Streaming media to the Xbox 360 from Windows 7.

6 03 2009

Edit: Before I start this post I would just like to point out that the new Windows 7 beta, version 7057, has fully fixed this error. Streaming works perfectly. The best thing to do would be to upgrade to that newer version. Your current Windows 7 beta code will still activate it. If you don’t want to upgrade or can’t and are sticking with Windows 7 7000 and want to try and fix streaming, continue with the post…

I haven’t really done a tutorial or anything like this before, but this has been bugging me and my housemates for a good while and after multiple searches I haven’t once came across a fix. Today I successfully streamed my AVI files from my Windows 7 beta computer to my Xbox 360 without the use of Windows Media Centre which, on the Xbox 360, is about as fast as an asthmatic slug with a salt hat. It also suffers from frequent freezing, crashing and audio sync issues. In Vista, this was not an issue. Windows Media Player 11 allowed the streaming of most media files to be played straight from the 360 dashboard. In Windows 7 however this was limited to WMV and MPEG files leaving the aforementioned 360 Media Centre as the only option.

Since nothing has changed on the 360 and I couldn’t see how it could be an issue with the Windows 7 architecture, the problem had to be the new Windows Media Player 12 beta. It’s sharing system is slightly different, and being a beta it is bound to have issues anyway. Unfortunately the standard Windows Media 11 download is not built for Windows 7. After quite a bit of searching I found a hacked Windows Media Player 11 which is designed to work for Windows 7. I should also note that while this worked flawlessly for me it didn’t work for my housemate, so it isn’t a guaranteed fix. He is, however, no worse off than he was so it’s at very least worth a try unless you have a great passion for the 12th incarnation of WMP and a vast hatred for the 11th (…they’re virtually identical). Before continuing with my tutorial, I will post an alternative method which is much easier to try out which I recommend thanks to a comment from TomestoneX. You can do this with your current version of Windows Media Player 12 that comes with Windows 7.

1. Add media to your library. Right click the ‘Video’ section of the library in the list to the left and add the folders containing your files or alternatively click ‘Organise’ – ‘Manage Libraries’ – ‘Video’ and add your media containing folders there.

2. Allow streaming by clicking ‘Stream’ and then ‘More streaming options’. Enable streaming if it asks, find the 360 in the list and click ‘Customise’ then instead of having ‘Default’ selected, select ‘Make all of the media in my library available to this device’.

3. It should be working now but just to be sure find all of the folders on the computer you want to share manually, right click on them, then ‘properties’ then the ‘sharing’ tab and click the ‘Share…’ button. Select ‘Everyone’ from the drop down list, then click ‘Add’ and ‘Share’. Do this for every folder you wish to share.

If this method doesn’t work, then try my method which is a bit more lengthy and will result in you replacing Windows Media Player 12 with Windows Media Player 11.

This only appears to work on the 32 bit versions of Windows 7 and will replace WMP12 with WMP11.

1. Firstly download Windows Media Player 11 for Windows 7.

2. Secondly, type services.msc into the start bar search, right click and open as administrator.

3. Find ‘Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service‘, right click and ‘Stop’.

3.5. The next step involves taking ownership of several files. This can be an unnecessarily long procedure in Windows 7 so you may want to install this ‘Take Ownership’ registry entry which will allow you to take ownership of files and folders by right clicking on them and clicking the new ‘Take Ownership’ menu button. If that doesn’t work, try this ‘Take Control’ program. These are not necessary but they’ll certainly help to speed up the process.

4. Take Ownership of the following files:

All files in “Program Files\Windows Media Player\” folder

All Files starting with “wmp” in the “Windows\System32\” folder
And wmploc.dll.mui in “Windows\System32\en-us\” folder

5. Now install the previously downloaded ‘Windows Media Player 11 for windows 7‘ but don’t restart upon completion of installation.

6. Type RegEdit into the start menu search, right click and open as administrator. Delete the following registry key: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Setup\Installed Versions”. As always it is better to have a backup of your registry before tampering with it.

This next step may not be necessary, but it is something I did and it’s always nice to have anyway.

7. Download and install the ‘Windows 7 Codec Pack’.

8. Restart your computer and voila!

You should all know these next steps if you’ve shared media previously via Vista, but for people completely new to this…

Open up Windows Media Player 11 and add all of your media to the library. Right click ‘Library’ and click ‘Media Sharing’. Make sure your Xbox 360 and any other device you want to share with is allowed. If your 360 isn’t there, turn it on and make sure it’s connected to the network.

Find any folders on your system with media you want to share. Right click on the folder and click properties. Click ‘Sharing’ and then ‘Share…’. Select ‘Everyone’ from the drop down list and click ‘Add’ followed by ‘Share’. This folder will now be shared with the 360 and should appear in the ‘Video’ section of the dashboard/NXE. Do this for all folders you wish to share.

If your computer is not appearing on your 360, make sure to turn ‘Media Sharing’ on in the ‘Network and Sharing Centre’.

Hope this helps!

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