Iggy the Theater

Yggdrasil is a media center. Therefore, it seems fitting that he should behave as such on occasion. So, for the past few hours I’ve been tinkering with him on that front (by the way, it’s still effing cold in here)

First off… whatever anyone tells you about Boxee, ignore it. Boxee sucks. True, it’s only in alpha for now, so I’ll have to revisit it later as it’s further developed, but I found it overall to be very very MEH. Its metadata scraping is quite mediocre and couldn’t get half of my stuff right, and it’s just a chore to navigate… so screw that.

If you are packing Windows 7, however, its version of Media Center is AWESOME out of the box (hi, access to Netflix and CBS’s library and parts of NBC/MSNBC and some others). It’s vastly improved from the Vista version, in terms of being able to get around and run things other than TV, so if you don’t have a TV tuner– I don’t because I use Slingbox– you aren’t SOL this time.
If you want to crank it up even further, though, and you don’t mind doing a little work (mostly renaming and such), then loot MediaBrowser, MetaBrowser and MediaRenamer. Depending on how big your media pile is, you’re looking at spending an hour or so renaming and pulling metadata, but it’s worth it since you’ll be able to loot cover images and other shinies, and everything just looks much more polished.

Also don’t forget to loot a codec pack and, if you’re running 64-bit, its add-on as needed (I’m partial to K-Lite but just about any major pack will do). And for those among us whose stash is stuffed with Matroska (MKV) files, this should tell you how to force WMC to let you run that file type. (BTW, Hack7MC is an awesome blog if you want to twink out WMC on 7 even further.

MKV files are kinda why I built Iggy to begin with. See, things like the PS3 and Slingcatcher don’t like MKV files (and have pretty lousy support for even standard files that don’t use a specific grouping of codecs). Surely the developers could yank some hyper-technical explanation, but it’s largely assumed that they omit support for MKV because it’s often affiliated with LOLZ TORRENTS AND PIRACY. It’s not really fair to blow off MKV (and the torrent file type for that matter) because of what it’s used for. Shame on you, Sony and SlingMedia and other major media device makers, for hating on MKV!


All that said, there are some things I would like to see in WMC (most likely they’d be via plugins):

– Proper support for Hulu (and Sling.com, which carries much of Hulu’s library in addition to its own stash). Currently the only known workaround is the Hulu integrator which is less of an “integrator” and more of a “close WMC, launch Hulu Desktop” widget

– YouTube support (I am honestly surprised that this wasn’t included out of the box. Apparently there was a YouTube plugin for the Vista incarnation of WMC but it hasn’t been updated/ported to 7 yet.)

– addition of other IPTV channels into Internet TV (sup, Revision3 and TWiT)

and finally…

Slingbox support. Dear god, WANT. Add it as a plugin, as an Internet TV channel, or as a subfeature of the actual TV section, but FFS, just add it already. I know it can be done because there’s already a Flash-powered version of the Slingbox client and while Netflix streaming runs on Silverlight, the method of shoehorning it into WMC can’t be that much different than Flash (else how would one be able to tap into the CBS library?). Please please pretty please write a plugin for WMC, SlingMedia? ;_;

Welp, that’s all for now.

also, [info]brendala you might want to dig around inside Iggy sometime, I looted some more Disney Afternoon you might want to pull. >_>;


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