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I want to use WMP to listen to music, but at the same time I'm sorting out some videos etc that I want to quickly preview in WMP. Is it possible to open another 'instance' of WMP without cutting off my music?

More details: Using Windows 7 and WMP 12

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For anyone looking for a native solution Photo Gallery can open videos and music as well and can have multiple instances at the same time. Notice it may not be listed as an option when you try to open a video. – kon psych Jul 7 '15 at 18:51
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Need to know what OS, but I believe that you can do this by running the "background" instance through "run as different user" on XP and up. Select the music and play.

Next, double click and open whatever videos you want normally, the new instance should open up in your user. If it tries opening with the first instance then do the same - right click, do "run as different user" and choose your own.

If however this does not work, I highly recommend you look at VLC, I use it for opening multiple videos at once in order to compare them, through one setting, it has no problem in opening up as many copies as you want.

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+1 for VLC Player – Matt Hanson Oct 18 '09 at 1:25
VLC is the much easier way to go, cheers! – eddiegroves Oct 18 '09 at 5:10
How do you get VLC to play several files simultaneously? By default, it puts each one on a separate page and only plays one at a time. And if you check "Play another media file synchronously...", it'll only work with one other file. – Panzercrisis Jan 8 at 15:40

Run Multiple Instances of Windows Media Player

Is this multiple enough? :)

enter image description here

Now, this is only WMP 9 on Windows XP but I'm certain this will work with WMP 12 on Windows 7 too (unless you're using 64-bit Windows, that is).

How is it done? walk in the park, install Sandboxie and run multiple instances of pretty much anything you want.

Sandboxie is free and works with all 32-bit versions of Windows. however, if you want to create multiple containers, you'll have to register the software, in return you'll get lifetime upgrades and you may install Sandboxie with your registration code on any computer you own.

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+1 for thinking outside the box. :) – Sasha Chedygov Dec 21 '09 at 3:35
actually, it's INSIDE the (sand)box :) – Molly7244 Dec 21 '09 at 3:36
multiple instance in sandbox requires purchasing! – eagleye Nov 27 '11 at 5:28

No, that's not possible. The easiest way to go around this would be to use another media player for the videos, as much of a hassle as that is.

Or just switch to a different media player entirely. ;)

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I think its possible if your running Windows Xp try this (I'm running windows 7 so no real way to check)



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I tried it and link dead. Probably because of current version (this is 2015 after all!). – abalter Jun 11 '15 at 14:56

Funnily enough, I randomly discovered you can do what I wanted to do in Windows 7 using Windows Explorer and the built-in Windows Media Player support for the 'Preview' pane. The media player in the preview pane is very clunky but, yes, you can select some music, hit play and load other things in another Media Player window.

Still not really a good solution though, because the preview pane WMP isn't very complete.

enter image description here

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A bit late in the game I know, but I came across this in a Google search. So, for anyone else looking for an answer, here is a patch for Windows 7 (x86/x64) / WMP12 to run it multiple times:

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Virus check clears out:… – NiteCyper Nov 20 '13 at 7:35
These guys also claim to have had some luck with the tool you linked to:… – Chris Moschini Jul 31 '14 at 20:13

Not really supported, obviously, but your options for second instances are:

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Two easy options that require hardly any user intervention.


This is media player classic, basically continued 3rd party support for the classic video player. They have both 32 and 64 bit versions for win7 or vista. I loaded it and clicked on two different video files and they both opened in their own window. Both files played at the same time as well. I have Windows 7 ult 64 and was annoyed at the lack of ability of the built in player. You would think that would be a given considering most computers today May 2010 are dual core or better.

  1. VLC - have this too but using the new media classic since its 64 bit.
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You haven't been far enough... Play some music with WMP12. Then open explorer with the preview pane... Preview a video or some music and see that button next to the play button in the preview pane? Hit it and what a miracle a 2nd WMP12 open ;)

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