Indexing Network Shares thru Media Centre (or for Americans, Center)

Had some interesting challenges with Media Centre. Most of which I have not blogged about as I’ve normally found the answer on The Green Button or XP Media Centre, but this one I thought I might, as I think others might be in the same boat and I don’t think the solution has been found yet.

Have you ever tried to share media from your Windows Server to your Media Centre? You can’t. Server 2003 or 2008 – neither of them work natively. First a quick rundown on my setup:

  • Windows Vista Ultimate, running Media Centre in the lounge room
  • Windows 2008 Server, storing the media files (My Computer)
  • Windows XP (My Wife’s computer)

I’m using TVersity to share my media from my 2008 Server to my xBox 360. I can’t use TVersity to stream media to the Media Centre in the lounge room, because I need to have Vista Media Centre running on both the source and target to do so (There’s no MCE 2008 Server). I have looked for a hack or a workaround, tried to copy, deploy and start the required services from a Vista machine to the server, nothing. I have looked at security and reduced it so much that blind freddy could access them as long as he was jacked into the network.

The Solution? Index the files in the library of my wife’s XP computer, running Media Player 11. Don’t ask me why it works. It seems that not only does MC need access to the files, it also needs to have them indexed and shared as part of WMP 11 – even if they are not on the same computer, it works.

Of course, then I hit another problem… but that’s the next blog entry… 🙂



About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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