New Windows 11 Media Player App Appears for Insiders

Posted on November 16, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos, Windows 11 with 31 Comments

Hey, remember that Windows 11 media player app that leaked in September? Well, you can test it now if you’re in the Dev channel.

“Today we are beginning to roll out the new Media Player for Windows 11 to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel,” Microsoft writes in the announcement post. “We designed the new Media Player to make listening to and watching your multimedia content more enjoyable on Windows 11.”

The new Media Player app is limited to playing local music and video content and, as you might expect, it will eventually replace the Groove app. In fact, it looks very much like the Groove app, though that app was limited to working just with music content.

(Which begs the question: does this mean Movies & TV is going away too?)

Oddly, Microsoft says it will continue to include the legacy Windows Media Player application in Windows 11.

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Comments (31)

31 responses to “New Windows 11 Media Player App Appears for Insiders”

  1. kshsystems

    Will this app be supporting DNLA?

  2. rm

    Hopefully I can rip CDs with it or I will have to use the old Media Player.

    • Nabiscuit

      What are cds?

    • dftf

      It's mad they can't just add CD-ripping functionality into File Explorer. How hard would it be to default an audio CD to "Details" view, showing the artist, track name and number, year and so-on. And to then simply allow copy-and-paste ripping, asking the user what format to rip to (MP3, M4A, FLAC, WAV or WMA) upon paste?

    • fishnet37222

      I use Exact Audio Copy to rip my CDs and LameXP to convert the resulting FLAC files to MP3.

      • faustxd9

        I need to do that same thing as well. I thought I did it once, but the files got lost in the shuffle. Do you notice a difference between FLAC and the MP3 (I assume 320kb)?

  3. maktaba

    Hmm. They should have released Windows 11 only when all features and apps had been completed, tested and ready for use.

  4. hrlngrv

    As long as I use Linux more than Windows, I have zero interest in applets like this for Windows alone. In fairness, I don't give a **** for any Linux-only media players either. VLC is just fine. If that means I can't use any content from the MSFT Store, fine with me.

  5. Donte

    "Oddly, Microsoft says it will continue to include the legacy Windows Media Player application in Windows 11"

    Sadly this kind of stuff is not odd anymore. Its normal for Microsoft. I love Microsoft for a few things, O365 Home, OneNote, and the Xbox. Please do not mess those up.

  6. lwetzel

    Doesn't seem to work on my setup.

  7. thewarragulman

    I never really liked how they split music and video into two seperate apps with Windows 8, which evolved into the Groove Music & Movies & TV apps we have today, always prefered it being in one program so I'll be happy if this does eventually replace those two apps.

    Keeping the classic Windows 7-era Windows Media Player app is okay as a redundant feature, though it shouldn't be installed by default. It should be relegated to the "Turn Windows Features on or off" panel within Programs and Features as an optional feature for those who want it. They should have done the same with Media Center as well and that way people would have been happy and Microsoft wouldn't have had to support it.

    • dftf

      At the moment, it works in the reverse: it is installed by-default, but via "Windows Features" you can choose to remove Windows Media Player.

      (Oddly, even though there is a heading titled "Legacy Components", the only thing listed in there is "DirectPlay". I'd have thought by now, "Windows Fax & Scan" could surely be made removable...)

  8. Bart

    Reading between the lines in the blog post, the legacy app remains until the 'new' mediaplayer app will be on feature parity..?

    • dftf

      The only main thing I can think of would be Audio CD ripping. But they should really just add that functionality into File Explorer, and prompt the user for a rip format upon the paste action...

  9. jchampeau

    If you asked a hundred "normal" people how they listen to music, would any of them say they listen to their MP3 collection on a Windows PC?

    • casualadventurer

      I do. I have a lot of MP3 content on a NAS that I listen to on my PC when working from home.

    • mattbg

      Agree - all we really need is something that plays audio files launched from the shell cleanly and efficiently.

      There was a justification for this design when Microsoft had a music service, but not anymore. If someone is so particular about having a local music library, they'll probably already have a preferred tool for doing that.

      Rather than using the old Windows Media Player as a baseline to refactor, they should be starting with something like Windows 3.x Sound Recorder. That is all that's needed today.

  10. Informed

    Does the new Media Player preview video while scrubbing (a la YouTube)? If not, what's the compelling case for an upgrade? Sure, WMP wasn't updated for a decade +, but so what?

  11. Triakis

    I liked using Groove, until it became an add for Spotify. Hopefully that part of the UI has been removed.

  12. paulwp187

    My Groove app had a 10mb update and became Media Player. Looks like Groove got a new UI.

    • ecumenical

      Yeah, looks like Groove with the services stuff stripped out. And I'm fine with that!

  13. ngc224

    Is Microsoft removing the name ‘Windows’ from the new Media Player?

  14. LT1 Z51

    Hasn't iTunes proved that a big all inclusive Media Player isn't needed.

    Also Photo's plays a lot of videos.

    Why is the legacy Media Player even still around. from Windows 7, version 12? The one with the orange icon? That's ancient.

    • dftf

      You think that's bad? Open the "Windows Fax & Scan" app and enjoy the dark-blue toolbar that has not been updated since Vista. And if you bring-up the Cover Editor (in the Tools menu, I think) enjoy that Windows 95 era interface!

  15. alissa914

    Media player is probably still Codename Zune like it has been since Zune. If I could sync my Zune with it……then I’m even happier

  16. egab

    I don't think they will remove "Movies and TV", at least as long as they offer to rent/buy movies on Xbox.

  17. dftf

    I don't know why some tech news sites keep saying this is a "revamped Windows Media Player", when clearly it is an updated Groove Music.

    If they simply added the ability to rip music CDs into File Explorer (such as doing a simple copy-and-paste and upon the paste action a pop-up box asked you what format to rip to), then they could retire Windows Media Player entirely, as I can't see it has any remaining functionality this updated app couldn't otherwise handle.

    (Though in my personal experience, the other massive thing that needs improving is codec support: Groove Music or Films & TV can't handle many files I throw their way, so I just default to either Media Player Classic - Home Cinema or the current dev build of VLC Media Player 4.x series)