Podcasting Changed My Life

Well 2005 was an amazing year for me!
About this time last year I was searching for a podcast which covered Windows Media Center and couldn’t find one
So I thought about doing my own. While I started considering what I wanted to do and about February The Podcast Network was founded by Mick Stanic and Cameron Reilly. I emailed Cameron and asked him if he was planning a Media Center Show he said no, but if I wanted to do one they would host it
I worked on recording Skype, finding guests and getting comfortable with the sound of my own voice
Then on the 11th of March the Windows Media Center Show was launched
With the help of the great Media Center community the show has grown beyond my expectations and has opened may doors for me
So far I have been to the Microsoft home in London, met Robert Scoble. Thanks to podcasting I have become a MVP. Got a real sponsor for the show (Orb Networks) and thanks to Orb I will be podcasting from the worlds biggest consumer electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas next week
I have talked to many interesting people on the show, and been part of a a fantastic community
So a big thanks to all that have supported the show
Cameron Reilly at The Podcast Network
Charlie Owen and Sean Alexander at Microsoft for supporting the show from day one
Thomas Hawk and Chris Lanier for welcoming me to the community
A big thanks to all the guests on the show without them there would be no show and of course all the listeners to the show
My final thought is that if you have a passion for a subject don’t just sit there, talk about it!

Looking for a new LCD TV

In the new year I am looking to buy a new TV. I want a 37 to 40 inch screen HDMI input (to hook it up to an XBox 360) it must have freeview built in (the standard for UK over air digital TV)
So far this Sony looks good and best of all my wife likes it
Sony KDLS40A12 40" High Definition Digital LCD
Pixel resolution 1366×768
High Definition Ready
Receive up to 30 digital channels
New BRAVIA styling
Virtual Dolby Surround Sound (20W)
HDMI Connectivity
PAL 3D Comb Filter
Wall Mountable
Component Input
16ms Panel Response Time
7 day Electronic Programme Guide
I am going to be wall mounting it connecting it to an XBOX 360 as an extender. The process has involved complex negotiations with my wife so we have a new sofa on the way
Has anybody got any recommendation?
Maybe I will see something at CES

The Windows Media Center Show #39 – The Awards Show

The Media Center Show #39 (MP3 – 27.4MB – 1 hour 19mins 50secs)
LISTEN HERE the RSS feeds are here

A extra special show this week, its the Media Center Award Show. Thomas Hawk joins me to review the winners and we have some special guests joining us. Sorry it’s such a long show but it is a special!

I want to say a big thanks to Orb Networks for supporting the awards and supporting the show in 2005

If you voted you are in with a chance to win a Amazon voucher from Orb Networks so I will be getting Thomas to draw out two winners.

Send your questions and feedback to isdixon@gmail.com (feel free to send your questions in mp3)
or you can send your questions and comments in to the show Skype Line “MediaCenterShow
and I am going to create a RSS for the messages soon

Get your Media Center Show Gear


The forums are at Iandixon.co.uk/forums

Show Times:
00:53 Coming up this week
01:04 Welcome to Thomas Hawk
01:30 Highlights of the year
02:50 Thomas Hawks Flickr Podcast – FlickrNation
04:40 XBOX 360
05:12 Apple introduce Frontrow
07:01 Best Media Center Utility Award – TweakMCE
07:47 Best Online Spotlight Application – mceWeather
12:20 Best Video Conversion/Editing Tool –Dcut
14:20 Converting Audio from recorded TV to MP3 with Total Recorder
16:25 David Fleischman from Microsoft joins us, link to David’s blog
21:00 Hollywood and downloadable content
24:44 Best Communication Tool – Windows Messenger beats Skype!
27:00 Vista Media Center
30:30 Thanks to David
31:50 Best Hardware Award – Hauppage
35:04 Most innovative application for Windows Media Center – Orb
40:25 Come to the Media Center Show Party at CES
41:08 Best Community Resource – The Green Button
43:00 Chris Lanier joins us
47:31 Best Enthusiasts Media Center Blog – Chris Lanier
54:40 Thanks to Chris
55:40 TV Card stats
56:23 Best Overall Application for Windows Media Center – MyMovies
58:00 Brain Binnerup developer of myMovies joins us
1:02:00 Best Free Non – Commercial Application for Windows Media Center – MyMovies
1:07:28 Extender Stats
1:08:36 Best Microsoft Employee Blog – Matt Goyer
1:12:44 Thomas Picks the winners for the Amazon voucher
01:14:11 Thanks to Thomas Hawk and all the guest, Orb and the listeners
01:15:21 Next week off to CES!

