The Washington Post Sunday - - Sunday Briefing - Rob Pe­go­raro


I in­stalled a Log­itech key­board and mouse, Log­itech’s Me­di­aLife pro­gram be­came my de­fault for mu­sic CDs. How can I re­store Win­dows Me­dia Player to the de­fault pro­gram? AIsn’t

it amaz­ing how pushy some com­pa­nies can get with their soft­ware? (This is why I al­ways choose a pro­gram’s “cus­tom in­stall” op­tion.)

To undo this takeover, you need to ad­just Win­dows’ Au­to­Play set­tings — a com­pli­cated task in Win­dows XP, where you need to open the My Com­puter win­dow, right-click the CD or DVD drive’s icon, se­lect Prop­er­ties, and click the Prop­er­ties win­dow’s Au­to­Play tab. (In Vista, open the Con­trol Panel, click the “Hard­ware and Sound” cat­e­gory, then the Au­to­Play icon.)

With your Au­to­Play op­tions in view, se­lect “Mu­sic CD” from the first menu in that win­dow. You can switch Win­dows to its nor­mal set­tings — in which it asks what you want to do with an au­dio CD — by click­ing the “Re­store De­faults” but­ton.

To have the pro­gram of your choice play a CD au­to­mat­i­cally, click the “Se­lect an ac­tion to per­form” but­ton and se­lect “Play au­dio CD us­ing Win­dows Me­dia Player” from the list of avail­able pro­grams. The pro­gram I down­loaded says it needs Mi­crosoft’s .Net Frame­work 2.0, but Mi­crosoft’s site lists a 3.0 ver­sion of this soft­ware. Shouldn’t I down­load that in­stead?

Most of the time, you don’t have to. The ap­par­ently se­quen­tial ver­sion num­bers hide a more com­pli­cated re­al­ity about this frame­work, a set of shared tools other pro­grams — for in­stance, the free im­age-edit­ing pro­gram Paint.Net — can use.

The 3.0 ver­sion in­cludes the 2.0 soft­ware (both are avail­able at mi­ down­loads) but also throws in some sep­a­rate com­po­nents that newer pro­grams might need. But if you’re not us­ing th­ese new pro­grams — few ex­ist so far — you’re bet­ter off keep­ing things a lit­tle sim­pler by stick­ing with the 2.0 re­lease. Rob Pe­go­raro at­tempts to un­tan­gle com­put­ing co­nun­drums and er­rant elec­tron­ics each week. Send ques­tions to The Wash­ing­ton Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Wash­ing­ton, D.C. 20071 or robp@wash­

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