Windows 11’s New Media Player Brings Big Improvements to Audio and Video

Home windows 11’s new Media Participant performs each video and audio, and it replaces Groove fully for the latter. When you’re working Home windows 11 and have not seen the brand new Media Participant app but, grasp tight. It is coming in an replace. In the meantime, Microsoft continues to supply the Films & TV app, which additionally performs video and companies the film and TV present content material accessible within the Microsoft Retailer. These two apps aren’t your solely choices for media gamers in Home windows, and fairly frankly, understanding which one you want will be complicated. Don’t fret! We’ll let you know right here which apps you want for various functions after which supply a deep take a look at the brand new Media Participant app.

The brand new Media Participant app arrived between the large annual Home windows “characteristic updates”—these with names like 22H2. It’s a continuation of Microsoft’s one-time declare that Home windows has turn into a service fairly than a set model of software program. I’m all for that. It additionally implies that some customers obtain the replace earlier than others, so in the event you’re nonetheless seeing Groove, give it a while.

You received’t discover Microsoft’s new Media Participant listed among the many apps within the Microsoft Retailer—it at present nonetheless seems as Groove there. Some websites have reported you can get the brand new app by updating that retailer entry, but it surely appeared in my system as a part of a normal Home windows replace.

Media gamers included in Home windows have taken many varieties over time. The fundamental Home windows Media Participant has been round in a single kind or one other since 1991. The Films & TV app, additionally accessible in Home windows 11, allows you to watch movies saved regionally or on-line in addition to reveals you should buy or hire within the Microsoft Retailer. Groove—which is being changed—performs music saved regionally or within the cloud. The tired-looking Home windows Media Participant that got here with Home windows 7 has been hanging round in Home windows for greater than a decade… and it is accessible in Home windows 11, too.

Within the new scheme of issues, in the event you kind “Groove” into the Home windows search field, the brand new Media Participant pops up, and in the event you kind “Home windows Media Participant,” the traditional one presents itself. That’s proper, Home windows 11 contains three apps (4 in the event you rely Groove earlier than it will get changed) that play video recordsdata and two that play audio. The apps differ in the way you’d use them, nonetheless.

The next desk ought to aid you kind out the a number of completely different overlapping media gamers in Home windows.


Included in Home windows 11?



At first, however being changed by new Media Participant app

Audio taking part in and streaming from OneDrive

Media Participant (new for Home windows 11)


Audio and video taking part in

Films & TV


Video taking part in; renting and shopping for content material on Microsoft Retailer

Home windows Media Participant (“basic”)


Audio and video taking part in and streaming to native units; ripping and burning CDs and information DVDs

I’d warn in opposition to ever utilizing the outdated Home windows Media Participant usually. The interface has all the time been nonstandard and awkward. Word that none of those gamers can play customary DVDs or Blu-rays. For info on tips on how to play these, learn The best way to Play DVDs in Home windows. However there’s a purpose for Microsoft persevering with to incorporate the outdated participant: It’s the one included app that may rip and burn CDs for individuals who nonetheless have a set they wish to digitize.

Let’s take a deeper dive now into the brand new Media Participant.

As talked about, the brand new Media Participant app isn’t within the Microsoft Retailer. The one approach to get it’s by updating Home windows. As soon as it seems, Groove will likely be gone, and any playlists you had in that app will now present up in Media Participant.

Welcome to the New Interface

The brand new Media Participant app sports activities 5 mode buttons beneath a search field: Residence, Music, Video, Play Queue, and Playlists. The Residence web page reveals any lately performed media. The buttons’ features are pretty apparent, however you’ll be able to broaden them into menu choices with the three-line hamburger menu on the prime—in the event you widen the app’s window, these menus broaden, too.

Within the Residence view, you’ll be able to open particular media recordsdata in addition to urls for streaming media. This works for each video streams (right here’s an instance) and audio streams. It’s not, nonetheless, for streaming YouTube or Vimeo movies (you are able to do that in CyberLink’s PowerDVD). See the Streaming Music and Radio part beneath for extra on streaming audio in Media Participant.

What Codecs Does the New Media Participant Help?

The brand new participant helps all customary audio file codecs—together with lossless FLAC and open-source codecs like Ogg Vorbis. I used to be additionally capable of play each 5.1 and seven.1 encompass sound samples.

The best way to Add Music to the Media Participant

You don’t open sound recordsdata within the Music part, although you’ll be able to within the Residence part. As a substitute, right here you inform the app which folders to look at (the Music folder makes essentially the most sense) and any audio recordsdata in these folders seem within the Media Participant interface. When you simply wish to play a selected music file that is not in a watched folder, yow will discover the music file utilizing File Explorer and open it with Media Participant.

