MediaPortal is a full-featured media center that will help you manage, view, organize and, basically, do anything that includes videos, music and watching TV.
Designed to be loaded in full screen, MediaPortal is quite difficult to install, not only because it takes much time to drop all components, but also because it involves installing some other tools that might be tricky for less experienced users.
MediaPortal prompts the user to choose straight from setup whether one of the intended uses of the app is to watch TV, as it will provide two different options: a one-click installation or an advanced one that would include more steps and imply some computer knowledge.
Going for the first one will get you to a detailed list of the files that will be installed on your computer, including plugins and additional software tools to enable all features into MediaPortal.
Although everything sounds difficult, it will all change once you run the app. MediaPortal opens a whole new world on your desktop, providing basically all the things you would ever need to play music, watch TV, open video files or access the weather forecast, for example.
The application might require a faster computer to work properly, but everything went quite smoothly during our test, even when opening large video files.
MediaPortal is very similar to Windows Media Center, so you can easily browse through its menus either using the mouse or by means of keyboard shortcuts, to gain instant access to some of the features.
The music playing tools are quite advanced and will enable you not only to open a given file, but also to create playlists and manage songs and folders. Plus, it has music ratings, party shuffle mode, music overlay, background music, Internet radio stations, auto tuning and many, many other goodies.
MediaPortal has a comprehensive settings menu that will give you full control over video, audio, image file handling, as well as the corresponding codecs for playback and TV watching.