imageYesterday Bradley Mauk launched his Windows Phone 7 remote control app for Windows Media Center. The app is a great looking Media Center remote that works with Xbox 360 Extender sessions as well. You can browse music, pictures and videos libraries from your phone, search for songs and play pictures or videos.

You can download the app for £2.49 and there is a free trial. If you do try it don’t forget you will need to install the server which can be downloaded from Bradley’s site 

Today I caught up with Bradley and asked him some questions about the developing for Windows Phone 7 and why he decided to do a Media Center app

How easy was it to make the transition to Windows Phone 7 development?

I am a Sr. Consultant for enterprise software development at a global IT consulting firm. My current area of specialty is in Silverlight 4 enterprise applications. For me the transitions was quite easy already having that experience in Silverlight and services development.

Why did you decide to develop for Windows Media Center?

I am avid evangelist for the Windows Media Center platform and the integrated home, which for me means combining WMC with Windows Home Server (I am currently running the RC of WHS 2011) + Xbox 360 extenders. The big draw to Media Center for me is the active developer community and the potential that the Microsoft platform brings to home entertainment and integration.

What made you develop a Windows Phone app for Windows Media Center?

Being a software developer by profession, I am a tinkerer. I have Android and iDevices in my house and have used a number of different apps to control my media center on those products. The main app that I have been using for all these devices has since stopped being developed and supported. Because of my work in the Microsoft technology stack, I was drawn to switching to the new WP7 platform. There are apps already out there with similar functionality, and more in development I am sure, but I wanted to try and develop something of my own as a side project. Eventually I received enough support and feedback to turn my side project into an actual consumer level application. I also have hope and confidence that Microsoft will eventually get a handle on their tablet strategy and I wanted to be in a position to jump into that arena as well.

What kind of Media Center setup do you have at home?

Media Center Box
CPU: Intel Core i5 650 Dual Core @ 3.2 GHz
MB: Intel DH57DD
Ram: 4GB DDR3 1333
OS: Win7 x64 Ultimate
Windows Home Server Box
CPU: Intel ATOM D510 Dual Core @ 1.66
MB: Zotac NM10-B-E
Ram: 4GB
Raid-5: Intel RS2WC080*
HD: WD 1TB Green x 4 (3TB of storage in Raid 5)*
* Raid controller supports on-line array expansion for future growth.
OS: Windows Homer Server 2011 RC1

All of my Music, Pictures, Movies, Videos, DVD’s, and TV episodes reside on the Windows Home Server box within the same HomeGroup as the Media Center. I point the Media Center libraries to the WHS HomeGroup folders. They live on the same Gigabit network.

Are you considering any other Windows Phone apps or Windows Media Center apps?

I do have plans to bring more features to the Media Center Remote app, the most requested being a way to see EPG data on the phone. What I will develop outside of that app is yet unknown, but I do plan on staying with the WP7 / Silverlight platform.

How did you find the Windows Phone development process?

I rather enjoyed it.  The development tools are great and there are plenty of active developers out there doing amazing things that are willing to share their experiences.  The community has been a big help.

What would be your dream Media Center system be?

I would have to say I am fairly close to running my dream Media Center now. I do have 2 wishes for the future though. First, I would like to see what I call the cost to entry be drastically reduced. I have several family members and friends that admire my setup, but may not be tech savvy enough to build it out on their own. There needs to be an out of the box solution similar to what some other competitors have. The second would be better acceptance by content providers and cable operators for an a-la-cart content experience. I don’t want to bundle 300 channels to get the ones I want. In my eyes the future is a-la-cart programming and streaming, but for now there is too much resistance to see this wish granted.

Thanks to Bradley!

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