When’s the last time you used Windows Media Player? What about Microsoft’s Groove Music app? If you’re anything like me, it was probably right after getting a new computer or completing a fresh install, when you tried to play some music or videos only to remember you haven’t installed foobar2000 or VLC yet.
Needless to say, the antiquated Windows Media Player looks completely outdated with Windows 11‘s modern UI, and Groove has been lackluster since Microsoft gave up on its streaming service, so it’s about time they got a replacement. The company today began to roll out the new simply named ‘Media Player‘ to Windows 11 Insiders in the Dev Channel.
Media Player is a relatively minimalistic app that replaces both the old WMP and the Groove Music app; Microsoft says your library and playlists will automatically be transferred over from the latter. For now, it seems the new app will live alongside the Movies & TV app, although by the look of things Media Player will eventually replace that as well.
Microsoft says Media Player “is a full-featured music library that allows you to quickly browse and play music, as well as create and manage playlists.” The app will show “album art and rich artist imagery,” which will also be displayed in both full-screen and mini-player modes. You’ll be able to browse and manage your local video library as well.
Although I haven’t been able to test the new app yet, it’s a clear visual improvement over Microsoft’s previous apps, more in line with Windows 11’s Fluent design language.
By the way, the old Windows Media Player isn’t completely going away just yet — it’ll just be tucked away under Windows Tools. Hopefully, the new Media Player means you won’t rush have to rush to install an alternative right away — but the proof is in the pudding.