Chameleon MediaCenter

Industry News & Views

In an effort to improve the Chameleon MediaCenter new user experience, we have completely revamped the CMC website from the ground up. Yes, it looks similar, but trust us, this website is all new.

While the old static site was decent, it required a high level of effort to make even the simplest of content changes, having been designed with a tool that is no longer supported by the publisher. Worse, lately it had become obvious that new users trying out CMC for the first time were not having a good experience, due in part to the information on the old website not keeping up with the fast pace of development for CMC. Finally we decided the problems were too big, we needed to scrap the old website and start over.

This new site is much easier for us to maintain, which will allow for us to provide fresher content and up-to-date tutorials. While it has been a lot of hard work to stand up a new site, we feel that providing better support to CMC users like you is worth the effort.

We’ve replaced the old ‘How-To’ section with the new ‘Getting Started‘ section, which has been rewritten to provide a clear path for new users to achieve nirvana with CMC. Even if you are a long-time user of CMC, we recommend you give it a good read through as it might reveal some new features you hadn’t discovered on your own.

Also new is this ‘Industry News & Views’ section, which will provide us a blogging platform to deliver content relevant to HTPC users like you.

There might still be a few rough edges on the new site, plus the occasional typo. If you see anything that looks wrong, or have any ideas on how we can further improve the new site, please let us know.

CMC v3.1 brings some major enhancements that introduce some notable missing features, and now CMC is mostly feature complete the WMC+My Movies capabilities.

The first thing you’ll notice is a new startup splashscreen, which should make the startup less jarring.  Though if you prefer not to have the new splashscreen, it can be easily disabled.

The biggest improvement in v3.1 is a fully reworked My Movies syncing routine.  The changes are all under the covers, but they result in significantly faster Full Syncs and SmartSyncs, and a LOT of SmartSync bugs have been fixed so you shouldn’t have to do a Full Sync as often anymore.  While the speed improvements are quite nice, the code changes are actually laying the groundwork for even bigger improvements to syncing your My Movies collection in the future.

You can now jump through your titles with your number pad or keyboard using more than 1 letter, and the letters you have entered show on-screen.  Similarly, you can now use your number pad to perform text entry on the Real-Time Search panel, so you no longer have to pull out your keyboard to search by Title, Synopsis, Actor, Director, Writer and/or Producer.

You can finally play Movie Trailers from the movie details screen.  If the trailer is available the “Trailer” text will turn white when you select it, or gray if no trailer is available.  Trailers will open using MPC-BE (so this must be installed).  Helpful Tips: If some trailers don’t play but just open to a blank screen, make sure your MPC installation is fully up to date.  Also, you will have to do a full export of your entire collection with CME v1.2 to export the YouTube Trailer ID’s.

A popular request to support DNA files (Do Not Add) to exclude directories from importing into CMC is now available in v3.1.  Just create an empty text file named “CMC.dna” (capatalization is not important) in any folder you want excluded, and CMC will skip that folder and all subdirectories inside of it.

If you have offline titles stored away in boxes/organizers, if you log their location in My Movies (Personal Data > Location) then CMC v3.1 will now display this location info when you go to play the title.

A lot of attention was also paid to fixing memory leaks and other bugs, making CMC v3.1 the best Chameleon MediaCenter yet.

Check out the Downloads page for more details.  And for a nice write-up of What’s New, check out this forum post:  CMC v3.1 & CME v1.2 – Here’s What’s New!

CMC v3.1 is a free upgrade for all users.  For current users, CMC will let you auto-update to the new version the next time you run your current version.

With the new year comes some great new features for Chameleon MediaCenter.  First up is that CMC now has multi-lingual support, and v2.1 is shipping with German, French and Spanish translations included.  This was a monumental effort, made successful in large part due to the generosity of several CMC users who meticulously performed the translations.

Another monumental change is that the entire Settings menu was redone for v2.1.  Options are now nicely laid out in categories.  Every single option includes on-screen help describing what each option does (yes, these are translated too!).  And the entire Settings menu now works with a mouse in addition to keyboard/remote input (we hope to extend mouse support to more areas of the GUI in the future).

For the first time, v2.1 supports skinning the GUI.  This is just the first step in adding skinning support, as currently only the graphics are swappable.  In the future, we plan to add support for custom colors too.  The effort to enable skinning also resulted in a 40% reduced program size.

Program startup speed has been dramatically enhanced in v2.1 – for many users you may see startup time cut in half, or better.

There’s also lots of cosmetic tweaks and bug fixes that make v2.1 the best version yet of Chameleon Media Center.

Check out the Downloads page for more details.  For current users, CMC/MM Browser will let you auto-update to Chameleon MediaCenter the next time you run your current version.