Getting Media Player 11 with Vista to share media

13 06 2009

The aim here was to more fully understand how Media Player would allow the sharing of media between multiple computers and perhaps an xBox 360. 

On a computer running Vista Ultimate, which was also being used as a Media Centre computer to record TV, I was attempting to share out this content.

Problem 1

For reasons, I’m not totally clear on VMware network adapters constantly want to be classified as “Public network” adapters, which they are not.  It’s possible to change their state as in the following.  However, they tend to revert.  A couple of links which may offer solutions are:

http://www.nivot.org/2008/09/05/VMWareVMNETAdaptersTriggeringPublicProfileForWindowsFirewall.aspx, and

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistanetworking/thread/66b42761-1b8e-4302-9134-0bb685139f4e.

At this stage I have tested neither solutions.

image[4]

Sharing Media through Media player to another Vista computer with accessing with media player

In reality once you are familiar with the Media Player interface sharing content with other computer running media player with Vista appears pretty straight forward.  It is well described at the following link.

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/help/7391bdc3-3767-4f98-9cf6-80d8bd2a05941033.mspx

On testing this it appeared to all work well with Pictures, Music and Video.  However, there appeared to be a problem when it came to sharing recorded TV.  This just did not appear to share.  There may have been a few reasons for this: being file extension type which was not a listed type and the folder “recorded TV itself.  Regardless this appeared a minor issue.

One interesting point I read was “Windows Media Connect technology has been improved and incorporated into Windows Media Player 11”, which is fairly self explanatory but worth noting as part of the process of getting my head around this sharing media process.

Sharing media through Media Player versus accessing via a shared folder

I’m not sure of all the technical differences going on here.  However, it was possible to access recorded TV from another computer via a shared folder if setup.  This bypassed the need for Media Player to stream the content.  However, what I am not clear about is whether doing this is a bad idea compared to streaming.  However, I guess the main point here is that accessing content via a shared folder is not the same as using Media Player to stream.

Is it possible to use Windows Vista as a media centre extender

The simple answer to this question appears to be – it’s not possible. In some way it appears very strange that Vista can’t be setup to be a media centre extender.  xBox 360 is about the only extender available these days.

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