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Microsoft tests CD ripping for Media Player in Windows 11

Also: Shades of Windows 10 in the Windows 11 taskbar

Microsoft is journeying to the past with a Windows 11 Insider build that allows testers to rip CDs in Media Player and evokes memories of Windows 10.

As part of Build 25158 that arrived in the Windows Insider Dev Channel last night, Microsoft added more dynamic examples of Widgets to the taskbars of the chosen dev channel users, and rolled out the usual raft of fixes.

The changes to search on the taskbar were eyecatching, and some Windows Insiders will see a quite different search experience. As well as a straightforward search icon, a search bar into which the user can type might also be present (with two sizes potentially on offer.) It's all very reminiscent of Windows 10.

Windows 11 search button variants

Windows 11 search button variants

There is no guarantee that the functionality will ever make it past the Dev Channel (and Microsoft has decided to pull the interactive desktop content it floated earlier this year) but some might say it shows the company is paying attention to the complaints of users that are less than keen on changes made in the Windows 11 user interface.

Also a bit of throwback to the past was an update to Microsoft's Media Player for Dev Channel Insiders. While Groove Music might have gone the way of the Dodo in the eyes of Microsoft, Windows users need their tunes. CD playback was therefore included in March and last night… CD ripping was added (with support for formats including AAC, WMA, FLAC and ALAC).

Media Player, which has languished a little in recent versions of Windows, is now front and centre in Microsoft's multimedia plans. It will also now use the file type associations from Movies & TV.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft's retro theme continues. It has, after all, recently launched a range of clothing aimed at recreating the glory days of, among others, Windows XP.

Perhaps a future Windows 11 update might feature Space Cadet Pinball once again or maybe, just maybe, the stability of the days when Windows was suffixed with NT. ®

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