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Equinux Releases MediaCentral 2
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Equinux Releases MediaCentral 2 Reply with quote

Equinux Releases MediaCentral 2
Friday, July 7, 2006

Mac mini HTPC enthusiasts should enjoy this bit of news. Equinux today released MediaCentral 2.0, a new version of their popular media center software for Mac OS X. The new version of MediaCentral supports IP TV, IP Radio, television, music, movies, photos, DVDs, and games. It also includes My MediaCentral, which lets you customize the content you view, and supports several remotes including the Apple Remote. MediaCentral 2.0 is available for purchase online, with prices starting at US$30.

New Features include:
- Built-in IP TV
- Native TV support for TwinHan DTV DVB-T, Terratec Cinergy T2 devices
- Intuitive TV tuners for setting up DVB-T
- Dynamic content from the Internet
- Dedicated My MediaCentral folder for all your local media
- Support for content stored on network servers
- Language sensitive content selection
- Window mode for background operation
- Full support for Apple and ATI RemoteWonder controllers
- Full support for remotes that come with the supported DVB-T devices
- Selection of digital radio channels
- Interface fully localized in English and German
- Classic arcade and action games available in high-quality Flash versions
- Support for movie, music, picture and mixed-media discs
- Slideshows with background music




http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/497.html
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curt
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good: Tons of new features. Very Happy

The bad: It's not free anymore. Sad

I'll probably buy a copy just to support the development of the product. In my opinion, MediaCentral is the only viable alternative to Front Row out there. This is mostly due to the fact that it supports VIDEO_TS folders. There are some other interesting new features, but the trial doesn't let you play around long enough to dig in. I also like that you can resize the screen and some of the streaming content. On that note, it would be cool if Apple added iTunes radio to the Music menu in the next version of Front Row.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

curt wrote:
MediaCentral is the only viable alternative to Front Row out there. This is mostly due to the fact that it supports VIDEO_TS folders.


And the fact that Apple doesn't sell or offer Front Row as an individual product. Not everyone is going to go the hack route. I'm going to download the trial and take a look at what's new.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trial version of MediaCentral is very frustrating, it cuts out after 5 minutes of use, which is too soon. If Equinux wants me to fork over my $$$ to buy this software, then Equinux, needs to change their free trial strategy. They should come up with a 15-day free trial or something more user friendly. All that they have managed to do with this 5 minute time-bomb is infuriate me and make me uninstall the product. I might have bought it if I could have truly tried it out for a few days.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bsnoel wrote:
The trial version of MediaCentral is very frustrating, it cuts out after 5 minutes of use, which is too soon.


Totally agree! If you're not going to give me a 10-15 day free trial with no restrictions, at least give me half an hour to look around and test things out. I really liked what I was seeing, but what a bummer.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word "stingy" comes to mind.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bsnoel wrote:
The word stingy comes to mind.


They could be worried about people trashing a .plist file, but this was not the way to go.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with bsnoel and g5g5 that the 5-minute limit is stupid, but the actual program is pretty intriguing. I really like that you can run it in small, medium, or large window sizes. This is something I wish you could with FrontRow. My only issue would be with the quality of the video playback in the IP TV category. It's really choppy and there is a funny white band going down the right side of the videos.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will probally buy it because I have been really happy with the last version for the past 3 or 4 months. When I get it I will post back with any observations. Too bad about that five minute limit. I would suggest a nice email asking for a longer trial period. Sometimes a small company can do amazing things for its cutomers. : )
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i, too, have loved the other version (free version 1.2, i believe-- a must have for those who either don't have front row on their PPC mini, or those who have tried the hack and want something legitimate and 'legal,' so to speak, or even those who just want a good alternative) and i decided to go ahead and buy this upgrade tonight. at first it wasn't giving me access to the internet radio and tv and all those online feature that they're touting, and i was about to get angry after coughing up those hard earned 30 bucks.... but then i realized i didn't have my airport turned on lol. but once i got that figured out-- i love it. i especially love the radio fature (it doesn't have the world's largest selection, but you can add some of your favorites yourself as you go along), and everything else is just as good as it was in the free older version and the new, version 2 five minute trial. i'll try to post some more details when i get the chance, but since i've only just purchased the liscence for it 30 minutes ago i haven't had too much of a chance to play with it and really dig into it yet. but so far..... so good. and i would like to wish myself a happy hundredth post to the forums!!! (it took me long enough) Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me like the interface is kind of jumpy, but nice overall.

The music is a nice touch.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got home from summer vacation last night, but I will definitely be giving this one a look. The first version showed a lot of promise. It's just too bad that it isn't free anymore. Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the plunge and purchased this over the weekend.

The version 2.0 product is a solid leap forward in functionality over the previous versions.

Small things that really make an improvement:

- DVD's can now be picked up off network drives: this works really well, I have ripped DVD folders sitting on multiple Network drives, and so long as I drop a shortcut for the DVD folder into the My DVD's folder. Everything works fine. Also displaying the cover art for the DVD's is as simple as dropping a .jpg into the DVD's folder..

- IPTV: This seems to work considerably better than previous versions, with TV streams working reasonably well, although sometimes a bit jerky compared to running the same stream in the native viewer eg. Real player. Also pretty cool to be able to drop your own links to streams into the My IPTV folder...

- Remote control: The apple remote seems to work a lot better now, simple things like holding down the up or down buttons now works properly, e.g. repeating the button press to scroll through long lists.

I have yet to recieve my new TV tuner to check out the TV functionality.

I have found at least one small bug, where after watching a DVD and selecting the menu button repeatedly to move back through to the top level of the menu, MediaCentral seems to hang for up to a minute or two before recovering.

There's also a few things that they need to work on to make this product really sensational.

- AC3 output.... for god sake, whats the point of watching DVD's with poor picture quality (the MPEG engine theyre using), and down-mixed 2 channel sound ? They need to fix this pronto !

- Viewing remote iPhoto librarys that are shared from other Macs in the house. My Mac Mini for my home theatre is not where I store all my digital photos. This is something Frontrow can do... (and no... I don't want to upload albums to flickr or some other web-based album)

- De-selcting items to be displayed in the menu. I never use Internet Radio, and would be quite happy to see that disappear off the list, pretty much the same for games....

- Flip4mac support is great.... except there's no Intel version of Flip4Mac yet... I use a competing product, and it works fine for displaying WMV... and is Intel native... but Media Cenrtral Dosen't recognize this as a valid Windows Media plugin.

Other than that.... the product is really comming along well. Some patience from the Mac HTPC community, and constructive crticism, plus supporting these guys with purchasing the product (30$ is cheap) will get us closer to the goal of having a really slick interface for Home Theatre on the Mac.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neilwozau wrote:

- De-selcting items to be displayed in the menu. I never use Internet Radio, and would be quite happy to see that disappear off the list, pretty much the same for games....


Come on Radio isn't that bad. Wink

I agree, it would be cool if you could remove categories and sub categories from the menus. It's redundant to navigate through things you don't use.

thekonuskid wrote:
i love it. i especially love the radio fature (it doesn't have the world's largest selection, but you can add some of your favorites yourself as you go along),


You can play iTunes radio stations in Front Row if you set up a separate playlist for them, but I would rather have a separate subcategory for Radio like MediaCentral has. I spent the better part of Saturday night putting all my favorite iTunes Radio stations in My MediaCentral. It's working out pretty good.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The demo made my Mini crash when I tried to access the IP TV option. Anyone else have this problem?
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