Integration with Other Programs and Products
The current version of Media Center Master is 2.14. Version 1.32 has been used for many the examples in the wiki, so beware that some of the options may be expanded or look different than various screen shots.
Official/Unofficial Wiki Pages Most of the content on the wiki was written by fans and users like yourself. If a page is marked as Official, then the content was written with official information (usually by the software author).
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If you have specific questions about any of the following, please visit the forums.
Windows Media Center exists in three different versions of Windows:
- Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
- Windows Vista (Home Premium and Ultimate)
- Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate)
For the purposes of the Wiki, we will mostly focus on Windows 7 Media Center and not at all on XP Media Center. Many things that work in Windows 7 will work in Vista, but some do not.
Windows Media Center on it's own does not support T.V. Series, Season, or Episode levels meta-data or artwork. Download the free plugin for MediaBrowser which is much nicer than the default Windows Media Center video and movie library. Media Center Master was originally designed primarily to support MediaBrowser.
"MediaBrowser is a personal media aggregator that takes your recorded, digital, or ripped media and presents it in a simple, easy to use interface."
Put even more simply, it is one of the richest and most popular Windows Media Center extensions that exist. The best part is, it is free (though they do now have a "supporter version" that allows access to more skins and other tools). It allows you to access your Movies, Music, and TV shows easily and also has the ability to be customized to suit your needs. Mediabrowser has a very strong community and is highly recommended by those who use Windows Media Center not just for regular TV watching. Mediabrowser fully extends to the Xbox 360, Netgear devices,... if you have them, and it also works very nicely with Media Center Master.
To learn more, please follow the links below:
Unlike using Windows Media Center where additional software is needed to enjoy the full potential of Media Center Master, integrating Media Center Master with XBMC requires making a few changes to your "Settings & Preferences" in the "XBMC" tab, then reprocessing the collection with the new settings. No additional software is needed outside of what is required for user preferences in XBMC.
XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. XBMC is available for Linux, OSX, and Windows. Created in 2003 by a group of like minded programmers, XBMC is a non-profit project run and developed by volunteers located around the world. More than 50 software developers have contributed to XBMC, and 100-plus translators have worked to expand its reach, making it available in more than 30 languages.
While XBMC functions very well as a standard media player application for your computer, it has been designed to be the perfect companion for your HTPC. Supporting an almost endless range of remote controls, and combined with its beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine, XBMC feels very natural to use from the couch and is the ideal solution for your home theater.
Currently XBMC can be used to play almost all popular audio and video formats around. It was designed for network playback, so you can stream your multimedia from anywhere in the house or directly from the internet using practically any protocol available. Use your media as-is: XBMC can play CDs and DVDs directly from the disk or image file, almost all popular archive formats from your hard drive, and even files inside ZIP and RAR archives. It will even scan all of your media and automatically create a personalized library complete with box covers, descriptions, and fanart. There are playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast feature and many audio visualizations. Once installed, your computer will become a fully functional multimedia jukebox.
With a USB Remote you can put the computer, keyboard and mouse away, hide them out of sight. The only things you need out for public viewing are: your TV, one (1) Remote, and the USB Remote Receiver. The power button on your remote can control the complete system, including the TV. There is no need to waste time having to sit and watch boot screens. A simple tap on the power button wakes the PC, the incoming video signal to the TV will power it up, and take you right into XBMC. Taping the power button again will put the computer to sleep, and the TV acting as a monitor will power down because of no incoming video signal from the computer.(1) You can have the Ultimate Media Experience not only for yourself, but, also, for your significant other, kid/s, cousin/s, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa,... get the idea. XBMC is, end-user, people friendly, once it is set-up and configured.
Are you interested in adding Personal Video Recording (PVR)? How about over the air Radio? XBMC Dharma 10.1 + PVR v2 has all of the same features of XBMC v10.1 plus features for live TV and Radio. It supports Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), multiple tuners, pause, playback, and records complete TV shows thru the XBMC User Interface. It is also possible to have a TV Guide with click to watch and record functions. XBMC Dharma 10.1 + PVR v2 is not supported by Team XBMC. It is built and supported by a member of the XBMC Community. He added functional support to the XBMC program and pre-installed add-ons to communication between XBMC and a TV server program, such as MediaPortal, TVHeadend, MythTV....(2) The next version of XBMC 11.0 (code name: Eden) will include the PVR features and be fully supported by Team XBMC. We will just have to, patiently, wait, but the wait is just around the corner. Hopefully, we can have it for stocking stuffers, before Christmas 2011. And it looks like Team XBMC has us covered for next Christmas, too, with XBMC Frodo 12.0. XBMC Frodo 12.0 will fully support PVR without having to install additional programs.
Still not satisfied, do you play games? Did you forget, or not know that XBMC is a PC software program developed for using Microsoft's Xbox? A modified Xbox could use: a non-certified MicroSoft program; a video player known as Xbox Media Player, to display pictures and movie files, as well as play music files from the Xbox DVD-ROM drive, built-in harddisk drive, LAN (SMB), or the Internet. The Open Source Licensed Xbox Media Player in time out grow being just a player and began developing into Xbox Media Center. Xbox Media Center opened support for Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Xbox Media Center out grow Xbox and support for Xbox was eventually dropped, giving it a new name, XBMC. XBMC has gaming Add-ons and features to access most types of gaming from within it's UI.
To learn more about XBMC Dharma 10.1, and what is scheduled to come in the new release, XBMC Eden 11.0, visit the XBMC Web Site today.
A guide for installing XBMC Dharma 10.1, for use with Media Center Master's fetched meta-data and image files is included in this wiki.
(1)For those concerned with the method of powering down the TV with no video signal; the TV did not turn off and think it necessary to use the TV remote to turn the TV off. Using a remote to turn off the TV does not remove power to it, it just powers down the main working components of the TV and leaves power to the components for remote operation and the components for incoming video signal recognition. If total power was removed from the TV the remote would not work. Putting the computer to sleep to remove the video signal in order to power down the TV is doing the same thing as using the remote to turn the main components off which removes the video signal to the TV.
(2)This set-up and configuration is not an easy task for an average user. An advance user should be well prepared before attempting to install and configure all of the software settings. Guides for a complete set-up and configuration designed for all users can be found in the XBMC Section of this wiki.