A refreshed version of the Windows Vista Media Center SDK (version 5.3) has been released for download this afternoon. The download location is the same as the previous versions of the Windows Vista Media Center SDK - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=A43EA0B7-B85F-4612-AA08-3BF128C5873E. If you have any previous version of the Windows Vista Media Center SDK installed, you can run the MSI for version 5.3 and it will automatically upgrade the older versions for you.
The features of version 5.3 of the Windows Vista Media Center SDK are described in more detail in this post on the Media Center Sandbox blog. The following is a summary of the key changes described in that post:
- New automation model for the MCML Preview Tool (McmlPad) - this allows some programmatic interactions with McmlPad to do things like loading MCML files, refreshing the current view when the underlying MCML files are changed, locating the position of an existing instance of McmlPad in order to drive the UI using automation, etc
- New standalone tool named MCML Animation Explorer - it provides a more graphical environment for experimenting with many of the types of animations supported in MCML
- Additional documentation about building animations
- Project templates now work with Visual Studio 2008 in addition to Visual Studio 2005. SDK setup will automatically integrate with whatever editions of VS 2005/2008 it detects are installed on your system
- New C# project templates for a simple MCML application and a Media Center background application
The last 2 bullets related to project templates essentially incorporate the information in the supplemental project template MSI that I posted via this blog post into the SDK. If you install version 5.3 of the Windows Vista Media Center SDK, there is no longer any need to install that supplemental project template MSI.
If you're a Windows Vista Media Center developer or thinking about getting started, I encourage you to download this new version of the SDK and check it out.