While Windows Media Player 11.0 doesn't allow streaming directly to another computer – except to a Vista PC – you can still stream music and video over a network.

This article appears in the May 07 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

This is handy if you have a desktop PC housing your music collection and a laptop that lives nomadically around the house. The simplest way is to set up a Work Group and enable Simple File Sharing. You can then share folders across the network, including your music collection, and create a shortcut on the desktop for easy access.

You can even change this shortcut icon to something more fitting, by right-clicking the shortcut and choosing Properties. Select the Customize tab and click the Change Icon button.

And keep in mind an easy way to play complete albums is to double-click the desktop icon and browse to the album you wish. Open the folder and on the lefthand side is the option to play all.