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July 8, 2008

Control Windows Media Center with New Windows SideShow BETA Gadgets

The Windows SideShow Team has announced the availability of 4 BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets that let you control Windows Media Center from a Windows Sideshow device. You can sign-up via Microsoft Connect to gain access to Beta Test these new Windows SideShow Gadgets: 

I believe this link works 1 time per Windows Live ID (You must sign-in with your Windows Live ID to access Beta Programs on Microsoft Connect). You can submit feedback to the team working on these Gadgets on Microsoft Connect.

Here is the breakdown of the 4 Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets and what they do:

  • Now Playing: View what is currently playing in Windows Media Center (includes playback controls)
  • Pictures + Video: Browse your Photos and Videos folders
  • Music: Browse your Music folder and play any song
  • TV: Look at what is on TV via the Windows Media Center Guide, Schedule Recordings, and View Recordings (in a Thumbnail view)

I downloaded and installed the Windows Media Center BETA Windows SideShow Gadgets on my Dell XPS 420 which has a built in Windows SideShow device on the top front of the system (the XPS MiniView). It’s pretty slick to be able to control Windows Media Center from a Windows SideShow device. I’m quite fond of the Now Playing Gadget myself and the TV Gadget. I utilize Windows Media Center as my primary DVR for recording TV. If you have a Windows SideShow device – definitely give these Windows SideShow Gadgets a try!

NOTE: These 4 Windows Media Center Windows SideShow Gadgets *are* currently in BETA.  

Speaking of Windows Media Center – join Patrick Norton from Tekzilla tomorrow Tuesday July 8th for the 3rd Webinar (of 4 webinars total) on the new Extender for Windows Media Center from HP – the HP MediaSmart Connect. Click here to register for the webinar.