New Windows 11 Media Player is now available to Insiders in the Beta channel
Microsoft’s new Media Player app for Windows 11 is now available for Windows Insiders in the Beta channel, the company has announced. The app was first rolled out to Insiders in the Dev channel back in November, and it’s a unified media player experience that replaces both Groove Music and the Movies & TV apps.
The new Media Player app seems to capitalize on the popular Windows Media Player app that was a core part of Windows for years. With Windows 8, Microsoft tried to split music and video into separate apps (Xbox Music and Xbox Video, initially), and that carried into Windows 10, and then Windows 11. Now, they’re being brought back into the same app.
Aside from merging music and video playing capabilities into one app, the new Media Player for Windows 11 has a brand-new design that’s more in line with the rest of Windows 11. All the icons have been redone, and the media player itself has a prominent play button in the center, which stands out a bit more than it did in the Windows 10 apps.
It lets you add whatever folders you want to scan for music and video files, create playlists, and all the features you’d expect from a media player app. It also supports a picture-in-picture mode for both video and music files so you can keep things in view while you do something else. When playing music files, the app will display the album art where the current playing song is from.
If you’re worried about losing the classic Windows Media Player, don’t worry, that’s still tucked away in the Windows Tools folder in the Start menu. Despite all the alternatives Microsoft has tried to develop throughout the years, it hasn’t killed off the classic Media Player entirely.
Recently, Microsoft announced the Media Player as one of the many new features coming to Windows 11 in February, so it’s a bit surprising it’s only available in the Beta channel now. Just last week, support for Android apps was made available in the Release Preview channel, which is usually the last step before general availability. To be fair, the new Media Player app shouldn’t require as much testing. You can also check out our list of the Windows 11 features in preview to know what Microsoft is cooking up for the future.