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I Hate Linux

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Proof of concept add-in: Media Connect Controller

While the Home Server Console exposes the ability to share ones built in Videos, Music and Pictures shares using Windows Media Connect (WMC) (Microsoft's implementation of the Universal Plug and Play Audio and Video standards)... the Home Server UI falls flat if one wants to share digital content (via WMC) from even more shares or a custom another share with a a more appealing name (ie Tunes, Tunez, MP3z, etc instead of Music).

Compare the current settings page:

Media Sharing

With a test one I've created:

Media Connect Controller - Settings

Using a bit of the the undocumented bits of the Home Server Console, it is possible to exposing of a WHS share via WMC (to be written about another time) pretty easily... the question currently before me is how to expose this functionality to the average user?

  1. Do I want to stick with a standard settings page (as seen above)?
  2. Implement a whole new main console tab that displays a list of the shares and does nothing but let you enable/disable WMC for each?
  3. Hook into the existing Shared Folders list and add a pair of menu items for enabling/disabling WMC:

Media Connect Controller - Shared Folders view

Any opinions?

Ideally I'd also like this add-in to expose a bit of the functionality we see in Windows Vista or even on a tool hidden away on Windows Home Server for configuring which PC's can access the shared content... but that's a little ways off.

Existing tool on Windows Home Server:

Windows Media Connect - Configuration

Vista:

Media Sharing - Vista

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3 Comments:

  • My vote is for a separate interface. This keeps the default WHS tabs and interface as they were originally intended. This does two things. First, it allows the user to keep the add-in settings separate. Secondly, if MS ever updates their interface, it may break anything that was added into it.

    Along with the first item, someone may forget that they had the add-in installed, and may get confused when troubleshooting or sharing ideas with friends with WHS.

    Just my two cents.

    Like the blog, the code examples, and WHS stuff.

    By Blogger M, at 7:27 PM  

  • I use WebGuide, which has a WHS plugin that allows me to stream over http/mms any songs... so now I can listen to my MP3s from work, without having to bring them with me.
    http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/homeserver.aspx

    By Anonymous Ed, at 8:23 PM  

  • I like the right-click context menu on the existing folder share screen. My WHS console is already getting overly cluttered with too many tabs and panels. If you can do everything from this screen, why add another admin interface?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5:47 AM  

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