Share your media

Using Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP, you can stream music, pictures, and video from your computer to devices that are connected to your wired or wireless home network. For example, if you have a networked digital media player such as an Xbox 360, you can enjoy the contents of your Player library on that device, no matter where it is in your home.

Note

  • The information that is provided below covers a basic scenario in which you share media with a digital media player device on a home network. However, you can use Windows Media Player to customize the way media is shared. For information about configuring media sharing, see Windows Media Player 11 Help.

What equipment do I need?

To share your media, you need the following hardware and software:

  • A wired or wireless home network.

  • A device known as a networked digital media player (sometimes called a digital media receiver), such as an Xbox 360. Networked digital media players are hardware devices that connect to your wired or wireless network and allow you to browse and play content from your Windows Media Player library—even if your computer is in another room.

Connect your digital media player device

The first step is to connect your digital media player devices or other computers to your home network.

To connect your digital media player device to your home network

  1. Connect your digital media player device, such as an Xbox 360, to your home network.

    This may involve connecting an Ethernet cable from your device or other computer to your wired network or it may involve configuring your device or other computer to use a wireless network adapter to connect to your wireless network. If you need assistance connecting a device to your network, check the documentation that came with your device. For more information about adding a computer to your network, see Windows Help and Support.

  2. Turn the device on, and then follow any configuration instructions that appear on the device's screen.

Turn on media sharing

If media sharing is not already turned on, you need to turn it on.

To turn on media sharing

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Media Sharing.

    Screen shot of the Media Sharing command
  2. In the Media Sharing dialog box, select the Share my media check box.

    Screen shot of the Share my media check box

Choose which devices to share your media with

After you turn on media sharing, you need to select the devices that should have access to your Player library.

To choose which devices to share your media with

  1. In the list of devices below the Share my media to check box, select a device.

    Screen shot of the Allow button
  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you want to share your media with the computer or device you have selected, click Allow.

    • If you don't want to share your media with the computer or device you have selected, click Deny.

    For information about how to customize what media you share with the device, see "Change settings for sharing media" in Windows Media Player Help.

    Note that you can also allow or deny devices by clicking the notification that appears when the Player detects a new device on your network.

Play shared media

After you have allowed your computers and devices to access your Player library, you are ready to use your device or other computer to select content to play.

To use your device to play shared media

  • Use the device's remote control to select the name of the computer that is sharing your content. Then use the remote control to browse for content that you want to play.

    If you need assistance to use your device to select the content to play, check the documentation that came with your device.

Note that your networked digital media player might not support playback of all of the file types that the Player can share. For example, your device might support playback of audio files, but not video files or picture files. In addition, your device might be capable of playing songs that you purchased from an online store, but not songs that you've rented through a subscription service.