MediaBrowser is more than a media manager. It's a powerful open-source platform that you can use to manage, view, play and control your media on most mainstream hardware...
MediaBrowser consists of a server and any one or more of many clients to view and manage your multimedia collection. You are able to enjoy your TV, Movies, Music, E-Books, Games* and Emulators* around your house in a wonderful 10 foot interface. (*games and emulators can only be run on a machine on which it is installed)
The MediaBrowser Android, WindowsPhone 7/8 and Windows 8.1 clients connect to your MediaBrowser server and allow you to consume your media anywhere you are connected. (Playback not supported on WP7, only library and remote functions)
Don't have MediaBrowser? Visit http://www.mediabrowser3.com/
But wait!? You said open-source? but this is in the paid section?
Yes, while the MediaBrowser server and other clients are built on free open-source systems, the android, and windows phone, and windows 8 client applications are not. These 3 clients are the only of many pieces that require any type of purchase to use, if you choose to do so. Read on, and find out about the many other free open-source parts of MediaBrowser.
MediaBrowser is an open source project and welcomes developers from all coding backgrounds. If you are a developer and wish to get involved head on over to our github repository and check it out. https://github.com/MediaBrowser
Our plugin store allows developers to make free, premium supporters only, and paid plugins available to users. While MediaBrowser is free, it does support itself on a supporter key system, where for a small donation, users have access to premium and paid plugins, in addition to the free plugins. **Plugins are currently only available for MB server, MB Classic and MB Theater, but you just may be the developer to change that!
And a Linux/OSx mono based server is under development. If you are an experienced Linux/osx dev, and would like to help out or join our team please feel free to stop by this thread here!
So what exactly is MediaBrowser?
Media Browser, beginning with version 3, is no longer a single program. It encompasses a large suite of applications all communicating with a central server that manages your library.
No longer locked inside Windows Media Center, Media Browser can now bring your entire media library to not only all of the computers on your network, but also many of your portable devices. Whether it's the Roku in the living room, or your tablet on the back porch, Media Browser will bring your media right to you.
And, we mean right to you as the user profile feature allows you to set up completely different views and options on your library based on who is accessing it. Keep different display styles, parental control levels and watched and favorite status' for all the different members of your household and all of that information travels with the user no matter what client or device they are using.
Start watching something at home on the HTPC and pick it back up where you left off on your phone or tablet on the train.
A little History on MediaBrowser?
Some of you may remember VideoBrowser which eventually matured into MediaBrowser and was solely a Windows Media Centre Plugin which allowed a user to display rich and detailed information about their media collections much like other available media front ends. The benefits of using MediaBrowser were having Live TV readily available and a large media collection in the same application. It then started allowing themeing and plugins to enhance the media experience?
MediaBrowser has come on leaps and bounds within the last year or so. Firstly, it’s no longer confined to Windows Media Centre, it’s undergone a complete overhaul, complete recoding and opened up a world of new beginnings for the HTPC world, where the community is always listening to improve the MediaBrowser experience as a whole to the end user.
So What’s Changed? Out with the old in with the new!
MediaBrowser now has a brain, a central nervous system which uses its Server Application and currently runs on your Windows based PC or even your server(Linux/Mono server is currently under development). The server is the hub of all things to do with your media collection, from Movies to Music Videos, Books to Games, MB has it all and allows the user to organise and categorize their collections as they deem fit for their use and application. Furthermore, it allows almost any device to connect to it from anywhere, such as Android, Windows Phone, iOS, Roku, Sky’s NowTV box, your favourite web browser, and standalone applications such as MediaBrowser Theatre, Windows 8 and still MediaBrowser Classic(WMC integration). These are all refered to as Apps/Clients within the MB world.
The Server and what it does for you?
The server runs on the PC where your media collection is or has fast access to, such as NAS drives, Everything is in place to automatically collect the right metadata information for your media collections including all the art that fanart.tv provides, it stores all this artwork in your item’s folder but can be edited from the metadata manager within the web dashboard. What’s beautiful about MB is that if you use MediaPortal, XBMC, Plex then MB is intelligent enough to understand the metadata structures for those front ends and also integrate with them. We now have many users using MB-Server and XBMC Front End. The server has the right amount of configuration available to not daunt a new comer to the HTPC world and can leave the settings at default, where as a power user can get stuck in and, tweak things the way they want their metadata scraped and saved.
The screen shots below show just how easy it is to edit images and the selection available that MB recognizes and uses.
At the moment, our server currently only runs on windows, however, a linux/OSx mono based server is under development. If you are an experienced Linux/osx dev, and would like to help out or join our team please feel free to stop by this thread here!
Apps and Accessing the Servers Content
Think about the Apps like shoppers in a mall, where the mall is the MB-Server and the MB-Apps are the customers, shopping around for things they like or want to see. It seems appropriate to call them these as that’s exactly what these MB-Apps do. Just about any handheld device, pad, laptop or pc can access the server using a dedicated app or access via a web browser, which in my eyes make life easy.
MBClassic (Original MB, WMC integration)
MBTheatre (Standalone PC based application)
Win 8 App (Windows Tablet or standalone PC based application for Windows 8)
Android App- (Available on google play and Amazon for Android OS devices and Kindle)
WindowsPhone App (Available in the WindowsPhone Store)
iOS App (Available thru AppStore)
Roku (Available from Roku Store || NowTV box from Sky is available for side loading)
WebClient (Browse your collection from your favourite internet browser thru HTML5)
XBMB3C (XBMC integration using MBServer with XBMC Front End)
WebClient / WebClient on iPad(or any HTML5 enabled device)
There has been a long standing partnership with MB and fanart.tv and MB would like to commend them on their hard work over the years and may it continue. I feel it’s only fair that there should be some screen shots to wet your appetite. These Screenshots have been taken from MB-Classic and show just how beautiful fanart has helped to make themes like Subdued(An MBClassic Theme) look beautiful.
Server and other Clients can be found through here:
For more information please visit www.mediabrowser3.com
Or for support visit www.mediabrowser3.com/community/