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As announced last night on the Media Center Sandbox blog, a new application for Windows Vista Media Center has been released. The application, named PowerPlaylist, adds a custom strip to the Windows Vista Media Center start menu with up to five tiles. Each tile represents an audio, slideshow and/or visualization combination which will start when the tile is selected. PowerPlaylist is configured via an XML data file, and the application includes an editor to customize the information in the data file, including the title of the custom Start Menu strip and the name, image, audio source, slideshow folder and visualization for each tile.
PowerPlaylist has been released on CodePlex, and you can download x86 and/or x64 MSI-based installers if you want to try out the application. You can also download source code (licensed with the Microsoft Permissive License) if you want to see how the application works behind the scenes, modify it to add features, fix bugs, etc.
Here are some links for more information about PowerPlaylist: