Microsoft Previews New Media Player for Windows 11
Participants in the Windows Insider Program on the Dev Channel can start testing Microsoft's new Media Player application for Windows 11, according to a Tuesday announcement.
The new Media Player is Microsoft's next app for playing music and video files, advancing from the venerable, but bare bones, Windows Media Player app. Microsoft suggested that it will still keep the current Windows Media Player app around for Windows 11 users, if they want it.
"If you use the legacy Windows Media Player today, it will continue to be available in Windows Tools," the announcement indicated.
The menu layout of the new Media Player doesn't seem a whole lot different from the menu you get in Windows Media Player. However, Microsoft is emphasizing that users will see full cover art displays in the new Media Player, both when using it full screen and via the miniplayer. Other perks in the new Media Player include shortcut support and other "assistive technology" enhancements.
Microsoft is also promising a painless upgrade from Windows Media Player.
"All your content in the music and video folders on your PC will appear automatically in your library, but you can also tell Media Player where to look for additional content in app settings," the announcement indicated.
The new Media Player will replace Microsoft's Groove Music app. Microsoft promised that "your library and playlists will automatically migrate to this new experience" when Groove Music gets replaced.
It's not clear from the announcement when the new Media Player will exit the preview stage and be commercially available. Windows 10 wasn't mentioned, so the new Media Player is perhaps only a Windows 11 app.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.