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mc2xml: Easily Download & Convert TV Listings To XMLTV For Your Media Center

Justin Pot 24-03-2012

xmltv converterDownload TV listings in your area to a XMLTV file you can use with your media center. It’s easy, fast and – unlike other solutions – free with mc2xml. Plus, unlike other solutions, it works in the US and Canada. This script pulls down and converts movie information from Microsoft’s servers so you can use it with whatever software you like. Even better, it’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Finding online is an easy matter: just find a site with listings in your area. If you use media center software, however, getting TV listings to show up on-screen can be complicated. Most programs offer some support for the open source XMLTV format, though, meaning if you can find an XMLTV file for your area and television provider, you’re all set.

That’s easier said than done, however. While some television providers in Europe offer such files free of charge, North Americans generally aren’t so lucky. Good thing mc2xml exists – it can create XMLTV files for just about anywhere.

Using mc2xml

If you’re a Mac or Linux user, using mc2xml is a matter of learning how to use the command line. Check out the mc2xml homepage to learn the various options. If you’re a Windows user, the command line is also an option, but there’s also a simple GUI you can use.

xmltv converter

Whatever version of the program you’re using, you need to let the program know where you are and which source you’d like to get your information from. The default, from Microsoft, is probably best. Using TitanTV requires a hard-to-find code, and using Schedules Direct requires a (paid) subscription.


Once you’ve picked your settings you’ll be asked what service you get your television from. You will only see options available in your part of the world , so pick what’s relevant for you. “Terrestrial” is what those of us without cable or satellite are.

xmltv conversion

Pick your TV provider and the download will begin. Even better, your settings will be saved in a “.dat” file, meaning next time you run the program you won’t need to re-add your settings.

Programs That Support XMLTV

xmltv converter


So what can you use an XMLTV file with? I personally use it to see what’s on TV without needing to quit my media center of choice – XBMC. You’ll need to install the TV Guide add-on for XBMC to do this. But plenty of other programs can work with these files too. Check this page to see which media software supports XMLTV. Basically, any program that can show TV listings can use these files.

Download mc2xml

Are you ready to check this out? Go ahead and download mc2xml now. You will find versions for Windows, Linux and Mac computers, along with a set of instructions. The GUI is only for Windows users. Mac and Linux users will need to learn some command-line magic to get this working. Don’t panic, there are instructions on the site.

The software is supported by donations. If this works well for you, I highly recommend contributing. You can even get access to Microsoft’s up-to-date Windows 7 listing service by contributing, which includes DVD covers and more.

What are you using your XMLTV files with? Let us know in the comments below!


Related topics: Media Player, Television.

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  1. Muebles baño
    April 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I'm no longer positive where you're getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or figuring out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  2. Robert Eden
    April 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm
    • Justin Pot
      April 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Our articles are copied a lot; it's the price we pay for a full RSS feed. Thanks for pointing this out: I left a comment. Hope you're doing well.

      • Eddy Rodriguez
        August 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm


        I currently live in central america, there's a local cable provider in the area...hi televised info comes across the tvguide's web site...i would like to start a tvguide magazine, for there isnt one in the country...i've asked the provider to furnished me with the info, but he refused...what can i do to obtain the tv listing, i would really like to get this project of and running...thank you in advance...

        • Justin Pot
          August 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm

          I'm not sure where you could legally acquire that information for re-publication; the above article is strictly for personal use. Sorry!

  3. Robert Eden
    March 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    grrr.. its, didn't get a proofread step. :)

    • Justin Pot
      March 28, 2012 at 2:39 am

      No one would have noticed, but you pointed it out. :)

  4. Robert Eden
    March 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    MC2XML obtains data from Microsoft by impersonating Windows Media Center in violation of it's terms of service (which you aren't shown of course). It's up to each individual if they consider that stealing or otherwise morally wrong.

    (Disclaimer: I'm a founding director of Schedules Direct.)

    • Justin Pot
      March 28, 2012 at 2:38 am

      It's a fair point, and one I should have mentioned above. Schedules Direct also works more consistently than this!

  5. themainliner
    March 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    On Linux we simply install xmltv and freeguide...It's remarkably good.

    • Justin Pot
      March 28, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Does that download xmltv files for you? I didn't know that...

      • themainliner
        March 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

        Yep! It looks...well acceptable. Pretty good...I guess.