I downgraded today to Windows Media Player 11, but I didn't get my shiny buttons on the player back (strange)
so I activated WMP 12 again.
Now I'm trying two things in parallel:
- using VLC media player with the WMP 11 skin
- using windowblinds to have a nicer look on all my ugly windows
see the pic attached for the current look of my players (left is VLC, right is WMP12).