Using Libraries to Add Media in Windows 8

After going through the reviews in the Windows Store for the music and videos apps for Windows 8, I noticed that many users were complaining that it was either too difficult or not possible to pull their music and video files into the separate media apps. It is, however, very possible and even simple to bring your current media files over to Windows 8 without a ton of copying and file manipulation. Simply use the Windows 8 Libraries.

As a bit of a background, Libraries were introduced in Windows 7 as a way to aggregate similar media from different drives and locations into one place, making it easier to access all of your content without having to navigate from folder to folder on different hard drives. We simply tell the library folder where to look for the media type and viola, it appears. Windows 8 works the same way and by default, the pictures, video and music apps are set to look to your libraries for their content, making it a simple and quick task.

My Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation is installed on a separate disk from my main Windows 7 install. This means that all of my media is stored in my user profile on the Windows 7 hard disk (drive F:). I wouldn’t want or need to copy all of my music, pictures and video over to the local Windows 8 disk (drive C:), so I will simply pull up the Windows 8 classic desktop and navigate to my Windows Explorer icon.

The next step is to find where my media is stored on the current drive. This step will vary depending on where you have your media currently being stored. Mine is in my profile on the F: drive.

To add the folder containing your media to the Windows 8 library, simply right-click on the folder and select Add to Library and select the destination library for your media type.

You can check to make sure the media is now being targeted by the different media apps in the Metro desktop by navigating to the app and checking to see if your collection has been updated.

If you were successful, then you should begin to see your videos, music and pictures populate within each Metro app.

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7 Responses to Using Libraries to Add Media in Windows 8

  1. Matias Jose March 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    That didn’t work for me! Do you know if recursive folder scanning works? I have added folders to the library where music is in its subfolders, there was a similar issue with media center. Also, do you know if rebooting would make it work?

  2. John March 5, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    And it don’t work for me ether!!!!!
    I have the Win 8 up and running on an Acer W500 tablet. Al my data (documents, pictures, music and videos) is stored on a memmery card (32GB).
    This Tablet is born with Win 7 HP, an on that platform your sugestion works just fine. BUT on Win 8 it doesn’t work. When I try to add my folders (stored on the memmery card) to the libraries, I get this answer: “This folder can’t be included because it is on a removable device”.
    I still wonder, what is happening, because most tablets dont have storage room for these files, and Microsoft is targeting the Tablets with this new OS.
    It doesn’t make sence, if you ask me.
    May be there are more work arrounds (which I’m not aware of) to solve this issue. If so, please tell us, because Tablets are so nice to sit with in the sofa, whatching what ever.
    My best

    • Matias Jose March 5, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Hey, I came up for a solution to that. Because my win 8 is in a virtual machine, my real HDD contents are spawned as a network drive. So I couldn’t include those files either in any library because of the same reason. So I made a folder in my virtual C: drive, added the empty folder to a library and then deleted it and created a symlink with the same name (search in google for creating symlinks in windows) to this network drive. After that, all my network files appear in my music library… Pretty complicated, huh?

      But still, I can’t get those files listed in my music metro app 🙁

  3. Paul Fairburn March 6, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    It failed to work properly on my machine. Windows 8 is C:, and Windows 7 is on D: (when I’m in W8). I now have a library called My Music (D:) ! The apps aren’t looking in there, so they don’t think I have any music.
    I’ll have another go!

  4. adhammagdy March 6, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    Do you know that media library is shared between windows media player, media center, and libraries?
    so if adding folders to libraries didn’t work.. scan for media using media player or media center..
    it worked for me.. also when u open videos,music,or photos apps.. u should wait for a while for media to be scanned for the first time…hope this helps

  5. John March 6, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    What you suggest does only Work with the folders that the libraries can se. When trying to add folders (stored on my SD memmeri Card) to the libraries, I still get the answer: “this folder can’t be added because it is on a removable drive”.
    So I’m close to give up!

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