is getting its market share lopped off month after month.  Good thing for them Ubuntu is such a PITA or the rate would probably double.

    It's nearly depressing to see Windows 7 has become more mouse-centric than XP was ... are NONE of their developers not mouse-happy lightweights?

     

    dimanche 7 août 2011 05:56
  • To use your analogy, CHANGING the behavior of spacebar-as-pause is like having people used to using a gas pedal, but having the pedal do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when they try a new car.  To add my own analogy, the new gas pedal would be like pushing in the cigarette lighter and then hitting the turn signal.  Completely nonintuitive.
    samedi 13 août 2011 16:38
  • Wait a second.  Accessibility, that's for people that are, like, physically disabled?  People for whom it's difficult to press keys or use a mouse in the normal fashion, right?  So suppose one of these people can barely control their shaking hands, like my mom's essential tremor.  I bet they could still manage to slap the spacebar, a LOT easier than ANY other means of pausing playback.  The 'accessibility' argument doesn't hold water, for me.  It comes across as an excuse.

    samedi 13 août 2011 17:12
  • I installed AutoHotKey and added this script in the AutoHotKey.ahk file

    GroupAdd,mplayer,Windows Media Center

    #IfWinActive,ahk_group mplayer

     Space::Send,{Media_Play_Pause}

    #IfWinActive

     

    For Media Center, should be the same for Windows Media Player.

    jeudi 22 septembre 2011 16:19
  • I can't see this going anywhere either, because zachd, you are an idiot =)
    samedi 24 septembre 2011 05:24
  • Caiobrz had an excellent and longstanding user question: why doesn't Windows Media Player globally support space bar as pause?  I thought it'd be good to give it its own thread for any interested.

    Those of you who have used Windows Media Player way back in the day may recall that the simpler Windows Media Player 5.x/6 (mplayer2.exe) did actually support the space bar as a global "play/pause" button.  But WMP6 (as we'll call it) does not support TABbing between UI elements, which is generally an important piece of accessibility.  And likewise - once you've TABbed to a UI element, you select that element with ... the space bar.  As such, the player hijacking any press of the space bar to mean Play/Pause would block accessibility.  Plus - what if you're editing metadata?  Does a space there mean you want a space in "PaulSimon" or does it mean you want to pause the clip because your boss came in?  Hopefully you can see that there are constraints, regardless of their merit, as to why space bar does not act as a global "play/pause" button.

    However, feedback reached the right ears and as of WMP11 (and WMP12) if the UI focus is on the relevant clip in the playlist OR on the play/pause button - space bar will indeed act as a Play/Pause button when you're viewing the clip.  Clearly this isn't as useful as a "global" hotkey - but it's about the most meaningful possibility available.

    So when you're playing a clip in the player - either have the focus on that clip in the playlist OR on the play/pause button in the player's controls, and you should indeed see the space bar acting as play/pause for you.


    Disclaimer: The above is solely my own interpretation in my own words.  I always solely represent and speak for myself. :)


    I just finished watchig a movie using WMP12.
    My opinion is as follows:

    1) Searching for any combination of keys while watching a movie(...) is inconvenient and hard to be done especially at home when its late night (dark around).
    2) I really dont need the Spacebar to be used for Play/Stop fnc. It can be done by pressing any ONE else easy to find key. Give me one OR let me set one in the Settings menu. Of course not as deep as possible (according to the Plug-In solution described in this thread).

    Consider this:
    - Spacebar is really an easy to find key.
    - When the Spacebar is used as an select button - the same functionality can be fullfilled by the ENTER key.
    - Any focus being active on an textbox (while you are editing some metadata - your "PaulSimon" example) can be detected and the Spacebar Play/Pause functionality overriden by letting the Spacebar behave as normal Spacebar key.
    - I feel depressed of having that partly functional Play/Pause functionality. If I always have to check where in the window the focus is set, to be sure that pressing Spacebar wont do any other than Play/Pause action - what is so positive about that?

    Let me say - WMP development team made the users to use the Ctrl+.. combinations, and the same team can change that (as history after MP v.6 already showed us).


    There is one saying in my land:
    "Those who do want are searching for solutions, those who do not want are searching for reasons."

    vendredi 28 octobre 2011 06:17
  • LEAST-HELPFUL-THREAD-EVER


    By the way, CTRL+P also pauses, there, I was just more helpful then ALL OF YOU!
    • Modifié Skull Boy SNAFU jeudi 26 janvier 2012 22:01 found alternative solution
    jeudi 26 janvier 2012 21:59
  • I totally agree with you, it's so silly they don't support space bar as a play/pause button - and not even make it an optional setting to do so in Media Player. It's why VLC player is the default on my system :) Now I just need to install it on my GF's system and I won't ever be bothered by the poor design of Windows Media Player :D
    vendredi 17 août 2012 21:20
  • I installed AutoHotKey and added this script in the AutoHotKey.ahk file

    GroupAdd,mplayer,Windows Media Center

    #IfWinActive,ahk_group mplayer

     Space::Send,{Media_Play_Pause}

    #IfWinActive

     

    For Media Center, should be the same for Windows Media Player.

