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Media Center Themer or Media Center Studio? - Page 2

post #31 of 108
Thanks Dark_Slayer. I was hesitant to try out a bunch of different apps without knowing which method was the most widely used/successful. But, if no one has documented this fully yet, I guess it will just end up being trial and error.
I'll be sure to post any results I have since I am sure that others users would benefit from the knowledge.
post #32 of 108
Here are screenshots of my main menu. I was going for very minimal and wanted to remove most color except for the menu item selected which I did want to be color. I was able to use the colorize keyword in the themer xml file and that took care of the majority of the images but I had to manually change the color of the windows logos and back buttons.


There are still a couple things that I am not able to remove the blue tint from. There is still a blue tint on the nonselected promo items and items I have added through themer (Hulu and YouTube).


The other is the blue tint on the nonselected tiles in the Recorded TV. I have tried to replace a couple of the overlay images but could not find one that would work.


I would like to have the least number of menu items I can but still have enough t keep thing in their place. Which is the reason for wanting to move the MediaBrowser to the Movies menu (preferably a link to the Movies Entry Point) and I would also like to add a link to the TV Shows Entry Point on the TV menu. I will probably combine Pictures, Videos, and Music all together since i do not use those all that often.

If anyone knows how to get rid of the blue tint on the nonselected items I would appreciate the feedback. Also if you have any questions about my Themer XML file let me know and I will try to help out. Although the documentation is really good for most things there just aren't many places you can go to ask questions about how to do something specific that may not be an example in the documentation. I am by no means an expert at it but might be able to give you enough help with what I have learned through the process to get you going in the right direction.
post #33 of 108
bellj949,
Thanks for the screenshots. Did you use Media Center Themer exclusively to make your changes?
post #34 of 108
Yep this is just with Media Center Themer. I have tried a couple other media center modification programs but just didn't like them for various reasons. Although they might have a GUI interface and are "easy" to use I like how Themer doesn't mess with registry settings or anything like that. If you have something setup wrong with the Themer XML file it just defaults back to standard MC7 screens. If I make a mistake in one of the other programs it is hard telling what you will get...
post #35 of 108
Also waiting anxiously for a way to remove the whole movies strip/ replace it with media browser. Keep the netflix tho. This would complete me ! tongue.gif
post #36 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'd be willing to test a few extra ideas, and in writing this one I think a new idea may have manifested. I need to double check, but if the builtin menus pull the title name from registry inputs, we could easily find the title of the registry entrypoints for Netflix, Mediabrowser, etc. and use an XML file to move them to different built in strips. This will take some time, anyone else is free to head down the same rabbit hole. My post about registry entrypoints above should lead you there, as well as the xml examples.
I won't really have access to my HTPCs for testing until Saturday, and the xml file will only get as many different attempts as I can imagine. Feel free to test for yourself. If anything breaks just uninstall MCThemer, remove your Patchou folder, and start over.
Any update on this? Have you had a chance to try this, had any sucess, or did the evil queen remove your head upon entry to the rabbit hole? smile.gif
post #37 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'd be willing to test a few extra ideas, and in writing this one I think a new idea may have manifested. I need to double check, but if the builtin menus pull the title name from registry inputs, we could easily find the title of the registry entrypoints for Netflix, Mediabrowser, etc. and use an XML file to move them to different built in strips

I really wish I knew what win7demon used when (s)he figured this out, but it's no longer clear if the program applied the menu move with or without MC Themer since it is no longer required to run MCE Reset Toolbox

I've now tried as many different combinations of Menu names that I can conjure, and none have successfully moved the mediabrowser entrypoint anywhere else. Using the different names and registry titles, registry string, etc. None did it right, so I might just go buy the Reset Toolbox. It looks a lot more polished than when I first tested it out. It was a buggy first-pass alpha level program back then, and if it is smooth now I'll plunk down $16 for it. I've spent more than that already with free time, but I refused to spend that for something that would still leave me wondering whether it was going to work or not.
post #38 of 108
Yeah same here I never could get it to work like I wanted it to no matter what I tried to do in the registry or anywhere else. But I recently canceled Netflix and started using Sick Beard and Usenet instead so I haven't messed with it in a while. It still would be nice to know how to do that though for future projects. I tried Reset Toolbox about 2 months ago but just wasn't quite sold on it enough to drop the $16. I don't mind spending money for something if it is worth it but didn't think it was quite there yet. Haven't checked it out recently so things may be better now.

