A new Windows Media Player update for Windows 11 has brought back CD ripping, which means any audio CD you own can be transferred to your PC and added to a playlist.
If you’ve been a PC user for the past 25 years, you’ve probably come across CD ripping on a media player, allowing you to save your music to your computer. However, in recent years it has fallen out of favor, due to fewer PCs coming with CD or DVD drives, plus the rise of streaming services like Spotify (as well as various copyright concerns artists and publishers have had).
However, Windows 11 build 25158 (opens in new tab) will once again let you rip a CD to MP3, AAC, FLAC and ALAC in Media Player, as well as set the bitrate, so you can keep the sound quality of your favorite Spice Girls track, for example.
These updates are further proof that Media Player is getting back to its roots and makes us wonder what might come next as Microsoft prepares the first major update for Windows 11 since its release in 2021.
Review: Please Microsoft bring back the skins next
Many people will remember the bizarre skins you might have used in older versions of Windows Media Player, like a green head or a blue bacteria character.
But with CD ripping now back for Windows 11 users, I want to keep beating the Media Player drum to bring back skins for the app.
This was part of what made Media Player fun to use; you had the simplicity of playing your favorite tracks, but disguised as a green head for no good reason. We’ll start to see that return in a future release – remastered skins that can look great up to 8K, for example, or perhaps dedicate a redesigned Microsoft Store section to new themes.
Or even the ability to create your own. There are a lot of possibilities here, so let’s start to see the fun return to Media Player.