Power Playlist: A Must Have Add On For Media Center PCs
I just finished installing Power Playlist on my Vista Media Center PC. Power Playlist allows you to add a strip to your Media Center start screen that includes custom music/slide show combos.
Watching slideshows with music is one of the top things that I do on my Media Center PC. Typically I’ll put on my WMP Smart Playlist of my 4&5 star rated songs and then watch photos from either my art shots, my family snapshots, or both combined.
With Power Playlist I can integrate these custom combinations and have one simple button that I press from the main menu screen. This saves me a lot of time as I don’t have to navigate to my desired playlist in the music folder and then my desired slideshow in my photos folder.
Power Playlist lets you add up to 5 music/photo combos from your start screen. It can also handle visualizations. It comes with an editor where you simply type the paths where you want to point Power Playlist to and it takes care of the rest.
You can also designate specific photos that you want as your thumbnails on your Media Center Start Screen.
This is a very smart and efficient add on to improve your Media Center and Media Center Extender experience.
I’m still thrilled with the performance I’ve been getting from my Media Center PC and extender set up since upgrading my primary home Media PC to the Dell that I bought a few months back. At present I’ve got a Vista Media Center PC in my attic which doubles as my home office PC and three XBox 360s in my home. One in the living room with the big 58 inch plasma (Media Center slide shows *rock* on a big plasma), one in my kitchen and one in my bedroom.
These extender units can play XBox 360 games, play DVDs, and most significantly handle my Media Center PC in the attic. Media Center (in addition to doing my music and slide shows) also handles my TV. I’ve got a dual tuner HD Homerun OTA (over the air) HDTV receiver that can record two shows at once grabbing free over the air HDTV signals.
The best thing about the TV that I get with my current set up is that it’s all free. I canceled my DirecTV and have never looked back. HDTV in three rooms in my house, the ability to skip commercials, my music library and pictures, Netflix DVDs, and XBox 360 games — all in a single unit. And all without paying a dime to a cable company or satellite provider. Not bad.
Anyways if you haven’t already, grab Power Playlist to make your Media Center experience even better. You can get it here. It works with both 32-bit and 64-bit Media Center PCs.
Thanks as usual to Charlie Owen up at Microsoft for the heads up on Power Playlist.