Ask LH: Can I Run Windows Media Player From My Android?

Ask LH: Can I Run Windows Media Player From My Android?

Hi Lifehacker, I use the in-built “play-to” feature of Windows 7 to stream music from my laptop to a little Roku unit I have hooked up to my hi-fi.Is there anything available for Android which would allow me to control this “play to” feature from my phone? I guess I’m looking for a Windows Media Player controller app, but one that supports the play-to feature. Other solutions welcome, of course. Thanks, Fed Up Getting Off My Couch


Using a mobile phone as a remote control is a natural and obvious application. Our roundup of remote apps for your Android includes several useful contenders which might solve your problem: the two that immediately jump out are Roku Remote and Unified Remote. The former obviously ties in with your existing hardware, and the latter includes support for controlling Windows Media Player. I don’t claim any particular experience in this area, so if readers have alternative solutions that have worked well in this scenario, please tell us in the comments.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    • In my experience the playing of music on my Roku unit isn’t too good when ‘pulling’ it from a server. The time taken to get artists, song lists etc. directly on the unit just makes it a little too cumbersome. I’ve always preferred to browse the media on a PC and then use the in-built Windows 7 ‘play to’ feature where you select a DLNA/uPnP target in the context menu after selecting an mp3, say. This then somehow magically sends the data to my Roku. You can also push the data to a target device in Windows Media Player itself.

      I think you’d have to try and go the way of 2player, mentioned above, to get your apps working in this topology. Of course, by doing this you’re effectively moving away from being a Roku remote and into a general DLNA/uPnP controller. Having said that, the app mentioned above is an excellent example of how to do it – you just seem to pick a source and target and it starts the music. Great stuff.

    • Can I ask why this comment was deleted?

      It was an just app developer saying that he was interested in solving the problem mentioned in this article. Was it just because the email address was posted or something else? I can’t see why it has been deemed inappropriate – it seemed to me like a nice gesture by the poster who genuinely wanted to engage with his audience and improve his app.

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