On the Media Center session I learned how to make simple add-ins to the new Media Center that comes with Vista. Of course, it all seems so easy when you're looking at a practiced session. In practice there were several issues I ran into.
Nevertheless, here it is: a Vista Media Center Background add-in that updates your Facebook user status according to what you're watching/listening on Media Center. So, if you're watching a program called "News" on Media Center, soon your Facebook status will say "...is watching News". In the same way the DVD, Recorded TV and Video title is shown. If you're watching pictures status will just be "...is watching pictures". When listening to music status will be "...is listening to ARTIST - TITLE".
Add-in checks Media Center MediaState every 10 seconds and only connects to Facebook and changes the status if change in MediaState is detected. It also handles the Extended Permissions situation as users need to give the application permissions to update user status. Add-in uses Facebook.NET libraries for most of the Facebook related operations.
Extenders are not currently supported since Facebook login must be done using a specific URL and even if I would create a separate Add-In to take care of the login (instead of using Windows Forms) I couldn't have any browser control in that add-in (in MCML). This thing is subject to change as I investigate the other ways to accomplish this.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think. If you have questions and/or problems, please post them in Facebook so that they'll be in one place.
- Vista Home Premium or Ultimate
- .NET Framework 2.0
- Install using setup.msi, restart is required
- Start Media Center
- Separate Windows Forms window is opened where you must login to Facebook.
- If this is the first time running the add-in a notification is shown that you have to give the Extended Status update permissions
- Extended permissions Windows Forms window is shown. Grant the permission, and close the form.
- Add-in runs in background updating your Facebook status.
Facebook application page is here. See the front page of my blog for latest version information of the AddIn.