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||Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Tim Coyle has two interviews this week with bloggers who have thoroughly embraced Media Center.
Interview with Chris Lanier.
Of course I'm most interested in hearing about how we can improve. Chris's suggestions are:
- More HDTV support - I want this too!
- My Music library improvements - Like what?
- ASIO - I dont' know what this is?
- My Videos improvements (playlists, view by list, remove stopped full screen overlay) - I agree on all those but would prioritize view by list as pretty low (why do you want to view videos by list?). My improvement to My Videos would be Sort By Date would sort descending not ascending.
- Extender improvements - It's a v1 product, give us another iteration or two to get it right :).
Interview with Thomas Hawk.
And Thomas's suggestions for improvement are:
- Simplicity and stability considering that we are built on a PC platform
- Native cable/satellite support - Yeah, I want this too!
- Micro content - Pester MSN about this, they're our content folks
- Compelling search, suggestive and ranking technology - I agree with us building search but would rather third parties like Amazon, Netflix and other experts in the collaborative filtering space provided this functionality. We just need to ensure they have a good platform to build on
- Build a team of editors to both find and organize this micro content for them - We're a platform provider and I'd expect a third party to do this, not us. (Of course that third party could be MSN)
- Fix bugs - Yes, like that help documentation one :).
1:28:19 PM 
John Hoole has a good tip for power users, don't run a registry cleaner on a MCE machine:
If you have Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (probably all versions actually) steer clear of registry clean programs such as Reg Mechanic they go through your registry and delete unnecessary keys..... sounds good but it didnít count on Media Center I ran it a few days back and when I came to use Media Center it loaded then produced a crash report and died
8:48:28 AM 
Ben found a bug in MCE 2005. Apparently there are a few help documents that haven't been fully documented.
Thanks for the heads up Ben, I've submitted a bug.
Update: We took a look at this issue this morning and yes, in our rush to ship, updating the 2' help files with the final documentation slipped through the cracks. We do not consider this the end of the world since the vast majority of users interact with 10' help which is fully documented; the 2' help is only accessible via tray messages or if MCE is windowed and you press the help icon on the window tool bar. In fact, this is the first time in six months that anyone has pointed out this bug.
To the person who commented on this post, I would not take this issue as a sign of our lack of commitment to Media Center. I would take it as a sign of commitment to the right areas of the product. Every incoming issue is prioritized and considered against all other ones and fixing an corner case bug with 2' help is lower priority than fixing feature xyz (where xyz could be OTA ATSC or large music library performance :) ).
8:42:58 AM 
CNET, Search giants court TiVo:
One scenario that's been discussed would see TiVo partner with Google or Yahoo on a new service that would let consumers search for videos on the Web and then watch them on their television sets.
It's interesting to note that we already offer a click to record feature through our MCE SDK which would allow search engines to have a 'click to record' link which would setup someone's MCE box to record a show. But before I chastise Google or Yahoo for not adopting it (and possibly courting Tivo instead), why haven't we seen a convergence among Microsoft's Media Center, MSN TV Guide and MSN Search?
12:44:35 AM 
© Copyright 2005 Matt Goyer.
I work at Microsoft in the eHome division on the Windows XP Media Center Edition team as a Program Manager.
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