Taking Your Music and Video on the Go
Windows Media Player 11 provides many ways that make it easier than ever to take your music and video files with you. Media Player 11 has built-in functions for burning CDs, synchronizing files to your portable media player, and for sharing your media throughout your home network.
Burning Customized CDs
Media Player 11 provides the capability to create customized CDs for playing in your home or car CD player. Before you can burn a CD, you must first have a Windows Vista–compatible CD burner and a blank CD-R disc. To burn a custom CD, perform the following steps:
- Begin by selecting the Burn tab.
- Click the arrow below the Burn tab and select Audio CD, as shown in Figure 8.14.
Figure 8.14 Select Audio CD from the Burn menu.
- Insert a blank CD into your CD burner drive.
- Create the list of songs to burn by dragging items from the Details pane to the List pane to add those items to the burn list. To remove items from the list, right-click the item and choose Remove from List. Items can be rearranged by clicking and dragging the songs to match the order you desire for your CD.
- At the bottom of the List pane, choose Start Burn, as shown in Figure 8.15. It is recommended that you not perform other tasks while the burn is in progress. The current progress can be viewed in the burn list.
Syncing Files to Your Portable Media Player
The first step to synchronizing your files with your portable media player is to choose a portable device. Many players will work with Windows Media Player 11, but for the best experience, you should look for a device that is PlaysForSure compatible.
PlaysForSure is a program between Microsoft and hardware vendors that ensures the best operation with Windows Media Player 11 without the need to install drivers or software for those devices. PlaysForSure is separated into many compatibilities that describe what services a device offers. To view a list of PlaysForSure devices, visit www.playsforsure.com. When shopping for your PlaysForSure device, look for the logos shown in Figure 8.16.
Figure 8.16 PlaysForSure logos indicate available services for the device.
After you have your device, open Media Player and connect the device to your computer. Media Player prompts you to choose either Automatic or Manual sync method. For a description of these methods, see the corresponding section that follows. If you decide later to change the sync method, click the arrow below the Sync tab, point to the device, and select Set Up Sync. You can then select or clear the Sync This Device Automatically check box.
Choosing What Syncs Automatically
If your device is set to sync automatically, the items selected to sync will be updated each time you connect your device to your computer. To select the items that will be synchronized, follow these steps:
- Click the arrow below the Sync tab, point to the device name, and select Set Up Sync.
- In the Device Setup dialog box, shown in Figure 8.17, you can choose the playlists that are synchronized with your device. Using the available playlists, select Add to sync the selected playlist with the device. To stop a playlist from synchronizing, select it in the Playlists to Sync list and choose Remove.
Figure 8.17 The Device Setup dialog box allows you to choose the playlists to sync and their priority.
Selecting Item to Sync Manually
If your device is set to sync manually, each time you want to make changes to the files on your device, you must create a list of files to sync. To remove files from your device, navigate the device using the Navigation pane to find your file. Right-click the file and choose Delete. To set up a list of files to sync to the device, perform the following:
- Select the Sync tab and clear the sync list by clicking the Clear List pane button as shown in Figure 8.18.
Figure 8.18 Sync view allows you to manually set up your Sync List for your device.
- Find your media in your library and drag them to the List pane to add them to the Sync List as shown in Figure 8.18. To select multiple items, hold down the CTRL key while selecting your media. To remove items from the Sync List, right-click the item and select Remove from List.
- After you have set up your Sync List, make sure that all the items will fit on your device by looking at the List pane. Remove any necessary items from the Sync List and click Start Sync.
Sharing Media Throughout Your Home
Before you begin to set up media sharing throughout your home, you will need to make sure you have all the required equipment. To enable media sharing, you will need a home network and a networked digital media player. A networked digital media player, also known as a digital media receiver, is connected to your network and plays the content shared by Media Player on your Windows Vista machine. Suitable digital media receivers include other Windows Vista PCs and the Xbox 360, as well as a number of standalone units that can be found by visiting the PlaysForSure website at www.playsforsure.com.
To connect a digital media receiver to your network, you can use an ethernet cable or a wireless network adapter. Consult the documentation that comes with your device for more information on getting it connected to your home network. If you are connecting another Windows Vista PC as a digital media receiver or setting up a new home network, see Chapter 20, "Creating a Windows Network," later in this book.
After your device is connected to the network, turn it on and complete any configuration steps that may be needed to finalize the installation. If you are using another Windows Vista PC as your device, you must select the Find Media Others Are Sharing check box in the Media Sharing dialog box shown in Figure 8.19. After your device is fully connected and operational, complete the following steps to enable media sharing on your Windows Vista PC with your newly installed digital media receiver.
- Click the arrow below the Library tab and select Media Sharing.
- In the Media Sharing dialog box, enable media sharing by checking the Share My Media check box, as shown in Figure 8.19, and click OK.
Figure 8.19 The Media Sharing dialog box shown if media sharing is currently disabled
- To allow sharing with your device, find the device in the list of devices in the Media Sharing dialog box and choose Allow, as shown in Figure 8.20. If you want to prevent access to a device, choose Deny.
Figure 8.20 The Media Sharing dialog box shown if media sharing is enabled. Notice the addition of the device list.
After you have sharing enabled, you are ready to play your media on your new digital media receiver. For information on how to do this, see the documentation that came with your device. If your digital media receiver is another Windows Vista PC, the shared media will appear in the Library view of Windows Media Player 11, as shown in Figure 8.21.
Figure 8.21 Accessible shared media appears in the Library view of Windows Media Player 11.