Life With a Plugin, Episode 17: MyDrinks

Feb 19 2009

One of the reasons I began this series was to expose the community to those smaller and less well known applications. The type that would be "must have's" for 10 out of 100 people. I think MyDrinks would classify as that, so I hope you are all part of that 10, or if you're more then we sure have a lot of alcoholics here :-)

Overview

MyDrinks is a Media Center plugin designed to bring an entire menu of drinks to your big screen. It allows you to not only search for how to make a specific drink, but also browse by titles and ingredients as well. Pretty convenient if you have a handle of Vodka and can't remember how to make a screwdriver.
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Man! That's a lot of drinks! Simple but effective drink making instructions

It is not the most exotic application, but it gets its point across loud and clear--never be challenged by one of your friends on how to make a specific drink. Not only can you show them who's boss, but also show them the power of your Media Center!



Above & Beyond The several options for finding the right drink is very nice, and the search field was a must have. I think the Ingredients category is the most creative of the application, as it not only limits you to types of alcohol, but also you can see what drinks you can make with certain mixers. It is a creative way to think about mixing drinks, and also makes your shopping list easier as well.
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View of the many ingredients you can make drinks with. Search for a drink or ingredient


Falling Short

Unlike some previous add-ins such as Photato or Showtime, you will not be floored away by the interface to MyDrinks. I can't fault it too much given the simplicity overall needed by someone using the application, but I also can't give it any extra kudos either.

To be honest, I only have a few real gripes with the application. First, and quite minor, is the home page which is unnecessary. The information there is somewhat repetitive of what is in the About page, and also just is not the most attractive start page. Secondly, the prompts everytime you select something to OK it is unnecessary as well. 

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The start page looks a bit like the about The dreaded confirmation popups

Minor gripes, of course, and they definitely would not deter someone from using this application.


Grade: Once A Month

MyDrinks is another add-in for Media Center that is unique and brings tasks normally thought of as requiring a laptop, to your living room big screen for use with a remote control. The interface is quite basic looking, and I think part of that fault is that the application appears to be based on HTML (ala Media Center 2005 days) instead of the newer MCML (Media Center Markup Layer) which Vista brings and allows for a much more seamless application.

The minor annoyances and interface aside, the application is more than capable of completing its tasks, and I did not encounter a single crash during my testing. Nor could I think of a drink that it did NOT have in its library. Add to that the small filesize of the program and it being hidden in Program Library, and it's the type of application you might want to always have in your backpocket. 


Product Vitals

Website: Quinndows.net

Creator: Quinn Easterbrook

Price: Free as in BEER! Cool

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