The Windows Media Player taskbar toolbar, or taskbad works for WMP 12 so you don't have to downgrade back to WMP 11.
Follow these steps to get the WMP 12 mini toolbar:
- Obtain a copy of C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmpband.dll from a computer with WMP11 on it (for the same OS Architecture, i.e. 32/64 bit) The 64bit and 32bit versions of wmpband.dll are attached to this post
- Place the file in the C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\ directory on the computer with Windows 7 / WMP12
- Stop the Windows Media Player Network Sharing service
- Run a command prompt AS ADMINISTRATOR
- Execute the following command: regsvr32 "c:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmpband.dll"
- Restart the Windows Media Player Network Sharing service
- Run Windows Media Player 12 and minimize it
- Right click on the toolbar -> toolbars and select Windows Media Player
- That's it, if you have any problems try performing the preceding steps after a clean reboot and before running Windows Media Player.