Windows 7 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Windows Media Center


Windows 7 Essential Training

with David Rivers

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Video: Windows Media Center

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.
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  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Windows 7 Essential Training
6h 31m Beginner Oct 22, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Windows 7 Essential Training, David Rivers helps users of any level feel comfortable with the improvements and enhancements found in Microsoft's operating system. From simple navigation through the updated graphic user interface, David shows how to install or upgrade and get the most out of Windows 7. He covers using the new Internet Explorer 8 and boosting a computer's memory with the ReadyBoost tool. He also highlights hardware configuration options and explores the advances made connecting a home or work system with Windows Live, the cloud-computing environment made available for Windows 7 users. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Running Windows XP programs within a Windows 7 installation Accessing favorites quickly through jump lists Establishing user settings through Windows Explorer Setting up a home network with Homegroup Displaying similar sites with suggestions in Internet Explorer 8 Syncing photos on two computers with Live Sync
Business Education + Elearning
David Rivers

Windows Media Center

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Windows 7 Essential Training .

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Q: Is there a way to share files and printers between computers on network running Windows XP and Windows 7 without using the HomeGroup share method of Windows 7, since XP does not have this feature?
A: While Windows XP does not support the new HomeGroup found in Windows 7, there is another way to share files and printers between the two operating systems.  There are a number of steps to follow, but they are all listed here:
Q: Is it possible for a computer running Windows XP to join a Windows 7 HomeGroup?
A: Unfortunately, only Windows 7 supports HomeGroup.  If the Windows XP computer must connect with the Windows 7 computer, there are have two options:

1.  Upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 and joining will be no problem.
2.  Change the Windows 7 HomeGroup to a regular Workgroup and the XP machine will be able to connect to it.  

Here are the steps to changing a HomeGroup to a Workgroup:
  1. On the Windows 7 computer, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Go to the Control Panel and choose Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click the link for "View your active networks.” 
  4. In the next window choose "Work network." That will switch the group from a HomeGroup to a Workgroup so the two computers can talk to each other. However, the same workgroup name and share folders in Explorer must be assigned to both computers before they can be networked.
For ease of use, if there is already an existing HomeGroup on the Windows 7 computer, upgrading the XP machine to Windows 7 would be the recommended course of action. There is a course in the Online Training Library, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, that explains the steps for transitioning to Windows 7.
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