Review: Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard

Filed under: — 12:15 am

Microsoft Digital Media Pro KeyboardI’ve used an HP multimedia keyboard for the past year or so. It had two critical problems that recently convinced me to switch: first, after spending way too many hours fiddling with things, I could never get the multimedia buttons to work reliably with WinAmp. Second, I spilled a drink on it.

Microsoft’s Digital Media Pro Keyboard is the cheapest of their new line of keyboards. The more expensive ones are wireless, and while I’m sure there’s a huge group of people I haven’t met who want to use their keyboard wirelessly from 10 feet away, I just want mine to sit on my desk and never require batteries.

The keyboard has a great feel. Apparently the “natural keyboard” fad is over—most of the new models have the old-fashioned layout, and I have to admit I’ve had no increase in wrist strain or sore fingers since abandoning natural keyboards a few years ago. I’m sure they work fine for some people, but I’ll stick to the standard layout for now.

Along with the usual buttons in all of the right places, it has a “zoom slider” on the left, which I’m sure will disappear from the next batch of keyboard models. More buttons include volume, mute, play/pause, stop, previous/next track, five programmable “Favorites” buttons, shortcut buttons for things like My Documents and Mail, a dedicated Calculator button next to the numeric pad (one of my favorites).

It also makes a gesture toward making the almost-worthless function keys useful again—they default to things like Undo, Open, Close, Save, and so on (and seem to work in just about every program.) You can lock them to act like traditional function keys too.

Since this is a Microsoft keyboard, I expected some trouble customizing all of the buttons. Surprisingly, this hasn’t been an issue—the control panel lets you reassign just about everything. Even more impressive, the media buttons worked in WinAmp with no configuration, and the “Web” button pops up Firefox by default since it’s my default browser. The zoom slider controls the font size in Firefox. The control panel lets you disable the Windows and Application keys, and assign the functions or programs of your choice to the “Enhanced F-Keys”. Kudos to Microsoft for not trying to lock me into their applications with this keyboard.

The Digital Media Pro Keyboard supports USB or PS2 connectors, and includes software for Windows and MacOS. I haven’t found a problem with it yet. Highly recommended.

28 responses to “Review: Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard”

  1. Mohsen says:


    Recently I bought it and it’s very nice. But, as a programer, I spent all of my hours with Visual Studio and zoom slider is not useful for me. I prefer they scroll instead of zoom. I want to customize them the to scroll. Do you know is there any way to customizing them?


  2. Hiya, I’ve been wondering the same thing too! I haven’t found any way to customize the zoom slider on my Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard. Also, I can’t get it to work in Firefox—it just seems to scroll, and doesn’t ZOOM at all, altho it does work correctly in Internet Explorer.

    Any idea what might be going on? Thanx for the article, I found ya through Google! :)

  3. Charles says:

    Hello, I just picked up the same keyboard, and can not get my pause/play ,stop, prev, track or next track keys to work with winamp. drivin me nutty!! Would be lost with out google.


  4. Steve says:

    In response to Charles: I just bought this keyboard today and I came across the same problem, but when I looked in the Winamp preferences I found that if you enable Global Hotkeys then the pause/play, stop…etc then the buttons work.

    Hope it works for you

  5. Charles says:

    it worked thanks!!!

  6. mike C says:

    I have the wireless desktop 6000 laser. I had it installed on my old pc and the slider worked with firefox. Now with the new pc the slider is only working with explorer? what gives? the slider in firefox is scrolling only. with this new ultrasharp monitor some text is very small and the zoom would be nice!

  7. Cam says:

    I love this keyboard a lot. I enjoy the way the keys feel to type with. If you like a quiet smooth keyboard this is the one for you. I used to prefer a firmer key feel with more of a “click” when you press it, but this keyboard still works fine.

    My only gripe, similar to the WinAmp problem, is when using iTunes, the track forward and track backward buttons go two tracks forward or two tracks back. I really like that it has a button to bring up Calculator right next to the 10-key pad. Spell check button. Undo/Redo buttons are nice.

  8. Andy says:

    Hey I just bought this keyboard today and I also found that the keyboard media controls wouldn’t work with Winamp, so I would just like to thank Steve for pointing out the fix, thanks mate, well appreciated !!

  9. nick says:

    I ditto Torley Torgeson/Torley Wong’s comments.

