Home windows 11’s New Media Participant Brings Huge Enhancements to Audio and Video

Home windows 11’s New Media Participant Brings Huge Enhancements to Audio and Video

Home windows 11’s new Media Participant performs each video and audio, and it replaces Groove solely for the latter. Should you’re working Home windows 11 and have not seen the brand new Media Participant app but, hold tight. It is coming in an replace. In the meantime, Microsoft continues to supply the Motion pictures & TV app, which additionally performs video and companies the film and TV present content material out there 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 may be complicated. Don’t be concerned! We’ll let you know right here which apps you want for various functions after which provide a deep have 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 change into a service quite than a set model of software program. I’m all for that. It additionally signifies that some customers obtain the replace earlier than others, so in case you’re nonetheless seeing Groove, give it a while.

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

Home windows 11’s New Media Participant Brings Huge Enhancements to Audio and Video Home windows 11: The Overview

Media gamers included in Home windows have taken many types over time. The essential Home windows Media Participant has been round in a single kind or one other since 1991. The Motion pictures & TV app, additionally out there in Home windows 11, allows you to watch movies saved regionally or on-line in addition to exhibits you should buy or lease 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 out there in Home windows 11, too.

Within the new scheme of issues, in case you kind “Groove” into the Home windows search field, the brand new Media Participant pops up, and in case you kind “Home windows Media Participant,” the traditional one presents itself. That’s proper, Home windows 11 contains three apps (4 in case 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 type out the a number of totally different overlapping media gamers in Home windows.


Included in Home windows 11?



At first, however being changed by new Media Participant app

Audio enjoying and streaming from OneDrive

Media Participant (new for Home windows 11)


Audio and video enjoying

Motion pictures & TV


Video enjoying; renting and shopping for content material on Microsoft Retailer

Home windows Media Participant (“traditional”)


Audio and video enjoying and streaming to native units; ripping and burning CDs and knowledge DVDs

I’d warn towards ever utilizing the outdated Home windows Media Participant most often. The interface has at all times been nonstandard and awkward. Be aware that none of those gamers can play customary DVDs or Blu-rays. For info on the best way to play these, learn 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 many 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 will not be within the Microsoft Retailer. The one solution to get it’s by updating Home windows. As soon as it seems, Groove shall be gone, and any playlists you had in that app will now present up in Media Participant.

Welcome to the New Interface

Windows 11 Media Player app interface

The brand new Media Participant app sports activities 5 mode buttons under a search field: Residence, Music, Video, Play Queue, and Playlists. The Residence web page exhibits any lately performed media. The buttons’ capabilities are pretty apparent, however you’ll be able to develop them into menu choices with the three-line hamburger menu on the high—in case you widen the app’s window, these menus develop, 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(Opens in a brand new window)) and audio streams. It’s not, nonetheless, for streaming YouTube or Vimeo movies (you are able to do that in CyberLink’s PowerDVD(Opens in a brand new window)). See the Streaming Music and Radio part under 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 in a position to play each 5.1 and seven.1 encompass sound samples.

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 observe (the Music folder makes probably the most sense) and any audio recordsdata in these folders seem within the Media Participant interface. Should you simply wish to play a particular music file that is not in a watched folder, you 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 provides you selections for the best way to music out of your catalog and playlists, together with shuffle, straight play via, and repeat.

Equalizer in Windows 11 Media Player app

A Pace controller allows you to change the playback pace. An equalizer is for adjusting audio ranges at totally different frequency ranges for each audio and video playbacks. I like that the equalizer can transfer neighboring sliders mechanically 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, automotive audio system, transportable audio system, and to spice up the bass. The laptop computer setting truly improved the sound for me. Be aware that the music stops momentarily whenever you alter and shut the equalizer.

Playing an album in Windows 11 Media Player app

You possibly can 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, corresponding to setting the monitor to play subsequent, including it to your queue or a playlist (I am going to clarify how they’re totally different in a second), exhibiting 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 listing of tunes or movies lined up for taking part in 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 simply save and may play at any time. You create one just by tapping the New Playlist button within the Playlist view that exhibits whenever you select the underside icon on the left. Add songs to playlist the identical manner you add them to your queue. You possibly can choose a number of songs so as to add within the Music library view, and you may add complete albums and artist units from there, too.

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What Concerning the Album Artwork?

Album art in Windows 11 Media Player

If you’re enjoying a tune, tapping its album cowl within the decrease left adjustments the app show to a full picture view with an image equipped within the album. This system can retrieve album and artist photos 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 possibly can resize this to a really small sq. exhibiting nothing greater than the artist picture with pause, play, and skip buttons on hover. Should you enlarge the Mini-player considerably, you additionally see the sq. album cowl artwork on the left. The small participant is at all times on high of different home windows, for always-available entry to these controls.

Metadata, Uncovered

The Properties view exhibits you all of the metadata—title, album, 12 months, monitor, size, artists, style, in addition to the the file format and bit fee. Be aware the instance under is a lossless FLAC file, which sounds improbable. Additionally word that the file lives in OneDrive, so you possibly can entry it from any internet-connected machine.

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 might be nifty if Microsoft included an web radio-finding characteristic within the app, however I occurred upon a wonderful instrument for locating such streams: The Radio Stream URL search engine(Opens in a brand new window).

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 word about including folders quite than opening recordsdata holds true for video, although your video folders are separate out of your audio folders.

I used to be in a position to 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 making an attempt 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 Motion pictures & TV app may do.

All the identical controls talked about above for audio additionally work for video: altering the pace, 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 help for movies that comprise that knowledge.

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

Like Motion pictures & TV, Media Participant allows you to solid your enjoying media to a appropriate machine, and it really works for each audio and video collectively. I examined it by sending music enjoying 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 whenever you allow casting, something in your PC display seems on the display you’re casting to. A separate bar seems on the high 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 collection web page, and make sure to take a look at our ever-growing listing of the High Home windows 11 Ideas.

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