Change settings for streaming media in Windows Media Player

After you set up media streaming, known as media sharing in earlier versions of Windows Media Player, you can choose which music, videos, and pictures will be available to stream on devices and computers on your network. You can also decide which devices will have access to your media.

Picture of the media streaming options control panel
Media streaming options

For more information about how to set up and use media streaming on a home network, see Stream your media to devices and computers using Windows Media Player. For more information about streaming over the Internet, see Stream your media over the Internet using Windows Media Player.

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To automatically allow all devices and computers to have access to your media

If you don't want to adjust individual streaming settings, you can allow all current and future devices on your network to access your media library. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then select Automatically allow devices to play my media.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu
  3. In the Allow All Media Devices dialog box, click Automatically allow all computers and media devices.

    If you don't want to allow access to all devices, click Do not automatically allow computers and media devices.

Warning

  • You should only allow streaming access to all devices on secure networks.

To allow other devices and computers to control the Player on your computer

You can let other computers and media devices on your network stream media to the Player on your computer. This turns your computer into a playback device. You might do this if you want a certain type of camera to use the Player to display pictures and videos. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click Allow remote control of my Player.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu
  3. In the Allow Remote Control dialog box, select Allow remote control on this network.

    If you want to prevent remote control of your Player, click Do not allow remote control on this network.

Warning

  • Allowing remote control of your Player is recommended only on secure networks. By default, remote control isn't allowed when you join a new network.

To change the name of your media library

When you share your media with other devices and computers, your media is identified on those other devices and computers by the name of your media library. You can change the name of your media library at any time. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click More streaming options.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu

    More streaming options won't appear on the Stream menu until after you turn on home media streaming.

  3. On the Media streaming options page, in the Name your media library text box, enter a name that will identify your media library to other people on the network, and then click OK.

To choose devices and computers that can access your media

After you turn on media streaming, Windows Media Player will automatically detect any computers and devices on your private network that are able to receive media streams. You can stream media to all computers and devices on your network by default, or you can stream media to specific devices. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click More streaming options.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu

    More streaming options won't appear on the Stream menu until after you turn on home media streaming.

  3. On the Media streaming options page, do any of the following:

    • If you want to stream media to all computers and devices on your network, click Allow All.

    • If you don't want to stream media to any computers or devices on your network, click Block All.

    • If you want to stream media to some computers and devices, click either Allowed or Blocked on the menu next to each item in the list of computers and devices.

  4. Click OK.

To choose the media that will stream by default

If you don't want to make all of your media available to other devices and computers on your network, you can choose which media is available to new devices that are added to your network by default. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click More streaming options.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu

    More streaming options won't appear on the Stream menu until after you turn on home media streaming.

  3. Click Choose default settings.

  4. In the Customize media streaming settings dialog box, do one or more of the following:

    • Under Star ratings:

      • Click All ratings to stream media with any assigned star rating in your Player Library.

      • Click Only, and then click the range of star ratings for media you want to stream.

        For example, if you click Rated 2 stars or higher, you will stream media that has been assigned a rating of 2 stars or higher in the Player library.

      • Clear the Include unrated files check box if you don't want to stream unrated files along with a range of star ratings.

    • Under Choose parental ratings:

      • Click All ratings to stream media assigned any parental rating in your Player Library.

      • Click Only, and then clear or select check boxes for the media types and parental ratings you choose to allow or block.

  5. Click OK, and then click OK again.

To choose the media available to specific devices or computers

You can choose the content that's available to each device on your network. For example, you can choose to make all of your media available to one device on your network, while other devices can access only media rated four stars or higher. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click More streaming options.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu

    More streaming options won't appear on the Stream menu until after you turn on home media streaming.

  3. Point to a computer or device in the list, and then click Customize.

  4. In the Customize media streaming settings dialog box, clear the Use default settings check box, and then do one or more of the following:

    • Select the Make all of the media in my library available to this device check box to make all of your media available.

    • Under Choose star ratings:

      • Click All ratings to stream media with any assigned star rating in your Player Library.

      • Click Only, and then click the range of star ratings for media you want to stream.

        For example, if you click Rated 2 stars or higher, you will stream media that has been assigned a rating of 2 stars or higher in the Player Library.

      • Clear the Include unrated files check box if you don't want to stream unrated files along with a range of star ratings.

    • Under Choose parental ratings:

      • Click All ratings to stream media assigned any parental rating in your Player Library.

      • Click Only, and then clear or select check boxes for the media types and parental ratings you choose to allow or block.

  5. Click OK, and then click OK again.

To block access to your media

If you want to prevent everyone from playing your media, you can block access to all computers and devices on your network. Here's how:

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Click Stream, and then click More streaming options.

    Picture of the Stream menu
    Stream menu
  3. Click Block all.