Open source software has made strides as of recently from full blown operating system, games, and even media management and playback software. The obvious advantages of open source software to the end user is both innovation and cost. The disadvantage with a great deal of open source software has been the user interface and ease of use. Xbox Media Center started as an open source media organizer and player for a modified original Xbox console. Recently the Xbox Media Center project has expanded to support Windows based computer as well as a host of other platforms.
A major benefit to running a full screen media management and playback application is the ability to use it comfortably in the living room with a consumer electronic feel, rather than a computer feel to the interface. In this article I will focus on the Windows version of Xbox Media Center with it’s well thought out interface and how it can be useful in the living room setting for music playback and organization.