Thursday, 20 December 2012
By Ishant Gupta
PC TO BECOME MEDIA CENTRE
If you have an HD TV and an old PC, you can easily create a multimedia powerhouse using some free software. Let’s understand the basic steps and software involved in this procedure.
Some Special Tips
To easily recognize your media files, you should save them in different folders like movies, photos, music etc.
Download the Renamer and add batches of files to it. This will automatically see the information in the file and rename it accordingly.
You can install the Ember Multimedia software and easily download the cover art and other information from media store.
From the media center programs, select any one and then allow it to create a personalized library from your media.
You can install Plug-ins to add more functions to your media center. You can also use it to change your presentation.You can use various accessories for your PC like wireless keyboard and add on hard drives.
1. Ember Media Manager
Ember is a scraping tool. This is best for XBMC. This scans your media and gives ratings for DVD covers, fan art, posters, wall papers and movies using the IMDB. This information is stored with the media files. You can download it from http://goo.gl/QRwrb.
2. Media Companion
You can use this to collect information about media files. For example if you extract a DVD from a DVX file, you get a digital file. Media companion uses the file name to extract information about DVD covers, movies and posters. This makes your work easy. To download this, go to http://goo.gl/NRnUO.
3. The Renamer
If the name of your media file is too long you can use this software which will rename them in batches. You only have to use drag and drop for this. The Renamer uses data from Google and other databases like TV.com and IMDB.com. To download this, go to www.therenamer.com.
MEDIA CENTRE SOFTWARES
This is available for Windows, Linux, OSX and IOSand is considered to be good software. You can use this to stream photos, movies, TV series and music. This contains a built in scraper. This tool helps you to search and download information related to your media. XBMC can play all popular audio/video formats. It can also play directly from the CD/DVD. It can also play files stored in the zipped archive.You need to download it and inform it where you have stored your media files. Initially it may take time but later on the results are fantastic. You can download it from http://xbmc.org.
2. Windows Media Center
Windows media center is linked to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional enterprise and ultimate editions. It’s actually quite good but used very less. By default it looks very plain and simple but you can improve its interface and add new functions. You can add the Kodak pack and improve the file support. This supports all media formats and can play internet radio. With the help of this you can search music on the audio CD and edit photos. If your PC has an attached TV tuner, then windows media center can record live TV and also schedule the recording.
3. Media Portal
This is a combined form of Windows media center and XBMC. Just like the XBMC it can play the movies, music, photos and DVD and TV series. It has many plugin and customization options. This has a scraper that collects information about your media. If you have a TV tuner then it can record live TV and play the internet TV like the Windows media center. It also supports the RSS feeds. This also contains some preloaded system utilities that gives very good output. You can download this from http://goo.gl/pU73G.
1. Grooveshark Radio
If you like internet radio you can use grooveshark plugin for your XBMC. Grooveshark contains many free tracks form which you can select and play. It also offers you a readymade playlists and videos. You can easily search for new artists in this.
2. Media Center Themer
Windows media center looks the same on all Windows PC, but with media center themer you can change the background font and color. The main aim is to improve the look of media center. You can add, rename or rearrange the menu items. You can also recolor all the pictures. To download this, go to www.patchou.com
3. Sharks Kodak pack
With the help of shark Kodak packs you can easily play all popular media formats on your PC. On most multimedia files you cannot see the full color thumbnails. With this Kodak pack you can easily see it. To download this you need to go to, http://shark007.net
Posted by Tips & Tricks at 4:01 pm