My Channel Logos
My Channel Logos is a 2-foot application for use with a Windows Media Center PC. It's primary function is to automatically add logos to the Media Center Guide Listings. Through the "Autopopulate" feature, with a single button click, it attempts to match every channel in your guide with a suitable logo. If a logo is unavailable, the user can manually add their own image that they find off the internet. Starting in Version 2, MCL also had the ability to tweak the guide to the user's liking. These tweaks included increasing the number of rows in the guide, choosing what elements of the channel listing are visible and in what order, as well as reducing the dead-space in the default guide.
Since the days of Vista Media Center, there was a recurrent call for logos in the Media Center guide. "If TiVo can do it, why can't we?" users would ask in The Green Button Forums. It was a simple aesthetic feature that would greatly improve the WAF. Finally, with the Windows 7 beta, the Microsoft eHome team answered that call- well, they half answered it. The team built in the ability to add logos to the guide, however due to the huge hassles associated with copyright laws, they did not attempt to gain usage rights for any logos. And they didn't really tell anyone else how to add logos to the guide. So it was a phantom feature that could never be.
Meanwhile, the main guy at BigScreen apps announced that he figured out how to do it. In excited anticipation, makryger created a sleak white-washed logo set for the upcoming logo addin. But alas, the programmer was not interested in any releasing any info about the tweak, as he was going to include it in his upcoming BigScreen EPG. So makryger, along with a stealth team, dug deep into the Media Center code, finally finding how to turn on logos in the guide, as well as adding them in. The MCL Team released the first version with white logos in February of 2009. It featured the popular Autopopulate feature that made adding logos to the guide a process that took seconds. The authors soon started adding logo submissions for countries all around the world, and added color logos by March of that year. In the summer of 2010, after a lot of work, a new database structure was built in order to allow easier naming of logo image files. (Previously the logo name had to match the callsign.) In May of 2011 MCL 2.0 was released, which added the Guide Edit functionality. While MCL was originally donationware, the enthusiasm for the software did not match the willingness to donate. As a result, MCL 2.0 was the first shareware copy of MCL. There is an MCL Lite version that allows downloading of logos, and manual addition of those logos.
Anyone who uses the guide in Windows 7 Media Center will tell you that MCL is one of the first (if not the first, or only) app they install on the HTPC. It is consistently rated one of the top ten media center apps in places like Lifehacker, Hack7MC, and various other locations. Users appreciate how quickly and easily they can greatly enhance both the form and function of their HTPC.