Posts Categorised: HTPCs

14Boxee Remote LogoThe search for a HTPC remote-keyboard

I’ve been look­ing for a new (more ver­sat­ile) remote con­trol for my HTPC. At the moment I have to use a full-size key­board as the remote con­trol has no such facil­ity. I’ve been look­ing for a suit­able remote con­trol with key­board, and whilst I haven’t yet found quite the right thing I have found some inter­est­ing products…
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2CD LogoMulti disc albums in Media Center

I recently added my FLAC music col­lec­tion to my Media Cen­ter box, but one of the last few things bug­ging me about the Media Cen­ter inter­face is that it does not respect the Disc Num­ber. I prefer not to have a dif­fer­ent album name for the second disc, and i also prefer to keep discs sep­ar­ate. Today I acci­dent­ally stumbled on a solu­tion, thanks to a mis-tag­ging of a double-cd album.
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5VirtualDub LogoVirtualDub x64 with plugins

I’ve used Vir­tu­al­Dub for many years as video tweak­er / reen­coder. I recently needed to edit a video and decided to try the 64bit ver­sion. All is well, except for the lack of plu­gins (and hence greatly reduced ver­sat­il­ity). After dig­ging around for quite a while I man­aged to loc­ate the fol­low­ing selec­tion of plu­gins which did the job nicely.
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0FLAC LogoFull Flac support in Media Center x64

Fol­low­ing on from an earli­er art­icle, I have been con­tinu­ing to work on get­ting my music col­lec­tion work­ing in Win­dows 7 Media Cen­ter. The prob­lem I have had is that although there are codecs from xiph which sup­port play­back of flacs in 64bit play­ers (see this post) there are (as far as I’m aware) no tag extenders com­pat­ible with 64bit.  After banging my head against a wall for ages I even­tu­ally had a break­through.
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0Inside HDD LogoSpeeding up Media Browser

An art­icle on Hack7MC caught my eye a couple of months ago, but I have only just got around to fol­low­ing up on it. The idea is to speed up the Media Browser plu­gin for Media Cen­ter by mov­ing its lib­rary to a Cheap USB Flash drive, which hope­fully offers much bet­ter per­form­ance than nor­mal hard-disk drives. The first thing I did was test a couple of flash-based devices that I have against my desktop Hard­Drive…
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1Windows Media Center eHome LogoSpeeding up WMP12 & 7MC media library database

One of the prob­lems with my HTPC that I have only just star­ted look­ing at is how to use it to play and man­age my large col­lec­tion of audio CD’s which I have painstak­ingly ripped to FLAC’s. The Xiph codecs (see pre­vi­ous art­icles here and here) make it pos­sible to play FLACs in 64bit media cen­ter, but the media lib­rary was incred­ibly slow.
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0Haali Matroska logoHaali finally release official x64 splitter

Haali Media Split­ter is now “offi­cially” avail­able for 64bit. To down­load simply go to the Haali site and down­load from the link at the top right. Both 32bit and 64bit split­ter are included. Vari­ous fixes are men­tioned altho I haven’t yet had oppor­tun­ity to test them.

0Xiph Codecs Logo64bit Xiph codec breaks file-type dialog in WMP12

In an earli­er art­icle I recom­men­ded installing the Xiph codecs to sup­port FLAC files in 64bit Media Play­er and Media Cen­ter. One of the com­ments (my thanks to thom007) on that post poin­ted out that the Xiph codecs break the “file type” dia­log box in Media Play­er 12. Below is a work-around which restores the file-type dia­log box. The pos­sible side effects are as yet unknown, so exper­i­ment at your own risk.
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0Flash Flv LogoPlaying downloaded FLV’s

I recently had a prob­lem with 2 PCs which appeared to be con­figured identic­ally, but whilst one would play a FLV down­loaded from you­tube, the oth­er would fail. Some oth­er FLVs played OK on both sys­tems. After much fur­ther invest­ig­a­tion I dis­covered that the act­iveX ver­sion of flash play­er on 1 of the PC’s was up-to-date, but on the oth­er was not.
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