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New Look Audio Player Arrives in Chrome OS Dev Update

The flood of material design tweaks finally reaches the default music app

Chrome OS Audio Player New

A new look audio player arrives with the latest developer channel release of Chrome OS.

The music app, which opens when double-clicking an audio file in the file manager, has been restyled using Google’s universal ‘Material Design’ language and Polymer web components.

New Chrome OS Audio Player

At first glance you may think that not a lot has changed — and in many ways it hasn’t. The audio player is supposed to be simple and basic affair; its job is to open and play audio files, not manage a library of them.

chrome os audio player app icons

Left: New Icon; Right: Old Icon

But while some may be disappointed to hear that the audio player isn’t evolving Pokemon style into bigger, badder and more beastly app, the update sees the player do what it’s always done – just with greater finesse.

An example of this refinement is the new volume slider. It used to hide behind an icon, appearing in a pop-up dialog. In the new version the volume slider is always on show. You click the volume button in the new audio player to toggle mute on and off.

Tweaks to the playlist (which appears when several audio tracks are queued) includes a new ‘status’ column on the left hand side to denote which track is currently playing, a subtle change to the background colour, and use of the Roboto font.

Hovering over a track in the playlist reveals a new play button. Clicking on this button (rather than the track itself) will instantly trigger playback of the track.

Scrubbing the progress slider backwards or forwards will temporarily pause playback until the slider button is released. This brings the audio player behaviour in line with the Chrome OS video app.

Other changes to the audio player include:

  • New control panel icons (shuffle, repeat, pause, etc.)
  • A new app icon
  • Ripple effect on button clicks/active state

Get a Sneak Peek At More Material Design Changes

chrome extensions page redesign

Google is redesigned Chrome piece by piece

Chrome OS received a material redesign of the video player last year and the browser added a revamped Downloads page. Work on a new look Chrome browser toolbar and tab-strip (for Windows, Linux and Chrome OS) is currently in progress.

Work on material redesigns of the ‘History‘ and ‘Extensions‘ pages are underway. Though these are far from complete you can, if you want a sneak peek, opt-in to test these.

How?

By enabling the following flags in the latest development channel releases of Chrome OS and Chrome for desktop:

chrome://flags/#enable-md-history
chrome://flags/#enable-md-extensions

Do you like the new look audio player? What features do you think Google should add to it? Let us know in the space below. 

(H/t to reader Hardik for tip on the new flags)

  • d2kx

    “received a material redesign of the video player earlier this year” Joey pls

  • it’s easy to think that Google considers ChromeOS to be a second class citizen when the Material Redesign is still far from complete

  • aaphid

    Isn’t that the Mavericks wallpaper?

    • It (shamefully) is. Or was – I change my wallpaper every other day. It’s now (still shamefully) the OS X leopard wallpaper.

      • TheSpaceUnicorn

        Shamefully? What’s wrong with good wallpapers?

        • liamdools

          because CRAPple amirite??? xD /s

  • person

    Loving all the Material in Dev but it’s a shame it’s so broken this time. Regular crashes, audio/video playback breaks after an hour, no smart lock, etc.

    • liamdools

      knowing google lately that isn’t going to change

      • person

        It’s already been fixed though Smart Lock is still disabled. Dev is generally pretty stable, until the occasional update that breaks everything.

  • liamdools

    Haha, nice one. Oh, that’s… actually the new extensions page? Hm. Guess I won’t be leaving Pale Moon anytime soon

  • Jay

    Will it play .wma files? That’s what I need it to do.

  • Raymond Mallard

    If I try to play a large folder with flac songs it crashes and you get the message that chrome wasn’t shut down correctly. I’ve reset and powerwashed but no change. Oddly it will work as guest.

  • Sebastiaan Franken

    Too bad this player can’t be used for things in Google Play Music. I love the look of it, the simplicity of it. I don’t mind Play Music, but it’s a lot to load (RAM usage). Does anyone know a way to mount your Play Music locally in ChromeOS?

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