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Posts Tagged ‘Windows 7’

Finally a Decent Media Centre

Amplifier, Sky box and laptop as media centreI’ve been playing around with media centres for years… I’ve always kept my music, pictures and more recently videos on the the computer and was using this for providing music to our parties LONG before the idea hit the general public.

We used to have a TIVO – marvellous device, let you record video onto it then via a Linux network you could offload to your PC – of course the Americans took Tivo to the next level while we went Media Centre showing music selectiondown the crappy SKY route  – which is STILL crappy – despite having a network connector and even USB – none of which have ever been pressed into service because Sky are control freaks, you can’t offload video and you can’t even KEEP videos for more than a few days in the case of some of the premium stuff – and their player – well, compared to the iPlayer there IS no comparison – I’ve always wanted a PC version of TIVO but improved to cover the rest of my media including my music, photos and of COURSE Shoutcast radio… what other radio is there?  Well, as the original Microsoft Media Centre was SO BAD I tried everything going Media Centre playing musicincluding the excellent  I’ve tried all manner of media centres including the excellent MEDIAPORTAL but this weekend I sat down with new hardware and Windows 7, determined to install the latest Mediaportal – and to be honest, they’ve really not moved on at all, I found it bombed out at times and was just not very good..

So I took the plunge, revisited Microsoft’s Media Centre for Windows 7 – and then went looking for plug-ins. I’m pleased to report that it all works a TREAT and given Shoutcast and Weather plug-ins – it’s also MARVELOUS.  Add to that the free TVERSITY Media Centre displaying Shoutcast stationsand AIR VIDEO programs so I can access my media when on the road on the mobile phone… and what I now have is a very nice setup!

If anyone is interesting in the same facilities, drop me a line with any questions. I’ve wasted a lot of time getting here and I’m happy to advise others to save them wasting the same amount of time… if ONLY the MUSIC 2 people hadn’t retracted their iPhone product…

 

Brave and Cold New World

More Snow in WarkIf I’ve done this right, not only will Twitter now automatically announce any new blog posts in www.scargill.net but also the site display will adjust automatically for iPhone users. That’s the theory. It’s snowing AGAIN today and my meetings have been cancelled – I had no faith that the public transport would be working anyway so that’s a relief. There’s been more ground cover overnight and as I write this it’s snowing AGAIN – my car is not going anywhere until we get some melting!

As a total aside, I’ve just installed Safari 4 on my PC, so now I have IE8, Firefox 3.5, Chrome and Safari. I’m amazed, not that long ago the latter seemed useless, would not work on lots of sites etc, now, it just works. NICE interface! Sadly, almost no plug-ins! Firefox still wins! Windows fans will note I’m now running all of this on Windows 7 64-bit platform and I agree, it’s Microsoft’s best effort to date. There are a couple of things that don’t run on the 64-bitter so I’m running VMWare and a 32-bit Windows 7 on the same machine – with very little speed loss. I leave it running constantly and so there is no inconvenience there.  Amazing what we can now take for granted.