back to article Microsoft tests CD ripping for Media Player in Windows 11

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 …

  1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge


    In a time, when you are hard pressed to find a laptop with an optical drive,

    adding the ability to rip CDs is pretty innovative

    1. Woodnag

      Re: Innovative

      The innovation is passing the CD title back to their server as part of your surveillance history.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: Innovative

      Better late than never

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Centred start

    I don't understand the centred start button. Why not leave it stuck right in the middle instead of shifting it across as you open more applications?

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Centred start

      Because they seemingly want to copy Apple, they're just not very good at it.

      1. David Lawton

        Re: Centred start

        Apple did always joke, 'Redmond start your photocopiers' . You don't have to look far to find endless counts Microsoft copying Apple.

        Apple : MacOS we're now giving it for away for free. Microsoft : we will make Windows 10 free .

        Apple : Spotlight introduced Microsoft : badly copy it, make it slow and buggy and add to Vista

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Lemme fix that for you:

          "made it Slower and Buggier"

          and at least the old versions of windows search didn't crap all over the root directory of every piece of removable media that was plugged into it. Or copy search index data from the main machine onto every thumb drive you ever plugged in(yup that happened too). And there still isn't a way to block indexing of new devices until AFTER they are plugged in. It's genius. :)

          1. karlkarl Silver badge

            Re: Spotlight

            I honestly don't get how the completely un-indexed find(1) /usr/bin/find on any POSIX machine (even decades old) is still so much faster than Microsoft's indexed search.

            What are they doing?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Spotlight

              "What are they doing?"

              IIRC (not used it in a long time), the default indexing includes indexing the contents of anything it can poke it's little nose in, not just the file names. And probably storing a copy of the results "for safe keeping" on their own servers.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Centred start

      Because they want it to look like a poorly executed clone of MacOS.

    3. WolfFan

      Re: Centred start

      Apple had the Apple menu button centered in the menu bar in the OS X Public Beta. The screaming was loud. The Apple menu button went back to its traditional location and has stayed there ever since.

      The OS X Public Beta was over two decades ago. MS can’t learn from the mistakes of others.

    4. hitmouse

      Re: Centred start

      Microsoft had prerelease builds of Windows in the late 90s with a centred start button. It's not as if it's such a blindingly unobvious design choice as to require copying,

      The movement from mouse-centred to pen/finger-centric selection in the intervening decades is more relevant as Fitt's law issues are weighed differently.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Centred start

        That applies to phone OSs such as Android, but not to Windows which remains predominatly a desktop / laptop operating system.

  3. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    with support for formats including AAC, WMA, FLAC and ALAC

    ...and MP3, perchance? FLAC is useful, but there's no real reason for ALAC to exist (other than Apple refusing to support FLAC); AAC is fine but suffers from non-universality, and WMA is undeniably the spawn of Satan. In any case, you wouldn't catch me using WMP to rip CDs since I discovered Exact Audio Copy and LAME.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge


      Na you want OGG. Where is the ogg support eh? (vorbis)

      1. logicalextreme

        mp3 does have the particular advantage that it'll play on almost anything you sling it at with low playback overhead.

    2. Furious Reg reader John

      And do you prefer goose or swan feather for your quill?

      1. WolfFan

        Eagle. Or maybe vulture.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Hodgesaaaaargh, is that you?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: quill

          Vulture I can do. I'll just have to quit mowing over them, (the feathers, not the vultures).

          I do get a bit worried that so many, maybe 10, like to hang around my house. I'm not that old yet.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: quill

            "I do get a bit worried that so many, maybe 10, like to hang around my house. I'm not that old yet."

            Bring out yer dead! Bring out yer dead.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Once they opened it up we found out that it in fact is better than FLAC on many fronts. Packs lossless audio smaller, some differences in decoding overhead as well. There is def some political history there, but we all have it now, no reason not to use the best (free) tool for the job, and more stuff supports ALAC than FLAC or high quality playback for the OG formats (or sadly the OGGy formats).

      1. logicalextreme

        Re: ALAC

        Huh, wasn't aware that ALAC had been opened up or that it had advantages including better support. Will bear that in mind next time I find myself reaching for FLAC.

    4. hitmouse

      Lame MP3, FLAC and other add-ons for WMP have been around for free for many years. Anyone who can string two search terms together would have found them. It's the codec licensing issues (copyleft in one case) that have precluded shipping with Windows in the past

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't trust WMP to rip a CD accurately anyway (i.e., to make sure there is no skipping etc.).

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      RE Exact Audio Copy.

      I do like the bit on that page where they say "But listening to every extracted audio track is a waste of time.".

      Ummm...isn't that the point of ripping all the tracks. Otherwise, why bother?

      Yes, I know I'm pulling it out of context, but it tickled my funny bone :-)

  4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Media Player? That makes my eye twitch... more Korean antitrust lawsuits, anyone?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Audio CDs?

    Oh Yes, I remember those from about 20 years ago. I don't think my kids have ever seen or heard one though.

