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Thread: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

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    Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Is Windows 7 a multimedia powerhouse? We take a look in the fourth part of our Windows 7 review.
    Read more.

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    Overclocking Since 1988 nightkhaos's Avatar
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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    I tend to widely ignore the built in tools that come with Windows for media, prefering to use KMPlayer. it's not that WMP and WMC aren't bad, it's just until some smart boofin at Microsoft replicates certien functions of KMPlayer that are vital for my energy and resource conservation needs, and media experience, I am not fussed.

    One of the two features I am refering to is dynamic stereo to surround. Having 5.1 speakers and the system only piping sound out of LF and RF is a waste. Even quadraphonic would be an improvement, and easy to implement without dynamicly cross-fading the center speaker. iTunes also suffers from this problem.

    Finally is GPU decoding of movies. Some codecs can be decoded on the GPU, but for various reasons they are not being. Which means I end up using more CPU than I need to, espeically for 1080p video.
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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    One of the two features I am refering to is dynamic stereo to surround. Having 5.1 speakers and the system only piping sound out of LF and RF is a waste. Even quadraphonic would be an improvement, and easy to implement without dynamicly cross-fading the center speaker. iTunes also suffers from this problem.
    That's only a problem with 2.0 sources, 5.1 sources will output 5.1 to your speakers. Upscaling 2.0 to 5.1 is really a job for drivers, many do, particularly Creative X-Fi and Asus Xonar drivers can do this in hardware iirc.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    Finally is GPU decoding of movies. Some codecs can be decoded on the GPU, but for various reasons they are not being. Which means I end up using more CPU than I need to, espeically for 1080p video.
    Hmm?.. WMP12 and WMC do use DXVA.

    My gripe is with the libraries, it doesn't support adding network shares which aren't 'available offline' (i.e. cached, which defeats one of the points of using remote storage), or without Windows Search 4, which means anything that uses Samba; Linux servers, NAS boxen and so forth.
    Last edited by aidanjt; 21-10-2009 at 11:36 AM.
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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    That's only a problem with 2.0 sources, 5.1 sources will output 5.1 to your speakers. Upscaling 2.0 to 5.1 is really a job for drivers, many do, particularly Creative X-Fi and Asus Xonar drivers can do this in hardware iirc.
    My Xonar drivers do do it, but only KMPlayer makes use of the functionality, hence my gripe.


    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    Hmm?.. WMP12 and WMC do use DXVA.
    Real? I might buy a remote then and try out WMC with the extra codecs for MKV.

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    My gripe is with the libraries, it doesn't support adding network shares which aren't 'available offline' (i.e. cached, which defeats one of the points of using remote storage), or without Windows Search 4, which means anything that uses Samba; Linux servers, NAS boxen and so forth.
    Oh yeah, that's gonna be a real headache for those who only ordered Windows Home Premium or don't have insane storage like myself. I'm sure some smart boofin will create a patch, offical or otherwise, to fix the issue.
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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    I'm sure some smart boofin will create a patch, offical or otherwise, to fix the issue.
    Yeah, Windows search functionality was one of the things on the Google Summer of Code list on Samba's website, but I'm not sure if it was done, or how far off it is from being integrated into a release. I should probably check their development tree.

    I had a quick glance, it hasn't been merged into the main samba.git tree, yet. As far as I can tell.
    Last edited by aidanjt; 21-10-2009 at 12:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    My gripe is with the libraries, it doesn't support adding network shares which aren't 'available offline' (i.e. cached, which defeats one of the points of using remote storage), or without Windows Search 4, which means anything that uses Samba; Linux servers, NAS boxen and so forth.
    Are you sure? I'm sure I added the Music, Photo and Video shares from my NAS to Media Centre and they worked fine. I'll have to have a look when I get home.

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    My experience of WMP12 is that it's good in some ways, but totally useless otherwise. If you have a remotely large library, say over 30GB of music, it takes forever to actually load it up. Why? Indexing.

    Every single time i fire up media player i have to quickly tab to the track i want because WMP will take up 50% of my CPU and effectively lock up within 5 minutes whilst it tries to catalogue everything. If it only did it once i could cope, but even if i let it sit for a day to go through it all, it restarts every time i load up.

    The problem is, i really like WMP. I don't know why it gets such a bad rep. It's far better than iTunes which is so unintuitive it's unreal - with WMP if you click on the album of the artist playing, it takes you to the album. In iTunes, if you click on the little arrows - logically pointing you into your library - it takes you to the store to tempt you to buy the album you're already bloody playing! So yeah, i navigation in WMP has always been nice for me.

    Oh and i'm tired of Battery, come up with a 1080p visualiser please...

    If i'm honest, i preferred WMP11. It had all the nice parts of media player without this bloated drive mining they insist on doing.

    As a result i find that using the Zune media player for music is much better and then VLC for everything else.

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    WMP .MOV SUPPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    (to any apple users without ipods, you can come back to windows now, it isn't bloated any more)

    lol....


    on a more serious note, its a shame the colour chooser had gone.

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiternoise View Post
    My experience of WMP12 is that it's good in some ways, but totally useless otherwise. If you have a remotely large library, say over 30GB of music, it takes forever to actually load it up. Why? Indexing.

    Every single time i fire up media player i have to quickly tab to the track i want because WMP will take up 50% of my CPU and effectively lock up within 5 minutes whilst it tries to catalogue everything. If it only did it once i could cope, but even if i let it sit for a day to go through it all, it restarts every time i load up.
    I've experienced no such issues - WMP12 on Win7 RC, x64, >100GB music? Loads straight away no faffing around, no CPU usage (@14s usage, having started it up, chosen a couple of albums to play and started playing them, and then got it to display all my music - 25,136 tracks. And to add to that, it's apparently updating the library at the same time as doing all this.

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    As a note to the article, there IS a way to get iPlayer/4OD/ITVOD etc integrated into media centre, I have been using it for about a year

    http://www.milliesoft.co.uk/index.php

    Also Sky player is coming as a plugin apparently
    http://www.techradar.com/news/softwa...-centre-643937

    I love the new features, I even love it enough to be willing to put together at some point a dedicated HTPC for use in my room, with a DVB-s2 card adding in at a later date (not enough hd content to warrant one now, and got a spare sky box already.... but depending on cost of the viewing card a dvb-s pc card might be a cheaper alternative!)

    Was it tested with a Logitech Harmony remote at all?
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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    My gripe is with the libraries, it doesn't support adding network shares which aren't 'available offline' (i.e. cached, which defeats one of the points of using remote storage), or without Windows Search 4, which means anything that uses Samba; Linux servers, NAS boxen and so forth.
    Worked fine here since RC stage.

    That said, if you've got any large number of content files, the performance is just awful. The WHS I have just has this wonderful IJW syndrome, the way its completely integrated with the search on all of my 'connector' enabled PCs is just brilliant.

    And as for whiternoise's issue, i'm not sure whats going on? I'd guess the location has never been indexed? I've got about 600GB of music, plenty of it lossless, and it has little issue. Enless I put it on a slow wireless link, then it completely stalls as it loads the 1,100 artists, it takes about 15 seconds, but the interface just has no "working...." or any considerations for a slow network link .
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    i found you need to add network folders through the WMC interface, not the actually library or you get an error regarding indexing.

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    Re: Reviews - Windows 7 - Part 4: Media Experience

    just got my windows 7 installed now. It's also my first time on 64-bit. Looks pretty sleek and fast so far. I love the peek feature, I've only been using 7 for 20 minutes and I've already used that feature several times.

    Definitely an improvement!
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