Last week Microsoft released a test version of Windows Media Player 10, introducing some new features designed to integrate WMP more with portable devices and online music services.
The biggest change at this moment is "Digital Media Mall", which is a bunch of links to webservices selling music, like Napster and MusicNow.
A feature which is not yet fully available is the ability to automatically synchronize or transfer media files between computers and portable music or video players. Microsoft hopes that this easy-transfer feature will help the sales of a new line of portable devices that are based on Microsoft's Windows Media Center software.
Also embedded in Media Player 10 is much of the code for Microsoft's latest copy-protection system, which will give media companies greater control over how often tracks of music can be copied and transferred to other devices. That will include tracks rented from subscription-based services, which currently can be played back only on Windows computers.