Take Management of Your Music

As with every good music participant, the brand new Home windows Media Participant offers you decisions for tips on how to music out of your catalog and playlists, together with shuffle, straight play by means of, and repeat.

Equalizer in Windows 11 Media Player app

A Velocity controller allows you to change the playback velocity. An equalizer is for adjusting audio ranges at completely different frequency ranges for each audio and video playbacks. I really like that the equalizer can transfer neighboring sliders robotically to keep away from sudden drop-offs. Much more helpful are the equalizer’s presets, which optimize the sound for playback on laptop computer, headphones, automobile audio system, moveable audio system, and to spice up the bass. The laptop computer setting truly improved the sound for me. Word that the music stops momentarily while you alter and shut the equalizer.

Playing an album in Windows 11 Media Player app

You may skip again 10 seconds or ahead 30 seconds utilizing the on-screen buttons or Ctrl-left arrow and Ctrl-right arrow. I used to be stunned that the large Play button didn’t reply to tapping on my contact display, nonetheless.

Proper-clicking on a monitor within the playlist opens some choices, comparable to setting the monitor to play subsequent, including it to your queue or a playlist (I am going to clarify how they’re completely different in a second), displaying its properties or artist, and opening its metadata to edit it.  

How Create Play Queues and Playlists

Playlist view in Windows 11 Media Player app

The Play queue is solely the checklist of tunes or movies lined up for enjoying subsequent, you’ll be able to add to this queue by right-clicking on any media entry, selecting Add to > Play queue.

Add to playlist in Windows 11 Media Player

Playlists are teams of tracks that you just save and may play at any time. You create one just by tapping the New Playlist button within the Playlist view that reveals while you select the underside icon on the left. Add songs to playlist the identical method you add them to your queue. You may choose a number of songs so as to add within the Music library view, and you may add entire albums and artist units from there, too.

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What In regards to the Album Artwork?

Album art in Windows 11 Media Player

Once you’re taking part in a music, tapping its album cowl within the decrease left modifications the app show to a full picture view with an image provided within the album. This system can retrieve album and artist photographs from on-line sources, simply as most different music gamers do.

Get Minimal With Miniplayer Mode

Miniplayer mode in Windows 11 Media Player

Miniplayer mode tucks the app right into a small field within the nook of your display. You may resize this to a really small sq. displaying nothing greater than the artist picture with pause, play, and skip buttons on hover. When you enlarge the Mini-player considerably, you additionally see the sq. album cowl artwork on the left. The small participant is all the time on prime of different home windows, for always-available entry to these controls.

Metadata, Uncovered

The Properties view reveals you all of the metadata—title, album, 12 months, monitor, size, artists, style, in addition to the the file format and bit charge. Word the instance beneath is a lossless FLAC file, which sounds unbelievable. Additionally notice that the file lives in OneDrive, so you might entry it from any internet-connected gadget.

Properties shows you the file format and other details about the media

Streaming Music and Radio within the New Home windows

Not solely are you able to create your personal playlists within the app, however you’ll be able to open on-line streaming playlists—which incorporates many web radio streams. I attempted it with SomaFM, which publishes .pls and .m3u file obtain hyperlinks for its streams. It will be nifty if Microsoft included an web radio-finding characteristic within the app, however I occurred upon a superb device for locating such streams: The Radio Stream URL search engine.

Playing Video in Windows 11 Media Player

As with audio, Media Participant helps all main (and a bunch of minor) video codecs and codecs (55 at current), together with open supply ones like MKV and OGV. The identical notice about including folders fairly than opening recordsdata holds true for video, although your video folders are separate out of your audio folders.

I used to be capable of play even an 8K video file shot on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely within the new app, whereas the outdated Home windows Media Participant mentioned that it encountered an error when attempting to play it. One limitation I bumped into, nonetheless, was that the brand new Media Participant was unable to render a 360-degree clip, which the Films & TV app may do.

All the identical controls talked about above for audio additionally work for video: altering the velocity, skipping forward and again, the equalizer, viewing file properties, and making playlists and a play queue. The video participant provides a few video-only options, nonetheless, together with Zoom to Fill for eradicating letterboxing and closed caption assist for movies that include that information.

Casting from Media Player on a PC to a TV with a Roku Express

Like Films & TV, Media Participant allows you to solid your taking part in media to a suitable gadget, and it really works for each audio and video collectively. I examined it by sending music taking part in on my Floor Laptop computer 3 to a Roku Specific media streamer. The app makes use of Home windows 11’s built-in casting capabilities, so while you allow casting, something in your PC display seems on the display you’re casting to. A separate bar seems on the prime of the PC display indicating that I used to be streaming to the Roku and providing to cease.

For extra protection of Microsoft’s newest and biggest desktop working system, go to our Home windows 11 sequence web page, and you’ll want to take a look at our ever-growing checklist of the Prime Home windows 11 Suggestions.

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