Fooling Around With Media Center and Messenger
I took a little time last nite and today to put together something that i've been wanting since msn messenger 7 came out with its What I'm Listening To feature. See, I don't run any local-machine music players anymore since I got my Windows Media Center box from HP, so this neat little feature was fairly useless.
But since it's all player-plugin based, I figured it'd be completely possible to write some code and get that info zipping across the lan. So looking into it a bit, it turns out that Messenger does it with good ol' SendMessage, and I downloaded a nice little vb.net module that does all that win32 gunk for me.
So then the question becomes, "how do I send that info across the network?". I decided to have a little fun and use Remoting. I ended up with a local-machine Service ( that runs as System but can interact with the desktop so I can use FindWindow and SendMessage ) that exposes my VB module thru a named remoting uri. And so on the MCE box, I have a Service that gets media-state events from MCE and remotes them to my local machine.
Unfortunately, it doesn't quite completely work yet. :) So far, I've only been successfull with a normal windows app running on the MCE. When I put the same code into a service, I get nothing, but I haven't been able to figure out how to properly debug the bugger. But hey, with the media center shell running fullscreen, it's not like i can see my remoting app anyway... So it might just stay the way it is for a little while.
At any rate, Yay @ fun little projects. :)