Play Your Favorite Songs with Windows 10 Bread Music Player

Discover the best music player for Windows, Bread Player

Figure 1-1: A screen shot of Bread Music Player with a collection selected.
Figure 1-1: Bread Player is a new and improved music player from Microsoft. Joli Ballew

If previous Windows music players have lost their appeal or aren’t meeting your needs, Microsoft has another offering, Bread Player. Thanks to more options and features, Bread Player feels like a new product by improving upon the older Windows Media Player and even the newer Groove Music app. Bread Player is open source and free, enhancing its appeal.

Note: The Bread music app, upon its release, required Windows 10 or Windows Mobile.  It didn’t support Apple or Android products. However, it’s open source, so that may change quickly.

Bread is the Best Free Music Player from Windows

For years, Microsoft has offered various music players. Windows Media Player, which shipped with Windows 98 SE and all consumer editions after it (even Windows 10) is the oldest, and now, the most visually and functionally outdated. Groove Music, which was introduced in Windows 10, offers a sleeker and more modern option, but doesn’t have all of the features many experienced users are looking for. Now, Microsoft brings us Bread Player.

Bread Player is similar to Groove and Media Player, as well as third-party offerings such as the older Foobar, WinAmp, and Media Monkey, in the ways it organizes your music. There’s the familiar sort options including by Albums, Songs, Artists, and Recently Played. As you’d expect, Bread plays all major file formats as well, including mp3, wav, flac, ogg, wma, m4a, and aiff. It supports playlists too, including .m3u and .pls.

However, it also offers advanced features not found in previous players. If you’re wondering if you should bother with switching players, read on!

Why Bread is Better

There are a few notable features of Bread that makes it the best Windows player to date. For starters, it has a hardware-independent 10-band Equalizer and software preamp built right in.

These features let you control a number of different frequency bands independently by moving sliders that are available within the graphical user interface. It’s kind of like having your own music studio.

You can also customize Bread with themes and album art, and view information about the artist while you listen to your favorite Bread songs. Need to see the music lyrics? You can do that too. There’s also Last.fm Scrobbling and options to change your lock screen with information about Bread music is playing.

Here are a few more features, in case you aren’t completely sold yet and are wondering if switching players is worth your while. You can:

  • Transition between Play and Pause with smooth transitions that won’t disrupt the flow of the playlist.
  • Create private playlists that only you can see.
  • Change album art and other metadata as you see fit.
  • Stop playing music after a specific song plays.
  • Import playlists from .m3u and .pls.
  • Listen to songs and view album art and metadata with no ads or other disruptions.
  • Import and load songs directly from File Explorer.
  • Use 17 keyboard shortcuts to let you manage your music without reaching for the mouse.
  • Tinker away and customize to your heart’s content; Bread Player is open-source.

    ​Working with iTunes

    ​Bread Player supports several file types including the very popular .mp3 format. However, it does not currently support or allow the import of .aac files. If you have an iTunes library full of song from iTunes (.acc file format), you'll need to convert .acc files to .mp3 if you decide to switch to Bread.

    To switch or not to switch, that is the question

    It doesn’t take a lot of work to switch to Bread Player; you just need to visit the Microsoft Store, search for it, and click Get. The first time you use it, it’ll locate the music stored on your device and load it into the library automatically.

    It’s intuitive and easy to use as well. You don’t have to be an app fanatic or live on the fringe of technology to make the most of its advanced features. As noted earlier, it does resemble Groove Music in the ways it keeps your library organized, so it's not a big leap if you're less experienced.

    If you try Bread and don’t like it, simply uninstall it. Just locate Bread in the apps listed in the Start menu and right-click it. There's no wizard or steps to follow, all you have to do is click Uninstall.