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But if you're using a third-party firewall, chances are media sharing won't work properly until you manually open the appropriate ports.
As always, the procedure for doing this depends on the specific firewall you use, but to find out which ports need to be open click the "How does sharing change firewall settings?
To create custom share settings for a particular system, highlight a system from the previous Media Sharing dialog box and then click Customize.
Firewall Issues Media sharing between systems requires the use of certain network ports, and if you're using the Windows firewall built into XP or Vista it will automatically be configured to allow the feature to function properly.
If the system remains AWOL, try temporarily disabling its firewall to see if it's blocking any of the necessary ports.) When you double-click on the remote system in Windows Media Player, you'll be able to browse and view its media files as if they were on your local system.
The choices you make here will automatically apply to all systems you authorize for sharing, including new ones you might add in the future.
What kinds of files are sharable depends a lot on the capabilities of and which codecs are common to both the sending and receiving systems, but supported formats typically include MP3, WAV, and WMA audio files, JPEG or PNG images, and WMV, AVI, and MPEG -1 and -2 format videos.
You can also share Windows Media or MP3 playlists, but you can't share the content of inserted discs, like such as an audio CD or DVD movie.
Enable Media Sharing To allow your system to share its media with other computers, open Windows Media Player, click Library, and then choose Media Sharing.
Now put a check next to the Share my media option and click OK, which will expand the window and display any compatible systems found on the network.