Monday, January 17, 2011

Switch Audio Output Devices with Audio Renderer Updater


11:11 AM |

Although there are a growing number of users who have dedicated Media Center systems, a large number of users are still using an all purpose machine. Often times these users will switch to a secondary set of outputs (a second monitor and audio outputs) when using Media Center for their entertainment. The problem for many of these users is the lack of audio or video output options inside Windows 7 Media Center. This makes changing output sources quite a hassle, needing to navigate the various system menus to switch the outputs. For audio output, however, there’s a new plugin available that allows users to switch audio output sources from inside Media Center called Audio Renderer Updater (in english).
To get started using this handy little plugin start by downloading the proper version for you (english or french) from Media-Center.fr. Installation is pretty straightforward though English users will need to agree to a terms of use they likely can’t read. Once installed, access the main program through the Extras Library from inside Media Center.
 Once open, changing the audio output source is as easy as selecting the device you’d like to use from the dropdown box and saving the new settings. In older versions this was the extent of the options available but with the latest version the author has added quite a few extra features to the plugin. For instance there are now options to determine when these settings will be applied. This way the end user is able to set the device to only be used when inside Windows Media Center or make this the new default device permanently (even after shutting down Windows Media Center).
Also included in this version is the ability to bind the remote control’s Mute button to launch the plugin. Setting the “Activate speedy playback device change mode” option should make this the new behavior. Users will likely need to restart their machines in order for this new setting to take effect though. Also this would render your mute button inoperable as well so the plugin contains an option to actually mute the audio. Should this option not work there is a registry file available for download as well that will bind your remote’s mute button to launch the plugin. Apply the file’s changes to your registry and restart the machine for the behavior to take effect.

That’s all there is to using this handy little tool inside Windows 7 Media Center. Questions and comments for the author can be made on Media-Center.fr’s forums here.

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