Out of the box Windows 7 Media Center supports a few streaming radio services including Live365.com and XM Radio if your preferred service happens to be Shoutcast though you’re still in luck. Thanks to a plug-in developed by Sörnt of The Green Button you can get your Shoutcast streams directly into Media Center’s Radio section.
The plug-in, called mcShoutcast, is currently available in a number of languages and the most up to date versions are available for download from the mcShoutcast website. At the time of writing, however, the most recent version required the Orca fix to install on Windows 7 based machines. You can download version 3.5 with the Orca fix already applied right here (version works on both x86 and x64 machines).
Aside from this small fix the mcShoutcast plug-in is a wonderful addition to Media Center adding itself to the default radio section under “Music > Radio” and supporting ample features of it’s own. You are able to browse through the Shoutcast listings by Genre, Top 500 stations, random and even search for your favorite stations. Once you’ve found your favorites the plug-in even allows you to bookmark them to be added to your favorites which are displayed upon entering the app.
Unfortunately, the downloads above will only give you two weeks access to mcShoutcast. This plug-in does carry a price tag but a low one, a perfectly reasonable $10, which when compared to services such as XM Radio is practically nothing. Purchasing a license is a one-time affair however and once you’ve got your key you’ll be set for as long as you wish to use this great app.
All in all, this plug-in is a must have for Shoutcast fans and streaming media lovers alike. Although Shoutcast stations aren’t quite as versatile as services like Last.FM or Pandora it’s still worthwhile being able to choose from the thousands of DJ run stations the service offers.