Windows Media Center

How can I rip my CDs and put them on a media server?

Synology NAS

Episode 1488

Walt from Irvine, CA

Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.

What open source media center software can I use on Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi

Episode 1306

Clinton from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Clinton has a minivan with a DVD player and HDMI ports. He got an ATSC converter and an $8 antenna from Amazon so he can get over the air broadcasts. Now he wants to use his Raspberry Pi as a media center. He'll probably want to run OSMC, the Open Source Media Center, which is designed for Raspberry Pi. It's based on the old Xbox Media Center. Raspberry Pi doesn't have any way to capture video, though, so he'll need to find a way to do that.

Why can't I keep using my Windows Media Center?

Episode 1207

Michael from San Dimas, CA

Michael has been using Windows Media Center but now that Microsoft has killed development for it, and the guide for Windows Media Center no longer works, he's been using Kodi. Then he heard of a third party guide which worked great, but now it won't work with Netflix because it's Windows Media Center. Leo says to try MythTV. It's open source, so it won't get killed off, and it has DVR capability. It works great. Another one to try is HDHomeRun.

What are my alternatives to Windows Media Center?

HD HomeRun PRIME

Episode 1195

Jerry from Mission Viejo, CA

Jerry is upset that Microsoft has discontinued Windows Media Center. Leo says that's because Microsoft wants to drive users to the XBox One, where they will be offering options similar to Windows Media Center.

Leo says the HDHomeRun PRIME is a cable top box that uses a cable card to do many of the same functions as Windows Media Center for $150. He'll be able to take his cable card out of his computer and into the HDHomeRun PRIME.

What are my options when Windows Media Center stops working?

Episode 1191

Tyler from Thousand Oaks, CA

Tyler has been using a cable card with Microsoft Windows Media Center on his computer to watch TV, but now with Microsoft killing WMC, what are his options? Leo says that there are other options including Kodi (formerly XBMC) and Plex. The Chatroom says TEAM Media Portal is an option because of the digital rights management issue. The reason why Microsoft killed Windows Media Center is because they want people to buy the XBox One game console. Tyler can watch, but can't record.

How can I troubleshoot a sound card issue?

Episode 1023

Chuck from

Chuck says that his Windows Media Center has lost all it's sound. Leo says it could be as easy as a bad or loose speaker wire, or most likely a corrupted sound driver. It could also be a poorly coded video which prevents the audio from being played. Leo recommends playing it with VideoLan's VLC Media Player. If you can hear the audio, then you know that Windows Media Center is causing the issue. If it doesn't, then Leo recommends playing back with headphones. If that works, then you know it has to be your sound cables.