Patchou's Cabana

The home page and blog of Cyril Paciullo

Media Center Themer

Media Center Themer is the very uninspired name of a small tool I developed for Windows Media Center. As with about any software I’ve created so far, the idea came from a personal need: changing the color and font of the text in Media Center, including the windows displayed by its add-ons. As this need became even more important following the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (the usual color resources seem to have little effect now), I developed and released Media Center Themer. I now hope it will be of use to more people than just myself :-).

Download Media Center Themer 1.50 (released November 16th 2013)

What is Media Center Themer?

The goal of Media Center Themer is simple: customize the look of Media Center. It does so by modifying parameters and resources in memory while Media Center is running, no file is patched on disk. With this technique, the tool allows users to perform specific customizations not possible before with traditional “edit&replace resources” methods. Here are some of the main advantages of Media Center Themer:

  • Designed to work in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Both x86 and x64 platforms are supported.
  • All the pictures as well as MCML interface files can be extracted, and easily replaced and automatically re-colorized.
  • All text displayed by Media Center is altered by Media Center Themer, including text displayed by third party add-ons.
  • Changes are applied at runtime based on attributes combinations. As a result, color, font name and font size can be applied differently to various areas of Media Center, in combinations not possible with traditional static resource swaps.
  • Any chunk of text displayed by Media Center can be re-written and customized to your liking.
  • All menus and sub-menus of Media Center’s start menu can be renamed, reordered and hidden.
  • New menu items can be added to launch custom programs or display user-defined web pages.
  • Your installation of Media Center is not altered in any way: your changes will resist updates made to Media Center.
  • Media Center Extenders are supported and can be properly themed as well (Xbox, etc…).

Simply put, Media Center Themer is the one and only tool you need to entirely customize Media Center, whether you just want to change the background picture or you want to completely reorganize and re-theme the whole interface. All the information you need about the software and the way it works is available in the help file that’s installed with the rest of the package. Download it now and give it a try! an online version of the documentation that’s distributed with the installer is also available on this site if you’re interested.

Screen samples

Home screen (original, and themed with Media Center Themer) :

Movie screen from the My Movies add-on (original, and themed with Media Center Themer) :

As always, feedback and comments are always welcomed, good or bad. For faster support, please visit a Media Center related forum such as here.

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