The Command Line

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Media Center and Media Jukebox can be controlled by command line parameters sent using a command launcher. The launcher is installed during installation of main application. The command launcher is version-specific, and installed in the standard system directory. The name of the command launcher for Media Center follows the (case-insensitive) form:

MC<MC version>.exe

and for Media Jukebox version 12 and beyond:

MJ<MJ version>.exe

and finally, prior to version 12 of Media Jukebox, the launcher is named:

mjextman.exe

Notes

  • The text that follows in this document will assume the usage of mc20.exe, the launcher for Media Center 20. Use the appropriate command for your version of Media Center or Media Jukebox.
  • The command launcher is installed into the system directory, typically C:\WINDOWS\system32\ (it does not reside in the application directory). Because the system directory is normally included in your system's PATH variable, it is not necessary to specify the full path when invoking the command launcher.

Command Line Options and Parameters

Executing mc21.exe with one of the following command line options / parameters first starts Media Center if it is not already running (exception; see /Command below).

Some options in the table below accept a parameter <paths>, which is a list of one or more paths to files and/or folders, each item separated by a | (vertical bar, or pipe).

Some options in the table below accept a parameter <playitems>, which is a list of one or more items, each item separated by a | (vertical bar, or pipe). Through the text, each item in <playitems> can be any of the following:

  • A filename: Example: C:\song1.mp3
  • A URL: Example: http:\\www.somewebsite.com\station.pls
  • A location within the Organization Tree: Example: TREEPATH=Playlists\Playlist1
The TREEPATH=<location>\<item> specification is case-sensitive for <location> and <item> and the hierarchy separator is \ (backslash).
  • A device under CD & DVD and Handhelds: Example: DEVICE=G:

Each item in <playitems> may be targeted to a specific Zone by appending the item with Zone=<x>, where <x> is replaced by the Zone number (Media Center 10 or later). Example:

mc21.exe /Append C:\1.mp3|C:\2.mp3|Zone=3

Media Center Command Line Options and Parameters
Option Parameter Description
/Append <playitems> Appends item(s) to Playing Now without changing the current playback state.
/AudioCD <drive> Plays the audio CD specified in drive <drive> (e.g.. D:).
/Bluray <drive> Plays a Blu-ray disc specified in drive <drive> (e.g.. F:). Currently functionally equivalent to the /DVDInfo option.
/Clear <mode> Removes all files from Playing Now and stops playback.
Values for <mode> :
  • DontRemoveCurrent Does not remove the currently playing file and does not stop playback.
/Close Closes Media Center.
/Command Note 1: The /Command option has no effect if Media Center is not already running.

Note 2: The /Command <subcmd> form is considered deprecated starting with 18.0.117; use the direct option instead (e.g. /Pause instead of /Command Pause).

FastForward See /FastForward.
Mute See /Mute.
Next See /Next.
NextAlbum See /NextAlbum.
NextArtist See /NextArtist.
Pause See /Pause.
Play See /Play.
Previous See /Previous.
PreviousAlbum See /PreviousAlbum.
PreviousArtist See /PreviousArtist.
Rewind See /Rewind.
Stop See /Stop.
ToggleShuffle See /ToggleShuffle.
ToggleContinuous See /ToggleContinuous.
VolumeUp <percent> See /VolumeUp.
VolumeDown <percent> See /VolumeDown.
VolumeSet <percent> See /VolumeSet.
/Connect m01p://<host> Establishes a connection to <host>, a hostname or IP address that specifies the remote Media Server.
/DVDVideo <drive> Plays a DVD specified in drive <drive> (e.g.. E:). Currently functionally equivalent to the /Bluray option.
/ExportToXML <filename> Exports the current library as XML (in the MPL format) to the specified file <filename>. If the program is not running, the command is performed silently, and the program exits.
/FastForward Jumps 5 seconds forward. See Note 1.
/Import <paths> Imports the specified files/folders into the Media Center library and launches Media Center.
/ImportAndPlay <paths> Same command as /Import, but also starts playback of the imported files (this replaces Playing Now)..
/Library <library name> Changes to the library specified by <library name> (Media Center 12.0.384 and later).
/LibraryReadOnly Starts Media Center with the library in read-only mode (aka. Party Mode).
/MCC <command>,<param> Sends the specified Media Center Core Command to Media Center.
<command> is one of the Media Center Core Commands.
<param> is optional, and defaults to 0.
Note: Only available in Media Center.
/MCWS/v1/... MCWS web service call (does not require Media Network to be running or a server to be listening). Use double-quotes around entire command (e.g. "/MCWS/v1/Playback/Pause?State=-1").
/MediaServer Starts Media Center in Media Server mode (without a UI).
/Mime Used by some Stores.
/Mode <modename> Sets the Media Center mode to <modename>. Media Center will be started if it is not running.
Select <modename> from one of the following:
  • Standard, Megame, or Windowed Standard View
  • Minime Mini View
  • Fullscreen Display View
  • Theater Theater View
Note: An empty <modename> is the same as the user's chosen startup mode if Media Center is not running, or Standard if it is already running.
/MonitorExtend Extend available displays across all monitors (Windows 7).
/MonitorSwitch <monspecs> Select, enable and disable monitors and resolution for playback. Use /MonitorSwitch without arguments for usage information. The format of <monspecs> is one or more of:

