2/27 UPDATE: Amazon has opened up Prime in the UK and Germany. Several of you have contacting me regarding support. As I can’t test this from my location easily support for this is going to be tough. The first attempt to get the UK Prime working did not succeed – looks to be more complicated than changing a few URLs. Will try to work on this but I have no ETA on when it will be working.
** If anyone has experience with ffmpeg or rtmpdump get in touch with me.
DMZ did a nice write-up on the Addin – check it out! And listen to Entertainment 2.0′s Podcast on the AmazonMCEAddin.
Download AmazonMCEAddin (Version 1.2 Build 28231)
Welcome to the new home of the Amazon Instant Video Plugin for Windows Media Center. I inherited this solution from Gareth Barr – who did a fantastic job with it. He was kind enough to let me take over the development of the project and I hope to bring you a great Amazon/Media Center integrated experience. So what is this thing? Simply – it is an add-in for Windows Media Center that allows you to stream Movies and TV shows from the Amazon Instant Video Library. To get the full benefit of the solution you need both Windows 7 Media Center and an Amazon Prime account. A regular Amazon account will work – but you will be very limited as to what content is available.
Above: Demo of the addin
- Windows 7 edition that includes Windows Media Center (32 or 64 bit)
- Internet Explorer 8 or later must be installed
- Microsoft Silverlight (Version 5.1 or later)
- USA based Amazon Prime account
- Tested Remotes:
- Harmony One
- Vista MCE Remote VRC-1100
- SANOXY Wireless USB PC Remote Control Mouse
HOW TO INSTALL
Download the addin to your Windows 7 Media Center PC. Be sure to close Media Center and uninstall any previous version of the addin (especially the garethbarr.com version as it will cause conflicts). Run the installer, accept the license agreement and follow the onscreen prompts. It’s pretty painless.
If you are experiencing problems with the installer it maybe permissions related. Open an elevated Command Prompt (Run As Administrator) and run: ‘msiexec /i .\AmazonMCEAddinSetup.msi’ from within the folder that contains the setup MSI file.
HOW CAN I HELP?
If you like this solution and it works well for you please consider donating. It will help me offset my costs and pay for the occasional meal or drink now and then. Thanks! DISCLAIMER
This is a 3rd party solution. It is not supported by Amazon and may stop working as they change their service. I’ll do my best to keep up with the changes but this is a hobby, not a business. Please be patient – and remember you got this for free. Thanks.
- This will not work with Extenders, yet.
- Resuming a paused video causes the player to reset – but it will resume from the paused location.
- If you get a blank screen when playing a video – please exit and update your Silverlight Player in Internet Explorer.
How are my Amazon credentials used or stored by this application?
The plugin uses a simple MCML form for you to enter your Amazon ID and Password. That information is then used to create a secure HTML POST request to the Amazon login page. The successful login creates a cookie which is stored locally in your Windows profile AppData\Local folder. All further communication with Amazon uses the session cookie. Your ID and password is not retained in any way. For those tech-savvy individuals you can see exactly what the DLL is doing by using JetBrains dotPeek or a similar .NET reflection tool.
I am getting a logon or CAPTCHA error in the addin – why?
Amazon is enabling CAPTCHA logins for some users if, it seems, you use your account from a new ‘device’. The addin is recognized as a device by Amazon but it cannot handle the CAPTCHA login. If you are having trouble, try logging in to Amazon from Internet Explorer on the Media Center PC, and then try logging into the addin.
The player doesn’t seem to be full screen – I am seeing a grey border – why?
This is an overscan issue between the video card and Media Center. Re-run the Media Center TV/Monitor Wizard and choose PANEL instead of TV. Follow the rest of the prompts and complete the wizard. The borders should go away.
Does this work with Windows 8.x Media Center?
The addin is currently untested on Windows 8.x – though I have received several reports from users that it appears to be working normally. I don’t have any plans at the moment to test or support this on Windows 8.x.
Does this work with Windows Vista Media Center?
Sorry – this will not work with Windows Vista. Upgrade to Windows 7… please.
What happened to the Purchase/Rent buttons?
Before I took this project over Gareth had laid down the framework for the Purchase/Rent buttons and parsing those types of offers. What was missing was wiring those buttons up to the related web service calls – sounds simple but it’s not. There is no documentation for the API – so any such calls would need to be reverse engineered from the web pages – which may not be completely possible. Then there are the potential liability issues. What if you accidentally purchased something through the addin and could not get a credit from Amazon because you did it from an unsupported device. Need to play it safe here for everyone – purchases should be done from the web site or an approved device. The addin will still detect purchases you made and allow you to play them.
Why did the Flash player stop working and what’s new in the 1.2 version?
