Vista Media Center – Obvious Usability Shortcomings

User interface is so important, and shouldn’t lightly be sacrified for functionality.  There’s always another way to approach things if you think about it hard enough.  I’m only on the second sentence and I’m already getting off topic.  :)  Vista Media Center has some obvious improvements over the previous Media Center Edition, but for some reason they leave out simple yet big impact features.  This is a list of a few things that I am missing.

  • Automatic “jump-back” when finishing a fast-forward.  After a fast forward, media center should automatically rewind just a bit from where the fast-forward left off.  How far it should rewind, or “jump-back”, depends on the fast-forward speed.
  • Automatic “jump-forward” when finishing a rewind.  Just the opposite of above.
  • Desktop personalization.  I seem to be restricted to always the same blue background screen.
  • Libraries – I need more display options for when there are many items.  The options I have now don’t take enough screen real estate to show me as much at once as I’d like it to.
  • DVD Library.  By the time you read this you probably already know about the “hack” aka registry value that you can set to add a “DVD Library” option to the Media Center start menu.  The fact that this isn’t there out of the box is signal that somebody at MS is bowing down to those who don’t want us to rip our DVDs.
  • Remote: I am missing a button that will immediately close Media Center and take me to the PC desktop.  Having to scroll down to the “Close” icon in Tasks is annoying.
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Print | posted on Friday, January 9, 2009 3:48 PM

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