Access or Stream Windows 7 Multimedia Share to Linux

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Windows 7 samba style sharing is tricky to get to work, but it is not essential if you just want to enjoy your media collection, which is residing on a Windows machine, from a Linux machine running XBMC or XBMC live which is again based on Ubuntu. For this sharing a server-client sharing scenario is ideal and easy to setup. Windows machine with the content acts as server and other Linux or Windows Machines can act as clients.

This is easily done by streaming media from Windows to your Linux machine, which can be achieved by either of the two approaches:

1. Use Windows Media Player’s streaming capability. Go to the Control Panel > HomeGroup Settings and enable streaming of media to your local network. If you want to change the name of your Library, click on Choose Media Streaming options and change the name of the Library on the next screen.

Now you just need to add all the multimedia to different libraries, e.g. add all your video/movie folders to Video Library, Music to Music Library etc. by browsing to the corresponding folder and then clicking on Include in library button as shown below.

Now all your media would be available at all computers in your network via UPnP clients such as Windows Media Player or XBMC.

2. Use dedicated UPnP server like TVersity as described in this post.

For client side I would recommend using XBMC which is available for practically all platforms and is sleek and easy to use. To add the¬†shared media in XBMC, you just need to click on add Media Source button and then browser for UPnP folders and then choose corresponding Libraries (Music, Video, Picture) and then choose the desired Media Folders. XBMC would scan for the content and add it to your local machine’s library. You might have to wait for a second or two for TVersity server to show up in UPnP devices list.

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Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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