Device Types

[The feature associated with this page, MCI, is a legacy feature. It has been superseded by MediaPlayer. MediaPlayer has been optimized for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Microsoft strongly recommends that new code use MediaPlayer instead of MCI, when possible. Microsoft suggests that existing code that uses the legacy APIs be rewritten to use the new APIs if possible.]

MCI recognizes a basic set of device types. A device type is a set of MCI drivers that share a common command set and are used to control similar multimedia devices or data files. Many MCI commands, such as open (MCI_OPEN), require you to specify a device type.

The following table lists the defined device types. The current implementation of MCI includes command sets for a subset of these devices.

Device type Constant Description
cdaudio MCI_DEVTYPE_CD_AUDIO CD audio player
dat MCI_DEVTYPE_DAT Digital-audio tape player
digitalvideo MCI_DEVTYPE_DIGITAL_VIDEO Digital video in a window (not GDI-based)
other MCI_DEVTYPE_OTHER Undefined MCI device
overlay MCI_DEVTYPE_OVERLAY Overlay device (analog video in a window)
scanner MCI_DEVTYPE_SCANNER Image scanner
sequencer MCI_DEVTYPE_SEQUENCER MIDI sequencer
vcr MCI_DEVTYPE_VCR Video-cassette recorder or player
videodisc MCI_DEVTYPE_VIDEODISC Videodisc player
waveaudio MCI_DEVTYPE_WAVEFORM_AUDIO Audio device that plays digitized waveform files


In this document, the names of device types are bold. Device-type names are used with the command-string interface. Device-type constants are used with the command-message interface.