The download instructions were not very clear on the version, so I downloaded Ubunto 6.06 because it didn't expire for a longer time. The instructions just say "Take an Ubuntu Live Cd and boot from it" although I didn't see until later that it says up at the top to use 6.10. They could have been a lot more clear on that and I wouldn't have wasted hours downloading the wrong version. I'm still not sure why it isn't integrated into LinuxMCE.
One thing I also noticed was that when I clicked install Linux MCE from the desktop, it destroyed my LinuxMCE CD. It would have been more polite to simply say "sorry wrong version" rather than destroying a CD like that. I had to re-burn CD from the iso (fortunately I hadn't deleted it off my xp machine). Yes, my windows machine confirmed that it was really trashed and not simply temporarily unreadable.
So finally, I installed Ubuntu 6.10. Then clicked on the MCE install. After about two hours of grinding the CD, I just went to bed. This morning, it said it was done, but it really wasn't. I went to the menu and clicked on media center and it started grinding again. After about an hour, it took me to a black screen with lines on it. There was no way out. I had to hit the reset button and start over. Now I just get into ubuntu (which by itself seems pretty nice). I'm not clear on what MCE is supposed to do, but staring at a black screen with lines on it is not very interesting.
Even after all that, it still couldn't do the most basic things like play an mp3, mpg or wmv file. I found a Linux codec pack on a web site and installed it. It was a rather complicated installation process that involves reseting the password of ROOT to something that I know, changing the settings so that you are allowed to log in as root, logging in as root, copying files to specific directories and then to other specific directories, changing permissions, and then switching back to the main user, but it now plays with a player called xine. I also loaded wine and I'm hoping I can run the ATI DVR software with it and actually record my own video like I can in windows. I have the ATI all in wonder card.
Not everything works with wine. I tried loading Nero 7.0 and it crashed in the middle of the installation process.
In summary, I'm not impressed with LinuxMCE at all. However, being a windows user, I think this unbuto Linux has some real promise. I was very impressed with that. I don't think that most windows users would be tolerant of all that root stuff. An automated install is the way to go.