Looks like on February 7, 2014 Amazon make a change which is preventing the Flash player from accessing the stream data. This was not entirely unexpected. I’ve been working on the Silverlight version of the player for some time and this recent event has moved development along. The Silverlight player code is based largely on the Amazon Silverlight mini player. The biggest changes were decoupling it from some of the web service calls and creating all of the Remote Control functionality. Also, unlike the flash page, Media Center would not run this page directly – so I have had to introduce a small web server (Mongoose) that runs in a locked-down configuration on a special port. This web server is only accessible to the local host (127.0.0.1) and used to serve the web content to Media Center. Version 1.2 and later includes a number of other improvements, including the long awaited HD Movie playback and some performance improvements by way of caching. Besides the HD playback, the Silverlight player renders the stream much better than the Flash player – probably due to GPU acceleration.
Version 1.2 Build (28231)
- Fixed issue were screen saver would come on during playback
- Updated web server configuration and detection
Version 1.2 Build (28229)
- IMPORTANT: If you get an Internet error after upgrading – be sure there are no orphaned Mongoose processes in task manager. Also – clear your temporary internet files cache to be sure you are getting the latest player.
- Fixed issue with some season episodes with missing subscription metadata (24)
- Fixed resume issue
- Fixed SD/HD detection issues (Hopefully)
- Removed non-working Buy/Purchase/Rent buttons. NOTE: If you have added unpurchased movies to your watch list they will still appear, but clicking the watch links will generate an error from Amazon.
- Updated web server configuration and detection
- Code cleanup
Version 1.2 Build (28210)
- Fix for Mongoose web path trailing backslash issue
- Addin now stops and resets the web configuration on each launch
- Renamed ‘My Watchlist’ to ‘My Movies’
- Code cleanup
Version 1.2 Build (28205)
- Fixed web server path bug on x86 systems; be sure to shut down the Mongoose web server to get the changes.
Version 1.2 Build (28201)
- Introduction of Silverlight player (Flash player no longer works)
- Support for playing movies in HD; the addin will automatically choose the best video format SD/HD based on capabilities
- Adds Mongoose Web Server (to support Silverlight player)
Adds category caching to improve performance
- Fixed trailer playback with Silverlight player
Version 1.1 Build (28024)
- First set of performance improvements; implemented threading for category builds; caching of some data in memory; improved load times
- Updated user-agent string, again.
Version 1.1 Build (28022)
- Detection of CAPTCHA login
- New user-agent string to help fix some logon issues
Version 1.1 Build (28020)
- Additional logging and cookie verification to determine logon status
Version 1.1 Build (28016)
- Updated installer to detect if Flash is installed
- Fixed issue where only the first 20 season episodes would be visible
Version 1.1 Build (28015)
- Updated Adobe Flash detection
Version 1.1 Build (28014)
- Additional logging added to help diagnose session issues
- Minor changes to useragent string
- Minor fixes
Version 1.1 Build (28013)
- Fixed issue with non-HD videos having an invalid ASIN
Version 1.1 Build (28011)
- Reverted to SD ASINs for Movies due to Amazon content restrictions on the Flash player
Version 1.1 Build (28010)
- Added Flash HD support for TV content
Version 1.1 Build (27998)
- Restored Movie/TV cover art to original sizes
- Added animations to better highlight selected title
- Scroll position now resets when switching categories
Version 1.1 Build (27995)
- Added KeyCodes for separate play/pause buttons into player page
Version 1.1 Build (27993)
- Clicking Pause will toggle the Player height so you can access all of the Flash controls
Version 1.1 Build (27991)
- Fixed Pause issue reported in Build 27989
Version 1.1 Build (27989)
- Improved Watch List Management and watch button behavior
- Performance improvements
Version 1.1 Build (27978)
- Added Skip Forward/Back controls to player
- Added Watch List management controls
- Added new startup/loading splash screen and animations
- Added Resume playback and play from start
- Fixed gallery browse orientation from vertical to horizontal
- Updated more resource images
- Minor fixes and code cleanup
Version 1.1 Build (27931)
- Fixed issue with empty watch lists or non-prime accounts causing a fatal exception
Version 1.1 Build (27929)
- Added TV/Movie Watchlists and Your Video Library
- Added support for playing purchased content from Video Library
- Changed the appearance of the Movie/TV cover art to a fixed size due to a rendering bug when mixing TV and Movies on the same panel
- Added/updated category images
- Fixed program EntryPoint so icon can be moved from start strip
- Removed Recently Watched category as data is unavailable
- Minor fixes and code improvements
Version 1.1 Build (27811)
- Fixes permissions issue that was causing the addin to crash on some systems
Version 1.1 Build (27805)
- Added additional logging
Version 1.1 Build (27801)
- Fixed issue with retrieving the session variables (amazon changed the format)
- Added logging. Log file will be written to the Program Files app folder. When reporting an issue, please send the log file.
- Menu navigation improvements
- Minor fixes
Version 1.1 Build (27790)
- Re-release of the AmazonMCEAddin
- Fixed Logon/Session issues with the Flash player
- Added default sounds to navigation
- Added Silverlight player (not functional yet)
- Updated images and thumbnails
- Code cleanup
- Minor fixes