Creating a Windows Vista Media Center application using MCML step-by-step

Charlie Owen has posted links to some really useful information in this post on the Media Center Sandbox blog that I wanted to bring to everyone's attention in case you haven't seen it yet.  He starts by introducing the Windows Vista Media Center SDK refresh.

Then he continues on and provides links to some extremely useful step by step guides to help developers get started creating Windows Media Center applications using the Windows Media Center Presentation Layer (WMCPL) and Media Center Markup Language (MCML).

When the Windows Vista Media Center SDK originally shipped, we included a technical reference and a set of samples in the McmlSampler application.  In addition, we included a couple of complete applications (the Q podcast client and the Z sample application).  However, there is a relatively large gap with respect to helping developers who are new to Media Center application development create, test, modify and deploy their own application.  These documents are a really big step towards filling that gap, and I strongly encourage you to take a look at them if you are interested in developing applications for Windows Vista Media Center.

Creating a Windows Media Center application step by step

Creating a WiX-based installer for a Windows Media Center application step by step

Source code used in the above documents

If you run into questions or have feedback while working through these step by step guides, please let the Media Center team know by posting your thoughts on the Media Center Sandbox forums at

Comments (2)

  1. juliane says:


    i am new to Media Center development and is currently developing an application using MCML. I have a couple of questions which i hope you can help:

    1) How to set the default MCML to load? Is it through the .csproj file?


    or is there a UI way to do so?

    2) I downloaded the step by step guide. Is it possible to highlight to me how did the default mcml triggers Application and Launch class?

    3) If my MCML application needs to consume a WSE3.0 webservice, how do i enable WSE3.0 in my VS? I can’t seemed to find it after my installation of WSE3.0.

    Please help.




  2. Hi Juliane – First of all, welcome to Media Center development!  Here are some answers to your questions:

    1. If you want to change the default MCML file that is loaded when you run your project via Visual Studio 2005, you can change the StartArguments value in the UI if you are using VS 2005 standard edition or higher by doing the following:

    a) Right-click on the project in the Solution Explorer and choosing Properties

    b) Click on the Debug tab

    c) Change the Command line arguments item in the Start Options section

    Unfortunately, there is not any UI available in the C# Express Edition to change the StartArguments item, so if you are using that edition of Visual Studio, you will have to manually change it in your csproj file using notepad.

    2.  The default.mcml file included in the Media Center project templates does not interact with any code.  It is a very simple MCML file that displays some UI.  The Launch method is called by Media Center when you register your add-in using the RegisterApplication API or RegisterMceApp.exe

    3.  I haven’t used VS for WSE3.0 web service development yet, so I’m not sure the answer to this question.  You might want to search on one of the Visual Studio forums ( for more information about how to integrate WSE3.0 development into Visual Studio.

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