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Media Browser goes on sale for the weekend; live TV support on the way

Media Browser

Media Browser (www.mediabrowser3.com) is a handy service, which turns your home PC into a multimedia server. With apps available for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone, consumers are able to access remote content on smartphones, tablets and other supported devices.

The Windows Phone app is on sale for this weekend only, so if you've yet to set up your own home server, be sure to give Media Browser a shot.

As well as the special offer for this weekend only (50 percent off), we've been informed that some new major functionality will be added to Media Browser soon, including localisation with new languages – German, French, Dutch, Swedish and Portuguese – and live TV.‏

The server will be able to stream live programming, while enabling users to set up and configure recordings, which will also be featured in the Windows Phone client itself. Sound good? Here's a quick tease:

Media Browser

We'll keep our eyes peeled for when this update comes out. For the time being, you can grab Media Browser from the Windows ($4.49) and Windows Phone ($1.99, usually $3.99) stores. Only the Windows Phone version is on sale, folks.

QR: Media Browser

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Reader comments

Media Browser goes on sale for the weekend; live TV support on the way

51 Comments

VLC can natively play any format of video/music along with subtitles, in addition to it being completely free. Not every Win8 tablet in my family is under the same account, so I'd rather not pay multiple times for an app like mobileHD player.

While this does little to satisfy the majority of your statement, you can install purchased apps on multiple devices using one account. You just have to log into the store with the account that owns it to do the install then the other users can have access to it. I do this for things I buy for my kids all the time.

You have to use a local account to do that, so it's not a viable option.  You lose the ability to use full device encryption and tracking services when signed in with a local account instead of tying it to a microsoft ID.  All 4 tablets in the household are frequently used away from home (2 Lumia 2520's, 1 dell venue 8 pro, 1 surface RT), so that security feature is essential.  You also lose the ability to synch and save settings- an extremely useful option since 1 device had to be replaced under warranty, and after logging into the new one with the same Microsoft ID, it synched everything to exactly how it was setup on the previous unit.

It's not really so much the costs of the apps (I've gladly spent $80 in apps, purchased music, and xbox music subscription for myself just in the last 3 months), but it would be nice to have some good free/ad supported options.

Everyone wants free free free. If you buy it and another person wants to use it, family or not... Pay for it.

Then the fact that you read it and still typed that stupid comment that had little to do with what I was talking about, makes you look like an even bigger idiot.

Coming from the person who talks with insulting another? Yup, makes me look like the idiot for sure... And you have kids? Hope you teach them not to act like that...

When you try to insult me about something that is completely against point of what I was talking about (wondering when vlc is coming to Windows RT/phone because its free since I didn't feel it necessary to pay mobile.HD multiple times), then I have no reservations in calling you an idiot. Also, you're being an even bigger idiot in your assumption that I am somehow lax in raising my children, I don't even have children. I have 3 dependants, but they're not children.

All you've done is repeatedly make yourself look like an idiot. You should quit now.

Well then in your theory, if I tried some clever way to insult you without having to use derogatory words then why didn't you try to match wit and insult me in some clever way without going lower? Oh well you didn't, no matter. Thing is though, maybe if you kept your composure a little more after being "insulted" like I kept mine after clearly being insulted with some directed insulting words... You might have a little more validity in what you're saying, perhaps wouldn't look so bad against you either. And I do feel better about dependents instead of children as I meant no offense by that, hopefully as dependents instead of children then it is less likely they will take after your way of handling things.

You're done man. You know you were wrong and made yourself look stupid by trying to criticize me for something that didn't even have anything to do with what I was talking about.

The fact that you keep trying to deflect that and criticize me about anything else you can, instead of discussing my original discussion comment is even more proof that you know you're wrong. You came here trying to be an internet hipster and criticize me about something that had nothing to do with what I said because you lack basic reading comprehension, and made a fool of yourself. It would be hilarious if you didn't look so sad right now.

