Microsoft is rolling out a new Media Player app for Windows 11 Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel. The company had initially shown off the app during a Windows Insider webcast, which it then quickly hid before publishing it again. Now, it’s finally available, and it carries version number 11.2110.34.0. This app requires Windows 11 build 22471 or newer to install, so it won’t work if you try to sideload it on older versions.
The new Media Player app is a replacement for the Groove Music app, which is Microsoft’s default music player in Windows 10 and 11. In fact, your Groove Music library will be imported into the new Media Player app when you make the switch. In addition to music, the new Media Player app is also meant to play your video files. It can browse both your music and video libraries, create playlists, and everything you’d expect. By default, only the default Music and Video folders in Windows are included, but you can add more folders to the app so items from there are also shown.
For music, the Media Player app will show you album art and images of the artist during playback, which you can also see when you switch to the mini floating window mode. For videos, of course, you’ll see the actual video during playback, and the mini window mode lets you continue watching while you do something else. There’s nothing here that will surprise you, and it has all the features you’d expect. but it’s a new way to open music and video files.
The interface of the app is different in this new version. The play button now is now colorful and uses a gradient similar to the icon of the app itself, and all the icons have been tweaked to match the Windows 11 style. The same applies to buttons throughout the app and the title bar, which now includes the app icon as well.
Despite its obvious nod to the classic Windows Media Player, this new app isn’t an immediate replacement for it. Windows Media Player hasn’t really been supported in a few years, but you can still find it under Windows Tools. That’s not changing, so if you still prefer it for whatever reason, you can use it.
Windows Insiders testing Windows 11 in the Dev channel should get the new Media Player app as an update on the Microsoft Store. As we’ve mentioned, it can’t be sideloaded by non-Insiders since it requires Windows 11 build 22471 or higher to run.