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Windows Media Player Sharing Problems sharing

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Old 06-30-2008

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Windows Media Player Sharing Problems
I was searching through the community for threads concerning "media sharing
problems" but found nothing too useful with the problem I had at hand.

I first thought I was having networking problems mainly because I was using
a Vista Ultimate 64-bit Desktop to communicate with a XP laptop, but I
recently got an ASUS R1E-B1 Vista Business Tablet and I had the same problems
sharing my media between the two computers.

At first I had issues starting networking at all in my x64 machine, and I
cannot remember exactly what I did then, but after some playing around with
starting services and updating my PC I was able to share files. I believe
there are some discussions that pertain to this problem.

Sharing media via Windows Media Player is something I once thought iTunes
did a better job than WMP; simply because I could not get sharing to work
with WMP.

My desktop could play media from my laptop's library, but my laptop could
not play from my desktop's library. It couldn't even find the library.

Going into the Control Panel to enable media sharing my indicators said it
was sharing, but I still couldn't find my desktop library on my laptop's WMP.
So I went back to the start menu and ran services.msc - not the same as the
Task Manager!

I found the culprit, the Windows Media Player Networking Service was not
started, even though all indicators in the Control Panel and Network Sharing
Center said everything was fine. So I try to manually start the service. It
starts up, and then closes right away. A message pops up stating something
similar to "Some services stop when not in use" or whatever useless and vague
explanation to what happened.

I thought maybe it was stopping because its dependencies were not running,
but I checked out UPnP Device Host and SSDP discovery; both were running.

Then I found it. Windows Media Player Sharing Service was set to run at
start up (delayed), but it was configured to log in as a network service.
Once I changed this to Local System the service and manually started it the
service was running! Going back to my laptop's WMP I finally could see my
desktop's library being shared!

Now, this is probably not the only reason it wasn't working. In my Vista
Biz 32-bit the service runs as Network Service, and it shares just fine.
However, my Vista Ultimate 64-bit must run it as Local System to get it to
start and continue to work.

Can someone please explain why this happens? Frankly, I think the Windows,
Mac, and Linux operating systems should work together and be able to network
and share files and resources, but we're a long way away from that if we have
trouble even getting two very similar OS's to cooperate. (I run Windows 98,
XP, Vista 32-bit biz, Vista Ultimate 64-bit, Mac OS Leopard, and Ubuntu
Linux; I prefer Windows due to familiarity, but I find that most anything
done on one operating system can be done on another, with varying degrees of

Finally, one of my longest frustrations with Windows - sharing - has been
solved; or at least a workaround has been found. There's another kick and
reason to not use iTunes on Windows. One small problem left though... WMP
does not organize your library all the time, only when you rip a cd to your
library. I don't encourage illegal file sharing and media redistribution,
but what if I backed up an old library and just wanted it sorted into neat
folders and albums in my music folder? Something needs to be worked out, I
currently use iTunes to organize my library, and add new mp3's; even though I
make it a point to always use WMP and Media Center to play my media.
Theoretically, you could burn your entire backed up library to a dvd, and
then rip that to your new WMP library, but that takes way more effort and
ingenuity than most people are willing or capable of.

I think I have covered what I had wanted to talk about. If you have any
suggestions or comments feel free to e-mail me either at ""
or ""

Even if you don't have anything useful to say, a simple "Good job" or
"Interesting dilemna" will be great. At least then I'll know that my post
has been read. It would be even better if this got the attention of some IT
gurus at Microsoft. I'd really love to hear from them about it.

This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
suggestions with the most votes. To vote for this suggestion, click the "I
Agree" button in the message pane. If you do not see the button, follow this
link to open the suggestion in the Microsoft Web-based Newsreader and then
click "I Agree" in the message pane.
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