Media Browser – Thunder Blade – Released

by Damian on February 22, 2010 · 10 comments

in News

Just a couple of hours ago one of my favorite add ins for Windows Media Center, Media Browser, just released their next version codenamed Thunder Blade. I have only had a few minutes to test it out so I can’t write much yet, but be on the lookout for my writeup in the next few days. You can get more information on the new release as well as download here. Also, take a look below at some quick screenshots I took to hopefully hold you over until my full writeup is available!!!

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Alex Kuretz February 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Looks nice, I look forward to your writeup and guidance on the best themes and plugins to use along with it. I’ve held off on making MPC HC my media player after I saw some improvements coming in this release that make the process easier.

Jason February 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

For some reason after install, when I try to launch the app from WMC, I get a “Invalid Application” Unable to Launch MB … this happening to anyone else?

Comp1962 February 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Damian ~ How does anyone keep up with you. I am still absorbing your last review on this software. I look forward to reviewing your completion of this review. Its always a pleasure, I always learn something new and your reviews are always honest and motivational.

Jason February 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm

UPDATE: I was using Vannila2 … this is not compatible with the new MB. Personally I think that allowing the theme to be carried over upon install is a bug if it causes the system to crash upon start … it should get removed automatically.

Damian February 23, 2010 at 1:14 am

@ Jason,

I had the same issue when I changed my theme to Vanilla2, I had to go back into the Configuration Tool and change to something else. I agree with your comments and will make note of it in my writeup

Damian February 23, 2010 at 4:43 am

@ Alex,

Yeah, that is one of the first things I want to test out is the External Player fix. It it works then there will be no need to use the ExternalLauncher.exe file

@ Comp1962

I have no idea how I keep up with this stuff either!!!

Alex Kuretz March 2, 2010 at 1:44 am

Damian, I got this installed tonight and also set up MPC HC to playback mkv files. I can confirm that the ExternalLauncher is no longer needed and that MediaBrowser correctly launches MPC HC. I did have to tweak the MPC HC settings a bit, set it to play fullscreen, and a couple others, but it’s working ok except I’m sometimes experiencing visual corruption when control returns to MediaBrowser. Basically the controls are white boxes instead of play/resume/Actors/Mediainfo/etc. I’m also not thrilled with the experience of dropping to the Windows desktop for a moment as it switches to MPC HC. I’ll continue to play with it and see if things improve.

Damian March 2, 2010 at 5:37 am


I have to go back and update the guide, but to get MPC to launch in fullscreen you need to enter the below code into the “Optional Parameters” for 3rd party players in the Media Browser configuration tool:

“{0}” /fullscreen /play /close

This has the same affect as the externallauncher bat, so there is no need to mess around with the MPC settings.

As far dropping to the Windows desktop I don’t see a way around that. What others have done to make it appear seamless is to make the desktop background black and have no icons showing. Doing this it is not as obvious that you are dropping out of WMC.

I haven’t had any issues with visual corruption. Try different themes and see if you have the same problem. I would think that the themes are nothing more then for visual, but from reading around it seems like some themes are actually causing problems with video playback.

Alex Kuretz March 2, 2010 at 8:43 am

I thought about adding the commandline switches in MediaBrowser, but since I was already in the MPC settings I found it simpler to toggle the Fullscreen checkbox.

The corruption is with the default theme. I’m also having trouble getting Actor images to load unless I explicitly bring up the Actor view and mouseover the actor to load the image. I like the new features but I’m concerned there are a number of bugs.

There seems to be a fairly common theme in the home media world, where teams are working hard to put a ton of compelling and fantastic new features into their products but unfortunately quality and usability suffer (I think Boxee is a great example of this). I don’t mean this to be a knock against MediaBrowser, I really do enjoy it, I’m more making a general observation here.

Damian March 2, 2010 at 9:03 am

Agreed regarding the bugs. To be honest, I am not even sure I upgraded my HTPCs to Firestorm from the previous release as everything was already working for me so why rock the boat. I still am undecided if I will move Thunder Blade over to my HTPCs (still working through a few issues such as the Actor Images which you mentioned). Another tricky thing is that the themes are being updated, so a theme you may have liked before you may not like with the update. I have had a few other quirks that I have encountered that I am still looking at before I get my writeup posted.

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