Using Ratings and Playing Favorites

The larger your collection of digital pictures and music, the more likely you are to have some you love and some that are there only because you can't force yourself to delete them. A major improvement in Windows 7 Media Center allows you to quickly go through a folder (or an entire hard drive) full of pictures and rate them on the standard scale of 1 to 5 stars using only the remote control. You can also rate songs while they're playing, using the 1 to 5 buttons on the numeric keypad (or 0 to remove any previously applied rating).

Begin by opening a folder full of pictures or switching to the Date Taken pivot, select the first picture in the gallery, and press OK. That opens the picture in full-screen view, with no menus or other options visible. To rate the current picture, press the number that matches the rating you want to give it. If this is the first time you've tried this, you'll be asked whether you want to enable shortcuts, as shown here:

Choose the default, Enable Shortcuts, and the rating you just applied will appear in the upper left corner. Use the left and right arrows to move through the entire selection of pictures, using the number buttons to rate each one. (To remove a rating, press 0.)

All that work put into rating your music and pictures pays off when you use new features in Windows 7 Media Center to create slide shows or playlists based on what you define as favorites . You can define separate criteria for music and pictures . To see your current settings, choose Settings from the Tasks strip, choose Pictures (or Music), and then choose Favorite Pictures (or Favorite Music). The resulting set of options allows you to define what constitutes your favorites.

FAVORITE PICTURES

Which pictures do you want in your favorite pictures slide show?

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