May 20, 2015

Media Center Status Application goes open source

Windows Media Center Status Application I mainly developed during the early stages of Windows Vista (also supports 7 and 8) is now open source. It was originally developed for my own use, but I soon realized there were hundreds if not thousands of Media Center users out there who wanted to share their media viewing preferences in social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

During the evolution of the application many nice features were added, such as getting notifications of tweets of people you follow inside Media Center. It didn't take long until someone requested a way to filter out what items are published to Facebook wall (as it was called back then), so I also added RegEx filter to filter out specific media titles from getting sent out - if one had automatic publishing enabled.

There was also ambitious monetization ideas when I added feature that fetched media images (such as DVD and CD covers) from Amazon to show in the Facebook status update. I always knew that the user base for the application wasn't that huge and wasn't too surprised I didn't end up getting a dime from Amazon referrals. But I did get few hits so it proved it was working.

Otherwise monetization relied on donations, and I was surprised that I indeed got two donations totalling €25. That was €25 more than I was expecting, so thank you Marc Stride and Graham Evans. I'd like to think I bought beer with that money and enjoyed it on a sunny summer evening, but probably I just bought cement or boards for the house construction.

I got the idea for the application once during Microsoft's MSDN conference where I decided not to participate in the boring directly work related enterprise sessions, but instead go off-the-beaten-path. I learned so much not only about Media Center, but also on Robotics Studio. The next few evenings I spent at the hotel programming this application.

Biggest challenge was by no doubt the ever changing APIs of Facebook, Twitter. First the Facebook walls were gone and Graph API was introduced, then Twitter did lot of changes in authentication. Media Center development was the only one that didn't receive any major changes since Vista, unfortunately.

I was considering open sourcing it for a long time, but just didn't get to it, but hey, better later than never.

You can find bits at

Compiled app, changelog and other details are still at

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