Add Folders to the Movie Library in Windows 7 Media Center

Do you have a collection of movie files on your computer? Perhaps you have an external hard drive or two loaded up with AVI or MPEG video files? Well, today we’ll show you how to add those files to the Movie Library so you can watch them in Windows Media Center.

You can add any number of folders to your Media Center Libraries. Even if you have videos or movies stored in a variety of locations, including other Windows 7 computers on your network, they can be added to your Media Center Movie Library.

Supported Video Files

Windows Media Center supports the viewing of the following file formats by default.

Video File Formats File Extensions
AVI files .avi
MPEG-4 .mp4, .m4v, .mov,
MPEG-2 .mpeg, .mpg, .m1v, .mp2, .mpv2, .mpe, .mod, .vob
Windows Media .wmv, .wm, .asf
Windows Recorded TV .wtv, .dvr-ms
Apple QuickTime .mov, .qt
AVCHD files .m2ts, .m2t
MPEG-1 .m1v

Adding Folders to the Library

Open WMC and click on Tasks \ Settings

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Click on Media Libraries

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Select Movies and click “Next.”

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Select Add Folders to the Library and click “Next.”

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Now you’ll need to select the folder location of your movie files. Choose “On this computer” if you are adding a folder from a local hard drive, a folder on mapped network drive, or a folder from USB attached hard drives.

You can also choose to add folders from other Windows 7 computers on your network by selecting “On another computer.”

Note: You’ll need to setup media streaming before you’ll be able to view video from another Windows 7 computer. You can find a link to our article on how to setup streaming media below.

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Browse the file directory for the folders of your choice. Click on the the plus (+) symbol to view sub-folders. You won’t be able to “see” the video files themselves, only the folders, so you’ll need to know where your videos are located ahead of time. Click to the check box to the left to select each folder.

Click “Next” when you’re finished.

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Media Center will confirm your changes. Only the first five media directories are shown on the screen. Scroll to see any additional folders by clicking the up or down arrows. If you want to add more folders, click “No, I want to make more changes” and repeat the process to add your additional folders.

When you are done, select “Yes, use these locations” and then click “Finish.”

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Your video files should now appear in your Movie Library. Depending on the amount of files you are adding, it may take a few minutes for Media Center to add and display all of them.

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Then simply browse for any of your selections and click to play them.

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Now you are setup to enjoy your entire movie collection from directly in Windows Media Center. Check out our previous tutorial if you need help setting up streaming media from other Windows 7 computers.

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 02/22/10
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