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Windows Media Center

Typecast can display information from Windows Media Center, including programs that are scheduled to be or have been recorded.

[I’m working on adding the ability to schedule recordings from Typecast.]

Installation

  1. Download the Typecast WMC server from the Typecast page.
  2. Unzip it into a folder on your Windows Media Center machine. (You might want to use a folder that’s synchronized to your Typecast machine via the cloud. See below for details.)
  3. Run TypecastWMC.exe.
  4. The first time it runs, Windows prompts you to approve a firewall exception for your private network. You need to approve it for the Typecast WMC server to communicate with Typecast.
  5. Note the machine name Typecast WMC displays. (You won’t care about the port numbers unless you know you need to change them.)
  6. Go to the machine running Typecast and press the Settings toolbar button.
  7. Select the WMC tab.
  8. Tick the Enable Windows Media Center features check box.
  9. The default value for the Typecast WMC server (“localhost”) assumes that Typecast is running with the Typecast WMC server on the WMC machine. If this isn’t the case, enter the machine name of the Typecast WMC server that you noted in step 5.
  10. Press the Configure button. (This configures the Typecast WMC server to communicate with Typecast.)
  11. You should see two green check marks indicating that the outbound and inbound connections are successful.
  12. The first time you do this, Windows prompts you to approve a firewall exception for your private network. You need to approve it for Typecast to communicate with the Typecast WMC server.
    If you don’t approve it fast enough, the inbound connection will fail (because Windows blocked the message from the Typecast WMC server). This is expected and is no problem. (It’s also a great way to see why these firewall exceptions are necessary.)
    Press the Configure button again (after you approve the firewall exception), and it should work.
  13. Press the OK button.
  14. Typecast will then contact the Typecast WMC server and display the recordings information.

You can enter an IP address instead of a machine name, so this might work when Typecast is outside your private network. (You’d need to also allow an exception for public networks in the firewall and set up port forwarding for the incoming port.) However, I haven’t tested this, nor do I support it (but maybe someday).

Understanding the WMC Icons

The Windows Media Center icon indicates a program will be (or was) recorded. The small dot indicates whether it’s the actual recording that will be (or was) recorded or if there was an error during recording.

(past) This was recorded.
(past) This was recorded, but it’s only a partial recording.
(future or past) This was recorded, but it’s not the specific airing.
(future) This specific program will be recorded
(future) This will be recorded, but it’s not the specific airing.

More than one airing can be marked as Actual because you can schedule WMC to record multiple airings of the same show. (Maybe the first one had an error, so you want to record it again.)

Recorded programs that aired before the earliest date of listings in Typecast are, of course, ignored.

Programs can be recorded on stations in WMC that aren’t in Typecast. These won’t match anything in Typecast, so they’ll be ignored.

Programs can be recorded before a listings update and if a listings update changes their times, they’ll be incorrect and won’t match. (This is extremely rare, but I saw it happen once.)

In the screenshot, you can see that two distinct airings of The Guest Book “Everybody Loves Clark” were recorded (Dec 11 9:30 PM and Dec 13 10:00 PM), so they both have red dots. There are two additional airings of that episode (Dec 11 11:00 PM and Dec 16 10:00 PM) that have yellow dots to indicate that another airing of this episode was recorded.

Offline Operation

The Typecast WMC server can still get information to the Typecast application even if they’re online at different times. For example, Windows Media Center might wake up at 4 AM to update its listings and go back to sleep, but the PC running Typecast doesn’t wake up until 9 AM. Since they’re running at different times, they don’t have a chance to communicate with each other directly. If this is the case, you can install the Typecast WMC server in a folder that’s synchronized to the cloud (e.g., OneDrive, DropBox, etc.) and to your PC running Typecast. Then, use go to Settings in Typecast, select the WMC tab, and specify your Typecast WMC folder.

When the Typecast WMC server tries (and fails) to communicate with Typecast, it will save the recordings data in a file named TypecastWMC_Recordings_Offline.xml. This file will be synchronized to the cloud by OneDrive or DropBox or whatever. When your Typecast PC wakes up, it will synchronize that file locally. Finally, when Typecast runs or resumes, it will try to contact the Typecast WMC server. If it fails, it will read the information from that offline file (and delete it).

(Instead of using a cloud synchronization service, you could also use a shared network folder.)

Multiple WMC Servers

You can run Typecast WMC servers on multiple WMC machines. Each one can communicate with a different Typecast client—or with the same Typecast client. (However, every time one of them sends recording information to Typecast, Typecast will discard any information it received previously from another server.)

You can run multiple Typecast WMC servers on a single WMC machine—as long as you specify different ports for each instance. Each one can send information to a different Typecast client. (Be sure to specify the correct server port when you configure each Typecast client.)

You can use a single Typecast client with multiple Typecast WMC servers by changing the Typecast WMC machine name (in Typecast’s Settings) to the one you want to work with.

Multiple Typecast Instances

You can run multiple Typecast applications (on different machines) and configure each to communicate with the same or different Typecast WMC servers.