When i started using ubuntu desktop server some 2 years ago, one application i really wanted to have was a media center. I liked having all my multimedia controlled by one software, like a one stop media shop (more or less)
On windows i used the windows media center which is a very cool tool for my needs. Unfortuntely when i migrated to Linux i was unable to find a program that does what i wanted. i tried MyTV but it was too TV centric i don’t have a TV Card– beside was a witch to configure. I just wanted something that was easy to install, easy to use, and just works.
I heard about Elisa from the ubuntuforums and decided to give it a try. My first experience (some 8 months ago) with it was a PITA. it was very alpha, very difficult to configure (you have to edit some .xml files in your home dir), and even than it crashed easily was, and was just too much hassle for my young Linux mind .
Then came the dark ages. For about a year i was without a media center on Linux but got on with my life (some how). Then one day while redditing Elisa popped up again so i said heck and decided to give it another try. This time around it blow me away. I was amazed at the massive improvement that has been made to it since the last time i tried. The interface has been redesigned, it is now very slick and works very well. installation is dead easy . just go grab their source list from here add it to your sources.list (System/Administration/Software Sources –> Third Party Software tab, –> Add, paste the sourcelist, and add source. Now open synaptic /System/Administration/Synaptic, Reload the search for and install Elisa. If you (like me) prefer the commandline just open Terminal (Applications/Accessories/Terminal) copy and paste the following (modify to the version of ubuntu you are running, am on hardy heron)
echo deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/elisa-developers/ppa/ubuntu hardy main | sudo tee -a '/etc/apt/sources.list'
sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install elisa once installed you can run elisa from Applications/Sound and Videos/Elisa
In all I found Elisa to do just what i wanted from a media center. a one stop shop for my music, pictures and videos. it also has the ability to watch online videos like youtube and connect to flickr (although i wasnt able to test those services) so if you are like me and are looking for a simple easy to your media center that doesn’t try to take over the world .. then give Elisa a try.