Skip to main content

Zune-era music visualizer set to return to Groove Music for Windows 10?

Microsoft may be recreating the famous Zune app for Windows with Groove for 2017. At least, that's what it looks like with the latest Groove update build 10.17071.1321.0, which came out recently for those in the Skip Ahead Fast Ring for Windows Insiders.

The new visualizer feature spotted in Groove.

The new visualizer feature spotted in Groove.

Spotted by OnMSFT, there is now a new Playback > Visualizers area found under the Groove app's settings. Unfortunately, clicking it reveals a notice that "the visualizer feature is currently unavailable on your device" suggest the feature is not quite ready for testing by Insiders.

For those who need a refresher, the old Zune app both on the PC and the player itself had a favorite feature called visualizer that was – at the time – a modern spin on the screen saver. The feature had different forms including one that displayed all your album art that could twinkle in and out, another with the artist's name and album in text slowly scrolling across the screen and another with trippy line art set to the beat of the song playing.

You can see the old Zune visualizers in action in some hilariously dated videos for an idea.

Presumably, Microsoft is updating the form of the Groove music visualizer, so it will be fun to see what they come up with and whether they will allow the original Zune-era style one to return as well.

Build 10.17071.1321.0 of Groove is only available on the Skip Ahead Fast Ring. The current regular Insider Fast Ring, Release Preview, and Production build of Windows 10 are on Groove version 10.17062.1411.

Everything you need to know about Groove Music for Windows 10

With the recent addition of a dedicated video section for artists and the "like" feature returning Groove Music is gradually returning to its roots and we couldn't be happier.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

