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Share Digital Media With Other Computers on a Home Network with Windows 7

Windows Media Player 12 which is included with Windows 7 allows you to easily turn your machine into a media server to stream music, movies, and pictures to other computers and devices on your home network.  Today we will show you how to set up streaming and how to use it.

Enable Streaming

To start streaming media from your Windows 7 machine you’ll need to turn it on by opening Media Player and under the Library section click on Stream then click Turn on media streaming.

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Now just click the button to turn on media streaming.  Alternately you can bypass WMP and open Control Panel \ All Control Panel Items \ Network and Sharing Center \ Media streaming options then click on the button to turn on media streaming and press OK.

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Now you’ll see what devices are connected to the network and can select which computer or media device have access to the media. 

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You can also customize the streaming settings by selecting what will be shared and also notice the parental ratings control.

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Setup Windows Media Player

Now that we have streaming media enabled it is time to take a look at what to look for in WMP.  On another computer on the network open Windows Media Player and under Library you will see “Other Libraries” and the available libraries of Music, Video, and Pictures available for streaming.

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This is a very cool new feature that can allow you to have one computer with a lot of disk capacity to run as your media server.  Then have computers containing less space connect and enjoy all the media they want even netbooks…Neat!

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/10/09

Comments (5)

  1. LocalToast

    Hopefully the new version of Windows Media Player will support a plethora of media formats, like the popular FLAC. :)

  2. David

    Does the receiving computer need Win 7? I assume that it does, but the article doesn’t specifically say that. I’m going to upgrade one home computer to Win 7, but our employer-provided laptops might not get upgraded from XP for a long while.

  3. Enigma

    I am hoping for a Xbox360 compatibility.

  4. Robert Fisher

    Great article! Thank you for the how to!

  5. Edward King

    What’s the better option using Win7?
    1.) set up streaming as described in this article, or

    2.) set up sharing on the server PC, then add the shared music folder into the Music Library on the client PC?

    basically – “streaming” vs. networked – what’s the better option?

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