Windows 11 gets a beautiful new media player





After a screenshot in a Windows Insider webcast suggested its existence in September, Microsoft just officially announced a new media player for Windows 11.

Rolling out first to beta testers enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider program, the new media player is designed to make viewing your multimedia content on Windows 11 more enjoyable. Compared to the old Groove media player in Windows 11, you should have a cleaner user interface that is more in line with Windows 11’s other core experiences, such as the new Clock app and Paint. For example, the status bar at the bottom is now cleaner and narrower.

The Windows 11 media player.

The new Media Player also has a complete music library. Microsoft says this library will allow you to “quickly browse and play music, and create and manage playlists.” If you already use Groove Music Player by default in Windows 11, you will be migrated to the new experience. The old Groove Music app is disappearing and an update to the new media player will replace it. You can also customize the media player and tell it where to look for content.

Other changes in this new media player include album covers and rich artist images. Microsoft even has a new mini player that shows those images. The mini player offers full support for browsing, managing and watching your local video collection.

Just because Microsoft has a new media player in Windows 11 doesn’t mean the old one is gone. The company still plans to support the Windows Media Player, which has been around since Windows XP. This can be found under Windows Tools. It wants feedback on the new experience, which is still an early beta.

If you try it today, you can still find some bugs. Microsoft says there is an issue that prevents media playback from network locations, and that there are issues displaying album metadata. The early version of the app may also not respect your Windows theme.

Future updates are coming to this media player so you can browse your music and video collections and manage your play queue. These can be rolled out in beta first. Everyone else can expect the new media player in the regular version of Windows 11 in a few weeks or months.

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