Sunday, October 25, 2009

Minor but Irritation Let-Downs with Windows 7 Media Center

gb[1] I am very impressed with Windows 7.  I love it like no other operating system I’ve used in thirty years.  I’m not kidding.  Same goes for Windows Server 2008 (maybe moreso, actually).

When I fired up Windows Media Center on Windows 7 I was really blown away at the new look and new features compared to MCE 2005 and Vista Media Center even.

But what’s missing from WMC 7 is a large collection/selection of plug-ins to add features I feel are fairly basic to any online experience:

  • Podcasts and/or YouTube
  • News Feeds
  • Weather
  • FlickR or Picasa

So I went hunting for third-party plug-ins.  I found quite a few, but all are listed for MCE 2005 or Vista Media Center.  None are shown as being compatible with Windows 7.  Among them are

Yougle won’t even install on Windows 7.  Period.  TVTonic installs but won’t launch, it just crashes.  Hulu MCE plug-in hangs and crashes every time you try to launch it from the WMC console.  The only one that works is mceWeather, which works surprisingly well, even if the UI could use a few fit-and-finish tweaks.
So, I ask anyone out there:  If you know of any alternatives to these, which work entirely and cohesively withing the WMC console, please post a comment.  My highest priority would be on watching video podcasts, followed by YouTube, News, and Flickr or Picasa.
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