Archive for December 2006
- Backs up TV channel assignment
- Backs up Scheduled recordings and series recordings
- Backs up recorded TV to local drives, or networked drives (via UNC paths)
- Backup up an additional folder
- Has its own schedule engine for automating backups
- Displays the status of critical Media Center services
- Command line and GUI version available, 10 foot version coming soon
- Works with Vista and XP
- Can be used to transfer settings from one Media Center PC to another
Requires .net framework 2.0 to be installed
To download this app >>> Click Here to Download the .MSI Installer
And don’t forget to leave Ian some feedback too (nb: this is the best way end users can help addin developers get their apps out there and working for everyone – so don’t be shy).
The other thing that amazes me with this app – is that Ian already has a FT job, produces the Media Center Show podcast and the Media Center Extra Vodcast - so I’m wondering if he maybe has found some magic way to squeeze an extra 10 hours out of each day. (either that or he has a team of elves working away on some of this).
Something that also might be of interest with this – is that they use a 3d program called Animation Master (from Hash Inc.) to do almost everything you see (except for some of the final fancy stuff done with Adobe AfterEffects). Animation Master is distinct in that – it only costs US$299 for the full product – as opposed to $1000′s (or $10,000′s) you would pay for some of the rival products. (3D Studio, Maya etc).. So this makes it totally in reach for a lot more people – and smaller companies/developers who want to create high end 3d graphics. I think there’s a demo version available on their site – so if you’re into this sort of thing – give it a shot. (and I believe there’s a strong/active community of end users and enthusiasts for AM to help you along).
If you’re watching the WPF blogs you might be seeing hints that something incredibly important is going to be announced tomorrow afternoon on the WPF 3D Team blog. This is possibly the most exciting announcement related to the 3D features in the WPF since… well, since we’ve announced WPF was going to have 3D features!
I’m going to take a punt on what it is… (don’t go starting any roumors now – this is just speculation)..
a) I think it’s an announcement that the cool 3D functionality from DX10 will be directly supported (ie reflections, shaders, shadows, bump mapping etc etc). Currently in WPF 3D - a ‘DX7 like’ feature set is being supported – so this would really be huge.
b) Another guess (if the above is wrong) – is that a whole additional swag of WPF 3D functionality is going to be opened up specifically for WPF/E.
c) and a ‘just in case’ guess. Microsoft are going to announce they are releasing a new tool in the Expression Suite that is focused on 3D (ie something like Zam3D but done with the same rendering technology) – and maybe even works with XNA as well..?
and then again I might be completely wrong…
The announcement might be already out by the time you read this – so try the links above.
<EDIT time="the next day">
Ok well I was totally wrong on all three guesses (bummer)!…
The announcement actually was… (drumroll) … that they have now made it possible to properly use the standard 2d controls in 3d scenes (ie you can have a textbox or slider displayed inside a 3D scene – such as wrapping it around a sphere – and it now responds to all the input methods like keyboard/mouse etc). In the past – you had to do some fancy 3d hittests etc (and write callback handlers) – in order to do anything like this (so this new ’feature’ saves a whole stack of code/pain if you are using 3D).
What’s nice about this announcement is that the have done it using the same core engine – and just extended some of the existing Viewport3D classes (which shows off just how extensible WPF is). Anyhow – go check the links above to read all about it..
Although this is all very cool stuff – I can’t help feel the anti-climax – and think they overhyped it just a little too much. (and I was expecting something a little Bigger)..
You will notice in the categories/filters above – there is also a ‘browse all’ category – which allows you to view series filtered (and sorted) by the status (ie. Latest Recordings, Upcoming Recordings, Unmatched episodes, etc). I have also added a placeholder category for a ‘kids’ mode. (from a user request that a ‘kids’ only mode be provided to ensure only ‘safe’ content was available over an extender).
One user has been a great help (I won’t name them for obvious reasons) – and sent me their Recordings.XML file for testing – which had over 250 series requests – and thousands of recorded file entries. This made be quickly realize I was going to have to support much larger quantities of data on screen – and not make it too cumbersome to work with. (you might recall the initial main menu screens only showed about 5 items at once)..
And in these screenshots – on the left is the Cast/Crew view on an episode – and on the right is the recorded files view for this Episode.
The program also has a few smarts – such as the ability to auto match your recorded TV Files (and future scheduled recordings) with episodes from the Episode Guide. This way it makes easy to track/manage what you have and haven’t watched – and ensures you don’t accidently watch episodes out of order – or that the network doesn’t start showing old repeats without warning (and if you are Australian – tv networks like Channel 9 are notorious for doing this). There’s also a wizard for linking Episodes to your local Files – if an auto match isn’t possible (ie there are enough typo’s in the EPG’s data to prevent the matching process from being successful).