******************Note From Author******************
Okay guys and gals, we are back to blogging! Due to the busyness of the holidays my free time was reduced. Also, due to the team being very busy this holiday season, a lot of news has been released and I thought it best to not have that info buried by blogs. Well have no fear we are picking right up where we left off. Today I will be putting myself on the couch as I actually have a lot to share, like my recipe for K-Paxian Stew!!!
On the Couch: Lyfesaver74
As if talking to one's self was not crazy enough, today Lyfesaver74 will be actually answering himself!! Wait a tic.. am I referring to myself in the third person? Okay, maybe I have gone off the deep end. But hey... in these types of conversations... at least I am always right!
Enough of that! I am going to be telling you all about myself today, and hopefully not bore you tears in the process! As you will find as you read, I have my fingers in many pies, but my main goal with MediaPortal is promotions and public relations. So, without further ado (or adon’t) let’s jump right in!
How did you become interested in HTPCs?
Much like everyone else, I did not enjoy following the traditional standards of: “This is the Cable/Satellite company you can use in this area. Deal with it!”. I had also amassed a collection of digital media I wanted to access on-the-fly. I spent about two days with WMC, and decided there had to be something better.
How did you first find MediaPortal?
Oddly enough, I found MediaPortal via Wikipedia! I knew I had some learning to do before I could even begin researching what software to look up. As usual, I hit up google and saw the Wikipedia link somewhere near the top when i searched for info on HTPCs. I thought it a good place to start and began my reading. Eventually I came to the link HTPC Software. I checked out the comparison chart and found the MediaPortal link/section. It was all downhill from there!
What is your favorite feature of MediaPortal?
For me... the absolute best feature about MediaPortal is its community. I know, I know that’s not the proper response for this question as it implies a feature about the software itself, and maybe I will mention one of those too. But I must say, that the people who help develop, document, support or just use MediaPortal are just awesome-sauce personified! The passion and dedication from the members of this project are truly unparalleled by any other open source projects. This is the hands down BEST thing about MediaPortal.
Now, as for the software, it might be a cop-out, but it is a tie between it’s stability and extendability.
What are some of your favorite plugins?
WOAH! This is a big one! Okay and these are in no particular order, but the plugins I use daily are:
mvCentral - Music videos for MP
MP-TVSeries - Playing saved TV shows
Moving Pictures - Playing saved movies
Now these are all great plugins, but made much more powerful with IMDb+ (Gives Moving Pictures a robust boost with extra features and scrapers), SubCentral (subtitels for movies and TV), Trakt (Social networking for your media), OnlineVideos (offers movie trailers and access to popular online video sites), Youtube.fm (browse music videos on YouTube and save them to add to your collection), Fan Art Handler and Latest Media Handler.
I also cant live without the Extensions plugin (Manage your plugins from within MP), Pandora Music Box (Pandora radio for MP) and InfoService.
What are some of your favorite skins?
aMPed is the only skin I use on a regular basis and it has been that way since I started using MediaPortal. I say this because it offers a few more options for my taste (Sports in MP-TVSeries) and makes browsing my media a bit easier (Actor info in Moving Pictures from thumb views without going into Movie Details).
That being said, I could not say this is “The Best Skin For Me” without seriously trying out the others. I have installed, configured and used a total of 14 skins (mainly for video and trade show purposes). The following skins have really impressed me and given me pause as to stay with aMPed or not:
How many hours a day do you use MediaPortal?
I can say that this house uses 30+ hours a day of MP use. I, myself, work from home in front of a TV, so it is not uncommon to spend 12+ hours a day with MP. I usually just leave the TV set to mvCentral during the first 8 hours of my day (my working hours). Plus, with a 7” tablet built into my car I can access all my media on the go via MP-Extended and aMPdroid.
What is your MediaPortal set up like?
Oh, boy! This is a tuffy. Okay, I have one server desktop with 9TB of HDD space, 2 USB tuners and no monitor! I have 4 HTPC clients (living room, office, bedroom 1 & bedroom 2). My set up is further extended to my sisters house (VPN & MP), her laptop (WebMediaPortal) and 4 android devices using aMPdroid (car tablet, my cell phone, father’s cell phone and a friend’s tablet).
Have you tried other media center software, and how did it compare?
I have. After about 1 week of trying to get MP 1.0 beta to work, I spent a few weeks running XBMC and MP to see which I liked better. At that point XBMC was much more stable (they can no longer boast that) but the MediaPortal support community seemed much more knowledgeable and responsive... and this was from just afew users and moderators!!! It seemed no matter which way I went I was going to have to do some learning, changing and growing to do and I decided I would rather do that with the peeps at MP, rather than the people at XBMC.
What MediaPortal projects are you currently active in?
As a promoter of all things MP... that pretty much makes me, to some degree, active in everything I can find. MediaPortal is one big *** portal! There is a LOT going on out there. From all the plugins, and all the skins to all the other extensions (aMPdroid, MP-Extended, Wifi-Remote, MPTagThat, etc) I try and keep on top of what is going on. Because I have to spend so much time trying out every new thing that hits the forums, reading up on all the change logs, testing many new versions of different plugins or skins (let's face it I am not going to blog about it until it is ready for you try) plus blogging about all of this, I have very little time to actually stay in touch with what the team is doing. I rely on a few of my fellow team members to keep me abreast of team activity so I don't miss anything. I want to say thanks guys, you know who you are!
What future MediaPortal projects do you have planned?
Whatever you can dream up! Seriously, if you wish to add to the MediaPortal project in any way, you have a loud mouthed Texan with an odd sense of humor ready to tell the world about what you have to offer.
Where are you from?
Dallas, Texas! GO Cowboys, Rangers, Stars and 2011 NBA Champions “The Dallas Mavericks”!
What do you do for a living?
I do a number of things from web and database administration to custom network solutions.
What languages do you speak fluently?
Fluently? Only English, but I can get by in Spanish, Ebonics, Jive and drunk-speak (although I don't drink myself)
Coke vs. Pepsi?
Coca-Cola above all, but I dig Dr. Pepper, Sprite and all root beer
Eddie Izzard vs. Eddie Murphy?
Star Wars vs. Star Trek?
Star Trek... by far.
What are your top 5 favorite TV shows of all time?
Not in order, as that would take serious consideration:
- Good Eats
- Penn & Teller’s: Bullshit!
- Mystery Science Theatre 3000
What are your top 5 favorite movies of all time?
Again, in no particular order:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Love, Actually
- Die Hard
- Remember the Titans
- The Shawshank Redemption
What are your top 5 favorite musicians/bands of all time?
Not in any order:
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- The Lonely Island
- Paul Simon
What is your browser homepage set to?
We need your support!!! Please if you love MediaPortal and can offer ANY type of support please let us know. Not just with donations, but developers are in great need! MediaPortal 1 has some awesome developers and they could always use more. But with MediaPortal 2 drawing closer, we need more developers not only for MP2 itself, but a lot of the current popular projects (MP-TVSeries, aMPed, mvCentral, aMPdroid, StreamedMP, are just a FEW of them) have express interest to me that would like to bring in developers to help maintain development for MP1 and help with an MP2 version of the extension.
If you are not a developer, well that is okay too. We could use a lot of help with documentation and promotions of MediaPortal. If you would not mind running a trade show (paid for by me) or can express yourself in an articulate, and direct fashion, then you too can help MediaPortal!