Video Browser for Vista MCE

over 16 years ago

Looks like I’m ready to release the first version of my video browser plugin for Vista MCE. (note at the moment it is untested on Vista 64)

  • Uses list view as opposed to the thumbnail view in stock vista mce.

  • Shortcuts the amount of clicks when playing a video, if you select a folder which contains only 1 or 2 videos, I create an automatic playlist and play the whole folder. (Very handy for movies)

  • Very easy to configure, looks at the users videos path, resolves shortcuts.

  • Has a special folder called “new videos” at the top level, when selected it shows all the latest videos in the entire collection.

So, feel free to download and let me know what you think


Charlie_Owen over 16 years ago

Hi Sam,

I downloaded and installed on Windows Vista Ultimate (x86). A couple of notes…

1) It doesn’t scale with the Media Center window. If it gets too small, I get 2’ mouse controls and I can’t see all of the buttons.
2) It’s not mouse enabled.
3) It’s hard to disambiguate between folders and files.
4) The back button doesn’t seem to work at all times (maybe not at all unless I use the mouse back button).
5) I’ve got several folders and files I don’t recognize (Filename2, Filename3, Folder1) and which don’t show up in a search of the hard drive.
6) No videos (except for the ‘ghost’ files and folders) appear on the Extender on XBox 360.

You might like to take a look at how the Z sample application is architected for the Music feature – it enumerates files / folders and could be adapted to accomplish something similar to the thing you want your XBAP application to accomplish. Although, from your comment on Scotts blog it doesn’t sound like you would be a big fan of MCML. My response to that is don’t knock it 'til you try it. :slight_smile:


Sam over 16 years ago

Hi Charlie,

I very much appreciate the feedback.

1. The scaling is not perfect, I did do some work around scaling the listview, I agree I should improve this.

2. Its only partially mouse enabled, I guess I built it for remote control use only. I may change this.

3. Regarding Files/Folders disambiguation. I am not sure this is really critical, I believe the naming and structure of the items should make it clear. For example when I organize my collection I try to avoid having folders and AVIs in the same folder.

4. Can you elaborate on this? My back button on the MCE remote seems to work just fine.

5. The “New Videos” functionality should probably populate from a cache while recursing the entire collection. I will look at improving this. And chucking on some file watchers.

6. I do not have an xbox 360 so have not tested on it, but it does not surprise me at all. I may look at fixing this, but I’m not sure if there is much of a point as the 360 video codec support is incomplete

Regarding MCML, I am actually quite tempted to port this over to MCML. It will run faster which is key. I just hope it does not take me too long. Blend is just such a nice tool compared to XML hacking.

Kurt_Bramich over 16 years ago

Ausom Adin Dude I have just moved from media portal to VMC and have been looking for something like this.

just one question is there a way to place the luncher stemware else other than pictures and videos like under TV and Movies.

Kurt_Bramich over 16 years ago

Fixed it!!, found the reg under:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Extensibility\Categories\Services\Pictures<br />
and changed Pictures to TV and used the add to menu under VMC.

Gary_S_Aus over 16 years ago

Great ! - at last someone has done the bleeding obvious !! LOL

I was pointed at your tool by a MVP friend of mine… On the whole this is really good …


When I enter the browse videos link it crashes out IE and I get and error "error occurred in the application…"

Thing is I have quite a few folders and subfolders nested - some folders with a large quantity of vids in it…

Is there a limit on how many items per folder or nesting ??


Jashobeam over 16 years ago

This is a much needed app and I for one appreciate your efforts in bringing something like this to the community. However, my experience of the video browser app is similar to Charlies. My back button never works, so I can’t use it without the mouse plugged in. I also get folders with names I don’t recognise, like Folder1 or some such. The real kicker though is that none of my video library appears in the interface, only sample video and empty folders. My video files are all stored in the Video share on my Windows Home Server so perhaps this has something to do with it.

Anyways, it’s uninstalled now awaiting the next version. Oh, one other thing - is there a way you can make it integrate with the existing display theme? I installed a black theme and it looks great except for when I enter the video browser and the screen goes blue again.

Sam over 16 years ago


I think I have enough info to go ahead with another version.

I will do the following …

1. Convert this to MCML
2. Look at APIs to talk directly to MCE to get the root folder structure.
3. Add a certain amount of caching, which will stop folder1/folder2 ever appearing again.
4. Add a visual queue to distinguish between files and folders (and sort folders first)
5. Make this work faster.

This may take me a few weeks, pretty busy at the moment

Am I missing anything from this list?

Gary_S_Aus over 16 years ago

Only thing missing is to throw in a couple of beers for the work that ur doing… !!

Muchly thanked for this essiential bit of tweakery…

Gary_S_Aus over 16 years ago

OK I worked out why it was crashing for me… I have a couple of folders holding vids not suitable for the younger eyes (no not that type… lol) - anyway ntfs perms are such that the folders cant be accessed.

The IE error screen was because it couldnt access the folders and the CLR was producing an error… (that isnt being trapped ??)

Hopefully something simple to fix… cheers !!

Sam over 16 years ago


This issue will be trivial to resolve, will make sure its fixed in the next version

Thanks for your feedback!!!


Ben over 16 years ago

Hi Sam,

This looks like a great little app. However i haven’t been able to get it working. Everything appears to install ok, it’s just not working. Any ideas?

Matt over 16 years ago

hi i click on the link above and get this error HTTP/1.1 404 Object Not Found please help

Sam over 16 years ago

this is the old version, have a look at the latest post on my blog for the latest

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