95 Comments
  • About bl**dy time. Keep commenting on this - nothing decent for visualisations STILL since WinAMP.
  • Feels like one person is working on these built in apps. So slow to get features.
  • Those visualizer feature was available since WinXP era on the Windows Media Player.
  • Thats because your correct.  Everyone else was fired!
  • Dan, this is what happens when some noisy passionate individuals, small as they may be, speak out about features and apps that they feel strongly about. while its too late to convert the passionate zune user base to the windows ecosystem(years late), it is what it is.
  • Sure, that's what Feedback Hub is actually for and why it's important people use it and vote for features they want.
  • I am doing this constantly, but the features that seem nifty get barely any votes and stay unanswered in the hub for years :'(
  • Yep. I continue to do it anyway. I've recommended things that have come 18 months later.
  • Just hope it is NOTHING like Media Player or Zune and LIKE or better than WinAMP.
  • You never used the zune software did you?
  • Nah, he didn't.
  • Nope, but from anything I can find online the visualisations look as sh*t as WMP. Happy to change this stance if you can divert me to something that looks half-reasonable?
  • Well... Ask anyone who HAS used it and they will they you the visualizations were pretty great. Look at what everyone here who has some experience with them... Should give you a hint that what you found might not be accurate. Winamp had great third-party support... But the standard visualizations sucked.
  • ...ok, so some urls/examples? Still searching and all I can find look just like Windows Media Player. To be clear: I have nothing against Zune, but the example shown here is abysmal so I went looking. I can't see anything that appears to come even remotely near to what WinAMP was doing probably 10 years prior to WMP or Zune. Don't really understand the venom in your attack, I'm not against Zune - I just don't want MS to release yet another half-ars*d disappointment of a feature that just causes more negative PR/consumer reaction.
  • I reckon he may be thinking of the visualisers from the 90's like what PS1 had lol. I think they will do something modern in Groove
  • Certainly hope so :-) But, I wasn't really *thinking* of anything specific - I was/am watching various Zune videos to see if there are (were) any decent visualisations. (...still none, yet)
  • I never used them myself so first thing I thought of was PS1 style. Don't think I'd use it in Groove either tbh. We can all agree we think MS should put more polish on the things they're doing and making sure features aren't half arsed would be a good start
  • Cannot vote up this comment in WC app on my droid, sigh.
  • Obviously not! Zune was awesome!
  • Jesus, I don't dislike Zune FFS.
  • Nobody has said you do bro, chill. It's fairly obvious though that you hadn't used it because Zune really was an awesome device and software package.
  • This thread went completely off topic: my point was solely about visualisations - nothing else about Zune beside this one feature. Glad I didn't jump on the Zune waggon though - else I'd probably be as pi$$ed off as you guys are (and us Windows Mobile users are)
  • Lmao!😂 I'll have to agree with that on all counts.
  • I do love visualizer in Zune, tho. And this feature make me keep come back to Zune as my primary music software.
  • Bloom has this visualizer now. Still in beta though.
  • Ah, winamp. Those were the days.
  • Yep, but with all my down votes (??) it was clearly zune. Lol, sensitive lot.
  • Microsoft is struggling to develop UWP apps. Whats taking them so long to get to the same level as Zune and WMP? On Android and iOS we would already have a fully featured app from Microsoft. I will stick with win32 programs until Microsoft gets serious about UWP.
  • I'm using a third party player on my Windows PC.  Groove is just... I don't like the look and both Groove and Media Player relying on Windows indexing to get new songs in means when I copy music to my computer it may take several minutes (if not hours) before it shows up in any of these programs. With the third party (10 years old version of Media Jukebox) and get everything scanned and indexed rapidly and also have an option to manually trigger a scan of my music folders. I don't care about any online storage which Groove seems so intent on forcing me to do...
  • This will bring back some nostalgia, would love this implemented (maybe with Extensions)
  • I still have my black 8gb Zune.
  • Looks like zune and the jaguar live on through groove.
  • I still have and use my Zunes, 80 & HD.  If MS bring the Zune Social to Groove it would be awesome.
  • Microsoft needs to stop with the cosmetics and add valuable features such as lyrics, play next, no more greyed out music.  I don't think Google is perfect but it's about 200 times better!
  • or even a FAMILY PLAN
  • Well, that's a little harder to do that in involved satisfying the record labels
  • Family plan does? Spotify managed it just fine. In fact companies manage things MS struggle with all the time. Mobile payments in the UK for example.
  • Spotify has ONE area of interest and has all of its focus on that one market. Microsoft has a gazillion areas of interest and their true power probably isn't dealing with record companies which has market ethics like oil companies in the 60's.
  • Spotify also has A larger user base so negotiating prices is a lot easier since they have a lot of leverage going in
  • google play show the lyrics of musics ? why my phone doesn't have that option then / reminder : bing add lyrics for musics then google put the same feature after a few weeks 
  • also these "cosmetics" fetures make the app better and look nicer / a lot of people still love the zune because of just the design of it 
  • Still use my Zune HDs (32 and 64GB) almost every day. The Zune was just way ahead of its time, glad it's gradually been reincarnated in Groove! Maybe one day sync to Zune will be added to Groove?? :-)
  • Microsoft would be far ahead of its rivals if they didn't constantly scrap good ideas only to reintroduce them years later.
  • Oh I loved the visualizer! Hope it does in fact come back.
  • Now if I could just find a comment a made few years ago pointing that Zune visualization would be awesome implementation in Groove...
  • Comment? You didn't put it in the feedback hub?
  • Feedback hub wasn't active that much 2 years ago. I believe I've tweeted Gabe Aul also... but nevermind now. Groove is gonna rock even more now!
  • Sweet, now just bring the ability for individuals to be able to rename programs they want. Like me, i would rename Groove back to Zune. Oh happy thinking times.
  • yeah but then you would have to change the name every time there was an update to that app.
  • Worth it.
  • Nice!
  • This is a start.
  • Good!  Slowly but surely.  But this is Microsoft they'll take one step forward and two back. 😗  But this is a very good move.
  • Speaking of visualizers:  Quick shout out to 'Kauna' in the Windows store, it's a freestanding W10 audio vizualizer and includes the awesome 3D bars from the old WinAmp days (GL Craziness if anyone remembers that. :))
