Windows 7 Library Feature - Not shareable with non W7 systems


New Member
Hi all
I don't know how many of you have played around with the new Library system in W7. I didn't like it initially but once you get used to it it actually is vey simple and good especially if you have data (music / video / photos etc) spread over more than one disc. You just define a library say MUSIC and then link all your music folders to it -- doesn't matter which drive they are on.
So if you want to find Album XXXXXX you just type Album XXXX in the Library search area and it finds it for you without you having to worry about what disk it's actually on.

(Note here I mean LIBRARIES as in the new Library feature -- not the old My Music / My documents etc which are just old folders / directories as in previous versions of windows).

This is similar (but not quite identical) to (with ? eng) Linux / OS-X where you just have a mount point say /dogs and then attach all the music files / sub directories to it.

Now the drawback with the Library system comes when you are sharing data across a network. Since the non W7 machines such as XP or even VISTA don't have libraries you can only share data in the old way (via Folders / Directories or Disks).

So say you've nicely re-arranged your music collection to span say 4 disks and you have just logged on to a networked non Windows 7 system, for example an XP machine, finding your data becomes very difficult and could become impossible if you haven't kept the shared volumes and files "in sync".

I think Microsoft by not implementing "Shared Libraries" across networks has rather hobbled the usefulness of this feature.

OT but Microsoft always do get something that looks decent and then hobble it.

My pet gripe is with Media Center -- a decent product but lack of composite video / audio input unless you have a remote is really annoying espcially the preview screen shows the composite but you can't complete setup because it wants (and tests for the hardware) the Remote.

If anybody can find a way to implement a "shared Library" across a network I'd be really greatful. Of course this facility could be implemented by using a Database system - MySQL comes to mind - but since the Library feature is now part of the OS couldn't Microsoft have gone just those few metres more to really make it useful. There will be a LOT of non W7 systems out there for a few years yet even after W7 ships - especially on corporate Lans etc.