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How Portable Media Centers Work


Adding Music and Video to a PMC
The Samsung Yepp YH-999 PMC can store 20 GB of music, movies and photos.
The Samsung Yepp YH-999 PMC can store 20 GB of music, movies and photos.
Photo courtesy Consumer Guide Products

Using Windows Media 10, you can transfer files from a personal computer to a portable media center through a USB 2.0 cable. Windows PMCs will accept the following types of files from a home computer or laptop:

  • Music copied from a CD
  • Pictures from a digital camera
  • Home movies from a digital video camera
  • TV shows recorded on a computer running Windows XP Media Center Edition or other personal video recorder programs
  • Videos downloaded from the Internet

Portable media centers can also play premium downloaded digital music and video from various online services. It should be noted, however, that DVDs you own cannot be transferred to the device because of copyright restrictions.

Transferring Files

Files can be transferred from a personal computer to a portable media center using Windows Media Player 10. If the portable media center cannot support a particular file size or format, Windows Media Player 10 will automatically convert the file to a type and size supported by the device. You can set up Windows Media Player 10 to sync the type of media you want every time you connect a portable media center to your PC.

The file-synchronization process using Windows Media Player 10 is fairly straightforward:

  1. Install Windows Media Player 10 on your PC.
  2. Use the USB 2.0 cable that came with your PMC to connect the portable media center to your PC.
  3. Windows Media Player automatically detects that a portable device is attached and asks whether you would like to sync the device using Windows Media Player.
  4. Click OK to run through the setup.
  5. The Sync Wizard opens and gives you the opportunity to configure the sync settings. Accept the default settings if they look good to you, and click Finish.*
  6. If a Security Upgrade Required dialog box appears, click OK to accept the upgrade.
  7. Windows Media Player syncs all selected audio, video, recorded TV and image files to the portable media center, including album art for CDs. Windows Media Player may convert some files into an appropriate format for playback on your portable media center. Syncing takes anywhere from a few seconds to several hours, depending on the number and size of files.**
  8. When synchronization is complete, the "Items to synchronize" panel will show the number of items that have been synchronized.
  9. Unplug the cable. The device returns to the home screen.

*If you like, you can change the sync settings in Windows Media Player so that only specific types of media files (e.g., music files or photos) will sync each time you connect the portable media center to your PC. To change the sync settings in Windows Media Player, click the Sync tab, and then click the Sync Settings button. The new dialog box that appears allows you to choose the files that you want to sync when you connect the portable media center to your PC. The default setting automatically syncs all available media files.

**File conversion may be necessary for some audio and video files to make them compatible with your portable media center. To adjust media file-conversion settings, go to Tools>Options in Windows Media Player 10. The dialog that displays conversion settings is on the Devices tab. To speed up the sync process for large files, you can choose to allow Windows Media Player to convert audio and video files during computer downtime.