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I have Windows 7 box acting as my media server using Windows Media Center. Trying to change to using mp4 files but Windows Media Center does not see the files, and therefore I can't play them using my media devices.

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migrated from Mar 18 '12 at 7:10

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Try XBMC, it can play anything with codecs and it's cooler than Windows Media Center. – HackToHell Mar 18 '12 at 10:03
yeah I use VLC if playing on the computer. But the question relates to using my media devices. If Windows Media Center can't see the file then it can't stream it to Xbox 360 and other devices – grom Mar 20 '12 at 13:58
FYI XBMC is Xbox Media Center, it does support streaming! – HackToHell Mar 20 '12 at 14:21
What do you exactly mean by "not see the files"? Is Windows Media Player (instead of Center) able to load them? That could exclude whether Microsoft applications support the files or not... – Tom Wijsman Mar 20 '12 at 15:49
Somewhere between reboots and applying registry changes I found it is now working. Odd :/ – grom Mar 26 '12 at 7:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

First... according to Microsoft, the MP4 format is not one that is supported by Windows Media Center. Straight from the Horse's Mouth

This is actually not true, as Windows Media Player (which is used by Windows Media Center) will play MP4 files without an issue. So, it is just a matter of making Windows Media Center SEE and DISPLAY the files. How?

Hack the planet baby. Adding MP4 files to Movie Library I searched, and found this registry hack. It works. I have an XP machine running Media Center Edition. It too could not see all the MP4 files in my collection. I just downloaded the appropriate .reg file addition (x86 in my case since I'm XP MCE), ran it, and voila! the MP4 files are there in Windows Media Center. Didn't even need a restart.


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Nice find, +1 and welcome to Super User! – Tom Wijsman Mar 26 '12 at 19:40
The critical link in this answer is dead. That makes the answer useless, in effect. – TylerH Jun 17 '15 at 14:34
I've updated the link, it appears to be legit. – Bigbio2002 Aug 21 '15 at 3:59

If you want to play movies on TV, use XBMC, as someone already said, it's way better than Media Center. Also, if you want to stream your media files to XBox, try PS3 Media Server, despite it's name, it's very good DLNA server, supports most popular hardware, it can even stream(by encoding in background) files unsupported by target device. MKV on your console playing like a miracle ;)

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I once solved my problem of playing an .mp4 file, by renaming it to .avi.

My problem wasn't with Windows Media Center, but maybe the same solution will work for you.

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I always found TVersity to work much better for Windows 7 to Xbox streaming. It may be of some use.

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