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Friday, June 10, 2016

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How to Play Video and Music Files on Your Xbox One Console

Oyetoke Tobi - Friday, June 10, 2016

Do you have Xbox One console? Do you know that you can play video and music files on your Xbox one either by ripping it from disk or using a USB drive or streaming them over your local network? Playing videos and music is made possible by the Xbox On media player.

Xbox One has new features which includes streaming TV and support for streaming media apps such as Netflix and Hulu. The Media Player was added to Xbox One last year through firmware updates.

Xbox One Supported File Types

Xbox One Media Player supports difference numerous audio and video codecs, container formats, and image file types.  It also supports album art images stored in music folders. 

Below is a list of what the app supports, which is listed by Microsoft:

Music, Video, and Container Formats: 3GP audio, 3GP video, 3GP2, AVI DivX, DV AVI, AVI uncompressed, AVI Xvid, M-JPEG, .mkv, .mov, MP3, MPEG-PS, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 HD, MPEG-2 TS, WAV, WMA, WMV, WMV HD

Picture Formats: Animated GIF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF

You can check here for more. Anything you play or view should work fine. An error message will be given if you try to play a file format that it doesn’t support.

How to install the Xbox Media Player App

The Media Player app isn’t installed by factory settings, so you’ll have to install it yourself from the Xbox Store. Navigate to My Games & Apps > Apps > Find more in the Xbox Store. Then search for “media player” and install the Media Player app.



How to Play Videos and Music from a USB Drive

In case you have a USB flash drive or an external drive, you can use it to play videos on the Xbox One. The Xbox One generally supports USB 1, USB 2, and USB 3 drives. And the drive must be formatted in FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS. In case you are using the same USB drive on your Windows PC and is able to read it, then the USB drive will definitely work on Xbox One. In case you are using a Mac, ensure you format the drive to exFAT and not with a Mac-only file system like HFS+.

Now connect the drive into your computer and then copy your video, music, or picture files onto it. So eject it from your computer and connect it to the USB ports on your Xbox One. The Xbox One has three USB ports you can use.

Launch the Media Player app and then your connected drive will appear as an option. Click on the drive so that you can browse all the media files on it and play them, controlling the playback with your Xbox controller.

How to Stream Media Files From Your Computer

In case you don’t have or don’t want to use the USB drive, as an alternative, you can a video from your computer to your Xbox One using the DLNA. Also, you can use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device as a DLNA media server in case you have one.

So to make this works, you’ll have to first set up the DLNA server on your PC or Mac. Microsoft recommends and officially supports Windows Media Player as a DLNA server. This feature was added to Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. In case you are using a Mac, you’ll have to use a third-party DLNA server alternative like Plex. In case you don’t know how to set up Plex media server on Mac, you can read this guide on how to set it up, then you can come back here.

Open the Control Panel, search for “media,” and click on the “Media streaming options” link under Network & Sharing Center in order to enable the DLNA server added to Windows. Now click the “Turn on media streaming” button. This will make your Music, Pictures, and Videos libraries available for streaming. 



After setting up the DNLA media server, then it will appear in your Xbox One’s Media Player app as an option, thus making you to browse and stream media files stored in your media libraries.



How to Stream Media Files Using “Play To” or “Cast to Device”

Do you know that you can also use the “Play To” or “Cast to Device” feature to play music from your computer to your Xbox One? This feature was formerly regarded as “Play To” and now called “Cast to Device” on Windows 10 but it’s still referred as “Play To” on the Xbox One.

This also works on the principle of DLNA in the background. But, you don’t have to set up a DLNA server before you can use this. You can simply navigate the media files on your computer and tell Windows to play them on your Xbox One. This was initially added to Windows 7, still works on 8, 8.1 and 10.

Now make sure the appropriate option is enabled on your Xbox One. Navigate to Settings > All Settings > Preferences > Game DVR & Streaming and make sure the “Allow Play To Streaming” option is enabled.



So to play music or video files on your Xbox One, you just right-click on them in File Explorer and select the “Cast to Device” or “Play To” menu to select your Xbox One.



Then a small Windows Media Player window will come up, you can use that to control your playlist and playback from your computer. So you can manage playback on the console itself with your Xbox One controller as well.



Now in case you don’t have the Movies & TV app installed on your Xbox One, you’ll be asked to install. Then the Xbox store page for the app will open automatically. Then click on “Install” button to install it. 



Note: You must install the Movies & TV app before you can use “Play To” or “Cast to Device” streaming on your Xbox One.



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