Windows 11 update takes on Apple Music and bringing back CD playback

Man looks lovingly at a music cd, to remind him of the good old days
(Image credit: Shutterstock - AboutLife)

You read that right - Windows 11 is indeed bringing CD playback to Windows Media Player, while Notepad is able to run better on ARM PCs such as the Surface Pro 4.

In an update that's rolling out to Windows Insider Build users, which allows some to look at features that may or may not come to Windows 11, Notepad and Media Player are seeing some features due to user feedback.

Notepad is able to run faster and more reliably on devices running ARM chips, such as scrolling through large amounts of text, alongside offering better accessibility for scaling text, screen readers and more.

Media Player meanwhile now has an improved display view for big album artwork and the ability to sort tracks by date added, and music CDs can be played in devices running Windows 11 that have a CD drive installed.

Analysis: start digging out your CD collection

Album artwork in Media Player in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Most of us remember when we'd slot a CD album into our desktop PCs and laptops and expect Windows Media Player 7 to appear with its funky visualizations.

While we've seen the return of Media Player in Windows 11, Microsoft looks to be doubling down on the nostalgia of how we used to use Windows in the early 2000s.

The only thing missing now is the bizarre skins that you could use in the app, from a green head to a cartoony user interface. But with CD playback now possible, there's always a chance that we may see these also return in Windows 11 soon, especially with Sun Valley 2 ramping up for release.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.