In my experience with it, it seemed like it was pretty buggy and threw Media Center way out of whack. I was doing a lot more than just the standard change the background and fonts though. I was messing with entry points and rearranging menus, and also trying to replace some of the image files with custom ones. Never could get the menus laid out like I wanted so I finally just backed it out and stuck with MCT. Even with MCT, every now and then the menu items will revert back to the stock settings but a quick close and start of MCE will fix that. Haven't been able to pin down what is causing it because the wife uses it more than I do during the day; it never seems to do it while I am using it.
post #39 of 108
Just to follow up on this thread...

keef over at the mediabrowser community tracker has just release "unity" for Media Center Themer:
http://community.mediabrowser.tv/permalinks/12592/unity-a-windows-media-center-theme-to-unify-your-wmc-and-neo-experiences-no-media-center-studio-required
The xml in this release is a great template to start from if you are interested in learning how to create your own theme.

Also, gcw07 has provided some excellent examples of how to create custom strips in this thread:
http://community.mediabrowser.tv/permalinks/12575/help-with-how-to-add-media-center-menu-entries


bellj949, if you are still monitoring this thread, would you mind posting your .xml for Media Center Themer? I would really like to see how you setup Hulu in a custom strip. Whatever code I am using doesn't minimize WMC when Hulu Desktop loads.
post #40 of 108
MyTheme.xml 4k .xml file

Thanks for those links, I might have play around with my theme and see what I can do with Media Browser again! Would be nice to have a direct link to TV Shows and Movies.

I attached the entire XML file to this post, hopefully it uploads properly. As I mentioned above I have made a couple changes to the layout and got rid of the Movie menu since I don't have Netflix anymore. But as far as Minimizing WMC when Hulu loads that would be the AutoRestore keyword in the XML. By setting AutoRestore to false it will prevent WMC from restoring automatically after calling Hulu. Here is the section that controls my custom Internet Video menu item that contains Hulu and YoutTubeXL (replace the double << with a single <, had to do that to get it to show up properly) :

<<Custom Title="Internet Video">
<<MenuItem Name="Hulu" HideToolbar="true">
<<Image>hulu-logo.png<</Image>
<<Program>C:\Users\Bell\AppData\Local\HuluDesktop\HuluDesktop.exe<</Program>
<<PlayingDirective>stop<</PlayingDirective>
<<AutoRestore>false<</AutoRestore>
<</MenuItem>
<<MenuItem Name="Youtube" HideToolbar="true">
<<Image>youtube-logo.png<</Image>
<<Link>http://www.youtube.com/XL<</Link>
<<PlayingDirective>stop<</PlayingDirective>
<</MenuItem>
<</Custom>

When you exit Hulu you will need to maximize WMC manually, it doesn't automatically maximize. I have the WMC button programmed on my Harmony remote so it is as easy as clicking that button and WMC is maximized again. The only thing that my wife has ran into with this type of setup is when she was done with Hulu she just clicked the WMC button to get back into MWC. The problem was Hulu was still playing in the background since it wasn't properly exited. But other than that it works great!

If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to help as much as I can.
post #41 of 108
Wow, thanks for the links Omajestic1! If this works out you will have earned your name! biggrin.giftongue.gif Now I just need to scrounge up some library icons that will work well within WMC to complete my setup.

I am using Hulu and Youtube like bellj949. My xml looks virtually identical, and I am dealing with the same caveats. The transition from Hulu back to WMC is just not as seamless as I would like it to be.

I should have some time this weekend, maybe I'll play with it and post up my whole XML file too along with some screenshots.
post #42 of 108
If you could upload your XML file Wylie, and maybe get some others to do the same, hopefully it will help others that are starting to look into other options as Media Center Studio gets more difficult to get working. Although the Help file for MCT it would have been nice to have a couple samples from others when starting!

