Sharing music on a home network

  nkosi 21:52 25 Nov 2004

All my music is in the 'my music' folder on my XP/SP2 desktop and I play it using Windows Media Player 10. It is all legally acquired/downloaded with licences if required. I have just set up a wireless network with a laptop and I would like to play the music through the laptop. The laptop has Windows Me and Media Player 9. By allowing sharing on the 'my music' folder I can play most of the tracks but not the ones with a licence. I am prompted to download a new licence whenever I try to play it through the laptop, despite the track and licence being on the desktop.

Are the licences in a separate folder somewhere that should be 'sharing enabled'? Or is there another way round it? I don't want to download the licences again for the laptop as I have already had to do it recently for a new hard disk and some will only allow it twice.

  nkosi 11:32 26 Nov 2004

So far, my searching hasn't found anything useful relating to this subject on the web. I can't be the only person in the world who wants to listen to their music in another room! It does appear to be a licence restriction though. I tried an experiment. I burnt two of the tracks that I couldn't access on to a CD. I then deleted those tracks from the library and the computer. I then copied them back from the CD into the library and, hey presto!, I could play them via the laptop through my home network.

If this is the case for all of them, it makes a nonsense of legal downloads because the licence is too restrictive. It's cheaper to buy the CD from CDWow. Perhaps I should immediately burn all downloads on to CD and then copy them on the computer from there, bypassing the licence restriction. But would that be legal? Maybe I'll open another post on that subject in consumerwatch when I've done some more experimenting.

Meanwhile, if anybody else has any experience of this, please let me know. Thanks.

  nkosi 11:07 05 Dec 2004

I've just had an answer to this from MSN Music. The licence on downloaded music files does not allow streaming. You can only play the files on the computer to which it was downloaded, so you can't listen to it through a home network.

I wonder if this applies to streaming through one of the new wireless media players that are hitting the shops? I assume it must, so if anybody is thinking of buying one for christmas - better check first!

MSN Music have, however, increased my number of licences per download. So it seems that they can be flexible if you have a problem.

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