Are you using Windows Media Player? As you may have noticed, despite the release of Windows 11, Microsoft has so far not changed much in Windows’ default media player. In fact, its design has even changed very little since the release of Windows Vista in 2006. Yet, obviously, the Microsoft teams had been plunging for some time on its successor.
An update all the more essential since Microsoft had put an end to Groove, its streaming platform and audio library that was once thought intended to replace it. Due to this kind of stagnation, many users have gradually turned away from Windows Media Player in favor of alternatives like VLC and foobar2000.
Microsoft is finally testing a real successor to Windows Media Player
From today the Insiders of the Dev channel of Windows 11 can thus discover its replacement, which will henceforth have to be called soberly “Media Player”. The first thing that stands out is the design language, more refined and in line with the rest of what we can see in the rest of the Windows 11 interface – the Microsoft teams have finally decided to abandon the skeuomorphic elements which characterized the application until now.
The playback of audio files is now entitled to a dedicated player that displays rich visuals, as well in full screen, large format, or miniature player. Media Player adopts more advanced support for your video files.
The new Media Player completely replaces both Windows Media Player and Groove. Microsoft nevertheless specifies that you will still be able to download the old reader via “Windows Tools”.
If you want to test it right now, it’s very simple:
- Join the Insider program and choose the Dev channel
- Search for Windows Update, and install any updates that will be offered to you
Media Player should be in the bundle. Obviously at this stage, the program remains in beta. It may therefore still have some bugs. Microsoft says it is aware of an issue that may prevent reading from network locations. Under certain circumstances, editing an album’s metadata, sorting the library with accented characters can cause playback problems.
Some elements of the interface do not yet respect the new visual language. Microsoft promises to add later “New ways to browse your music and video collections and manage your playlist”. What do you think of Media Player? Share your opinion in the comments.