You can use the Windows Media Player library to help you organize your entire digital media collection on your computer, including music, videos, and pictures. Once you add files to your library, you can play the files, burn mix CDs, create playlists, sync the files to portable music and video players, and share the files with other devices on your home network. There are several methods you can use to add files to your library:

  • Monitoring folders. When you start the Player for the first time, it automatically searches certain default folders on your computer for music, video, and picture files, and then adds those files to your library. If you ever add or remove files from these folders, the Player automatically updates the library accordingly. You can change which folders the Player monitors if you store some of your digital media files in a location that is not already monitored automatically.

  • Add media files that you play. When you play a file on your computer or on the Internet, the Player automatically adds the file to your library if it isn't already in your library. The Player does not automatically add a file that you play from removable storage media, a removable storage device, or on a shared network folder. For example, if you play a file that is stored on a CompactFlash card, a data CD, or in a shared folder on another computer on your network, the Player will not automatically add the file to your library.

  • Rip music from a CD. You can use the Player to rip tracks from your audio CDs. During ripping, the tracks are created as files on your computer.

  • Download music and videos from online stores. You can sign up with online stores from within the Player. Once you do so, you can download music and video files from the online stores.

This topic covers the first two methods. For information about the other methods, see Rip music from a CD and Shop online.

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To change which folders are monitored by the Player

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Add to Library.

  2. In the Add to Library dialog box, click one of the following options:

    • My personal folders. Use this option to monitor the digital media files stored in your personal Music, Pictures, and Videos folders, as well as any files stored in the public Music, Pictures, and Video folders that everyone who uses your computer has access to.

    • My folders and those of others that I can access. Use this option to monitor the digital media files stored in your personal Music, Pictures, and Videos folders, the files stored in the public Music, Pictures, and Video folders, as well as the files stored in the personal Music, Pictures, and Videos folders that belong to other users on your computer. Note that you can only monitor the files stored in another user's personal folder if that person has chosen to share the folder with you. For information about how to share a folder with another person on your computer, see Windows Help and Support.

  3. Click Advanced Options, and then do any of the following:

    • To monitor additional folders, click Add, and then specify the location of the folder.

    • To stop monitoring a folder that you previously added, click the folder that you want to remove from the list, and then click Remove. To stop monitoring a folder that has been automatically added, click the folder, and then click Ignore.

    • To specify whether the Player should add files previously deleted from the library, select or clear the Add files previously deleted from library check box.

    • To prevent files that are smaller than a certain size from being added to the library, enter the file size limits in the Audio files and Video files boxes.

To change which media files are automatically added to the library when played

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, click More Options, and then click the Player tab.

  2. To prevent media files on your computer or the Internet from being added to your library when you play them, clear the Add media files to library when played check box.