Here's one customization, with a list of changed .pngs:
Very cool, great for a "night skin". It proves it's possible to re-skin WMC, though. With this, Media Center Studio.
I looked AT the files, they're just image files. No xml, nothing. I doubt windows update will touch .png files?
Anyway I tested Media Center with the "chevron" hack, I had to creat one entry at the registry (not only change the value), but then it worked. It's more than enough for browsing on the TS.
The Music section is great, because you can see songs, album, artist, ALBUM ARTIST (great for when there's more than one artist in the album - you can use (various), or the main artist, and then each song can have it's own artist or course (no tag conflicts)), COMPOSER (great for classical music, remixes, covers), playlist, YEAR, and genre. Most of those functions (composer, album artist) you can't even find in the almighty RRMedia, not to mention the absurd CF3.0 (no playlist support).
The way the search results are displayed is great. You can play all, play one album, play all albums, add to now playing, all very intuitive.
However, the on screen keyboard is ridiculously small. I'll search for a hack to increase it enough to fill up the screen. I have a Dinovo mini keyboard with me in the car however, so that's passable.
I would never say don't add plug-ins into MCE. But what I found might surprise you a little. MCE can be a pain to customize if you don't know what to look for. Adding plug-ins can put you six-feet under. I played and played with mpa plug-ins for MCE...my finial thought on the matter is...... Its not worth the headache for me. I feel like some of my m4a played well with MCE and some didn't. What I didn't know was there are different types of M4A (AAC, AACPlus, Apple Lossless). I used Easy CD-DA Extractor Pro to convert my m4a's to mp3's (320). I was sad to see some of the songs data was lost, but then I realize that the sound wasn't in a 100% controlled environment. I driving a convertible with the engine on the back of your neck. In the end the m4a format was a headache to force to work inside MCE I can't tell the difference with everything in my driving environment.
nice work BigSeven74 on the WMC looks tops!
a new killer plugin has come out, for those who want to rip blurays and dvd's inside media center with just one click of a button- http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/t/81697.aspx
however, i guess most are running atom chips anyway... i cant imagine the weeks it would take to encode a bluray with them!