MacroTube lives!

By | August 29, 2012

I don’t visit YouTube that much, but having it work within Media Center has its advantages.  Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to pull up so-and-so video to show your family or friends.  There have been a few YouTube plugins available over the years, but all of them have fallen to the side due to a combination of lack of maintenance and changes in YouTube’s site layout.  Well, a few months ago I came across a Google Project that was breathing new life into MacroTube, probably the last working YouTube plugins via the MacroTube-Providers project.

The guys are keeping the heart of MacroTube on life support by maintaining the XML provider file for YouTube and YouTubeHD to reflect any changes in the site.  I decided to give this a try and found it’s working pretty damn well.

The first thing you want to do is grab MacroTube for your supported platform:

[Download not found] [Download not found]

Once you have the correct one, install it.  Great, now grab the corresponding MacroTube Providers Helper installer for your supported platform from here.  Let’s install the msi now…I needed the x64 version, but there are only minor differences to the install path.


Welcome to the installer

This next step is important as it’s the automated portion of the Helper.  I don’t want to do this manually, so I chose “Yes”.  I suggest you do the same.

Say "Yes"

Say “Yes”

Click “Next” a few more times and you’re all done.

All done

Pat yourself on the back

Now, here’s the important part – we need to browse to C:\Programdata\Jasmio\MacroTube\Providers.  This may be a hidden directory path for you, so you can just copy and paste it into your Explorer window if you need to.  Once there, you should see an Archive_########### directory, as well as some png and xml files.  The archive directory is important as it contains the last copy of ALL your provider files.  Even though YouTube is the only one that is maintained, it still puts them all in there.  As of now, I’m not sure how often a backup is made, but it might be in the project’s wiki somewhere.  I didn’t look.  So, if anything ever turns up broken out of the blue one day, you can fish out the previous XML and see if it works by replacing the current XML.

Archived files

The archive directory

OK, so, let’s go see if this beast works!  I fired up Media Center and located the MacroTube start menu item.

MacroTube in Media Center

MacroTube in Media Center

Now, my MacroTube install is quite old and I think the Slate V entry may have been custom…I don’t remember.  You may, or may not, have that on a fresh install.  At any rate, remember that the provider project DOES NOT maintain providers for anything other than YouTube and YouTubeHD.

Just YouTube

Just YouTube providers

I slid on over to YouTube first and drove down into it.  The thumbs loaded very quickly…much faster than I remembered, which is a good thing.

Thumbs loaded quickly

Thumbs loaded quickly

After browsing around a bit, I decided to try out a video…

YouTube works!

YouTube works!

Awesome…YouTube is working!  Let’s go try out YouTubeHD…

YouTubeHD also a success!

YouTubeHD also a success!

After a second of buffering, YouTubeHD is a go also!  So, there we have it…Media Center regains YouTube and YouTubeHD functionality thanks to the MacroTube Providers project over at Google Code.  Thanks, guys!


Thought I’d throw this out there also, but you could create a custom start menu item that launches a browser window for

which provides a remote-capable interface for YouTube.  The green button assigned on your remote would return you to Media Center.  I know it’s not an optimal solution, but it’s there.

YouTube Leanback

YouTube Leanback

11 thoughts on “MacroTube lives!

  1. Gary Park

    The Macrotube helper also works for XBOX 360 extenders, after installing the software and then testing it out on my XBOX 360 and the application works for other installed applications like “The Cult of UHF”, “Revision 3” “Economy bites” and more. This software installer is really great. Thanks.

  2. Eduardo Santos

    Hi! Great news. It is really a good thing to integrate Youtube to 7MC.

    I followed up your tutorial and it went ok. I can already see youtube thumbs both for normal and HD. The video, though, does not play. It keeps on the blue screen. Any idea on what’s gone wrong??

    1. Jon Post author

      No idea…it went from what you describe to playing anything I choose for me. Are the timestamps on the new YouTube XML files showing recent time/date? Only thing I can think of that would be preventing it from working is an old XML.

      1. Steven

        I work on the macrotube-providers project – and wrote the recently released Helper application. Someone reported same issue – . I’ve replied with some suggestions, but suspect it is a codec issue. Please attach the debug log to that issue and I’ll investigate.

  3. PhoebeAnn

    Everything went as advertised until I tried to use it. I clicked on the MacroTube icon in Extras, and it told me:
    Unable to launch “MacroTube”.

    What now, coach? I will check out Steven’s Wiki to find out where the XML files and debug log are.

  4. PhoebeAnn

    XML file has a “Date Modified” property of 7/30/2010.

    Log entry shows:

    Exception System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation.

    at System.RuntimeMethodHandle._InvokeMethodFast(Object target, Object[] arguments, SignatureStruct& sig, MethodAttributes methodAttributes, RuntimeTypeHandle typeOwner)
    at System.RuntimeMethodHandle.InvokeMethodFast(Object target, Object[] arguments, Signature sig, MethodAttributes methodAttributes, RuntimeTypeHandle typeOwner)
    at System.Reflection.RuntimeMethodInfo.Invoke(Object obj, BindingFlags invokeAttr, Binder binder, Object[] parameters, CultureInfo culture, Boolean skipVisibilityChecks)
    at System.Reflection.RuntimeMethodInfo.Invoke(Object obj, BindingFlags invokeAttr, Binder binder, Object[] parameters, CultureInfo culture)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.Template.FastMethodInfo.Invoke(Object obj, Object[] arArgs)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.ObjectPath.MethodOperations.Invoke(Object instance, String stPath, Object[] arArgs)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.ObjectPath.Invoke(Object instance, Object[] arArgs)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.Template.InvokeMethodService.MethodInvoke(IVirtualPropertyObject vpoHost, ObjectPath ipMethod, ObjectPath ipResult, Object objTransformer, Object objOwner, IList exHandlers)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.Invoke.ApplyWorker(Object args)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.DeferredCall.Dispatch()
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.Queues.Dispatcher.MainLoop(Queue queue)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.UIDispatcher.MainLoop(Queue queue, LoopCondition condition)
    at Microsoft.MediaCenter.UI.UIDispatcher.Run(LoopCondition condition)
    at MediaCenter.Extensibility.Host.Main(String[] args)

    InnerException System.Exception: Not busy.

    at Jasmio.MediaCenter.UI.Experience.PopBusy()

    What now, coach?

  5. Steven

    The MacroTube Helper application is up and running again after being down due to changes to YouTube content policies and general failure of the hosting service for the MacroTube Helper App.

    So if you need your Macrotube fix give it another try!


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