Log off before you make a bigger idiot of yourself.

Look, this kinda doesn't take much though at all so I feel bad that you are this frustrated. Again for others neutral reading through this, they will clearly see I lack basic reading composition even basic communication skills and might as well throw in the basic understanding of why some cross-platform developers choose not to release free or ad-supported versions of their work due to extremely hard work or needing the screen space to be fully in use without it taken up by ads, or that the ads don't even make enough revenue to justify or support releasing with ads or maybe they just don't want to give for free or convolute with ads, maybe the strategy is to make as much money as possible to invest in more production or lavish themselves with gifts since few similar apps are out there and they can, that's their choice but I don't understand that. How dare they choose any of those options so five people can't use their application for free or by only paying once, constantly on multiple devices anywhere with an internet connection as much as they want sharing at friends or families houses or elsewhere whenever they want without either not paying for it at all aside from viewing ads that none of those five people would most likely tap on even once... Or one person pays once for five people to use it as much and wherever they'd like... Imagine to how many other people those five can share and branch out the largest movie collection on the planet with off of one computer database to anyone else anywhere else they go just off of one purchase from the dev's hard work to provide that... But you're right... I know I'm wrong by helping you understand how ridiculous and outrageous your statements and reactions are calling someone an idiot because I am the idiot, not the senseless person who chooses to insult while not even defending or backing up his own argument in the first place. You're way too clever for me, Bahaha... But yes, I am done. With all that said I truly wonder if you'll actually keep gong. Unfortunately, I believe so.

This would be almost funny, if it wasn't so sad watching you try and fail to make yourself feel better about making an idiot of yourself. Are you an alt account of "Hate it or love it"? Because at this point you've reached fail-troll status. Insult all you want, but its clear you're upset. Log off, and play a game or read a book kid.

Not sure where you are getting insults from what I say at all... I'm kind of wondering if you're even responding to me or someone else cause you're kind of not making any sense. I don't even know what an alt account of hate it or love it means, let alone what am I hating or loving? You've pretty much said the same things for the last three posts so come up with something else to say and then try. If you get insults out of this then I'm not even sure what's going to help you at that point. Are you even of age to drink alcohol yet?

You really are upset over this aren't you?  You being wrong or incorrect about something, genuinely upsets you to the point that you need to find any angle whether it's thinly vieled insults or adhominem attacks, so that you can come out ahead or feel like you've "won".

I take it back- it isn't sad watching you fail-troll like this, it's downright hilarious.

I would suggest having your wife help you to understand what is happening here. You're getting things out of this I just don't understand how. Not only have I not used any derogatory name calling but there's so much more composure from my end that I actually dozed off so have someone help if you'd like to continue... Also use your smartphone before using complex words... It's "ad hominem" which usually means something is directed against a person rather than the argument... Bud, you've got it reversed. What that means is in an argument, one doesn't even fight the argument but instead directed at a person rather than his argument, for example where you proceeded to call me an idiot literally six times. Also means you're appealing to emotion rather than reason.. Another example is how heated you're getting with you emotions to revert to name calling out of embarrassment instead of trying trying to back up your statement. Look it up if you'd like. Also trolling... Dude trolling is bashing something continuously throughout a thread or post... Umm I am backing up the developer of this app? Reinforcing why they work to get paid and want to get paid for their work. Trolling or bashing is more along the lines of what you were doing which was bashing the app for not getting what you want which is pretty much what fuels a troll... Feel free to look it up as well.... Here's what is most bizarre to me right now. If I had copied and pasted your last comment, everything there is like dead on against you almost like you're just battling yourself. Not sure what's happening with that but either ask someone to help you or pull up Bing. I'm trying to help you out man. If you truly want to continue then ok but please get someone to help, gl.

 

*In my posts I wast talking about VLC coming to Windows 8 and WP, mainly due to the fact that it handles every media format natively, plus it has the bonus of being free ON EVERY SINGLE OS.