    I’m sure the zoom worked with firefox but I’ve just noticed that it doesn’t.

    I recently upgraded to Firefox 1.5. Could that be the problem?

  10. nick says:

    Have installed an extension called pagezoom which solves the problem for now but can’t use the slider anymore :-<

    Shame. About the best bit of the comfort keyboard, I thought…

  11. Over a year later and I’ve found this page again while googling about broken zoom slider functionality–it doesn’t work for me in Firefox 1.5 either. Still using this keyboard, still going strong, altho some of the silver paint has fainted off, I reckon due to so much use.

  12. Steve says:

    Steve said “In response to Charles: I just bought this keyboard today and I came across the same problem, but when I looked in the Winamp preferences I found that if you enable Global Hotkeys then the pause/play, stop…etc then the buttons work.

    Hope it works for you”

    Thanks a lot man, I was resorting to using iTunes as a player and it sucked, the next song went 2 ahead and all this crap. But now i get to use preferred player and it works great Thanks!

  13. Kelly says:

    Hey I just bought this keyboard and my prev track/next track button doesnt work! When i press the next track button, the search for file pops up!

  14. Jo says:

    Doh I am such an idiot – now on my second of these keyboards – passed my first on to my kid – and only just saw the calculator button – thats going to be useful!! Assigned the keys and got winamp working np – big doh about the calculator – time for glasses I think!

  15. Robert says:

    Hi I really enjoy the keyboard, but…I cannnot activate my “f” keys!!??

  16. Will says:

    How can i get my “My Music” to open a folder in my F:? Because I keep all my music in a shared folder named My Music which is in my F:, instead of my C:…

  17. Graham says:


    if you want to use the regular “F” keys (F1, F2, etc) hit the “F Lock” button (above the number pad

  18. Kevin B. says:

    Had to use a 3rd party program and manually force the media keys work with winamp. It was not fun.

  19. Stacey says:

    Had this keyboard for about 6 months now and the favorites keys won’t work anymore…at least not with websites. I can assign the favorites to programs etc though and they’ll work. But my old assignments just would not open (kept giving me the message that the key had not been assigned). Switching the webpage assigmnets didn’t work either. Tried uninstalling and reinstalling program. The assignments remainded but still don’t work. Does anyone have any suggestions? I use internet explorer. Thanks.

  20. Drew says:

    I just bought this keyboard but the numeric pad doesn’t work at all…

    any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks Drew

  21. Peter says:

    Thanks to steve for the winamp fix!

    For Will:

    In the settings change your MyMusic key to: ‘start a program, webpage or file’ on the next page use: “explorer” f:4a7d3d609129a9296bf7ac0608c2097

  22. Byron says:

    Hey guys, i have had this keyboard for a while and have found it to be the best keyboard i have ever had, with everything u would expect from a microsoft keyboard, however… I have had recent trouble, all of a sudden, with my play/pause button. Im not sure where the problem is lying but i will have WMP 11 running fine and the button will work great, only when i have WMP as the current screen though. When i minimise it, the play/pause button will act like it is pressing itself twice and in the space of half a second, quickly pause but then play the song again, and visa versa. ANYone have any ideas? desperatly waiting

  23. Jay says:

    I mostly love this keyboard except that when using Winamp 5.3.2 the play/pause button acts like the stop button – it stops the playback and thenr estarts it from the beginning. It doesn’t do pause then restart from current position. This happens even if Winamp’s Global Hotkeys are enabled.

    I reprogrammed the button to issue the pause combination keys (ctl+alt+home) and the “media” button to issue the play combination keys (ctl+alt+insert). Now I can make it work but the keys are still wrong.

    Any suggestions?






    any help much appreciated

  25. Rinsei Haimoto says:

    Just got the digital media keyboard 1.0A version. Request assistance on how to use the “Favorites” to save the internet websites.

  26. Rick says:

    Any luck with the my favorites? Mine is doing the same thing.

  27. Cody says:

    Yeah i love the keyboard but i would like to know how to get to settings and also how change the volume buttons to work with wmp instead of master control also my ‘my documents’ , ‘my pictures’ and ‘my music’ buttons don’t seem to work assistance would be great ty.

  28. Cody says:

    BTW that link is broken and that has nothing to do with this keyboard pls do not spam were others are trying to get help its rude. Go spam somewhere else pls.

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