A new Windows Media Player update for Windows 11 has brought back CD ripping, meaning any audio CDs you have can be transferred to your PC and added to a playlist.
If you have been a PC user for the past 25 years, you have most likely come across CD ripping in a media player so that you can store your music on your computer. However, in recent years it has fallen out of favor, due to fewer PCs with CD or DVD drives, plus the rise of streaming services like Spotify (as well as various copyrights held by artists and publishers).
However, Windows 11 build 25158 (opens in new tab) will again allow you to rip a CD to MP3, AAC, FLAC and ALAC in Media Player, in addition to setting the bitrate, so you can keep the sound quality of your favorite Spice Girls song, for example.
These updates are further proof that Media Player is going back to its roots, and we wonder what the future might hold as Microsoft prepares the first major update to Windows 11 since its launch in 2021.
Analysis: Microsoft, bring back following skins
Many people will remember the bizarre skins you might use in older Windows Media Player versions, such as a green header or a blue bacteria character.
But with CD ripping now back for Windows 11 users, I want to keep pounding the Media Player drum to bring skins back to the app.
That was part of what made Media Player fun to use; you had the simplicity of playing your favorite songs, but in the guise of a green head for no valid reason. Let’s start to see these return in a future release – remastered skins that could look great up to 8K, for example, or maybe dedicate a portion of the redesigned Microsoft Store to new themes.
Or even the option to make your own. There are a ton of possibilities here, so let’s start seeing the fun return to Media Player.