The answer to your question is yes WMP will share your medial files directly from your network folder without having to copy them locally.
You don't say which version of WMP you have. If you have XP and have never upgraded to WMP 11 then you should first do that since WMP10 does not have media sharing functionalty. If you want to keep WMP10 then you have to install an additional package Windows Media Connect. I receommend you upgrade to WMP11.
To get WMP to share your network files, do the following (I am reading from WMP11 on Vista here):
1. In WMP Library options, select Add to library and add your root media folder from your NAS.
2. Open up the Media Sharing dialog and enable Share my media. This will scan for media devices and your Sounbridge should show up Make sure this device is Allowed for sharing. If your SB does not appear then you most likely have to configure your firewall but we'll leave that for another post.
3. Finally, WMP has to be told to share the external folders on your NAS, by default it will only share local folders. You need to add a Registry setting, here are the MS instructions:
Perform the following steps on the computer that contains the library you are sharing.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
In the registry tree (on the left), expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, MediaPlayer, and Preferences.
Right-click HME, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
Type EnableRemoteContentSharing, and then press ENTER.
Right-click EnableRemoteContentSharing, and then click Modify.
In the Value data text box, type 1, and then click OK. If you later decide to disable remote content sharing, you can repeat this procedure and change the value to 0.
Caution: Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.
Hope this works for you.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... mspx#q20_3