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Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

New Bits and Pieces for Vista Media Center

with 2 comments

I’ve been a little slack on blogging again – and there’s a few new bits and pieces of Vista news worthy of mention from the past week – in summary :


"Aufero" BitTorent client/browser for Vista Media center (MCPL) – this one looks really hot – and although I’m not a torrent guy myself – a lot of Media Center folks are very excited by this. The author is writing a blog (and accepting suggestions too) – so check it out at NB: Download is not available yet (its a W.I.P.)…









WebGuide 4 "Vista Sidebar" gadget –  This app probably doesn’t need any introduction – but a great new addition to the feature set is the inclusion of a really slick looking Sidebar gadget – which exposes most of the Webguide functionality at your fingertips. Check out a Ian Dixons post about this for some screenshots and download links.


Windows Live for TV – Released (Again?). I blogged about this one a while ago – and its a WPF app for accessing Windows Live Spaces / Live Messenger via Media Center (written by the ‘Orbit’ team at Microsoft). The UI uses a really nice looking 3D based WPF interface – and reinstates the IM functionality that was left out of Vista MediaCenter (plus a lot more).  See Ian Dixons blog for more information.  Note however that 64bit Vista and XBox360 Extender is not supported with this app.


‘MCMLLookalike’ Open Source library for Vista Media Center (hosted on sourceforge).  Steven Harding (author of Yougle for MCE2005) has been doing some excellent work putting together a collection of source code for recreating the Media Center look/feel with MCPL. Some of this source started out from my previously posted MCPL Samples – but Steven has taken it a step further and extended it into a full blown VS2005 project with lots of extras (with an example VS2005 installer as well). This worth a look – and would also encourage developers to get involved with this intiative.

Concurrent Sessions Hack for Vista  –  Another ‘hack’ that has been doing the rounds (from Alan Cooke over at Missing Remote and The Green Button) – is a way to enable remote desktop functionality without logging out your local user. (aka ‘concurrent sessions’ – which is essentially what the XBox360 does when working under extender mode). For most of you out there – when (or if) Media Center becomes a permenant fixture in your loungeroom – its a lot harder to explain to your wife that she needs to pause Desperate Housewives so you can "configure some stuff". Using this ‘hack’ you can now play with your machine to your hearts content without dropping any WAF points at all (unless of course you need a reboot).  I’m yet to give this a shot with Vista – but in the past – you could also use remote desktop to simulate a basic MediaCenter Extender session (ie. aoka ‘Softsled’) – minus any live Video/TV/DVD Streaming functionality.

"Icehouse Beer" + Media Center Jukebox – Ok I don’t normally blog about hardware – but this one (from Julie Jacobson at CEPro) was very funky indeed. As the title suggests – take a Jukebox, a Beer Fridge and Media Center – and put it all together in a nice retro looking jukebox enclosure – and you’ve got one cool machine ready for any good party. (ok it’s little big to travel with though)..


Also on the hardware front –

Creative Labs *finally* releases *some* working drivers for Vista … If you’re an unfortunate Creative Labs product owner with no on m/b sp-dif out (like me) – who is trying to get the same functionality you’ve enjoyed for years on MCE2005 – you’ll be happy to know some signed/final drivers have finally been released for Vista (as of last week). I am personally the owner of a Live External USB and also an old Audigy Platinum (on my MCE machine) – and up until to last week – it was unusable (no driver for the USB device – so no spdif – and the Audigy ‘Beta’ driver continuously caused BSOD’s)…  I’ve not been game to try the Audigy again – but with the drivers for the USB – its all sweet – and can now enjoy full DTS/AC3 passthrough for DVD movies.   Unfortunately – many of you will still be left out in the cold – as Creative has dumped support for a lot of legacy+current sound/webcam products like the hugely popular PCI Live5.1 sound cards. A word of wisdom is that if you are putting together a new system – get a motherboard  which has sp-dif out and save yourself a lot of grief.


Written by mobilewares

February 20, 2007 at 2:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Any news on Big Screen TV Series?


    February 26, 2007 at 8:14 pm

  2. Any news on Big Screen TV Series?


    February 26, 2007 at 8:14 pm

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