After I get some time to play with the Media Browser strips I will try to post some updated screenshots and the XML file I am using. In the middle of a remodeling project so it may be while...
post #43 of 108
Well I got MediaBrowser working the way I wanted to. I am now out of the house until Sunday, and I forgot to bring my .xml files to use on my laptop, but I will continue to play around with it and post screen shots and my .xml files in a few days. The only things I still want to do is create two custom menus in Media Center, one with direct links to MediaBrowser libraries, which is now done, and a 2nd custom menu with Hulu, Youtube, etc. I ran out of time last night before figuring out how to insert two menus. I also want to modify the original MC movie library icon for use with my various libraries. My brother-in-law is quite a photoshop whiz, and I happen to be staying with him for the next couple of days so hopefully that will get sorted out. Overall I am pretty darn excited, this makes blends Media Center and MediaBrowser into a seamless, great looking, and highly customizable interface.
post #44 of 108
Just a quick update. I'm away from home again on my laptop, but here are a couple of screenshots of my experimental theme. I haven't done anything with the appearance of this beyond what is in the orignal Media Center Themer example file, this was just an experiment to see if I could make custom entry points into MediaBrowser:


These are custom entry points into MediaBrowser, along with custom icons. For the icons I simply grabbed the original MC icon and modified it using DVD covers. I feel like this fits into Media Center a-lot better than the standard MediaBrowser entry point. On my main HTPC I've got 4 custom entry points: Family Movies, Holiday Movies, Movies, and Exercise Movies.

I cut the original 'Movies' menu down to just Netflix and renamed it:


Media Center Themer only supports one custom menu, so I had to remove the previous internet media title. I used Relaunch and put those things in the Extras menu. I'll get a screenshot of that on my main rig and post it.

Also I sent a message to Patchou about the ability to add in a 2nd custom menu and he told me that is planned for the next release, so hopefully someday I'll be able to add back in Hulu, YouTube, etc the way I originally had it.

Hopefully I'll post screenshots and from my HTPC and my other desktop
post #45 of 108
Wylie, I'd love to see your xml entries for the Media Browser entry points.
Did you have to do any reg editing to get this to work, if so, what ere they?

Thanks in advance.
post #46 of 108
It seems lately that I have spent most of my life away from home for one reason or another. So again I am away from home and I don't have the files from either my main HTPC or my workhorse Desktop to post, but I will post my experimental theme .xml file from my laptop. Which is the file from which the screenshots above are taken. There are no registry changes necessary to make this work, just follow the 2nd link posted by 0majestic1 above, and follow the post and .xml posted by gcw07 in that thread. You will likely need to open the registry, but only to copy over the "PublicKeyToken" string that is needed in the .xml file.

Any more questions about my theme or files, let me know! I'm no expert, but I do what I can.

ExperimentalTheme.xml 4k .xml file
post #47 of 108
I've tried every combination I can think of to try and get these MediaBrowser entry points into the custom menu but keep getting the error message saying the it can't locate media center themer.

Will my PublicKeyToken be different to other peoples. The one on the example is 16 characters long but the registry keys are 32 characters long (excluding the dashes).

Any help would be apreciated, I'm pulling my hair out.
post #48 of 108
I struggled with that as well for a while. For everything to work you have to have the code correct (including the Addon numbers) for both Media Center Themer, and MediaBrowser entry points. IIRC it will work up to the point of clicking on the custom entry points if you get the PublicKeyToken incorrect. Start by copying either my code, or gcw07's , then check the PublicKeyToken (it can be different, but similar, on different computers. I copied and pasted those directly from my registry. I think there were only a couple of characters different between mine and gcw07's). From there, it is a matter of getting the Addon numbers correct without screwing anything else up.
post #49 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by WylieKylie View Post

I struggled with that as well for a while. For everything to work you have to have the code correct (including the Addon numbers) for both Media Center Themer, and MediaBrowser entry points. IIRC it will work up to the point of clicking on the custom entry points if you get the PublicKeyToken incorrect. Start by copying either my code, or gcw07's , then check the PublicKeyToken (it can be different, but similar, on different computers. I copied and pasted those directly from my registry. I think there were only a couple of characters different between mine and gcw07's). From there, it is a matter of getting the Addon numbers correct without screwing anything else up.

But I still don't understand where your getting the PublicKeyToken from. Your key is 16 characters long, but registry keys are 32 characters long?
post #50 of 108
OK, figured it out. The key was the same, the version number was different.
For anyone else struggling, do a search in the registry for 'mediabrowser,version' (without the quotes), and copy the information in the registry entry into the script supplied by WylieKylie.

