The new Windows Media Player app can now rip CDs and goes back in time.
If you’re ready to get rid of your Sony Discman, this is good news.
The built-in apps that come with Windows 11 have gotten a lot more attention and useful updates since Windows 11 came out. This sometimes means that apps like Notepad and Paint get new features that they haven’t had in a long time. In other cases, it means putting back features that apps like Sound Recorder or Windows Media Player lost over time.
The second group is getting the latest preview version of Media Player, which is currently rolling out to Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel. Microsoft added the ability to play audio CDs to the new version of Media Player in March. The old version had been able to do this for almost as long as it had been around. Now, Microsoft is adding CD ripping to the new version of Media Player, probably so that we can all turn our old Weezer and Matchbox 20 CDs into files we can put on our iPods and Zunes.
CDs can be ripped to AAC files with constant bitrates between 96 and 320kbps by default. There are also WMA, FLAC, and ALAC formats that can be used. The “Media Player Legacy” app still has support for MP3 and a variable bitrate, but neither of these features is present in the “Media Player” app.
The new Media Player was built on top of the Groove Music app, which is focused on streaming. This is why it didn’t have some features from the old Media Player app to begin with. Microsoft also says that it is changing how files are linked for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. For example, local video files will now open with Media Player instead of the Movies & TV app from Windows 8.
Lastly, the built-in Windows Camera app is getting a makeover with new controls for Windows 11. It will mostly keep doing what it does now, but Microsoft says it will add the ability to scan QR codes and barcodes. This is something that iPhones and some Android phones already do.