*I only casually mentioned offhand about not wanting to pay several times AGAIN for mobileHD player since I didn't feel it necessary, and would rather wait for VLC.  Again, I never once talked about or complained that the app in this article should be free.

*I never once mentioned a desire for this app to be free.  In fact, I mentioned I that I gladly and regularly pay for apps.  I did mention it's nice to have other options, but never once did I say that this app should be free in any way.

*You commented: "Everyone wants free free free. If you buy it and another person wants to use it, family or not... Pay for it." , your comment had nothing to do with my comments about VLC.  I rightly called you out for it.

*You then assumed I had children and insulted my parenting ability of these nonexistent children, complained about insults while insulting me in turn, insinuated that im drunk, repeatedly accusing me of being upset or heated (I just merely have no problem defending myself agaist someone so wrong), you assumed I had a wife to crack another little insult.

*Every single response you've made to me had nothing to do with my comments about VLC.  I've that out to you more than once.

Go back and read every coment you've made in response to mine from the beginning.  You've clearly made yourself appear as an idiot and a troll.  Sorry if that offends your delicate sensabilities, but seriously go back and reread everything.   You either know you were wrong in your original and following replies to me, and you are digging a deeper whole because you don't want to admit it (troll), or you are too thickheaded to realize you are wrong (idiot).

You also keep trying to play the victim here, but in my responses to you, where have I questioned the quality of your family relationships or how you treat those people?  What has anything you've typed to reply to me in all your comments here have to do with when VLC is arriving on Windows 8?

But you won't honestly answer that.  You'll probably write another wall of text about me needing aid from some random family member or being under the influence of some substance.  Whether you're trolling or too thickheaded to see or admit you were wrong and just walk away- I honestly don't care.  It's just amusing to watch you continue to make a fool of yourself.

If this is anything like the PLEX media server, you download and install the FREE server program on your PC and tell it where your media folders are. You then buy the "client" apps for each device. With PLEX, it's $4.99 for the Windows Phone 8 version, and another $4.99 for the Windows 8.1 "RT" version.

 

They also have the iOS and Android versions out there... so if my wife wants it on her iPhone, I would expect she'd have to pay another $4.99 for hers... See where I'm going with this?

I'm not sure I understand this correctly. So basically you are saying the developers should not be paid for their work? If you worked for 40 hours but you're boss pays you $4.99, is that fair? People seem to think these apps are made within minutes, they are not. They take more than 40 hours, trust me. A one time fee of $4.99 is not much to ask for, If I cant afford it I simply won't buy it. Also keep in mind the developers of iOS, Android and Windows Phone don't work directly together. It isnt all one person making these apps. Every developer worked hard to make their own version for that platform and I think its only fair they should be compensated if you even want to use it.

Here is another example, what if it took you 40 hours for the WP app, 40 hours for the Android app and 40 hours for the iOS app with a total of 120 hours of actual work and then your customers expect you to charge a one time fee of $4.99 giving them access to all three versions? I firmly believe any work deserves to be compensated no matter how insignificant it might seem to you.

I'm not sure you were replying to me or not but I got an email for your comment saying you did. So, first I'm all for compensation I am a huge capitalist. That said hopefully this explanation will better explain my position. I have 2 tvs with 2 bluray players. So lets say I go out and buy a new movie like Thor (never seen it and want to) I buy one copy and can play it on both of my devices. In fact if I owned 10 players I could play it on any of those, as well as any one else in my family wife or kids. The same goes for the digital copy of that movie. Yet if I buy this app unless my wife and kids all use my account I would have to pay for a copy for every person in my family. Another way to explain my thinking is that, pretty much everything in my home I bought yet my family can all use it as if it was there own.
Idk I could be off on this maybe years of our mainstream media propaganda has crept into my head and I'm wanting something for nothing. But reasons stated above is how I got to the belief I have. Feel free to tear it apart through the interwebs lol!