  <device>:enable
  <device>:disable
  <device>:<width>x<height>x<bit depth>x<refresh>[xprimary]

/MonitorToggle Switch between the connected displays (Windows 7).
/Mute Mutes the sound. See Note 1.
/Next Skips to the next track. See Note 1.
/NextAlbum Skips forward to the next album. See Note 1.
/NextArtist Skips forward to the next artist. See Note 1.
/Pause Toggles between play and pause states. See Note 1.
/Play <playitems> If playback is currently stopped, Playing Now is replaced with the item(s) and playback starts, otherwise the item(s) are appended to Playing Now and playback jumps to the first specified item. Note: The option /Play may be omitted, in which case, take care to use double quotes as necessary when issuing commands in the Windows command shell. If <playitems> is empty, starts playback of the selected track(s), but see Note 1.
/PlayReplace <playitems> Playing Now is replaced with the item(s) and playback starts (same as /Replace).
/PlayNext <playitems> Playing Now has the files added as the next to play.
/Power Media Center is started when it is not currently running, or closed when running.
/Previous Skips back to the previous track. See Note 1.
/PreviousAlbum Skips back to the first listed track of the previous album. See Note 1.
/PreviousArtist Skips back to the previous artist (the topmost track of a sequential group by the previous artist). See Note 1.
/Protocol <command> Executes the specified protocol command <command>, where the web browser subsequently runs <command>. This option is used primarily for embedding commands into webpages (e.g. mc19://ShowHelp/Import).
/Replace <playitems> Playing Now is replaced with the item(s) and playback starts (same as /PlayReplace).
/Restart Restarts Media Center.
/Rewind Jumps 5 seconds backward. See Note 1.
/ShowTreePath <treepath> Starts Media Center if necessary, and changes the tree selection to the specified <treepath>.
/SilentImport <paths> Imports (silently) the specified files/folders into the Media Center library, but does not launch Media Center.
/Sleep <milliseconds> Sleeps the specified number of <milliseconds> and then exits; supports delays in scripting.
/SoundcardSwitch <cardspec> Select sound card for playback (Windows 7/Vista). Use /SoundcardSwitch without arguments for usage information. The format of <cardspec> is:

  DefaultByIndex:<sound card index>

/Start Starts Media Center or brings it to top.
/StartAfterDelay <milliseconds> Launches Media Center after the specified number of milliseconds.
/Stop Stops playback. See Note 1.
/Subscribe <podcast URL> Subscribe to the podcast specified by <podcast URL>.
/ToggleShuffle Toggles shuffle mode. See Note 1.
/ToggleContinuous Toggles continuous mode. See Note 1.
/VolumeUp <percent> Increases the sound volume by <percent> percent. Default: 5%. See Note 1.
/VolumeDown <percent> Decreases the sound volume by <percent> percent. Default: 5%. See Note 1.
/VolumeSet <percent> Sets the sound volume directly to <percent> percent. Default: 50%. See Note 1.

Examples

  • Start playing the current track (if Media Center is running)
mc20.exe /Play
  • Play file.flac, launching Media Center if necessary.
mc20.exe /Play "C:\path\to\file.flac"
  • Import file.mp3 and start playback.
mc20.exe /ImportAndPlay "C:\path\to\file.mp3"
  • Silently import the files contained in folder1 and folder2.
mc20.exe /SilentImport "C:\path\to\folder1|M:\path\to\folder2"
  • Play the Not Recently Played smartlist.
MC20.exe /Play TREEPATH="Playlists\Smartlists\Not Recently Played"
  • Set the tree focus to Audio\Files, starting Media Center if necessary.
MC20.exe /ShowTreePath "Audio\Files"