As musicians, we work with audio files on a regular basis. If you're
anything like me, you have a very large collection of audio files,
sample files, sample loops, etc. At the moment, I use Windows
Explorer to organize my collection in a number of different folders
on a dedicated hard drive. When looking for a particular file, I
like to quickly audition (listen) to the file to see if it's what I
Unfortunately, when you try to play an audio file in Windows XP, it
defaults to loading up Windows Media Player, which is a bit time
consuming when you're searching through a number of different files.
Luckily, you can change this behavior so that Windows XP uses a
different application that loads up and plays quite quickly. Here
are the steps for making this change:
1) Open Windows Explorer and choose Tools > Folder Options > File
2) Scroll through the list to find the audio file type you want to
change. For this example, choose WAV.
3) Click the Advanced button.
4) Click the New button.
5) For Action type the word Preview.
6) For Application type the following exactly as shown without
quotes: "C:\Windows\System32\Mplay32.exe /Play"
7) Click OK. Click OK again. Click Close.
Now when you right-click on an MP3 file from within Windows
Explorer, you will see a Preview option in the pop-up menu. To
preview a file, right-click and choose Preview. To close the preview
application, just hit ALT+F+X on your computer keyboard. It's much
quicker and easier to audition audio files this way under Windows
Scott R. Garrigus is the author of Cakewalk Power!, Sound Forge Power!,
Sound Forge 6 Power!, SONAR Power!, and SONAR 2 Power!, as well as the
publisher of DigiFreq. Learn about more cool music technology tips and
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