In my mediacenter setup (WinXP MCE 2005) I use 2 amplifiers, a 5.1 surround set and a second stereo set. Depending on what is being played by MCE the amplifiers are switched on or off. The issue I faced however is that there were no tools or plugins to drop whatever was happening inside MCE into Girder which is controlling the amplifiers.
Hence my undertaking to create MCE-spy (named after the popular DVD-spy tool). MCE spy runs as a console application and through the MSAS services gets the ins- and outs of MCE. It then raises events in girder.
The screenshot shows both the MCE-spy log and the Girder logger showing the incoming MSAS events.
You can download it (including sources) from the Girder page.