    This works beautifully!  I am so happy with WMC once again!  No more lost time from pausing and then coming back only to accidentally switch channels instead of unpausing!

    Horray!  You have made my weekend!

    vendredi 26 juillet 2013 18:20
  • After installing K-Lite codecs i could use any video format in Media Player but even with all the codecs en numerous extra's a simple option to pauze the screen with the spacebar was lacking. The only way to fix this is to use VLC with, imo, a old & ugly UI.


    Thankgod i found http://wmphotkeys.codeplex.com/

    INSTALLATION
    Open an administrative command prompt and go to the location where you have (downloaded or build) the plugin dll.
    Run 'regsvr32 WMPHotkeys.dll' from the command prompt. If everything is fine then you would get a message box saying "DllRegisterServer in WMPHotkeys.dll succeeded."
    That is all, WMP Hotkeys plugin is successfully installed, you can start using it.

    USAGE
    Open Windows Media Player, go to tools menu and choose 'options'. Select 'plug-ins' tab. Under plugins tab select 'Background' category. 'WMP Hotkeys' should be listed in background plugin list. Enable the plugin by clicking the check box before the plugin name.

    The following key board shortcuts can be used in Windows Media Player, after installing & enabling this plugin.

    mercredi 9 octobre 2013 09:38
  • One word reason why they TOOK AWAY spacebar: TABLETS.

    At time of this thread, and long before, they were lookingmore to tablet technology, and tablets dont really have space bars


    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 02:44
  • Other thing to remember is that they TOOK IT AWAY! And THAT, my colleagues, IS the point.

    If spacebar used to act as pause, then it never should have been taken away.


    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 02:49
  • Also, at very least, provide customizable keys!!!!!

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 02:52
  • And, by customized, I mean WITHOUT third-party products.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 02:56
  • What could be so difficult about allowing customized keys without add-on products?

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:02
  • Microsoft could have a HUGE customer win if they would ADDRESS such issues, by at least saying something like "We decided, for better design purposes, to change the function of the space key in WMP." And if they had a mechanism to ACT UPON valid majority feedback.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:13
  • You know, because if NINETY PERCENT of your customers HATE  a change, what does that tell you????

    tnjman


    • Modifié TNJMAN samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:46 spelling
    samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:16
  • I might have to try this AutoHotkey

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:36
  • One simple solution: Voice command!

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 03:48
  • Doesn't have to be verbal, could be gesture-based.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 04:00
  • Even better is MS-mind-reading-pause ... think about it. :-)

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 04:02
  • Heads-up display with a Microsoft equivalent of Google Glass would be an interesting Media Center interface.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 15:42
  • Nothing wrong with VLC, it's tried and true

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 15:47
  • I completely agree, the inconvenience trumps all other aspects! Bring back the space-bar Pause!

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 15:49
  • Additionally, if Microsoft would check the competitors closely, they could base their choices on most popular features and keys.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 15:55
  • Maybe if we had a real way to VOTE, like a 'poll' that would definitely be used to have developers program the features.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 15:59
  • Along the lines of what just.me1said, I would like to see a completely redesigbned Media Player / Media Center

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 16:01
  • Is it possible to do a Mass Signature Poll like some of these other topics have done, or does that do any good at all?

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 16:04
  • Izim you are wrong. Lots of people do not have Media keyboards and, even so, it's not redundant. I have some systems with media keys, but have to reach to the top to use them, whereas spacebar, which is at the bottom, is much more convenient. I NEVER use the media keys.

    tnjman

    samedi 12 octobre 2013 16:16
  • I use VLC also, but I still use WMP as well.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:19
  • I tried AutoHotkey and it is quite useful.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:22
  • CharlieChocolate27, that's anexcellent analogy and observation.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:24
  • Not sure where you get your "stats" - about Netflix being single biggest source of Internet traffic. I don't believe that's true. For MOVIES, maybe. But I do agree spacebar pause appears to be an  defacto Industry standard, if that was your point.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:29
  • Frippi, you are right, or at least it should be customizable via hotkeys.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:31
  • Zachd, but as others have pointed out, Enter or Tab often are used as selection mechanisms and your gas pedal analogy doesnt really hold water because, once media is selected, the spacebar can then serve another function; i.e., when a movie is PLAYING, you have no need to 'select' another movie. Many buttons on cars serve multiple functions - think about the radio controls for volume, that often double as bass, treble, fade, etc.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:49
  • Ok, i just now TRULY read your post and it makes sense. Looks like they DID compromise and allow spacebar to be pause-play as long as focus is on a media clip (movie, song, etc.)

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:56
  • And yes, I have used WMP since its very first released version.

    tnjman


    • Modifié TNJMAN dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:59 spelling
    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 01:57
  • And I dont totally dislike WMP's design, but I feel it could 'flow' better.

    tnjman

    dimanche 13 octobre 2013 02:02