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:
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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.
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.
Click “Next” a few more times and you’re all done.
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.
OK, so, let’s go see if this beast works! I fired up Media Center and located the MacroTube start menu item.
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.
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.
After browsing around a bit, I decided to try out a video…
Awesome…YouTube is working! Let’s go try out YouTubeHD…
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.