What is Library Server?
Library Server gives users access to their library from any computer on the network or on the Internet, as long as both computers run the same version and build of Media Center.
It provides on-demand streaming of files (music and images) from a server to a client. The server is the one that makes its library available to other computer, while the client is the computer that sees those files. It allows the user to share the library from one computer to another computer, or across the Internet.
You can listen to your home computer's Media Center library at work. You need to run the Server on your home computer, and the client on your work computer. Both computers must have the same version and build of Media Center.
By default, Library Server advertises its presence on the local network, so that clients may connect without knowing the address of the server. This works by sending the IP address and port the server uses via UDP's broadcast mechanism. The broadcast will only go to the local network, it will not cross routers (Auto-detection will not help when trying to listen to your home collection at work).
If your server is not at home, in a secure environment, turn off the auto-detect feature.
On the client, searching for Library Servers (File->Library->Search for Library Servers) will automatically connect to the server if it finds only one, otherwise it displays a list of the servers it found for you to choose.
Choosing a Port
Library Server is configured to choose the first available port number between 80 and 90. Port 80 is quite common, and often used by other programs. If you are not using auto-detection, choose a port explicitly in the options.
If your Library Server is available to the Internet (or if you are not sure if it is), use Authentication. In the server options, enable Authentication and set a user name and password that must be provided by the client before the connection is allowed.
After the Library is Served
You can play your media on the client, and create playlists. But any changes you make on the client are not saved on the server. The client will send play count and last played information back to the server.
Library Server and DVDs
Library Server cannot share DVDs across the network. Library Server uses the HTTP protocol to transfer files: where there is a filename in a local library, there is a URL in a shared library.
Playing a DVD relies on 3rd party code: J. River does not control this code. The 3rd party code does not correctly handle URLs, only filenames. This may be by design, to prevent sharing DVDs over networks.
To be more technical: DVD playback is different from other video file playback in that it uses a DVD Navigator filter instead of a regular file source filter. Therefore the URL source filter is not useful here.
Sharing DVDs between multiple computers on network is achievable using Library sharing DVD Library in Media Center.
Library Server and Audible
Library Server can share Audible files, but only without conversion.
Library Server does not currently support remote burning of CDs (on the client).
Tracking Down Problems
Checking the IP address and port
To check the IP address, open a command window (start->run and type cmd). Then use the command:
It will return a result like (many lines not shown):
Windows IP Configuration Ethernet Adapter ...: ... IP Address: 10.0.0.1 ...
This means the server is using IP address 10.0.0.1. The port that the server uses is displayed at the top of the status page on startup. Many problems arise because of confusion over the port number. To be certain, choose a port number on the server, start the server, and make sure the server starts. Then use this port on the client.
Manual Test the Server Connection
With a web browser, connect to
Replace 220.127.116.11 with the IP address of the Library Server, and 80 with the port the Library Server is listening on. The web browser should ask if you want to save a file. If it doesn't, there is a firewall or proxy preventing access.
If a large library is failing, create a new smaller library and share that. You must load the smaller library on the Server machine before connecting from the client.