Firstly thank you for your responding in a friendly manner, it is rare seeing that on the interwebs. Good point, when you put it that way where you have to buy a version for every member of your family that makes sense. Maybe if there was an install limit where you can go up to 3-5 devices per purchase it would work. Actually the Windows 8 store (not the one for the Windows Phone) allows you to install your apps up to 81 times on different devices. Problem is though if you look at this report it basically says that the majority of app developers earn less than $500 a month. Only the top percent (the popular apps/games) are earning big bucks but most of them are from major studios and companies that are able to push the product out there which a one or two person development team cant do. A "pay once" form of selling apps for the most part cant bring enough revenue to survive on since if you think about it you pay 99cents-$4.99 or whatever the case may be and the developer still continues adding new features after you already bought the product. They are basically giving you more features for free. That is why I don't mind recommending a paid app to friends or family and asking them to purchase it. Actually what I do is I redeem my Bing rewards points and get a windows store gift card to have them buy the apps that I like to help support the developer so my family/friends get it for free but the developers still get compensated. Anyway I understand your viewpoint but I just hope I was able to enlighten you a tiny bit on the reality of app development.

Np I try to be courteous as often as I can. To hard to have a conversation when everyone's being an a**hole lol. I get it i just bought a pressure washer trying to start a company right now in my time off, mostly Saturdays. So I get wanting to have a successful business and being profitable. I'm finding out that its not enough to just clean a sidewalk or porch. I have to go above and beyond what the next guy does for same price or less. Otherwise why would they choose me and not him. So maybe this is a similar situation, where they can find a way to make it worth buying 2 times, or maybe you lose some functions on secondary devices. Idk exactly again I'm not in this particular field. But business is business and there's always a way to make the consumer choose to pay you over the competition. There's also the possibility that I don't really need what he is offering. Therefore I'm not inclined to pay for his product much less more then once. That's also something that he will have to decide when looking at complaints, are they (I) complaining because they don't need and want free, or do they need and there price needs adjusting?

So if I buy something from a store, like a device... Well my wife wants to use it too so she should just get another copy of it for free? We want two copies but only should pay for one and be given another only cause she wants one too? Not using logic here. Just because this is digital doesn't mean a thing. If you buy something and want to own a 2nd copy or physical thing of the same thing... Well you buy it. You want two flat screens of the same exact kind? You buy both not one. You want to share the same tv in the same room then you buy one and you both use them. Share the same app on the same device then you buy one... Use a tv in two separate rooms you buy two, use an app on two separate devices, you buy two... Starting to make sense yet?

How does that change anything? Does one charge for the CD or player you purchased when someone else listens to it? Do you charge your friend for the book he borrows that you paid for? When you purchase something you own it. For some things, if you then use them for commercial or public purposes, that can be another matter, but apps aren't like that.

Does the same basic thing but the Plex Media Server is much more stable.  It took them a while but Plex is finally really stable for me.

Media Browser is good but it clearly is new in the media serving department.

Hey DJCBS, I have Plex and MediaBrowser running side by side for comparison purposes. I can't tell you which is better than the other, I suppose it just depends on your needs. The difference between Plex and MediaBrowser basically is like comparing iOS to Windows Phone (more like Android in this case). What I mean by that is that Plex is a closed-source while MediaBrowser is open-sourced and community driven. They offer enthusiast-centric customization but not to the extreme that XBMC does. 

