New Windows Media Player Replaces Groove Music on Windows 11

Microsoft has announced that they are rolling out the all-new Windows Media Player for Windows 11. This is only being offered to the Insiders on the Dev channel as of now, as the app is still in the making.

The new Media Player is said to be a major improvement in playing digital media, which supports both audio and video. Moreover, it is going to be replacing the Groove Music app, importing any existing media libraries automatically.

Not only that, but the application also includes updates to the layout to look more appealing and makes it user-friendly. We personally find it more in tone with Windows 11 than the legacy Windows Media Player, whose update was long overdue.

MainScreen
New Windows Media Player. Source: Microsoft

The new app is only being offered to a subset of Insiders right now and will be rolled out to others in due time.

New Features in New Windows Media Player

The new Media Player supports both videos and music. You do not need a separate video player anymore. This makes the player your go-to place to play the different kinds of media.

It also incorporates a “full-featured music library” that makes browsing your playlists more convenient. Moreover, you can also create and manage your playlists according to your preferences.

The player also supports album art which can be viewed in full-screen as well as a mini-player, which makes it easier for you to control your media and multitask.

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Full-screen mode with album art. Source: Microsoft
mini screen
Mini player with album art. Source: Microsoft

The new Windows Media Player will not only import any playlists in your Groove Music app but also populate its contents with any discoverable media on your PC. Furthermore, if it misses anything, you can direct it to look for more media in specific locations.

Some keyboard shortcuts are also supported so that you can perform actions from anywhere in Windows quickly.

Known Issues

As expected, since the new Windows Media Player is still in the early development stages, it still has issues that Microsoft is currently aware of.

The app is currently facing an issue preventing it from playing media over the network from a different location.

Furthermore, in certain scenarios, users may be unable to edit an album’s metadata, sort out content within a library with accented characters, and some UI elements may not respect your theme preferences configured within the player.

Microsoft plans to replace the legacy Windows Media Player as well as Groove Music with the new Media Player. However, they say that these will continue to be available in Windows Tools until that time comes. This means that both players can be used simultaneously.

side by side
New and legacy Windows Media Player

How to Access the New Windows Media Player

Since the new Media Player will only be replacing the Groove Music application, for now, you can access the new Windows Media Player by searching for either “Windows Media Player” or “Groove Music” from the Start Menu.

search groove
Searching for Groove Music app shows new Media Player

If you do not see the new Windows Media Player, try updating your Microsoft Store applications by opening the Microsoft Store app, then click Library, and then click Get updates.

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Update applications

Any pending application updates will now be installed. When they do, try accessing the new Media Player again. If you are still unable to access it, it is probably because Microsoft has still not made it available for you. But do not worry, it will make way to you eventually.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft plans to add more to the new Windows Media Player with future updates.

Look out for future updates where we plan to add new ways to browse your music and video collections and manage your play queue.

Microsoft

We anticipate that this application will become what every Windows user needs, and will no longer need to download third-party media players like VLC.

Microsoft is currently working on improving its core inbox applications, which include the Calculator, Snipping Tool, etc. The new Media Player is also part of their project and we think that all such applications will be revamped over time to meet a more modern tone.

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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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