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Topics - Oceanwatcher

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Feature requests & roadmap / MediaCenter for my grandmother
« on: April 07, 2007, 03:02:23 am »
Here are the things I think would make a big difference:

1. Nice and tidy design

2. Nice and tidy design

3. The interface should be possible to simplify. Why not let it come preset as a barebones mediaplayer/center? Straight out of the box experience - Only the livingroom and one user. Then extra stuff can be added whenever the user feel like it. As of now, it seems to overwhelming with all features and possibilities. Simplify is actually a good thing here. I know a lot of people want to have all sorts of things, but all the basic stuff has to be covered before any attempt is done to cover the rest. I actually prefer something that does the basics really well over something that is more advanced, but really do not do it too well... Nuf said.

4. All but the most basic settings should be done through a web interface from a computer. NB! I am not thinking of LinuxMCE as a computer. It is a MediaCenter. In the same sense, I am not referring to a broadband router as a computer. But a lot of people these days are used to change settings on their broadband router through a browser. So having to configure LinuxMCE the same way is totally ok.

5. Completely control it through a normal looking IR remote - Logitech among others. NEVER having to move anything around on the screen in a mouselike way. Mouse is for computers. This is not a computer.

6. Pack everything into a nice ISO including the Linux distro. Do not wait for it to become Ubuntu compliant. Pack everything so anyone can just pop it into their PC and fire up the installer. This way there will be no loose ends.

7. Make a plug-in repository and a nice GUI system that allow you to add plug-ins at will from the web interface.

8. Don't compare yourself to the competition. They know they have been left in the dust when people all over the world start using LinuxMCE because it is easier to use and more powerful. No more bashing, please.

9. Nice and tidy design. Again. MythTV and Windows MCE actually has some nice things. And Apple has always been all about design. If I am going to have something on my 40 foot screen in the livingroom, it better look like a million dollars. So find a designer and do some real design work. I am sure there are designers out there that would LOVE to have a go. Why not make it a competition? Or ask people to make a mock-up in Photoshop with a couple of screens of their dream LinuxMCE design?

Some of these things might already be addressed. But the part about simplifying is really important. The first thing that is needed for people is to have a box that can show TV with full timeshift, play DVD's and MP3's and show pictures. Not only from the built-in HD, but from any server on the network. These features should be on top and require almost no configuration.

Could my grandmother use such a system? Sure. She can use a normal remote control for a tv. She can turn the TV on, she can press up and down keys for channel change and she can turn volume up and down. She can not do any programming. That is what grandchildren are for :-)

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