Features that set it apart from Plex (If Plex has these, please correct me)

  • Proper XBMC Support: Media Browser has a "Xbmc Metadata Saver" plugin that allows you to use it with XBMC. It can also save the images to be compatible with Plex/XBMC so you can keep using other products.
  • Transparent Metadata Scraping: They offer metadata from FanArt.tv, TheMovieDB.org, TheTVDB.com, The Open Movie Database.
  • Full-Time Metadata Fetcher: It can replace Metabrowser and MediaCenterMaster for your metafetching needs allowing you to keep using Plex/XBMC as your primary player for those instances where Plex can't find metadata.
  • Multi-User Account support without requiring a subscription like PlexPass
  • eBook Plugin - Books/Comics in PDF, Mobi, ePub, CBR, CBZ. Allows you to have a nice collection of books just like Movies/TV shows.
  • MovieTrailer Support
  • Live TV
  • Playlists (Coming soon)
  • Games plugin: This allows a sort of "Big Picture Mode" like Steam. Have a nice museum of games in your collection, supports almost all the emulators out there or launch your Steam games. Metadata is fetched for your games as well.

 

MediaBrowser is the Windows Phone of the media streaming/server world. Plex (simplistic/limited customization), MediaBrowser (simple with much more customization options) and XBMC (advanced customization). Also as I mentioned MediaBrowser is community driven, they accept feature requests by its users and depending on the demand they will implement it, so you can help shape the direction of MediaBrowser to a degree of course. They are very friendly and are willing to help anyone with questions or help getting setup. Also their server is free and the WP8 App has a trial just like the Windows 8 store version so it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. If you are perfectly happy with Plex then that is okay, just hope I was able to provide some perspective on the differences.

 

Simple, I hope, question: will this app let me stream live and recorded TV (I use WMC) from my HTPC to my Windows Phone? That's one thing I really want.

Is there a way to skip to the middle of a video while it is playing?? Without that, I will have to stay with QLOUD player. That thing kicks ass. Shame though. I like the interface of Media Browser more.

I downloaded the app, set up the server on my PC but am stuck at the host name. What is the host name and how do I find it? Nothing I enter for the host name in my WP8 is valid.

Wapoz, all you did instead of defending anything you said was start insulting me by calling me name, I did go back and check whether I needed to or not, did you? When you insult anyone they will defend themselves, fortunately im not the kind of person that will just belligerently call names or insult for no reason. Looking back you can see who started doing that first. And I said I hope you don't teach that kind of manor to your kids assuming your family of five were not you and four wives but you and three kids cause that is the most likely case... Oh well they are dependents so same still applies but big deal, you just kept name calling with the same names over and over.

And getting a family member to help you was exactly how it reads, to help you. Doesn't matter how many suggestions I gave to help you, it's all an insult to you as you'll see nothing else. This is the first comment you left that didn't have aba flurry of name calling or insults and was actually pretty calm where you finally talked about the issue at hand... That said, I can only imagine what I'm going to get for this.

To everyone else, finally some nice stay to be said!! But yea there are hours whatever way you look at it. Yes they want you to buy a copy for each person who wants to watch a movie on DVD. Watching on separate DVD players is one of those things that are overlooked but since DVD players aren't hooked to someones account or the internet then it is hard to show DRM. Still the movie disk is physical so it can only be played in one DVD player at a time, not two at the same time which is what you could do with an app which is why copying a DVD is illegal, you want a second copy you buy it.

As for a pressure washer, lending it to a neighbor is something that can't be proved but they don't want you to do that, they want the neighbor to buy their own. But we all have lent or borrowed a tool from or to someone else before as it is no big deal really.

So I hope that makes sense a little bit.

I have been waiting to get the WP8 client as soon as the stand alone PC client is available (non beta).

I can't tell from this article just what the status of the W8 client is.

The best I can tell from their web site is, the non-metro standalone client is still in Beta and you can download that for free on the web site. But I am confused if the Metro version mentioned in this article is NOT a beta but a final version. I have been using the Classic client (runs inside Media Center) of the product since it was released. I have been waiting for a non-beta of the Stand alone (Metro or not). This is obviously the stand alone, but not obvious if its non-beta. Also in the Windows store for the product, if you click on the publisher, you get a page that says there are NO apps from the publisher!?! Is that just a common bug in the store?