Xbox Media Center – Not just for the Xbox.October 19, 2008 at 12:20 | Posted in Cool | Leave a comment
Tags: ATV, Cool, free, Linux, livecd, mac, media center, open source, skinnable, streaming, windows, Xbox
This week I am going to do a quick review of “Xbox Media center” (XBMC). Now before you tune out it’s not just for the Xbox. This wonderful open source project works on Linux, Mac, Xbox (of course), “Apple TV” and even Windows. There is also a live version so you can take it with you.
I thus far only have experience with the Windows version, but what I have seen has left me truely impressed. We needed a replacement for the previous media center software that we were using on a windows machine we use for such things. After looking around for a while I discovered XBMC and was delighted with the results.
Thinks I like about XBMC?
It’s fast. We have had problems in the past with media center software being slow or heavy resource hogs or both. XBMC doesn’t suffer from these problems.
To date it has played everything we have thrown at it from .flv files to .mkv XBMC played it all no problems.
It is slick. XBMC is just plain cool. It is the type of interface you want to have running when you invite people over so they can go.. “Hey.. Cool… What is that..”. Part of the slickness of XBMC is the fact that is it skinnable and that the skins don’t just paint over the same old interface to change the look of it, they can actually change the way things function and are presented. You can see screenshots from the current version of XBMC here
It has a built in File manager for managing your media once you have watched it.
It has integration with IMDB and other on-line sites. This allows it to easily retrieves the information and thumbnails (cover art, etc) to present in the media lists.
It can play streaming video from the network. The Windows version came with a script for browsing and viewing the trailers on apple.com
oh yeah.. it can be extended using scripts.
It has a large development and user community and so is a very active open source project. The large user community also means it is easy to get help on-line.
The controls are easy and intuitive, that coupled with the large clear On-Screen Display (OSD) makes using XBMC a dream.
I’m a definite convert to, and advocate of the project. I hope that XBMC get the recognition it deserves. The developers and other contributors have put together a first class piece of software that deserves some time in the spotlight.