The 5 Best Media Server Apps for Windows Computers
There are a lot of different programs for the Windows operating system that all seem to accomplish the same thing. This is especially true when it comes to playing and maintaining your media collection. A basic Google search for “media server” will return thousands of results for programs capable of streaming audio, video and picture content from your computer’s hard drive to a Blu-ray player or television set over your home network. However, when it comes to the all-important task of creating a fully functioning media server in your home, certain programs really rise above the pack and are truly better than all the rest.
PS3 Media Server
As its name suggests, originally PS3 Media Server was specifically designed to interact with your computer and your PlayStation 3. Recent updates to the program have added a plethora of compatible devices like the Xbox 360, some Blu-ray players and even Samsung model television sets. More devices are added all the time, which is something that will only add to this program’s longevity.
Air Video is specifically designed to create a media server between your computer and your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. One of the benefits of this program is that it performs real-live transcoding. This means that if you’re trying to stream a file in a format that is unsupported by your Apple device, Air Video can change it to a compatible format instantly without you even noticing that the process is going on.
Not only can Plex stream your existing content to compatible devices, the service also features 150 “channels” worth of content for you to watch as well. If you get tired of watching home movies or listening to music that you already own, browse through one of the available channels to experience something new.
TVersity supports nearly every device that you could possibly connect to your home media server with the exception of the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. For compatibility with those devices you would have to upgrade to the “Pro” version, which requires a subscription fee. Note that TVersity only works on the Windows operating system. No Mac or Linux versions are available at this time.
XBMC was originally just for the Microsoft Xbox, but recently it has been updated to include a wide variety of different devices. XBMC is available for free on the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. One of the benefits of XBMC is its fully customizable interface. You can change the way the program looks and even operates to better match your more specific needs.