Windows XP Media Center is a version of Windows specifically designed for integration of TV and radio features into the operating system. Microsoft gives the following information:
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, available preinstalled on Media Center PCs, allows you to pause and rewind live TV or radio, digitally record an entire TV series or program category, watch DVDs and videos, organize and play your music collection, and showcase digital photos.
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 makes it easier to access digital entertainment wherever you are. Here are some of the top features:
* Multi-tuner support (record two shows at the same time and watch another previously recorded show)
* Support for digital and high-definition local TV
* Built-in CD and DVD burning
* Windows Movie Maker 2.1 with DVD burning
* Internet radio
* Enhanced setup wizard for easier installation
(from: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/evaluation/faq.mspx )
You can also read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_xp_media_center
Needless to say, these features, while useful for live media purposes, tend to significantly interfere with the vast majority of audio applications. Here is an (unofficial) list of software and hardware we have found to be unsupported in XP Media Center:
– Digidesign Pro Tools (all versions).
– All M-Audio software and hardware.
– All Steinberg software.
– Cakewalk SONAR (all versions).
– The iLok.
– Syncrosoft USB dongles.
– Focusrite interfaces.
– Lexicon Omega/Alpha/Lambda.
– Edirol interfaces.
– Alesis USB and Firewire mixers.
– All MOTU hardware and software.
– All E-MU hardware and software.
– Native Instruments software.
– Waves software.
– Mackie Spike. Tracktion has been known to work, but is not guaranteed.
– Novation X-Station series.
– TC Eletric PowerCore series.
– Universal Audio UAD-1 cards.
– All RME hardware.
– All PreSonus hardware.
– All TASCAM software and hardware.
– Blue Snowball and Samson C01 USB Microphones.
– Line 6 USB hardware and drivers
Keep in mind that this is an unofficial list. These are simply products that we have found, through our experience and through manufacturer requirements, to not function properly in XP Media Center. However, you may experience full functionality with any of the aforementioned products. Sweetwater can only provide support for either XP Home or XP Professional. These are the versions that we at Sweetwater install on our Creation Station series, and the only versions we have found to be fully compatible with everything we sell.
** NOTE: Windows 64-bit has been tested and proven to work with many newer software applications (such as SONAR 5). However, since at this time the OS is so new, not every program has been updated to support Windows 64. Hopefully, in the near future, they will, but as of this writing, we recommend XP Home or Pro.