Windows Media Center really is quite a decent application to use for media management and Microsoft doesn’t get enough credit for the steps it’s taken to establish the PC as the home entertainment hub.
One of the lesser known features of WMC is that quite a large number of third party plugins are available, and I’ve made up a list of a few good ones. I intent to start using Media Center a lot more in future to manage my media.
Can remove all the annoying advertisements from TV shows you have recorded with Media Center. Considering the average half hour show will be reduced to 22 minutes Lifextender will save you a significant amount of hard drive space. Works only with Vista Media Center.
Update: The developer website is dead and while you find the program listed on third party download sites, I suggest you use WtvWatcher instead which is compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system.
The best free movie indexing service available for WMC. Once you add media to the library My Movies indexes it and automatically downloads data such as DVD covers, actor and director details and genres. Also has a separate Management program for fixing details.
An extension so you can watch YouTube videos from your TV. Discontinued for XP Media Center but a Vista version is available.
Gives handy access to full Outlook functionality including browsing and replying to mail, using the calendar, taking notes and creating contacts. Not sure if it works for Vista MCE.
Compatible with all Media Centers’ and provides powerful remote viewing and control of your Media Center PC. This means you can watch TV from your mobile device and control recording functions of your WMC.
Update: Web Guide is no longer available.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.