    If microsoft are feeling nostalgic, they might as well add ripping for 78rpm vinyl and 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      I'm glad to see that you are bringing your kids up to never own anything outright, and to be happy paying a subscription for everything they consume. Carry on doing a fine job as the new world economy depends on chump-milking.

      78rpm is easy to rip using Audacity, so MS really don't need to add that sort of thing to the OS. 1/4 Inch tape is more of a faff, although I prefer to play them on my Akai 4000D through big speakers anyway.

      Now get orf my laaand!

      1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        > 78rpm is easy to rip using Audacity

        Although I just found out that in many cases it is dead easy to mod most players to spin at 78rpm, even direct drive models!

        So forget Audacity, take a stab at a fun project too!

        1. Warm Braw

          it is dead easy to mod most players to spin at 78rpm

          That's only one of several considerations.

      2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        bringing your kids up to never own anything outright, and to be happy paying a subscription for everything they consume

        You can actually still buy DRM-free digital music, you know.

        1. BenDwire Silver badge

          I see what you did there. Very good.

          However, despite my advancing years, I can still tell the difference between FLAC and MP3 (although only on my proper system) so will always buy lossless. Bandcamp is my first port of call.

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            I intend no personal offence, but I don't really believe you. Have you ever done a truly blind listening test? At 320kbps (and even 256kbps), even professional sound engineers tend to do no better than chance on A/B tests (see Figs. 1 and 4 in particular). Having said that, I'll still buy FLAC by preference, as I feel like something has been theoretically stolen from me otherwise.

            1. nintendoeats Silver badge

              In fairness, the difference was quite notable using older MP3 codecs. I know it took me years to do more testing with modern codecs and accept that even 128kpbs is typically audibly transparent now.

              1. logicalextreme

                Which codecs? If there's so much as a single cymbal sound in a 192 or lower mp3 (or similar) the hairs on my arms stand on end. I'm not any kind of an audiophile but I can hear the thing I'm thinking about a mile off. It became very noticeable when bars/restaurants/cafés started plugging laptops in and playing the ropey crap they'd either ripped or grabbed from torrents, and I still hear it when they're using Spotify and the streaming quality dips.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  >If there's so much as a single cymbal sound...

                  Try the triangle sound !

                  Suggest using a CD source as reference, given you are wanting to test both codecs and the D-A convertor.

                  Once you have noticed it, you'll discover just how many supposedly good systems are not musically accurate.

                2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

                  Yes, it's the cymbals that get me too – I call it a "swishy" sound – and I believe I can detect that at 192kbps in MP3 (I have one particularly annoying copy of Warning by Green Day with that problem). At 320kbps, it disappears from my perception (not sure about 256kbps as I have almost nothing at that bitrate).

            2. BenDwire Silver badge

              None taken, but I regularly get tested by my music server when it plays tunes at random. My audio files are a mixture of FLAC, OGG & MP3 gathered over the years, some being CD rips and some as 'studio quality' lossless. I take the point about older codecs being inferior, which may explain some of the differences, but sometimes it really is noticeable to me - again, on my proper system with big amps and big speakers. In the car though, forget it.

              (Before you ask, all tracks are normalised to eliminate 'loudness wars'.)

              You can try for yourself by listening to the excellent Radio Paradise and switch between the MP3 and FLAC streams. I assure you on a decent system you will hear and feel the difference.

              1. nintendoeats Silver badge

                My preferred testing method: rip a CD to FLAC, convert the FLAC to MP3. Use the Foobar AB testing add-on to try and guess which is which.

                50% success rate every time I've ever done it.

    2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      > If microsoft are feeling nostalgic, they might as well add ripping for 78rpm vinyl and 1/4 inch reel-to-reel tapes.

      Being pedantic: They already have such support. Audio input + record button ;)

    3. MrDamage Silver badge

      Yeah, audio CDs

      Those round, shiny things you buy at gigs when you go see and support local and indie bands.

      I guess you think it's some form of communism that I'm buying direct from the content creator, instead of paying for several middlemen to rent the same experience out to me.

    4. PRR Silver badge

      > ripping for 78rpm vinyl

      {grumpy old sound man mode}

      There are essentially no vinyl 78s. 78s predate (commercial) PVC. You need a stronger stuff for acoustic playback (and for the crude electric pickups which came later). 78s are called "shellac" which was largely talcum and gypsum dust cut with floor-sweepings and just enough shellac and similar resins to bind it together.

      {/grumpy old sound man mode}

      Actually RCA worked with vinyl records in 1931, as 33RPM 'transcription disks' for time/place-shifting or documenting radio network programming, but went nowhere on the consumer side.

      I no longer worry about 78 (or 72 or 85RPM) player-- software can trim the speed/pitch up 237%. The EQ is mind-throbbing but as-said Audacity has a tool.

      BTW: they were not "78s" until after WWII when other speeds displaced 78s; before that they were just "records" (unless you were doing radio transcriptions and sound-checks).

      Yet another 'material' was "wax". Hipsters in the old-folk home still say that. Edison's dictation cylinders did cut a wax coating (tin-foil on prototypes, but wax could be erased and re-used). As the technology evolved masters used other materials, notably a witch's-brew of lead litharge and wax, and going through nitrocellulose by the end of mass-LP days.

