If you have a PC or laptop that has XP Media Center Edition, or any premium version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, you already have the tools you need to start building your own home media system. With your own multi-media system, you can control your music and TV with one remote control or your mouse. Windows Media Center is designed to play your videos and music from your own hard, drive, any location in your home network, or any optical drive it has access to. Media which is managed by Windows Media Center can also be forwarded from your home network to TV sets when you add a Windows Media Center Extender or an Xbox 360.
Add a TV Tuner card to your system, and you now have the ability to play back and record your favorite TV shows in HD or Digital Cable. The recordings can be saved in DVD form, or they can be transferred to a portable media player.
Media Center also can add your music into the mix through the use of RCA type cables from devices such as cassette decks or video recorders, microphones, and other inputs. Windows Media Player also organizes music on your computer. Unless you specify another location, the music files are stored under My Music, and are arranged in alphabetical order. You can make your playlists so you can hear the music in any order you wish. Windows Media Player allows you to pause, fast forward, or rewind and repeat the music just like any other media player you have used in the past.
Windows Media Center can also play back video from URL’s when you add a third party plug-in, and this also allows you to access server and client side playlists on your network. Media Center also supports all FM tuned radio stations so you can tune into your favorite radio show anytime you like. You can also synchronize your smart phone and other portable devices with Media Center.
Windows Media Center is the place to start synchronizing your very own home multi-media center. With the recent release of Windows 7, Windows Media Player has been revamped and now has even more options for making your music and TV experiences the very best ever.