Thanks everyone.
post #51 of 108
I have a question that hopefully someone can answer. I have used Media Center Themer to change both the common.background file and the common.animated.background images. On one of my htpc's everything works perfect, on the other htpc everything looks fine until I go to LiveTV and then open the guide. The guide is still the default blue, and if I hit the green button to go back to the menu while LiveTv is playing in the background it is still blue as well. The only thing I can tell is the HTPC that everything looks fine on is NOT using the animated background. So I either need to force my other htpc to NOT use the animated background or figure out what other images I need to replace. Has anyone else had this issue? Thanks

Darren
post #52 of 108
Has anyone tried this in Windows 8? I have added the custom strip exactly like WylieKylie did but it results in MCT choking on the entire file and I end up with the default MC menus. All the other MCT customizations work fine, just not the custom strip.
Code:
<StartMenu>
        <Builtin>
                <Addon1 Visible="false"/>
                <Addon2 Visible="false"/>
                <Addon3 Visible="false"/>
                <Addon4 Visible="true"/>
                <Music Order="2">
                        <MenuItem Name="PlayFavorites" Visible="false"/>
                        <MenuItem Name="Radio" Visible="false"/>
                </Music>
                <TV Order="1">
                        <MenuItem Name="Guide" Order="1"/>
                </TV>
                <Movies Order="4">
                        <MenuItem Name="PlayDVD" Visible="false"/>
                </Movies>
                <Tasks Order="5">
                        <MenuItem Name="Shutdown" Visible="true"/>
                        <MenuItem Name="Settings" Visible="true"/>
                        <MenuItem Name="Synchronize" Visible="false"/>
                        <MenuItem Name="AddExtender" Visible="false"/>
                </Tasks>
        </Builtin>
        <Custom Title="Filmer & TV-serier">
                <MenuItem Name="Media Browser">
                <Image>C:\Program Files (x86)\MediaBrowser\MediaBrowser\Application.png</Image>
                <ImageInactive>C:\Program Files (x86)\MediaBrowser\MediaBrowser\ApplicationInactive.png</ImageInactive>
                <Addin>MediaBrowser.MyAddIn, MediaBrowser,Culture=Neutral,Version=2.6.1.0,PublicKeyToken=59fc04479785fd64</Addin>
                </MenuItem>
        </Custom>
</StartMenu>
post #53 of 108
I've not tried it, but I'm interested in this again

Try copying the image and image inactive png files to a directory with no spaces in the path and change the xml accordingly
post #54 of 108
Check for any other incorrect spaces
post #55 of 108

Sv: Media Center Themer or Media Center Studio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Check for any other incorrect spaces

Turns out it was the "&" in the title that was the culprit. I had been using notepad to edit the file, when I loaded it into XML Notepad it complained about that line. Apparently that character is not allowed inside xml statements.

Now it works great. Just need to figure out how to add Arcsoft TMT to the same custom strip.

I like that MCT does not modify any DLLs like MCE Reset Toolbox does.
post #56 of 108
Cool, did you ever try this in the Builtin->Movies Menu as opposed to a custom strip?
post #57 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Cool, did you ever try this in the Builtin->Movies Menu as opposed to a custom strip?

No, I understood that's not possible with MCT.
I used MCE Reset Toolbox to modify the Movies strip in Windows 7 but it is not yet available for 64-bit Windows 8 so I decided to use MCT instead.

Sent from my Xperia Arc S using Tapatalk 2
post #58 of 108
Correct, with MCT you can't add custom items to builtin menus. IMO that is only a problem because you can only add one custom menu. After Patchou adds the capability to add more than one custom menu it won't be a problem at all.
post #59 of 108
Some pictures and the .xml file from my main HTPC. With this one I did a-lot more with the appearance. I found a background picture online (which nicely compliments the venetian plaster paint in my family room) and used the colorizer function to change all of the pictures to match the background color. I am still using the custom entry points into MediaBroswer. Since Media Center Themer only allows one custom menu the last picture shows how I use Relauncher to add in Hulu Desktop along with a couple of internet sites that I use. The rest of the menus are pretty standard, I just removed the stuff that I don't use.






MyMCTheme (2).xml 6k .xml file
post #60 of 108
Finally got some time to start playing again and was able to add the Entry Points without any issues thanks to all the great advise here in this thread! Figured I would post new pictures of my setup and also include all my files in a zip. Should include theme, modified resources, and a screenshot. My path is C:\ProgramData\Media Center Themer\MyTheme so paths might need to be changed if you wanted to put it into place.

Hopefully this will help Media Center Themer gain more traction in the Media Center crowd. Once you get the hang of the XML it is quite easy and much better than having other programs modifying dlls.

Only things that would be nice now is having multiple custom menus (sounds like this might be in the works!) and being able to remove the blue overlay of the non-selected items in the custom menu. I would like it to be grayscale like the other menus.



mcet.zip 2931k .zip file
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