Review: Skip Got All Media unless you want a clunky, expensive Media Center clone

Look elsewhere for an all-in-one media or home theater solution.

Like it or loathe it, there's no doubt that Windows Media Center does a pretty good job of tying your diverse media together in one interface. If your system doesn't have Windows Media Center, you can try Got All Media, which is similar to Media Center in features and looks. Like Media Center, Got All Media can play videos, music, DVDs, and CDs, streaming media like Net radio and free online TV, recorded TV, and broadcast, cable, and other commercial TV via TV capture card, if your system has one. It can also browse the Internet. Got All Media doesn't perform as well as Media Center, though, and it comes with a hefty price tag, but you can try it without charge for 15 days.

Installing Got All Media includes several optional steps you can skip if they don't apply, such as configuring your TV card, if any, as well as program guide, channel selection, and ZIP Code to download TV listings or specify XMLTV; we could also enter providers, directly. As we noted, Got All Media's overall look, scrolling menu, and highlighted selections resemble Media Player's functionality, though Got All Media windows, controls, and icons aren't rendered especially well. Got All Media displayed TV listings, associated itself with our music and video libraries, and let us log into our YouTube account. But it's clunky: for example, we had to click the program's system tray icon and then click "Open" just to restore it to the desktop when minimized or, worse, when we merely selected another open window.

We were unable to find any kind of program or version information inside Got All Media or if its system requirements have been updated, and the developer's Web site is now a search placeholder. Combined with the overall low-quality feel, poor rendering, and clunky functionality, the lack of support or even acknowledgement by its developer was enough to keep it off our "recommended" list. Throw in the ridiculous price (nearly $60; really?), and there's little to entice any user into keeping this media player. If you don't have or don't like Windows Media Center, better alternatives are available.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Got All Media 7.0.0.3.

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