Interested in WD Live, but have questions

Hi everyone,

For the past 6 or 7 years I’ve been using an Xbox 1 running XBMC and it’s been fantastic. But now the xbox is starting to play up and I’ve also just got a HD TV so I’m looking more at buying BluRays and watching High Def rips.

The main purpose of the xbox was to make it easy for my kids to watch films without having to find the DVD… it also means that DVDs don’t get left out/damaged/lost.

Anyway, I have some question at the moment regarding the organisation of the media. I’d be looking to store my movie collection on 1 or more USB hard drives… is it possible to combine folders across many drives and have the WD Live list the contents of all those folders in 1 list? The XBMC was brilliant for that - you could make 1 “shortcut” folder that was linked to several paths, and when you accessed that shortcut folder it would list all the files in all the linked folders, with their thumbnails. Is this possible with the WD Live?

Secondly, passwords - Is it possible to protect certain folders; on the xmbc you could set a password against a folder or shortcut folder. I don’t want kids to be able to access certain folders as that’s where I’d put films that aren’t for them, eg Aliens.

Thirdly - navigation speed. The XBMC was very quick at browsing down a list of 100+ films with thumbnails. What’s the WD Live in that respect?

Any info much appreciated,


Welcome to the forums.

  1. Yes and no.  If you use locally attached drives (you can have up to 2 if you don’t have a wireless adapter or keyboard in one of them) it will consolidate all media if you turn the media library on.  If you want to access data across a network you can use net shares (more reliable and plays more file types) or a media server.  A Media server can consolidate things like you want, but is slower and has more issues (although some folks are perfectly happy with it – I can’t speak much to it since I’ve never done that).

  2. You can password protect net shared folders, but not local drive folders.

  3. Local drives are fast.  Net shares a bit slower (and I assume media server even slower but no experience with it).  I have hundreds of movies and can navigate my NAS at reasonable speed, but it does take a bit for the thumbs to load properly, so I wouldn’t say it was *very* quick – just not intolerably slow.  On my NAS you definitely see the thumbs “loading” for each page.

Thanks for the info. On the XMBC you might see some thumbnails load as you page through the library the very first time you’ve added all your thumbnails, but it caches them and it’s practically instant after that… even after a reboot.

Sounds like I’m going to have to make a few comporises when moving away from the old xbox. A lot of the other streamers I’ve looked at don’t appear to show a list of thumbnails… seems like they take the approach of text down the left and a thumbnail on the right as you scroll down your films - I don’t like the sound of that at all.

The password issue isn’t a big deal either I suppose, I guess I’ll just use a separate drive or leave the files on the PC and browse to them over the network as that’s not so much of an issue for me. It’s the kids that like the library approach with thumbnails etc.