Revisiting Windows Media Center as a front end...
During the current rebuild of my CarPC, I have been playing left and right with different front ends, their stability, look and feel, usability etc. While most of them offer a lot of "functionality", I'm finding that none of them "look and feel" as good as a stock system, for e.g. the stock Mercedes command system, the Audi MMI based system or the BMW iDrive. Why is that?
Is that because the front end may be written by one company/person, while the additions/plugins are written by many others? Is it because we haven't focussed enough on the "usability" and user experience of these front ends?
I'll take Windows Media Center as an example. First, this is NOT designed to be a car front end as such, it is designed for a "media experience" in your living room. However, THAT experience is absolutely beautiful. The media listings, searching, playback, album art, browsing etc etc are absolutely FLAWLESS. And the interface is "intuitive" and pleasing, which I find to be lacking in almost all car specific front ends.
I almost feel like adding a few pieces of functionality to Media Center to make it more car friendly, the basic framework is there.