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Thread: interested in using ME as a frontend. Some Questions inside:

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb interested in using ME as a frontend. Some Questions inside:

    I have my hardware setup and ready to go. Right now, I'm working on the software stage.

    I'm working on a slimmed down, fast booting copy of WinXP, but need to start working on a frontend too, to test compatibility, etc.

    I want to use Media Engine as my front end. It seems simple, and to the point. I've skimmed over the manual briefly, and still have a few questions:

    *What external programs do I need to install with ME?
    I understand that it uses the old/classic version of media player to display video, and I will have to include my own codecs (divx, xvid, dvd, etc). It looks like winamp may be included with ME, and I won't have to download/install anything besides codecs. What about visuals? Does ME display visualisations while playing mp3s?

    *What about GPS?
    It looks like ME doesn't have any support for GPS programs, and I must install my own 3rd party GPS application, which ME will "embed". What program do you guys prefer? I've read about iGuidance 2.1, iGuidance 3.0, Map Monkey + Destinator 3, Destinator 6, etc etc etc. There are so many different programs out there. I'm in North America, and would like up-to-date maps, and an easy to use, and easy to see interface.

    *Eject button?
    Is there a way to add an eject button to the interface of ME? I'm not sure how to go about this... if I'd have to get a program to actually eject the disc, or if there's a way to make a function call to the OS to eject the disc... I am using a slim slot loading drive, hidden away, so the physical button is inaccessible (without modifying the hardware to relocate the button, which I really don't want to do)

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate john05srt4's Avatar
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    Well i am pretty new with this too but i love MEDIA ENGINE so far.
    *external apps is to add icons to say internet explorer or MS word or something.
    *GPS, ive read it does have GPS now that i am trying to figure out to, i just got iguidance this week though so well see.
    *You can DL the skin editor and change buttons fairly easy and point them to differnt EXE's. An eject button, well that im not sure of but it would make sense.

  3. #3
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    although i dont know about the gps, it would be very simple to use create an eject button. Like john05srt4 ^^^ said, u can download the skin editor and point the buttons to different EXE's, so make one button say eject, and point it to a small exe file that ejects the disk, similar to one found at http://www.nmia.com/~raster/ej.zip

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    john05str4 & mike827: If you're new to MediaEngine then perhaps you should refrain from posting incorrect information here guys...

    1) You cannot map buttons to executables using the skin editor
    2) You can create an external app mapping to an eject program such as the one mentioned by mike827

    There actually is a button in the secondary button (click the up arrow button) bar in the media browser that looks like 'eject', but apparently it takes you to the top level of the media browser. I can turn that into an eject button with minimal effort but it will eject every cd drive you have installed (normally not a problem in a carpc). Unfortunately I'd have to make it a user selectable option since some folks might have actually figured out what it does and become accustomed to using it. It would also be a good idea to add keyboard and IR control button mappings, which is significantly more work that I don't have time for. So if you'd like to test the exe that has the eject code for this button PM me. The other hitch is that when you insert a cd, the media browser won't automatically see this until you 'nudge' it by browsing away from and then back to the media 'root'.
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  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate john05srt4's Avatar
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    What?
    with skin editor you can make a NEW button and point it to an app cant you?

    and NO i do not think we should refrain from trying to help. Thats what a forum is for. I didnt say i was an expert. If he wanted to know from the company then maybe you should have your OWN forum on mediaengines own website..
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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john05srt4 View Post
    What?
    with skin editor you can make a NEW button and point it to an app cant you?
    You must have MediaEngine confused with RR or Centrafuse or some other front-end that can (there are many).

    Quote Originally Posted by john05srt4 View Post
    and NO i do not think we should refrain from trying to help. Thats what a forum is for. I didnt say i was an expert.
    I did not insinuate that I didn't want people to help each other, because that is indeed the whole point of this (and any) forum. What I said was you should refrain from posting incorrect information. If you post something inaccurate and never correct it, and then a few thousand people read it over the course of a few years, who benefits from that?
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate john05srt4's Avatar
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    OK thats cool.
    Thank you for making such a cool frontend.
    I am a network engineer and I can understand how hard you guys must of worked to get this stable.

    Thank you again...
    10 acura TL tech
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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate CarComp's Avatar
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    One thing that I might add about the original concepts I came up with when designing MediaEngine's skin system (and I didn't base it off of anything existing at the time, I just made it up with the help from Cenwesi (carplayer)) is that the skin system is going to seem more rigid and slightly less flexible than these other players that exist today for a reason. You see, we were aiming to make mediaengine do "certain" things really well and by doing so, we had to limit some of the functionality in areas. To add a button on the main menu to launch an application would be similar to adding redundancy to the external applications feature. I wanted applications that are "NOT" mediaengine to actually seem like separate modules that could be launched from a specific area of MediaEngine (the ext apps area).

    Another thing I want to point out that a LOT of people miss because they are blinded by the bling factor of touchscreens is that MediaEngine was originally designed to work flawlessly as a remote operated application (like Cobra 3) and if you spend the money for an IRMAN you will NOT be dissapointed with the results.

    Mainly the whole point of me going on about this is that what we have accomplished is making a stable application that many people like, is flexible enough to accomodate most people's ideas (see the thread about some guy finding a way to do a slideshow with the movie player) and still stand out as a different approach to the whole car computer interface while yet limiting its users to a specific "feel" that I intended everyone to experience. This is why you can get in ANY car running MediaEngine, and know how to use it.
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