The Windows Media Player 11 beta is now available. This in and of itself isn't exactly earth shattering, but this little snippet is:
"If you have a home network (wired or wireless), you can use Windows Media Player 11 to stream the contents of your library to networked devices. For example, if you have an Xbox 360 or other digital media receiver (DMR), you can use Windows Media Player to stream music, pictures, and videos from your computer to that device."
WMP 11 is an XP program. Putting two and two together led us to believe that WMP 11 would finally allow people to stream video to the 360 without a Media Center PC. Unfortunately, it looks like this functionality will have to be included in the expected fall update to the 360 dashboard. It's obvious that it's supposed to work, the 360 just needs an update to accommodate it.
On the bright side, WMP 11 does have Windows Media Connect built in, saving people a few steps in the 360 music/photo streaming process. We asked someone over at Microsoft to comment on the expected update for video streaming. We'll let you know what we hear.
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
9-05-2006 @ 11:23AM
I found this functionally while messing with Vista RC1 (which I am primarily using now), I notced that instead of needing Windows Media Connect (which annoyingly searches though ALL your data every time you boot, which can really slow things down for people with mass amounts of MP3s or photos), it goes though Windows Media Player's media library (which doesn't do the constant search at boot up, to much relief). I am guessing they want to get rid of Windows Media Connect in the Windows XP version of Windows Media Player 11 as well.
I noticed right away that it looked for videos as well, which made me think about this functionality and how they they might add to the Xbox 360's dash in the Fall update. I personally think the Fall update will be huge, more than likely MUCH larger than the Spring update. I am sure video will be just one of the few updates that MS probity has in store (I wouldn't be surprised if they had a browser too, to compete with Nintendo's Opera for Wii browser and I am sure Sony will eventually include one). There's probably a few tweaks they can make as well. As well as some very minor changes (like getting rid of the "Windows XP PC" description in some parts of the dash because Vista will be going to computer manufacturers to be preinstalled on PCs very soon), and whatnot.
9-05-2006 @ 11:25AM
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. I didn't want to have to rebuild my machine just to get video working. Crossing my fingers that this really does allow video streaming. I've been building a DVD media server and had to stop because I utterly refused to go buy Media Center 2005 when it's very little more than XP.
9-05-2006 @ 11:42AM
SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!(mac users -.-)
9-05-2006 @ 11:52AM
In response to Ethion:
Well, Mac Users do have third party software, such as Connect360. I am sure they will had video functionality to it if the Xbox 360 does get a streaming video update.
But personally, I think Microsoft needs to release software officially for streaming media to the Xbox 360 from a Mac. Like a MacOS X version of Media Connect. Because Microsoft still has and still will officially support the Macintosh platform, but they should at least have official utilities for streaming media to the 360 on it.
9-05-2006 @ 12:13PM
Well no mpeg though. I bet its only WMV files that can be streamed. But no matter. My GBPVR can transcode the MPEG files to WMV after recording a show. All good here!
9-05-2006 @ 12:20PM
Corey W said...
Connect360 works great, but I want to stream the video from OS X. MS could just buy the company, like they do with every new MS product, and then just change the name to Connect360 2007 and add video. Although the $10 I paid for connect was well worth it.
9-05-2006 @ 12:24PM
Oh my goodness, I was JUST thinking how awesome that would be if it did that...and look at that, awesome. It'd be nice if it'd let you stream Divx, Xvid, etc formats.
9-05-2006 @ 1:01PM
I agree with ceej: I really want XviD support. I highly doubt we'll get it though. And if you have an Intel Mac, wouldn't you be able to put Windows on that, and therefore be able to run WMP11, and then stream videos to the 360?
9-05-2006 @ 1:25PM
That would be cool, unfortunately Windows Media Connect died on me the other day gives me some crap about uPnP errors and can't start services or something, i've tried everything i've found on the internet to fix it and nothing, I really miss streaming music to my 360.
9-05-2006 @ 1:30PM
This would be yet another Boomshakalaka sort of announcement that would be yet another thing that the PS3 so far cannot do or has not been announced that it will do.
It just doesn't make sense for the 360 to continue to not allow video sharing...just because. I personally just recently sold my Standard Def TIVO as I now am watching HDTV broadcast. I'm hoping to get my recorded shows off the net using Bittorent. Lost and the Office and most popular shows can be found encoded in HD xvid. There is a utility out there that allows for divx and xvid to be played on the 360.
9-05-2006 @ 1:34PM
And what utility would that be sputnik?
9-05-2006 @ 2:07PM
I sent this to Major Nelson yesterday, it seems pretty cool. I'm hoping for an update for sure.
9-05-2006 @ 2:46PM
I'm also wishing for XviD and similar support. Most of my videos are in this format, and it would totally remove any need I had for an XviD-compatible DVD player, or even a HTPC for the most part. Sadly I'm not holding my breath, as I'm sure MS won't do it. I know there are transcoder add-ons for Media Center, but I doubt they can be plugged into this new video-streaming feature of WMP11, and they don't currently work in Vista, so I'm left in the cold. That and I'm still running an Athlon XP, so I highly doubt my PC can transcode on the fly reliably.
9-05-2006 @ 2:56PM
Finally my desktop is useful again.
9-05-2006 @ 3:26PM
"That and I'm still running an Athlon XP, so I highly doubt my PC can transcode on the fly reliably."
My Media Center is an old Compaq with an Intel 1.2 GHz processor and 256 mb of ram and it has had no trouble transcoding quite a few different video formats to my 360(hd and sd) I just use Transcode 360 for everthing not .wmv.
9-05-2006 @ 3:39PM
Well, DivX or XviD would be nice if it was supported but DivX is a licensed codec, and MS would have to pay DivX, a competing codec company, royalty fees to use it.
XviD might be a possibility but who knows. But I personally think MS also needs to add MP4 and MP4 AVC support on the 360 and the Media Center's native stream (it should, due to the HD-DVD drive, since it has to use H.264, which MP4 AVC uses). I am sure the Fall update (MS said there will be two major updates a year, at Spring and Fall) will include components for the HD-DVD drive since the drive is due out this fall.
9-05-2006 @ 8:43PM
WMP 11 Beta 1 was the best version to date. Unfortunately Beta 2 breaks the "find album info" option. I had do do a system restore to get B1 back so I would update album art again. Hopefully they'll fix it for the final release.
9-07-2006 @ 1:11PM
Well, the text has changed though..."For example, if you have an Xbox 360 or other digital media receiver (DMR), you can use Windows Media Player to stream music and pictures from your computer to that device." Confusing...