Combine individual media tracks into mp4 file

My MP4Box GUI is a tool I normally use to combine individual video and audio tracks (h264, aac, etc.) into a valid mp4 file. My MP4Box GUI is just a GUI wrapper for a free command line utility called MP4Box.

Usage is very simple - add all tracks into the main application window and click Mux button...

Extract individual tracks from .mkv file

mkvextract.exe is a command-line tool that is part of MKVToolNix. mkvextract v8.3.0 can be downloaded from here. It allows to extract subtitles, audio, and other type of tracks from .mkv files.

Syntax is pretty simple:

mkvextract.exe tracks "D:\video.mkv" 1:"D:\track-1.aac"

D:\vide.mkv - Source file
1 - Track number ID
D:\track-1.aac - Destination file

mkvextract manual can be found here.

If you prefer to work with graphical interface, you can download a GUI add-on from here:

How To Configure Media Portal TV Server

I have been Windows Media Centre user for many years. Since Microsoft have made it clear that they are abandoning WMC, I started looking into alternatives. At this point I use Plex as the main HTPC interface which works really well. Unfortunately, Plex doesn't have any PVR capabilities so it can't replace WMC on its own. For all PVR related stuff I currently use Media Portal. It works pretty well as well, except for the initial TV Server setup, which looks pretty unintuitive. 

Below is how I set up my Media Portal TV Server. I'm setting this up for UK FreeView and FreeSat tuners, but very similar process would apply to other regions. FreeView is Digital Terrestrial; FreeSat is Digital Satellite.

XBOX Child Account: Parent Approval Required - endless loop...

Microsoft seems to be determined to move everyone to the Cloud kicking and screaming. Windows 8 and Windows 10 have been making more and more difficult to use local user accounts. There is still an option to do this, but MS works pretty hard to hide this as well as they can. More recently, everyone wishing to use Microsoft Family Safety in Windows 10 is forced to create Microsoft accounts for themselves and all other family members, including children. I'm not a big fan off these changes, but the most annoying thing is that all this online nonsense often simply doesn't work as expected and just gets in a way.

This morning my daughter came to me complaining that some reason she can no longer play Minecraft. This was the new Minecraft for Windows 10 that requires to be signed into Microsoft / XBOX account to play. I had a quick look and she wasn't making this up. Minecraft would load fine, but after 5-10 seconds it would log her out and display following message:

Time for the legal stuff
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