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Windows 11's new Media Player app is rolling out to Insiders now

Media Player Windows
Media Player Windows (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing a new Media Player that supports both audio and video.
  • The Media Player is in testing with Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The app will replace Groove Music on Windows 11.

Microsoft is working on a new Media Player app for Windows 11. It's in testing right now for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. It supports both audio and video playback, making it a successor to the classic Windows Media Player. The new Media Player will also replace Groove Music on Windows 11.

The new Media Player app was unveiled in a blog post by Microsoft today. Its design aligns with Windows 11, including its icons, rounded corners, and general layout.

Inside the app, you can browse and play music and create and manage playlists. It shows album art and artist imagery when it's in full screen mode and in its mini player window.

The Media Player also supports browsing, managing, and watching local videos. Content from the music and video folders on your PC will appear automatically, but you can also set the app to look for music and videos in other locations.

Insiders can expect more features to try out in the future. Microsoft states that people should "look out for future updates where we plan to add new ways to browse your music and video collections and manage your play queue."

Microsoft notes that the legacy Windows Media Player will continue to be available in Windows Tools. If anyone is using Groove Music to manage their audio files, their library and playlists will automatically migrate to the new Media Player.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

49 Comments
  • Bring back cloud streaming from OneDrive!
  • This! I don't know why that was removed. You can still stream from the web page, why not build it back into the new Media Player app to improve user experience?
  • Improve user experisnce? Is that part of windows 11 playbook?
  • I believe it was removed due to legal reasons. They had to license music that was stored on there, and that's super expensive. That's why none of the competitors offer the same thing unless you're paying for a subscription. Also, due to piracy as well.
  • Huh? How do you license music that belongs to people? It's streaming from their own cloud accounts.
  • Because bandwidth costs money. You people love getting everything for free, but you wouldn't pay for the ability to stream (say, $25/yr. like Apple's iTunes Match subscription) if you were asked.
  • We pay for the storage with Office 365 or by using a premium account. I can also stream VIDEO GAMES through Game Pass. What is the difference?
  • Bandwidth is not storage. A service that has a business model behind users paying for bandwidth will offer this - like streaming music services. Microsoft does not give you 1TB storage on OneDrive to use as a cache for hundreds of GBs of media that you then stream to countless devices. We already had this conversation, years ago when people were doing this before, and Microsoft cut the features likely for that reason.
  • I sure hope so too!
  • Groove Music, at its heyday, was so good! I could make playlists that seamlessly moved between their streaming selection and my owned, on-device songs. I could put the same music files on my computer and on my windows phone and playlists incorporating those songs still synced seamlessly between devices alongside streaming songs. And Nokia's old MixRadio service was hands down the most impressive music discovery service I've experienced and I still miss it today. I don't fully understand my own musical tastes (I like a little bit of a lot of genres, but don't like the majority of any one; pop, rock, folk, blues, etc.) and the connecting thread between songs and artists is pretty intangible. But after identifying bands and songs I liked, MixRadio could play me hours of stuff I was absolutely in love with. I wish I was more proactive in writing down artist names back when I was using it! Ah, the good old days when Microsoft and Nokia produced the best damn consumer devices and services. I miss them.
  • I wonder if, in addition to Groove, this will also replace "Movies & TV"?
  • I'd guess they might keep that one to watch movies you bought or rented? Unfortunately the new media player only works on build 22471 and above so I can't test it and check out the "video library" tab.
  • Just read other news sites affirming this would also replace M&TV.
  • This should means that Movies and shows purchased and rented should show up in new Media Player app. Hopefully Video Library will have more organisation features. Currently it's just a simple grid of videos.
  • Yeah the blog post mentioned they're improving the library sections! :)
  • That's good to hear! Well I hope they deliver, since this is Microsoft we are talking about. Sometimes they forgot what they promised. :)
  • Honestly When it comes to such applications, MS approach has been nothing short of confusing. One thing users don't like is to have to adopt some migratory pattern dictated by OS makers due to their lack of commitment on their existing apps. How many times have apple users have to change from Itunes in the past decade for their music listening? Same problem happens on the Google side.
  • Uh... what? iTunes on macOS has been the dedicated app until Catalina (2019), where it was finally replaced with the separated apps. That's the only time on Apple's side.
  • It would be great if MS released an Android version to sync with Win11. Because who doesn't listen to music on their mobile devices?
  • I was just about to post exactly this!! Microsoft makes Windows, and an Android Phone (Surface Duo). They make dozens of apps for Android. Yet, in spite of all that, they provide no mechanism to share music between their own Windows computers and their own phone. Of course, they should provide this for all Android Phones. Yes, you can sync the songs via Windows Media Player, but not the PLAYLISTS, meaning it’s a broken experience, only doing half of what’s needed. Today on my Duo 2, formerly my Duo 1 and Samsung Galaxy S10, I sync songs with Windows Media Player, then play them with the Android “Pulsar” app. But I have to manually re-create playlists on each device. That takes hours, and needs to be re-done every time I upgrade my phone. Just a terrible UX. Please MS, release a version of this for Android. I don’t care how bare-bones it as long as it can sync songs and playlists with this new Windows 11 Media Player and then play those sync’d songs and playlists. Or use YourPhone for the syncing, just as long as you provide something on Android to play the Windows playlists.
  • CloudPlayer is what I moved to after Microsoft killed Groove on Android. You can t