I am a fan of XBMC. I have the software installed in my Xbox for my viewing pleasure. I use it as a “client” to receive media (music, movies, photos) that are streamed from my media centre server and then watch it on my TV in the TV room.
What is XBMC ? XBMC is an open source software cross-platform media centre player and entertainment hub. At first, it was known as XBox Media Player (XBMP) which firstly designed for the first-generation Xbox game console. XBMC eventually became a complete graphical user interface replacement for the Xbox Dashboard and more recently, it has also been ported to also run natively under Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating-system. It is not available for Xbox 360 or Playstation 2 or Playstation 3 though.
I have never tried XBMC for Windows before but I will do so when it is more stable build so that I can build a Blu Ray HTPC. To me, no competition comes close to it in the category of “Media Centre software”. The competitors either do not play enough codecs or is very buggy or the interface is just so dull. XBMC is THE BEST in the business. It plays almost everything in the market (video and audio). And it is free source. It is well supported by a passionate community. It absolutely rocks.
XBMC for Xbox is updated very often by the developers (like once a week ?). However, I seldom update mine (probably once every few months when I can find time). Today, I took time to update my version to the 15th July 2008 version and was pleased to see a couple of new views in the media centre. I am sure they were there a while back but as I have not updated XBMC for 6 months, so I don’t know when it was introduced.
It is stunning. Well.. it is stunning to an album art fan like me. As someone who believed very strongly in embedding album art in the MP3 tags itself, as someone who would add an CD cover or DVD cover as “folder.jpg” in an Windows folder when it is used to store music or videos, it was relatively easy for XBMC to then show off the album art of my music and dvds in its software. As I always stressed, one should take the approach of ensuring that we are not tied to Apple iTunes album art but instead embedded the album art in the MP3 file itself. As a result, full portability is easily achieved. So it does not matter if it is a Creative MP3 player or Zune MP3 player or another Windows or Mac music software like foosbar or VLC. Or does it matter that it is a Media Centre player like XBMC in a totally different platform like Xbox console…… full portability means that the CD or DVD album art just appear nicely.
It was beautiful to see the 3D views introduced by the latest builds of XBMC. Enjoy………….
Music Artist 3D View
Music Album 3D View
Someone in the XBMC community has also introduced a Spinning Cover Flow view:
That’s the beauty of open source. Everyone contributing for the good of the community and the product grows even better.