How to Stream Your Music Library to the Xbox 360

Use your home network to play songs on the Xbox 360

Media Streaming From Windows Media Player 12
Media streaming options in WMP 12. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Streaming Digital Music to Your Xbox 360

You might already know that you can subscribe to Microsoft's Groove Music service in order to stream songs, but what about the music you already have?

If you use Windows Media Player 12 to organize your music library then there's a streaming media option already built into it. This allows you to make all the music files stored on your computer / external drive available over your home network -- or even via the Internet if you like!

This feature makes it a lot more convenient to access your music library on the Xbox 360 rather than using a  USB flash drive for instance every time you want to listen to something on your console.

In order to keep this tutorial simple, we are going to assume that you have already done the following:

To setup WMP 12 in order to stream content to your Xbox 360, run the program now and follow the steps below.

Enabling The Media Streaming Option

If you haven't previously enabled media streaming in WMP 12, then follow this part of the tutorial to activate it.

  1. Ensure you are in library view mode. You can quickly get to this by holding the CTRL key down on your keyboard and pressing 1.
  2. In library view, click the Stream drop-down menu near the top of the screen. From the list of options, click Turn on Media Streaming.
  1. On the screen that is now displayed, click on the Turn on Media Streaming button.
  2. If you want to give your music library a specific title when being shared, then type the name of it in the text box. You don't have to do this but it can make more sense than seeing something shared over your home network that has a non-descriptive name.
  1. Ensure that the Allowed option is selected for your PC's media programs and connections and also the Xbox 360.
  2. Click the OK button.

Allowing Other Devices to Stream From Your Computer

Before trying to stream music and other types of media from your PC, you need to allow access to it from other devices like the Xbox 360.

  1. Click the Stream menu tab once again and then choose the Automatically Allow Devices to Play my Media option from the list.
  2. A dialog box should now appear. Click on the Automatically Allow all Computers and Media Devices button to save your changes.

Playing Your Music Library on the Xbox 360

Now that you have setup the sharing of your music library via Windows Media Player 12, you can now access it on the Xbox 360.

  1. Using your Xbox 360 controller, press the Guide button (the big X) to view the menu.
  2. Navigate to the Music sub-menu and then select My Music Apps.
  3. Now select the Music Player option and then choose your computer's name as the source for streaming music.
  4. Wait a few seconds for the Xbox console to connect to your computer. You should now see the name of your music library that you set up earlier displayed on the screen. You can now browse through your MP3 library and play songs as if they were on your console!