When Microsoft called it “Windows Media Player,” it wasn’t kidding. This app can play music and video up, down, and sideways—and even across the network.
In a couple of ways, actually. For example:
Listen to other people’s music. If all the PCs in your house are part of the same network, you can sit at your PC and see what music and videos are on everyone else’s PCs, right from within Media Player. Oh, yeah—see them and play them.
Send your music to another computer. Using the new Play To command, you can use your PC as a glorified remote control that operates playback on a different PC, sending your music to it from across the network.
And not just a different PC. This feature can also send music to a new generation of gear bearing the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) logo—TV sets, video recorders, and so on. That’s the theory, anyway.
Listen to your home music collection from across the Internet. Yes, that’s right: From any PC in the world, you can listen to the music that’s on your PC back home—no charge.
Here are the step-by-steps.
Amazingly, the record companies seem to be OK with all this music sharing. Microsoft has designed these features cleverly enough that it’s always you (or your family) listening to your own collection. So the record companies, at least in principle, have nothing to worry about.
If you’ve joined your home’s Windows computers together into a HomeGroup (Chapter 27), then ...