October 18, 2004

Delighted by Windows Media Center Edition 2005


I think I heard the term delighted” from Steve Ballmer about what we want customer reaction to be to our software and I am very delighted to be using Media Center Edition 2005. I was a user of 2004 for a number of months and liked it, but there are so many little new things in 2005 that I keep finding every day. For example:

  • When I wanted to add songs from a network share, I could do that from within MCE05. In MCE04, I had to build the play list in WMP before those files were accessible.
  • I hate flipping channels, but I wanted to veg in front of the TV, so I went to My TV and saw a new Movies section, that let me see what movies were playing right now and what movies were coming up next. I picked the one I wanted and I was watching it, just that easily.
  • Digging around the online features, I found a ton of Internet radio stations that integrate right alongside my FM presets, including some Electro stations (I always knew that I liked the theme song to Mortal Kombat and now I know what to call it : ).
  • The general quality of the TV and DVD output is *much* improved and, with the extra amenities, I could see this being the first choice TV experience.
  • Once I had the codecs installed, all of the wacky videos I’ve collected over the years (hey! this is a family blog! get your mind out of the gutter!) like The Phantom Edit and the original Dawn of the Dead (available for free download legitimately) just worked, even though they were on a network share, too.
  • My sister-in-law wanted me to tape a bunch of episodes of Inhale to burn to DVD and I’m well on my way to doing that (don’t tell her, though — it’s an XMas present). I couldn’t imagine what I’d have to do to get the episodes onto DVD from my ReplayTV box (old model — no network connection) but with MCE05, they’re just files that the latest DVD burning software supports.
  • A new, free aquarium screen saver just when the last of the free carnival fish died. How could they have known?!?

I’ve already got my MCE Extender on order so that I can see about sharing this experience into other TVs in my house. Windows Media Center Edition 2005 is Highly Recommended.