Windows provides media center software that gives users a central place to organize all their videos, photos, and music for a home theater setup.
Unfortunately, Windows Media Center has been discontinued and Windows 10 and Windows 11 users have to use an external program to get the media center. However, it should be noted that media center software is not the same as media players.
If you need a program to organize all your media files that can turn your PC into a multimedia center and be connected to a home theater setup, you’ve come to the right place. In this article you will find the best apps to turn your PC into an online media center. All four programs are completely free. Some advanced functions are paid for or require a subscription.
If you don’t have time to organize your videos and music, MediaMonkey is the best choice for you. It doesn’t matter how messy and unorganized your music, TV and movie folders are; This software will allow you to tag and categorize your files.
- Automatically identify movies and tracks that are missing information, may not be synchronized, or are duplicated elsewhere.
- Easily switch from Windows Media Player to iTunes, allowing you to import your playlists and selections from MediaMonkey and use them with any media player without any problems.
- The app also lets you customize the look and feel to personalize the playlist with albums, musicians, tracks, genres, and more.
- Quickly share your files from MediaMonkey to any TV, DVD player and other UPnP/DLNA devices. This allows you to watch your favorite videos and listen to your favorite music in a few clicks.
You can install MediaMonkey on Windows 7, 8, 10 devices without any problems and it is fully optimized for these versions of Windows. It is also available in 15 languages and will not affect the performance of your computer.
If you are looking for a more advanced media center, Plex is an ideal choice. It’s a single media center software with a client-server model. Therefore, Plex Media Server software is required, along with the Plex front-end application, you can download on Windows 10 device.
- The free version limits media playback to one minute. You need to unlock it with an in-app purchase or subscribe to a $4.99 monthly Plex ticket.
- Plex is a great piece of software to organize your photos, videos, and music collections. It supports most music and video formats.
- The gallery UI also displays your media with bio, plot summary, artwork, etc.
- Plex allows you to set up multiple user accounts and set restrictions on inappropriate content.
- Includes DVR recording, with access to 86 of Nielsen’s most watched shows. Plus, you get online content from sources like Spike, NPR, and Comedy Central.
- With a Plex Pass subscription, users can sync their media library with a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, game consoles, and digital media players.
You can also sync the library with different cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. So if you have pictures, videos, and music on two other devices, you can open all your files on both devices using the Plex app.
Another media center that provides a centralized database is Emby. Like Plex, it has its own server and can accommodate multiple clients. It also has apps for different operating systems and devices.
You can even easily add Emby Theater on newer Windows devices through this download page. Alternatively, you can download the app from Windows Store.
Note: Emby is not a streaming service and does not provide you with any content. Instead, it’s a personal media server platform so you can access your music, videos, and photos on the go.
- To play any media, you need to pay $49.99 annually for an Emby Premiere subscription.
- The Emby’s Home Theater app provides live TV and show video recording support. With this feature, you can record your favorite TV shows and save them directly on your server.
- The Emby Gallery displays the cover art and metadata, and the GUI allows you to browse your files with advanced search tools quickly.
- The home theater app has Live TV Guide and Emby DVR, allowing you to schedule TV recordings.
- Emby includes plugins that can enhance your overall viewing experience, such as Cover Art and a plugin that enables game support called GameBrowser.
- Includes centralized database management that users can use with web tools. It features 20 apps for Android and iOS devices, game consoles, and digital media players like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV.
You can compile your media files on multiple devices. Emby lets you sync and backup your videos, photos, and music to cloud storage.
Originally known as Xbox Media Center (XBMC), Kodi is one of the most popular media center software on the market today. This is because it is compatible with different devices and platforms.
Kodi is open source software and you can install it by clicking on the operating system you have on this page. Currently, it is compatible with a lot of operating systems, including Windows 10, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Apple TV OS, and Raspberry Pi. It also supports all major audio and video file formats for playback and allows users to stream content from various media streaming services.
- Access a variety of TV shows and media libraries, including their banner art, brochures, and posters, with minimal configuration.
- Through the Kodi GUI, you can watch and record live TV shows. The software offers extensive GUI configuration options, allowing you to customize Kodi’s theme or appearance, screensavers, background images, home button, GUI sound effects, fonts, keys disable add-ons and more.
- Includes amazing music visualization effects that make playing intuitive music fun.
- Kodi includes a lot of add-ons for audio, video, screensavers, games, weather, programs, pictures and more, allowing you to enhance the software to make it more suitable. with your needs.
Which media center software would you choose?
With these programs, you can now turn your PC into a media streaming hub, allowing you to access all your music, photos, and videos on other devices. So, if you don’t like using different streaming platforms, you can use these apps to fulfill your media needs.