MediaPortal was designed to be extended! Our success is obvious from the huge number of plugins and skins that are continually being developed. The entire community actively participates in this development. We not only welcome your participation, we count on it!
Community skins and plugin developers have direct access to consult with the core developers and designers regarding best coding methods and practices. Many are invited to join our Team.
Create a Plugin
If you have a great idea for extending MediaPortal, why not develop your own Plugin?
Community plugin developers have direct access to consult with our core developers in the General Development Forum, or on our IRC channel.
One of the easiest ways to learn the ropes is to assist one of our Community Developers to develop and maintain an existing plugin.
MediaPortal supports several types of plugins. You can use each of these types to extend MediaPortal in a specific way. The plugin types are:
- Process - work in the background without any user interface
- Tag Reader - read media file tags
- External Player - play media using external applications
- Window (GUI) - contain a user interface and allow the user to interact with them.
Window plugins are by far the most interesting.
Design a Skin
One of the most popular ways to contribute to MediaPortal is to create your own modification of an existing skin, like our default skin Blue3.
Or, you may offer to help one of our many expert community skin designers to expand and maintain their community skin. Just contact the author and offer assistance.
If you wish to design your own skin, the best way is to start with an existing skin like Blue3(wide). You can change graphics and colors to create a whole new look without needing to learn too much about coding or our Skin Engine.
Once you get more advanced, you can start to modify the layout, and user interface to create a whole new concept. Please consult our Skin Architecture to familiarize yourself with the skin Engine and many options available.
The GUI Controls Demo plugin can help you learn how to use the various skin controls.
A Skin Editor, which makes skin design much easier, is currently in development. A second beta release is available and it is nearing completion.