After a screenshot in a Windows Insider webcast suggested its existence in September, Microsoft has just officially announced A new media player for Windows 11.
First rolling out to beta testers enrolled in the Windows Insider Program’s Dev Channel, New Media Player is designed to make your multimedia content on Windows 11 more enjoyable. Compared to the old Groove media player in Windows 11, you should notice a cleaner user interface that is in line with the new Clock app as well as other core Windows 11 experiences like Paint. For example, the status bar at the bottom is now clearer and more narrow.
The new media player also has a full-featured music library. Microsoft says this library lets you “quickly browse and play music as well as create and manage playlists.” If you already use Groove Music Player as the default in Windows 11, you will be migrated to the new experience. The old Groove Music app is on the way, and an update to the new media player will change that. You can also customize the media player and specify where to view the content.
Other changes to this new media player include album art and rich artist imagery. Microsoft also has a new Mini Player, which shows off that imagery. Mini Player will include 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 legacy will be gone. The company still plans to support Windows Media Player, which has been around since Windows XP. It 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 may still find some bugs. Microsoft says there are some issues preventing media playback from network locations and showing album metadata. The initial version of the app might not respect your Windows theme.
Future updates are coming to this media player, which lets you browse your music and video collections and manage your play queue. These may roll out in beta first. Everyone can expect to see the new media player in the regular version of Windows 11 in a few weeks or months.