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Today I was trying to use Microsoft Media Center to record a program right at 4pm. It was on Windows 7.

So when it was 3:59:45pm, the TV station already started playing an "intro" or a summary of the following program, which I also want to record, to serve as a summary for the whole program.

So I pressed Record (update: the red record icon) on the program, and the smart Media Center recorded 3:59:45 to 3:59:59 as 1 program, thinking that the task is complete -- that the intention of the user is to record from 3:59:45 to 3:59:59.

I know the common explanation is: Media Center thought you want to record the program from 3pm to 4pm, and you start at 3:59:45, which is (yes, technically to an idiot's brain), in fact 3pm still.

So it intelligently recorded the mere 14 seconds. So how can it be accomplished, when I see a program I didn't schedule earlier and want to record from 3:59:45 to 5:01 as 1 continuous program? I can press Record again, except on the screen, there is no apparent way to tell whether recording is going on. Are there solutions to solve these issues for the genius Media Center app?

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So I pressed Record on the program

"Program" meaning WMC, and not the TV program? I'm assuming you pressed the red "Record" button (that's on the left end of all the control icons), rather than the "Record" in a pop-up menu or from the program's details page.

Other than scheduling the program recording to begin X minutes ahead of the official start time (or at least use the "record (this program)" command selection rather than the red record icon), no. WMC needs to attach metadata for the program name, synopsis etc., so it has to use the current program, even if somekind of transition content or commercial is actual being received. There is no option to "blend" the active recording into the next program. This is simply one of the consequences of recording programs with metadata (instead of VCR-like start and stop recording events) and keeping the interface simple.

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Yes, the red Record icon was pressed -- I guess you are suggesting that instead of doing that, it can be done by "Program to record this particular program", even if you are right there recording the current program. That way, the usual option of "record 2 minutes ahead of time" will kick in and record everything as desired. Still, the behavior of recording the mere 14 seconds might not be a totally intelligent behavior. As least it can ask for what is wanted by the user. – 太極者無極而生 Aug 9 '11 at 1:12
Yes, use the "record" button from the Guide's right-click pop-up or the program's details page. – sawdust Aug 9 '11 at 1:20
For every instance of "It doesn't do what I want to do", there's probably an argument for "keep it simple" or someone else saying "that's what I want it to do". This is true for all UIs. – sawdust Aug 9 '11 at 1:23
I do not expect "intelligent behavior" from a computer system. Hopefully I'll get consistent results. – sawdust Aug 9 '11 at 1:27
What if you are to enter a number and you press 1 and the letter O and the computer takes it and store it as a number anyway? Or should the computer warn you that it is not a number? If it warns you, it is "Intelligent behavior" and are you saying that this intelligent behavior is good while other are not? Of course, there is a cut off point. But when it is within seconds right before the beginning of the program, and the user press the red record icon and the computer takes it as "oh, let me record 14 seconds" instead, that no doubt is an idiot behavior. – 太極者無極而生 Aug 10 '11 at 7:51

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