The Asus Eee 4G works as an oversized MP3 player. It has two programs for playing back music, both found in the desktop Play tab:
- Media Player - plays back audio and video.
- Music Manager - plays back audio and manages music.
Of the two, I prefer Media Player because of its cleaner user interface. I wondered if I could get it to play back music stored on my desktop computer -- over the network.
Neither of the two programs would connect directly to my desktop computer over the network. I tried a number of options, and then finally found the one that worked: use File Manager to "mount a network share." (In Windows, this is called "mapping a network drive.")
In brief, I gave a networked drive a local name (like G:). When applications access drive G: they are fooled into accessing the networked drive.
Mounting A Network Share
Here are the steps:
1. In the the Eee's desktop Work folder, click File Manager.
2. In the File Manager's menu bar, choose Tools, and then choose Mount Network Share.
3. In the Mount Network Share dialog box, double-click Windows Network, and then navigate to the networked computer's drive. In my case:
+ Double-click Everyone (workgroup).
+ Open Ralph (my desktop computer).
+ Choose G (the drive that holds my music).
4. Click OK. Agree when the dialog box asks if you want to create this mount point.
5. Notice the Enter Network Password dialog box. Enter:
- User = the logon you use on the networked computer. In my case, it is 'administrator.'
- Password = the password you use. In my case it is... (heh).
- Domain = leave as is.
6. Click OK.
In the File Manager, notice that the mapped drive now appears as a local drive, such as G.
7. Close the File Manager, and then open the Media Player.
Playing Folders of Music
To listen to an entire folder of music over the network, follow these steps:
1. In Media Player, click Open on the menu bar, and then choose Directory.
2. In the Choose a Directory dialog box, click on User, and then double-click the name of the networked drive (such as G.)
3. Navigate to the folder with the music you desire, and then click Choose.
The music data is loaded for playing. To see the playlist, choose Options | Playlist (or press Ctrl+L) in Media Player.
The Asus Eee is small enough that you can hook it up to your stereo. It acts as a media server, streaming music from:
- Music stored on SD cards or external hard drives connected to the Eee.
- Other computers in your house.
- Internet radio stations.