The Windows Media Player team put a lot of work into evolving media playback on Windows Vista through the new Media Foundation pipeline, and has also been actively monitoring feedback on WMP and playback in general. While commentary has been mainly positive for Web playback through IE, we’ve noticed that there’s still work to be done to make Firefox users able to enjoy their media content on Windows. More »

Stereo systems used to be collections of components that you maintained in the living room. Since the MP3 revolution, that’s no longer the case. Now it’s easier to collect all of your music in one place—your PC—and play it from there.

Of course, once you move away from CDs, you quickly run into a problem: How do you listen to music in different rooms?

With Microsoft’s new Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11) and its built-in Media Sharing feature, you can easily set up one computer as the server and have it stream music wirelessly to other devices around the house, such as a Microsoft Xbox 360 or a networked media hub. And starting with Windows Vista, you’ll also be able to stream music wirelessly between PCs from WMP11.

Unfortunately, WMP’s PC-to-PC streaming doesn’t work in Windows XP. For that scenario, here’s a solution that’s almost as easy—sharing your music library across your home network, so that any machine can access it. It’s not technically beautiful, but it’s practical and glitch-free. Regardless of what devices you have on your network, here’s how to centralize your music system around WMP11.—Jamie Lendino, editor of Ziff Davis Smart Device Central (www.smartdevicecentral.com) More »