Online Spotlight – a mix bag

ExtremeTech looked at some of the Online Spotlight application and found the results a mixed bag.
They reviewed Akimbo, Gallery Player, some of the TV portals and the game applications.
It’s a shame mceWeather and BBC news where not on there Online Spotlight as they are my favourite

ExtremeTech Final Thoughts: “The Windows Media Center team needs to take some hints from the Xbox Live experience, and enforce some user interface and system integration standards. While some applications and content delivery schemes worked just fine, others were tedious to install and more difficult to use than they needed to be. Some didn’t work at all.”

The Windows Media Center Show #38 – Media Center in a Car!

The Media Center Show #38 (MP3 – 20.8MB – 1 hour 0mins 48secs)

On this weeks show Duncan Rae talks about how he fitted Windows Media Center in a car and I have info on the Media Center Show Party at CES and your invited.

I have another chance to win MCE-Suduko and some winners from last weeks show.

I have the Media Center news with Orb and I read out email sent in to the show

Send your questions and feedback to isdixon@gmail.com (feel free to send your questions in mp3)
or you can send your questions and comments in to the show Skype Line “MediaCenterShow
and I am going to create a RSS for the messages soon

Get your Media Center Show Gear


The forums are at Iandixon.co.uk/forums

Show Times:
00:00 Coming up this week
01:40 Email about Mediapoint
03:50 Media Center Show Party at CES!
04:35 The Media Center Show News with Orb
04:49 Did Media Center Flop? No!
06:40 DIVX to WMV9
07:09 Vista December CTP Build
08:10 Windows Live Messenger beta invites
08:30 Roku M1000 Soundbridge
09:31 Autoproducer 2.0
10:48 mceBackup update
11:50 Updates for Online Spotlight
12:30 Win MCE-Sudoku
13:08 A message from another podcast!
13:45 Welcome to Ducan
14:10 Why put Windows Media Center in a car
17:50 Screens
20:52 Power
23:49 Costs
24:17 PC Spec
26:28 Starting the PC
28:19 Video connections
29:30 Hard Disk installation
30:49 Sound and sound problems
35:28 USB connections
37:42 Touch Screen
40:20 Network connections
42:50 Media Center Keyboards
43:11 What would you do differently
45:22 Voice Control
48:33 Why use Media Center
49:50 The hardest part of the project
51:21 How long did it take
56:30 Link to Ducan’s blog
57:22 Next week – The Media Center Show Awards
Music by Ian Dixon

autoProducer unPlugged 2

In what is some what of a slow news week and being bombarded with email from exhibitors at CES I came acorss a press release about autoProducer unPlugged 2. I haven’t heard of autoProdcuer but here are some details from the press release.
Featuring a refreshed user interface, the upgraded muvee autoProducer
unPlugged 2 now also includes magicMoments™ technology to give users more
control over the scenes they prefer to keep or discard.  Users simply
pre-select their most important scenes for inclusion using a simple
Thumbs-Up button if they choose to do so. Unwanted shots can similarly be
excluded with a Thumbs-Down button.  Users can also capture digital video
direct from camera, weave pictures in with video footage and view plug-in
styles by category.

"muvee autoProducer unPlugged is the only software for Media Center PCs
that lets people work with their digital media in a creative way and
produce compelling ‘muvees’ in the comfort of the living room using just a
remote control," said Emarson Victoria, muvee’s VP of product strategy.  He
added, "unPlugged delivers a much richer Media Center experience by
enabling family and friends to come together in front of the TV and have
fun transforming their home videos and pictures into personalized, emotive
productions that are much more meaningful to watch than unedited footage."

Designed for the Windows® XP Media Center platform, muvee autoProducer
unPlugged 2 is the first and only application to introduce instant personal
video into the living room, by letting users quickly and easily make muvees
on a TV screen using just the familiar buttons of a remote control.

unPlugged retains the core functions of muvee’s award-winning PC
application, muvee autoProducer, but presents them in an interactive,
10-foot Media Center-styled interface.  Using the directional buttons of
the remote control, users select their videos, pictures, music and an
editing style, before hitting ‘make muvee’.  In minutes, unPlugged
intelligently analyzes the selected media, then automatically cuts video
highlights to the music, with appropriately-styled effects and transitions
synchronized to the beat, creating a finished production.  muvees can be
previewed in real time on the TV screen, or instantly remade in a different

Roku M1000 SoundBridge

Last night I got a Roku M1000 SoundBridge for "testing" 😉
It’s a Windows Media Connect device that streams music from your PC.
I must say I am very impressed with it so far. The package comes with every thing you need to get it working.
I unpacked it and plugged the power in and it detected my wifi network. Once you enter the wifi password the device reboots and searches for Windows Media Connect PC’s. It found my PC and had to authorise it on the PC.
The Roku then found all the my music on PC and I could use the remote to play any of it or I could listen to Internet radio stations.
The only small issue I have found up to now is that it didn’t seem to find any of my playlists from Media Center, oh and the display is very bright in standby mode so it lights the whole bedroom up and night.

All in all a great unit and it means that I can get rid of the CD’s in our bedroom, another step forward for the connected home!

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