If there was one thing Windows 11 was good for, it was the renewed interest and useful updates to the built-in apps that came with Windows. This sometimes means new features for long-deprecated apps, such as Notepad and Paint. In other cases, it means bringing Back Features that older apps lost somewhere along the way, such as Sound Recorder or Windows Media Player.
The Latest Preview of Media Player, which is currently rolling out to Dev Channel Windows Insiders, is in the last batch. In March, Microsoft enabled audio CD playback in the new version of Media Player, something the old version had supported for as long as it had been around. And now, Microsoft is introducing CD support tearing down In the new version of Media Player, presumably we can all turn old Weezer and Matchbox 20 CDs into files that we can burn to our iPods and Zunes.
By default, CDs can be burned to AAC files at fixed bit rates between 96 and 320 kbps. WMA, FLAC, and ALAC formats are also supported. MP3 support and variable bitrate support, two features still included in the “Media Player Legacy” app, are noticeably absent.
The current Media Player is built on top of the streaming-focused Groove Music app, which is why it lost some old features from the old Media Player app in the first place. Microsoft also says it’s changing some file associations for Dev Channel Windows Insiders, opening local video files with Media Player by default instead of the Movies & TV app in Windows 8.
Finally, the built-in Windows camera app gets a Windows 11-era facelift with rearranged controls. Its functionality will remain mostly the same, but Microsoft says it will pick up support for scanning QR codes and barcodes, a feature that iPhones and some Android phones already support.
Picture list by Old Windows Icons / Andrew Cunningham
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