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With Windows 7 you have a built-in entertainment hub known as the Media Center. By using the Media Center, you can gain quick and easy access to all of your movies, your music, photos, Internet, TV and lots more. So let's take a look at it now. You can access the Media Center from the Windows Orb. I am just going to type in 'media'. You can do the same in the Search field, and at the top you'll see there are a couple of programs with the word media, one of them being the Windows Media Center, so we'll select that.
If this is your very first time, there will be a setup that needs to be run. After that, you'll simply see the default screen based on the setup you chose. If you ever need to run the setup again, right from your Media Center, move down to the bottom of the screen near the left-hand side when that little arrow appears, scroll all the way down to task. You'll find Settings and give that a click. Select General and then move down to Windows Media Center Setup. It's from here where you can run the setup again.
You need to confirm that you want to continue and this is what you'll see the very first time you try to access the Media Center. We can move through these various icons, Everything in One Place. That's the main advantage to using the Media Center. You can also plug-in your TV to your computer and within Windows Media Center Remote you'll be able to display movies, recorded TV, all your pictures and so on, right from your computer to your TV screen. So we'll just click Continue to continue with our setup.
There is a couple of options here. You can learn some more. So you get to learn a little bit about the Media Center before you run the setup, or you can go to the Express, which is very quick, and we'll accept all the defaults or if you need to customize you can do that too. Now, typically people will run the Express Setup and if they need to come back here, like I just did, they can go into custom and change a few of those options. So let's click Express. It =just takes a moment and we are into our Media Center. Now, we've got this little window, we can move around, we can resize it and you can see we've got Extras at the top.
You can click Extras and you can see there is an extras library for Internet, TV, News. You'll need an Internet connection obviously, for this stuff. So we move down to the bottom left-hand side and see that arrow, we can go down to Pictures and Video. Some of these categories have subcategories like playing favorites in the Picture Library or accessing a Video library. Then we have Music, the music library and Movies. Let's go to Music for a moment. Most people have music on their computer, so to access your music library you would click the music library icon.
Now this is a very fresh installation of Windows 7, so I don't really have any other music except for the three songs that come with the Windows installation. How do I add stuff? Well, I could just simply add songs to my Music folder and they will appear here or I can go and access other folders right from here and say, I want them showing up in my Media Center. So let's do that. Again, we're going to need to go to our Settings. So inside the Library here, let's just click the Windows Orb to take us back to the very homepage and let's scroll all the way down to the bottom till we see Tasks and Settings.
We'll choose Settings, and go to Media Libraries this time, where we can make changes to our Music, Pictures, Video, Recorded TV and our Movies library. So we're going to go to Music, once that selected click Next. We want to add folders. We could also remove folders from here. We need to add, so we'll select that radio button before clicking Next. And the folder might be on this computer, another computer, or you can manually add a shared folder on any computer that you are sharing.
So here we're going to select one of our Exercise Files folders. So it's on this computer. You can choose your own folder if you don't have the Exercise Files. When we click Next, it's just a matter of finding them, well we know our Exercise Files are on the desktop. You may have yours in another location. It's just a matter of finding them. We'll expand the Desktop. There is Exercise Files, select it and in the Chapter 04 folder, which we can expand, there are couple of sub-folders including the 04_01 folder. We'll expand that and there is a folder there with Music and one with Video.
Well, we only want the Music one so we'll click the check box to the left of Music and then click Next. You can see the entire path shows up across the bottom. When you choose Next you can see the number of files, Confirm Changes is next, do we want to use these locations or do we want to make more changes? If we're done we'll choose Yes, use these locations and click Finish. Now we can go back Home, clicking the Orb inside the Media Center. Click Music and go to our music library and you'll see we've got some extra stuff in here, such as an Unknown Album.
Notice that we've also got ways to view the contents here by artists, by songs, lot's of cool things to do with our built-in Media Center. If we go up to shared, if you're sharing, let me take a moment to see any shared folders you're connected to as well. So this includes shared libraries and music can be shared amongst folders on any computer even on a network, and then in this case I've not done any of that yet so this is the message that you'll see and here is where we go to play our music.
Here is where we go to use any of the controls you might see on a remote control. Keep in mind there is a Media Center remote control you can purchase, so you can use it if hooked up to your TV. Click the Back button. It will take you back. Let's go back to the music library and we'll go back here to our albums, go to the Unknown Album. Here is where we are going to find those files we just added to our library. I am going to go to the LDC_open and here I can play the song from here or click the Play button down below.
It's really up to you. And we'll Pause that, and let's go back to the homepage for our Media Center. Let's try the same thing now but with videos, so we go to Pictures and Videos. There is a picture Library. We want the video library and you're going to see sample videos. If you wanted to add the videos from the Exercise Files, you know what to do. You want to cancel this, first of all, go back to the homepage and go back down to your settings where you can go to your Libraries>Media Libraries and this time you would be going to Videos and navigating to the Exercise Files folder where you have those videos, they get added to your library.
So with the Media Center, you have one convenient location for all kinds of things. I am going to click Cancel here. Let's move back and let's try TV for example. Here is where you got recorded TV, your hard drive can be used like a personal video recorder. Under Sports you can connect to the Internet to get the latest, lots of information to choose from. When you are done, close it up by clicking the Close button and that is the Windows Media Center.
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