AMD Maui: Ultimate HTPC Integration

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AMD Live! Applications and Additional Software

The AMD Live! Explorer is a web portal that takes you to the AMD Live! site and provides links to various applications partnered with AMD Live!. They are a mix of free and paid software, some of which can be added to Media Center, making their features accessible by remote control alone.

Fusion Tunes (Free, $29.99 for Pro version) - merges iTunes into Media Center and Media Player. With the popularity of the iPod, Apple's iTunes is the application of choice for many users, even on the PC, to manage their media libraries. Unfortunately, Fusion Tunes does not work with media procured through the iTunes Music Store, not for free anyway. For that you need the Pro version.

MyTV ToGo ($29.99) - converts Media Center recorded TV content (DVR-MS files) on the fly, to various formats for mobile devices. However, the list of devices supported has not been updated for almost an entire year, so this service may have been abandoned or neglected. Syncing is supported on the following devices:

  • Apple iPod
  • Apple iPhone
  • Creative Zen M
  • Laptop PC
  • Microsoft Zune
  • Palm Treo 700W
  • Pocket PC
  • Smartphone
  • Sony PSP
  • Toshiba GigaBeat

MyTV Genie ($19.99) - suggests and records TV shows you may like by keeping track of what shows you watch and the ratings you assign to them. It's sort of like the iTunes Genius, except for TV shows. In the future you will also be able to create your own channel to share your particular taste in TV shows to others, creating a social networking aspect to the least social thing a person can do.

LogMeIn (Free, $49.95 for Pro version) - allows users to access a computer system from anywhere in the world online. You can login to your machine, check your email and set your HTPC to record. To enable file transfer and photo/music/video sharing via LogMeIn, a Pro account is required.

Jacked (Free) - interactive sports desktop that generates customized, real-time data on sporting events. Follow the play-by-play of any major league game as it happens and relevant information including statistics news, links, and images to the players and teams involved. The layout can be customized to display whatever is important to you and you can follow several differnet games simultaneously using tabs. It is the perfect companion for a sports fanatic, but unfortunately you can't watch the game through Jacked. You'll need to find your own live feed or watch it the old fashioned way.

On Demand (Free) - provides access and control of your multimedia library over the internet.

PodShow (Free) - PodShow, now known as mevio, is an online multimedia network. While the site has plenty of audio and video content, it does not integrate with Media Center.

The services that could be fused with Media Center are certainly welcome, as they make them accessible via any Vista remote control. The ones that require a web interface however are seemingly anti-thetical to the vision AMD Live! is striving for. To us, a truly easy home theater experience excludes having a keyboard in our lap while watching TV, or struggling to move a mouse cursor atop a couch cushion. It seems to us that AMD Live! has had to make a compromises. Some of these programs seem very useful, while others seem like they were included as part of a simple affiliate-driven profit business model.

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre.

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre is a Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and AVCHD capable media player. It is basically Arcsoft's version of PowerDVD. It is pre-integrated into Media Center, so Blu-ray/DVD playback can be effortlessly controlled from the comfort of your couch/bed with a few clicks.

M.Play Home Center.

M.Play Home Center allows you to customize the read-outs of the LCD display. By default it continuously rotates, displaying things such as the given name of the system, the current application in the foreground, the volume level, the level of CPU/network utilzation and other oddities.

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