Tag Archives: media_center

Microsoft's Zune Competes with Microsoft

I don’t get it. Should I be using Napster, URGE, or Zune? Should I be using the Clix or the Zune? Should I be using Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune Marketplace software? There are too many choices, many of which are not interoperable, coming to me from the same company: Microsoft. Instead of simplifying the market, they’ve made it slightly more complicated with Zune (and likely pissed off countless partners in the process).

So, on one hand, I’m being told that URGE in combo with WMP is the way to go. On the other hand, I’m being told that Zune is the way to go (hardware, software, subscription) is the way to go. I certainly appreciate that there’s somewhat of a unified experience with Zune, but… now I have one more subscription to worry about… one more piece of software to worry about… and yet more choices that seem to completely nullify earlier efforts of Microsoft (itself) and its partners.

That I can see, there’s no clear cross-over between the Zune and Windows Media Center, for me to take my recorded shows on the go (since the Zune plays video). There’s no interaction with any other Microsoft product other than Windows. There’s no path to personalized media (podcasting, DVD ripping, etc.). In the interviews I’ve read, all of this is by design.

It’s almost like Microsoft is competing with itself – like it’s taking a mulligan on all earlier efforts in the digital media space.

Video Converter Extension for Windows Media Center

HOT DAMN! “Avivo Video Converter Extension for Windows Media Center Edition – Catalyst 6.6 introduces a Windows Media Center Edition Video Conversion utility. This utility will allow users to convert video content that is either recorded or available to Media Center Edition to a variety of different formats. The video content can be converted to MPEG-2, MPEG-4 SP, MPEG-4/AVC and Windows Media. iPod video and Sony PSP’s are also supported with an optimized profile for these devices.”

The Media Center Sandbox

Found this while trying a link in Windows Vista last night – through Charlie comes The Media Center Sandbox. There’s not much going on there right now, but he did admit to this being a soft launch. Not sure how much softer it could be, but certainly a place that I’ll be keeping my eye on. Communities like these are the ones that produce fantastic tools that most people never discover. If you have a Media Center (MCE), you might want to play in the sandbox, too. I’ve got my Media Center sitting next to me at my desk – but I completely forgot to reconnect the cable to the splitter after I was finished troubleshooting a Comcast problem the other day. Argh! Well, it certainly makes for a great radio tuner (although you can’t really record radio programming through MCE right now). Good luck with the Media Center sandbox, Charlie!