Windows 8 How To: Access a Network Location in the Music App

Written by Alan Thursday, 23 August 2012 01:00

We have been looking at the built-in apps that come with Windows 8 recently, and the Music app is certainly a favorite in our home.  However, if, like us, your music is stored on one central computer (in this case an HTPC in the living room) then accessing it is a bit confusing if you don’t have “libraries” set up (more later on setting up Windows 8 libraries).

For now, we will assume you have not, or don’t want to, set up Windows 8 libraries, but do want to access music stored on another computer on your network.

First, you will need to “map the network drive”.  That may sound scary and geeky, but it’s very simple.  Open Windows Explorer and browse to “network” and then click the computer you want map to.  Right-click the drive or folder and choose “Map network drive”.  Choose a drive letter, click OK and your done.  The drive or folder will now appear in your “Computer” section of Windows Explorer as if it’s a local drive.

Once you launch the Music app you will need to right-click on the screen to pop up the menu.  Choose “Open File”.  Unless there is already music in the library folder of the computer you are using, you will see a “There are no files or folders in this view” message.  Click the “Go Up” option at the top of the screen (you will probably need to click it twice to get the “Computer” option).

windows 8 music app files menu Windows 8 How To: Access  a Network Location in the Music App

Click “Computer” and you will see list of drives on your computer- both real and mapped.

windows 8 music app drives Windows 8 How To: Access  a Network Location in the Music App

Click the drive you want to add and then browse to your music folder.

The bad news is that you will need to navigate to your music in this way each time.  There is no way to permanently add the songs in this manner so if you want easy access then you will need to add them to the library.

For this, Microsoft gives simple, but detailed, instructions.

  1. At the Windows 8 default screen on your computer, find and click the Desktop tile. This will take you to the classic desktop view.
  2. Select Windows Explorer (the manila folder next to the Internet Explorer icon).
  3. Under Libraries, select Music.
  4. Right-click Music, and then select Properties.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Include the folders where your music is stored.
  7. Click OK.

For occasional listening you may not mind browsing to the drive with your music, but if this is something you will be using on a regular basis then consider adding it to your library.  Depending on how much music you have, it may take a while for Windows to index it, but in the long run it’s the better choice.

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 Windows 8 How To: Access  a Network Location in the Music App


Alan is the owner and editor of Making Windows Easy. In addition to writing about technology he is also an avid distance runner and hiker. Read More

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