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What media player do you use for HTPC?  I've been trying VLC and XBMC.  I'd like to run a playlist with different media files (JPG, MKV, MPG, MP3). I think XBMC can handel all of this, but I couldn't get the playlist to work correctly(or at all for that matter).  I was also getting tired of the GUI.  I'd like to have a seamless setup.  The playlist feature in VLC works great except for the MP3s.  When the MP3 plays, it exits from a full screen JPG, back to the media player.  I was hoping to have an image/background in full screen while the MP3 is playing.  I tried assigning cover art to the mp3 file, but it is a small thumbnail within VLC.  Thanks for your replies 
 

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I'm using XBMC with a Mini-ITX PC (AMD 6700 APU) and it's great. XBMC can accommodate everything you've listed, but there will be tweaking and customization required to get it to a place you like. Try playing around with some different skins and fine something you like, then go from there.
 
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