  • Great when we are on the PC, but iOS and Android version are a limited mess.
  • Awh, things for Windows work better on Windows? Works great here on mobile and pc.
  • You missed the whole point. I love Windows 10 Mobile, but every other Microsoft app works better on iOS and Android, so many of us change over only to find out that while they have spent so much time on iOS and Android, Microsoft has dropped the ball massively with Groove. They leave you in a damned if you, damned if you don't situation. P.S. I also said that is great when you are on your PC. When Im on my Surface Book (which is amazing) Groove is running 95% of the time. P.S.S. My Samsung 8+ is one giant pile of ****. Hardware is great, but Android runs like a slug after about a month.
  • Well, Windows apps work better on Windows devices. It wasn't the case in the early UWP days but now it is very true and the way it is supposed to be. Apple doesn't have anything on competing platforms and Google is trying to use their monopolies to push competitors out of their market... Of course Microsoft will make their own apps better.
  • Nope. Many of them work better on iOS and Android and many others aren't even available on Microsoft's own mobile platform.
  • Haven't found one that works better on either.
  • Ask most people on here. You are in the minority.
  • Why should I ask others about what I do every day?
  • Why should I explain any of this to you. Exactly.
  • I didn't ask you to explain anything. I said that Windows apps work better on Windows devices.
  • And I didn't ask your opinion. So if you don't want mine, you shouldn't have given me yours. The irony.
  • If you don't want opinions, maybe you should post comments?
  • I don't want opinions and I did post...just as you said...so whats your point?
  • I'm not sure what you are fishing for. You said that you wanted Windows apps to be better on other systems. I said that wasn't the case... Then you wanted to task me with trying to find people who agree with you?
  • Im not fishing for anything. Most people on this sight will agree with what I have said. With that said, if you don't want to hear it, then move on. You are the one responding to my post...so obviously you're the one with a pole in the water.
  • Now you are just making things up. Why would most people agree with you? You started the conversation complaining about this app not being better on other platforms... Kind of kills your entire argument.
  • Dear god. Because many of the apps are better on the other devices. Even worse, many of the apps are available on the other devices and not on their own. You are so far off in left field, responding to peoples' posts as if you are some authority, when you are just some self pro-claimed know-it-all slug. I have shut off notifications and am no longer listening to your dribble. Go jump in a lake, little boy. Anything from hear out will be you talking to yourself.
  • Really.. Our office would not work if we used other devices just thanks to the lack of continuum and Microsoft apps. Microsofts apps work better on Windows.
  • Uhhh,  NO they don't.   they work much better on IOS and Android than they do on Windows Mobile.   Your office won't run without continuum...ha ha....sure.  brand new office started since the release of continuum?  Also, thats a hackjob feature that does not work correctly most of the time anyways.
  • Try another brand of phone.  LG, HTC,  etc.   Samesongs do this all the time,  needing constant resets,  while other do not.  It's something to do with touchwiz and messing up the android core.  HTC U11 is a killer phone.   As is the KeyOne.
  • Nothing different. Still android.
  • Just bring back an updated Zune and be done with it... Well, I don't mean DONE done.. Keep it updated and all, but just bring it back and be done with it... Grove that is.. Not Zune... Makes sense???
  • nope it doesnt make sense for anyone, they put a lot of time and effort in groove music, programing is not like lego, it takes a lot of time and effort
  • Like the podcast app?
  • What's old is new again. I miss the Zune.
  • I like Groove and it's getting better everyday. But...Milk Drop please. Add-ons please. Skins Please. Shoutcasts please. I love the simplicity of Winamp and it's integrated context menus. The way it works is wonderful. Low resource requirements and add-ons. Milk Drop!!
  • I. LOVE. the Zune now playing visualizer. Please, please bring that baby back!
  • I just hope all groove features will be available here in the Philippines... For us, it is just a local music player. No streaming and no syncing.
  • happy about these new features, lately really enjoy the mini view option / some people always complain, just remeber groove music when windows 10 launch and now compare it to it's current stage, huge diffrence / Microsoft support for groove is awesome     it is good to complain about features sometimes, but always complain is not good at all 
  • I know Groove improved a lot, what is the worst thing is when they released Groove it was taking the place of a more functional app.  They should have at least got Groove on par with what it was replacing before releasing it and removing the old app, or they should have kept the old app around as well until Groove could replace it.
  • Yes, still have my Zune HD.
  • I need it badly. Bring to W10 Mobile as well.
  • Has no one ever noticed that the Groove app still has Zune as part of the filename in the Apps directory? It's been like that since forever
  • I want the Zune Mixview feature. The current related artist feature is not that great
  • And when it gets artists information about another artist with the same name and you just can't tell it that it's wrong...
  • Still no way to remove or move around tracks in the "Now playing" list in Groove. Zune was great.
  • Support for Sonique or Milkdrop would be superb. Then you could download and install additional visualisers. Maybe even from the store...
  • Way back in the 80s I had Colourspace on the Atari XL and then Trip A Tron on the ST. These were light synthesizers. A bit like visualizers but they didn't react to music. You had to do that manually yourself. Then came Cthugha in the 90's, a very good visualizer for DOS. I've dabbled ever since but never really found anything that I've wanted to use long term. It would be great to see something like the Electric Sheep screen saver but as a visualizer. 
  • It's about time. We also need mixview, social feature aka Xbox live friends, podcast, movies, music, Zune like mini player. Themes, dark theme for sure. It's a good step in the right direction.
  • I used to love seeing the various photos of the bands with constantly changing colors and information on the screen. It would be cool to have it on Groove Music on my Xbox so I could see it on my TV.
  • The visualizer is a nice addition but isn't even the biggest feature mentioned. The "Like" feature is returning to Groove? Assuming they will add auto-filters and dynamic playlists with this feature. This is one of the many features missing from Groove. Does anyone know when this is hitting Fast Ring?