      1. Warm Braw

        There are essentially no vinyl 78s

        There were some. At one stage I had a PYE (Nixa?) recording on 10" 78RPM vinyl, though I think it disappeared in a house move. I believe there were a number of vinyl issues between roughly 1957 and 1959.

    5. IGotOut Silver badge

      I bought a CD just the other day.

      Not available on any streaming platforms and not some butchered version.

    6. hitmouse

      Microsoft did have a tool focussed on ripping LP and cassette in the late 90s. It had some UI for how gaps and tracks were mapped, and to deal with audio books.

    7. MonkeyToast

      Weren't 78s made from Shellac?

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My gf is 21 and buys CDs. They're her favourite format!

      She's keen on vinyl too, but hasn't accrued much yet.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Did they remove the feature to rip audio CDs as I am pretty sure i remember it used to be able to do that in WMP back in the XP/Vista days? So its hardly a 'new' feature to add something back in that used to be the the software years ago.

    It has been a long time since i used Windows media player though as I remember it didn't even used to come with codecs for most popular video types like DVD playback built in so I switched to VLC which played pretty much anything you through at it without having to go and hunt for the correct codec first.

  7. Danny 2

    Do you remember the first time?

    '94 or '95, borrowed the first recordable CD kit I'd access to. I'd rewritten the ROM so it could record audio, learned how on my snazzy 14k modem, then I invited three pals around to all burn their very first audio CDs. Albeit from my record collection, but I had 500 albums, 700 singles and they only had to choose ten or eleven songs each. Everyone got drunk, everyone was happy, I dunno if minds were blown but for once I was the coolest kid in the room.

    I'd made about 5,000 compilation (mix) tapes by then because piracy was fuelling music, and it was an art form. But burning CDs was a game changer as they say now.

    Last compilation CDs I gave and got, 2006. I had to make my niece a comp for her 21st and had to have one of my friends help me. He pontificated, "As anyone familiar with the 21st century knows it has to be on Spotify..."

    Oh, eff off you sanctimonious twat, I can remember you calling a 3.5" floppy disk a hard disk because it was hard.

    Pulp - Do You Remember The First Time?

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Do you remember the first time?

      Around that time, I had Doom on CD-RW. I wrote a tool that automatically erased it and replaced it with Quake.

      Now that was a game-changer.


      1. sreynolds

        Re: Do you remember the first time?

        Very droll, were it not for the fact that the phrase game-changer should be taken out the back and summarily executed.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I think the floppy compatibility is already in. After all, they still never allocate A: or B: automatically. They're probably still somewhere in the code since it was a relatively simple set of requirements.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        This is a problem – I've tried to use A: and B: for various drives on Windows (e.g. RAM disks), and there always seems to be some piece software of that just freaks out and can't deal with it. I've essentially given up on them as drive letters now.

    2. hitmouse

      Let me introduce you to the concept of a "driver"...

  9. sreynolds

    When some hipster shows me vinyl....

    I don't know why hipsters are so much into vinyl but to show them how bad that medium is I don't resort to Mr Nyquist, I just tell them to listen to some recordings on wax. They might get the point then.

    Why are CDs still a thing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When some hipster shows me vinyl....

      Yeah yeah I know vinyl doesn't sound as good but have you ever tried to skin up on an MP3?

      1. Danny 2

        Re: When some hipster shows me vinyl....

        The Computer Aided Design joint versus the artists joint

        In the mid to late eighties my trouble girlfriends trouble friends would compete to make the bigger joint. I couldn't compete until I was sent on a Mentor Graphics CAD course then I built the biggest joint any of us had ever seen. It was like two hand lengths. It was an engineers joint par excellence, like a rocket ship. It helped I had more money than those doleys, but the structural integrity came from the CAD.

        I never thought I'd see a better or bigger joint. 15-20 years later I'm in a Moroccan coffee shop in Amsterdam because I prefer being the only white guy in the room and the snacks are better. Some genius had made a joint in the shape of a rose, for his girlfriend, must've taken him weeks. Totally impractical to smoke compared to mine but a thing of beauty. They must've put it behind the counter for him night after night.

        My humongous rocket ship didn't compare to his perfect rose so I gave up and stuck to jointjes after that.

  10. Captain Scarlet

    Windows XP

    Windows ME surely (Although I think it could be upgraded on 98 SE if I remember correctly), thats when I remember Windows Media Player becoming skinable.

  11. beamrider66

    Because the handful of people still ripping CDs are going to be using Windows Media player for the task

    1. Captain Scarlet

      I would still use dbPoweramp myself

  12. RobDog

    Rip those CDs

    I’m still working through mine but for about the last 15 years I’ve been using Audiograbber with and added LAME dll. So fast, gets the cd track list for me. It belongs to the XP days but maybe that’s why I like it.

  13. Corinth

    Bring it back

    I wished they'd bring back they stuff they removed from the Windows 10 Sandbox. Why remove Paint and WordPad from the Windows 11 Sandbox?

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