Windows 7: Internet access to home media

By linking your Live ID to your user account in Windows 7 (from build 7048), you can now stream your home media to your another PC/laptop connected to a work or public network. Both your home network PC and work network PC should be linked to the same Live ID account. The media is streamed always from home network to work or public network.

This feature partially worked in build 7048, but works pretty neat in the recent 7057 build. Below is a step by step procedure to allow internet access to your home media

Home Network
In your home PC, link your user account to your Live ID

Open Media Player and choose to Allow Internet Access to home media

You can see users who have access to home media in the resulting screen

Now you are ready to stream your home media library

Work or Public Network
In your work PC, link your user account to the same Live ID you linked above in your home PC

Open Media Player and choose to Allow Internet Access to home media

Wait for few seconds, and you will see your home media library listed in the Other Libraries. The remote media library icon indicates that it is being accessed via internet

The file properties indeed show that this is being streamed via internet from your home

If at all your home media library doesnt appear, refresh the Other Libraries list

You can now browse your home media library from your work PC!

One thing to note is that your Live ID account is tighly integrated with your user account in your home network. This enables the media player to remember your home media library. If you ever change your network connection from home to work/public network or vice versa, always remember to unlink and link your Live ID with your user account again. This can change when Windows 7 gets released. For now, enjoy streaming!

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

IE 8 due for March 20th release

Next Story

GrandCentral becomes Google Voice

22 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

finally what looks like a decent implementation of what ive been wanting for what seems like a lifetime

i never liked the orb interface. hopefully this will work out well

That did it right there. I will most definitely upgrade to win7! I can't wait for the final RC of this for testing. I want to use 64 bit of this also. All the other features with this was winning me over but this is over the top!
Good Job Microsoft!

Hmm this is a really cool idea but what kind of upload does one need?

The typical upload here in the UK is 448k (max). It's more like 384k for me.

jonnytabpni said,
Hmm this is a really cool idea but what kind of upload does one need?

The typical upload here in the UK is 448k (max). It's more like 384k for me.

Same as the bit rate of the item you are listening/watching. Minus the buffer... so you should be able to watch, for example, a ripped episode of the office which is about 200kbps without any trouble.

OK so what you are describing is...
I can have videos, music, pictures on my home PC.
I go on vacation or business trip and I take my laptop.
I can use my laptop to connect back to my home pc, and access the media?
So long as I connect my liveid to the home pc and my laptop?
How does the PC and laptop connect through the firewalls?

I could only speculate on the technical end of things, but, yes, that's how it should work. Your laptop would likely be connecting to the Live servers and getting a standard WMP media/playlist stream.

I don't think I had to open any ports for Orb to work, but it's been a while. It wouldn't surprise me if the WMP service modifies your Firewall on your home PC to communicate more efficiently with the Live servers.

I guess it would be like other live services like Live Sync, Live Mesh. computer connects to Live servers using http/https i guess

Yep. You are correct. As long as your home pc is connected and you use the same live id in both your home pc and laptop, you should be able access your home media. Its pretty cool when you see it working

Interesting indeed. Winamp uses the Orb service. I signed up for Orb directly after playing around with Winamp Remote for a while. Pretty slick service, even automatically sets up media sharing for your Xbox 360, though the interface is kind of cluttered. I never figured out how they (Orb) could be making any money off the service though. I haven't logged into it in months though since I've just been listening to Last.fm (username: drytoast) directly.

If the new WMP service works smoothly, then I'll definitely be hooking it up. When I get Windows 7, that is.

WinAmp has this sort of fuctionality, but it's good to see MS integrate this. I wonder how well this will work with Media Center.