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If there's one thing Windows 11 stands out for, it's the renewed attention and useful application updates that come pre-installed on Microsoft's operating system.   

Sometimes this means new features for long neglected applications, as we have seen in recent months with Notepad and Paint. In other cases, it means bringing back features that old apps lost somewhere along the way, as with Sound Recorder or Windows Media Player.

The latest preview version of Media Player, which is currently circulating in the Windows Insiders Dev Channel, belongs to the latter group. In March, Microsoft enabled audio CD playback in the new version of Media Player, something the old version supported for almost as long as it existed. And now, Microsoft is expanding support for CD ripping in the new version of Media Player, presumably so we can all convert our old music CDs into files that we can then use with our favorite device.

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By default, CDs can be ripped to AAC files with a fixed bit rate ranging between 96 and 320kbps. WMA, FLAC and ALAC formats are also supported. However, MP3 support and variable bitrate support, two features still included in the "Media Player Legacy" application, are missing something definitely noteworthy.

The new Windows 11 Media Player is based on the Groove Music app, which in turn focuses on streaming, so it lacks some long-standing features from the old Media Player app from the start. Microsoft also says it's changing some file associations for Windows Insiders Dev Channel, opening local video files with Media Player by default instead of the Movies & TV app, which has been in place since Windows 8.

Finally, the built-in Windows Camera app gets a Windows 11 facelift, supporting QR Codes and barcode scanning, a feature already supported on iPhone and several Android smartphones.
 

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