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Mediaportal v2.0 Alpha 4

Open source
Win2k / WinNT / WinXP
MediaPortal is an Open Source application ideal for turning your PC in a very advanced Multi-Media Center (HTPC). MediaPortal allows you to listen to your favorite music & radio, watch your video's and DVD's, view, schedule and record live TV and much more. Mediaportal supports many tv-cards.

Screenshots:

Mediaportal v1.1.0 RC 4 Mediaportal v1.1.0 RC 4 Mediaportal v1.1.0 RC 4 Mediaportal v1.1.0 RC 4

Keywords:
mediaportal dvb-t dvb-s dvb-c media htpc tv

License type Open source1
Author's homepage Visit the author's site
Date added 24 Dec 2013
Downloads 12,180
File size 55.77 MB (< 8min @ 1Mbps)
Supported languages English,  Swedish,  Norwegian,  Spanish,  Dutch,  Danish
Operating systems Win2k / WinNT / WinXP1

1License and operating system information is based on latest version of the software.

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Mediaportal v0.2.0.0

And I'm back. I just popped over to the Media Portal site and lo and behold, another update. Apart from speed and efficiency updates, they've added Audio Scrobbling.

Yup, that's what I thought.

But basically, it watches what your musical tastes are (from your playlists) and then then fills out your playlist with similar 'moods' of songs. And when you've used it for a while, apparently you can activate 'neighbour mode' and have other people's recommendations based on your playlist.

If you're an audiophile like me, any new way to discover music is great. But if you don't have to jump between several websites, especially when feeling lazy, or drunk, then that really is a bonus feature.

Roll on the next Media Portal update.

Lui.

Mediaportal v0.2.0.0

I cannot recommend this software (nor it's web site and forum users) highly enough.

I recently bought a high end PC for the express purpose of providing music, video, dvd, and wireless gaming for my family living area.

I tried a few HTPC packages (Home Theatre PC) and rapidly found that Media Portal wins hands down on all fronts, surpassing ALL commercial packages. ALL of them.

To summarise it's main features, I watch cable TV, complete with on-the-box channel changing, pause live TV as with Sky +, have an excellent and detailed Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that beats all other Vendor supplied EPGs (and switches on the PC, updates itself during the night and switches off again if need be), can pre-select to record programs (to hard drive) or simply hit the record button when I'm tired and ask it to stop when the current progam is complete (and switch off), then pop in later, cut out ads, and dump the lot to DVD. Then, I can stream my audio and video collection from my other gaming/play PCs, while slide-showing (is that a verb?) my recent photographs from the study PC (using smooth transitions and optional Ken Burns fades).

It offers all the usual "Give me my 100 most played songs", "show by album cover","By artist" style options, and allows you to customise icon size, scroll speed, etc.

And then, it adds the bonus of radio and internet radio stations, selectable news coverage (choose your own), detailed weather information, launch other progams and games, control the current selection of music via your PDA (Wireless Control!), fully skinnable layout (and some are just beautiful, as well as functional) and fully upgradable via plug ins.

Now, Media Portal is in beta, which might put off some people. Stop! You would not believe the rate at which this group of volunteer coders fix and bugs (mine hasn't crashed or misbehaved in weeks. Lots of weeks), nor their responsiveness to suggestions, bug reports or cry-for-help style issues. I had ONE problem, which Hauppauge took 3 weeks to respond to, and then didn't fix. In the meantime, I was indundated with ideas and ultimately fixed my problem via the Media Portal forums.

Do I work for them? I wish I was that talented a coder.

The important thing to rememember is that Media Portal is completely FREE. Totally. Believe me when I say that your enthusiasm will be such that you'll want to paypal donate, you'll be that excited when you try it.

Words of warning? Remember, this is BETA. So, you'd expect clumsy menus, graphical glitches, random crashes, and although I've had none for weeks (actually, months), it's got to happen to someone. Just obviously not me. However, just take a look at the SVN change log at the right of Media Portal's website to see where all the work is going on. And if you have a problem, leave them a report of your setup and what happened. You know what? They'll fix it. And if it's user error, or a known isue with something in your setup, they'll let you know. Or you'll be pointed in the direction of one of the many fans who'll more than likely guide you with the aide of previous postings on the comprehensive forum to a cure.

Like all new environments, it can seem HUGE at first. Like all well designed environments, it becomes second nature. For example, I sprawl whilst using a single remote control to casually flick from photo to music, from music video to TV, from news to RSS feed, from game to DVD, from website to online trailer. And I'm only using the standard features. With plugins (as I mentioned earlier, wireless control of audio (still in progress for other media - can't wait!) from my pda), there's only the limitation of the imaginations of the users. Once you've used the configuration panel to set up the basics just so, you can tweak from within the interface itself. Doddle.

Is it perfect? Nope, there's a ton of ideas theat become apparent as each new release makes you realise the scope of such a system. Maybe that's just me, and I'll always expect to be further enticed by new toys, whilst some will be happy to ask it to record all their favourite programs whilst on holiday.

If you are a movie and music lover like myself, you'll never regret the short amount of time to set it up. Of course, it's ready to go almost from installation (again, it's best so follow the installation wizards and you won't go too wrong) but again if you're like me, you'll really tweak the interface and skins until you're happy. And then change them again, just because you can.

On a final note, I'm amazed that no-one has left a comment before - this software is so good that a member of the Microsoft Media Center team recommends it on his blog, and numerous well respected magazines and websites laud it as it justly deserves. I hope you love it as much as I do. The only thing that would improve it would be if it ran on my Amiga 4000. Then, maybe, I might be totally and thoroughly happy. Maybe.