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MediaElement control design guidelines for Windows Phone

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

A MediaElement control can be used for audio or video playback.

This topic contains the following sections.

Appearance and action

The MediaElement control has no user interface of its own. It’s simply a container for media content. For video playback, it can be configured to display in full-screen mode. Playback controls should appear during playback when the user taps the MediaElement control; when no taps occur, the playback controls should fade out of view to give users an unobstructed view of the video content.

Detailed description

When a MediaElement control plays audio or video content, any background sounds or media already playing are halted. The app launches the playback experience when the user taps the control. Only one MediaElement control can operate at a time.

Standard use

Use a MediaElement control for playback of app-specific partial- or full-screen video and audio content.

Certification requirements

There are several media-related certification requirements that you should become familiar with when you develop any media app. For more info, see sections 6.4 and 6.5 of Additional requirements for specific app types for Windows Phone.

Design guidelines

Use the MediaElement control to present and emphasize a piece of audio or video content in isolation. When you use MediaElement controls in your app, don’t present too many of them in one screen; it can overwhelm users and may wrongly imply that the user can operate more than one MediaElement control at once. Also consider whether the content being presented should be available in full-screen mode.


If you’re developing with XNA Game Studio 4.0, read this section carefully; games and media player apps should handle media in specific ways. Don’t use this control for sound effects in your app; use the XNA Framework SoundEffect API instead. This is because the MediaElement control will interrupt and halt any audio that is playing in the background. Your app should not halt background music until a MediaElement control is tapped and playback begins.


Keep playback buttons minimal and unobtrusive; this includes allowing them to fade out during playback. Try to use established media playback symbols when showing skip, stop, play, pause, and seek operations in audio and video.

See Also



Other Resources

Media for Windows Phone