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:



  • The text that follows in this document will assume the usage of mc16.exe, the launcher for Media Center 16. 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 mc16.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 below accept a parameter <items>, which is a list of one or more items, each item separated by a | (vertical bar, or pipe). Through the text, each item in <items> can be any of the following:

  • A filename: Example: C:\song1.mp3
  • A URL: Example: http:\\\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 <items> may be targetted 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: mc16.exe /Append C:\1.mp3|C:\2.mp3|Zone=3

Option Parameter Description
/Append <items> Appends item(s) to Playing Now without changing the current playback state.
/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: the /Command option has no effect if Media Center is not already running.
Play Starts playback of the selected track(s).
Pause Toggles between play and pause states.
Stop Stops playback.
Next Skips to the next track.
Previous Skips to the previous track.
FastForward Jumps 5 seconds forward.
Rewind Jumps 5 seconds backward.
Mute Mutes the sound.
VolumeUp <percent> Increases the sound volume by <percent> percent. Default: 5%.
VolumeDown <percent> Decreases the sound volume by <percent> percent. Default: 5%.
VolumeSet <percent> Sets the sound volume directly to <percent> percent. Default: 50%.
ToggleShuffle Toggles shuffle mode
ToggleContinuous Toggles continuous mode
/Connect m01p://<host> Establishes a connection to <host>, a hostname or IP address that specifies the remote Media Server.
/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.
/Import <filename> Imports the specified file into the Media Center library and launches Media Center.
/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.
/MediaServer Starts Media Center in Media Server mode (without a UI).
/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.
/Play <items> 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.
/PlayReplace <items> Playing Now is replaced with the item(s) and playback starts (same as /Replace).
/Power Media Center is started when it is not currently running, or closed when running.
/Replace <items> Playing Now is replaced with the item(s) and playback starts (same as /PlayReplace).
/Restart Restarts Media Center.
/SilentImport <filename> Imports the specified file <filename> into Media Center library, but does not launch Media Center.
/Start Starts Media Center or brings it to top.
/Subscribe <podcast URL> Subscribe to the podcast specified by <podcast URL>.