I recently had a problem with Windows Media Player not opening from a web page. Instead it asked if I wanted to save or download the media file. I have a lot of web pages with sound files attached and this was causing no end of problems so I set about looking for a solution.
A search on Google found that as a Windows Vista user I was not alone in experiencing this and yet, whilst there were lots of suggestions about the cause and solutions, it was obvious that the solutions weren't working for most people. And the suggestions were mainly of the reinstall Windows Media Player variety. Not something I like to do unless it's a last resort and in any case I've found in the past that whatever settings you have, have a tendency to be remembered...
The causes were varied but most forum entries seemed to be blaming the Quicktime software. I had installed that just about the time my problems started - but I had also had to install i-tunes also so there was potentially another cause there.
Anyway in the end I ignored most of the advice and tried this and it worked for me.
Select Windows Media Player in the list on the left and Set this program as default in the right even if it says it already has all its defaults.
That worked for me. Going back into a web page and clicking a link to a sound file caused Windows Media Player to open and play the sound file.
This has happened a few times to me now and always after updating or downloading a new version of i-tunes. Recently the above routines did not cure the problem. So here's the one that did...
Go into Default Programs as described above but this time choose the bottom option: Set Progam Access and Computer Defaults
If the top option is ticked (Microsoft Windows) you shouldn't be having this problem anyway...
If the middle option is ticked then that would be the reason why Windows Media Player won't work (at all!)
If the bottom option is ticked (most likely if you are still reading this) then click to drop down the details as shown.
Scroll down until you see the options for Choose a default media player and you should see that Use my current media player is ticked. Tick the option for Windows Media Player, then click the Ok button. Close your browser and on reopening it you should find the problem resolved. Hurray for the good guys!