Windows sharing help

chas045January 27, 2014

I have not really paid much attention to network settings and I don't know the correct terms to help search for the exact help I need in Google etc. I actually do have a network running with moderate success, but it needs improvement and better control. I assume part of my ignorance is because I am not experienced with Win 7 or 8 although I have both operating systems now. I was under the impression that both new systems were supposed to help make network settings more transparent.

My current project that created my network interest, is to rip some of our CDs to my newest laptop, and among other things, see if I could network them to our TV and probably to our stereo system (TV and stereo are directly cabled). I suppose I could rip the CDs to my old desktop Dell Vostro, Win 7, 150 gig drive with 72 gig free. However, I have this new HP ENVY with some incomprehensible to me Intel Core i7 4700 2.4 GHz processor; with 12 GB memory (+4Gig more for something) and 909 GB hard drive. I assume it is way faster and should be used in preference to the old Vostro.

I have an old working Sony SMP N-100 Network Media Player. I don't believe it ever cought on well and I am guessing they probably don't give tech support on it any more. I have a wi-fi network. I originally had just one Win XP Dell Inspiron desktop (now replaced by the Win 7 Vostro), and the Sony Media Player. The Sony did and does see the desktop computer and can show the desktop pictures. It can run Netflix and Pandora etc. I have shared the new HP with the Vostro and the HP can print to the network and see the Vostro pictures. I can also make the Desktop see some of the HP but perhaps not all; and the Sony doesn't see the HP at all as far as I can tell. I ripped one CD in FLAC and three into itunes AAC. The desktop saw the FLAC files without knowing what to do with them but not the itunes (at least so far).

So: what terms concepts and settings do I need to learn to make these critters talk clearly to each other? BTW my Cisco Lynksys E1000 router has that button that can send confirmation stuff (or whatever) to a waiting receiver, and the Sony can look for it, if that is useful.

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Some scattered thoughts:

Serving up music takes a low level of computer resources. Other considerations aside, you could use your oldest and slowest PC for the task and it would be fine. Be sure to backup the CD rips you make.

I know nothing about the Sony media player, but I was unimpressed after my own experience with the Windows media server a few years ago and a Sony PS3. Maybe your Sony device has its own software to run on the PC or it just accesses folders directly. That would be different.

In my opinion, windows networking and file sharing after XP took a big step backwards. Hopefully you don't get embroiled into that mess with the Sony unit.

I've mentioned in another response to you that I have and use specific-purpose hardware and software for my music system. If your media player can read files from a thumb drive or other USB storage device, that might be the easiest way to get your music where you want it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:06PM
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snidely, Thanks for your thoughts. Yes the Sony does have a USB interface. Perhaps it would read data that way. I was assuming I would back up with a thumb drive anyway so that would work out. I was already realizing that except for wanting to work with the netbook separately; it could be placed near the receiver and pick up music directly, but the thumb drive is obviously even better.

However, while I was specifically talking about my audio, I still need to understand this whole network thing; and it isn't clear how I am supposed to get data from separate computers. What am I missing?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 6:03PM
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PKponder TX

I want to preface my response with the disclaimer that I have not yet networked my Win 8 to the existing network as far as file and printer sharing, but I found a great walk through at Microsoft. It looks pretty straightforward to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Homegroup from start to finish

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:48PM
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Chas - My experience was that getting to the point of reliable music streaming over my home network involved a lot of head scratching, trial and error, and many false starts. A lot of DIY, "figure it out yourself" time. I did it, my approach is rock solid and it's easy for the family to use. But It took time and effort.

Short of your doing that, I have two suggestions for a short cut:

1) As before, put your music on some form of USB storage that you connect to your TV, Sony media thing, or whatever.

2) Buy an Apple Airport Express and use Itunes as the software. In the link below, see the section described as "exclusively for Itunes music". Connect the Airport express output to a stereo system or powered speakers and you're done. Or, buy third-party Air Play enabled speakers.

Either way, good luck and keep us all posted on how it goes.

pkponder - I find the homegroup approach needlessly complicated compared to how it used to work. Data throughput (Mbps) for moving files, backup, etc, is slower than before too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple info

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:34PM
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