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Media Software Linux

Linux Finally Getting XBMC 203

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-live-without-it dept.
B47h0ry'5 CuR53 writes "XBMC is getting ported to Linux. A few developers of Team-XBMC have begun the porting of XBMC to Linux using OpenGL and the SDL toolkit. In this effort, they are recruiting developers. XBMC is, by far, one of the finest projects to come out of the open source community; and to think it is homebrew. XBMC is a massive project, with the current SVN branch weighing about 350M before compilation. Porting it will be a big effort and any hackers willing to contribute should check out the Linux port project."
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Linux Finally Getting XBMC

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  • What is XBMC? (Score:5, Informative)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @08:52AM (#19320227) Homepage Journal

    For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries. Since it wasn't mentioned, XBMC is the Xbox Media Center, an open source media center project to play images and videos of various formats and from various sources, such as streaming from your PC or even the Internet, on your Xbox 360. It will let you use your Xbox 360 kind of like a beefed-up and free Apple TV [apple.com]

    Sounds pretty cool, but it does require that you mod your Xbox 360, and Microsoft has been banning modded Xboxes [slashdot.org] from their Xbox Live service. I'm not saying do it or don't do it, just that before you get too excited and start downloading stuff, you ought to know that as part of your decision.

    Because, you know, allowing people to improve your product for free by adding a ton of useful functionality, customizing the thing they've laid out a not-insignificant amount of hard-earned cash for to better suit their needs must be stopped at all costs. After all, it might cost you a few bucks in not selling movies that people already own to them again.

    • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:5, Informative)

      by PorkNutz (730601) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @08:55AM (#19320267) Homepage
      Correction, XBMC is for the original Xbox, not the Xbox360
      • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by twistedsymphony (956982) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:19AM (#19320485) Homepage
        That's right XBMC is for the Xbox 1 NOT the Xbox 360.

        From what I've heard part of the reason they're working on a Linux port is so that they can have this fine software running on the Xbox 360 (seeing as it's possible to run Linux on a limited number of Xbox 360 consoles) as well as the PS3 which can run Linux out of the box.

        I've been using XBMC at home for years now and it really is fantastic and gets frequent and useful updates. Here's hoping that a Linux port will not only provide us with LEGAL binaries (being homebrew on the Xbox 1 means that the binaries are technically illegal) but support for some video capture devices and DVR/PVR functionality... which IMO was the only major feature missing from XBMC as it wasn't possible using the Xbox 1's too slow for video v1.1 USB ports.
        • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:4, Informative)

          by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:06AM (#19321013) Homepage Journal
          I've become addicted to being able to watch actual HD content from my PS3's XMB and now over the network with DLNA.

          Anyone else notice that Sony this round is actually going with standards compliance? HDMI connector (not just some proprietary one), DLNA for A/V streaming, USB for connectors/devices, S-ATA user-replaceable hard drive, right down to their software development (OpenGL, GNU tools, etc.).

          I'm impressed, although I'm sure some anti-Sony rant will follow this.
          • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by twistedsymphony (956982) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:27AM (#19321283) Homepage
            yeah I did notice that actually. You can extend that standards compliance to bluetooth devices like headsets, as well as flash media, wi-fi, etc.

            I really like that direction and the PS3 makes a great media device for those reason IMO. I'd own one except I don't need a media device and there's nothing on the console yet that excites me as a game machine.

            The number of people looking for a media device and game machine wrapped into one at a price to reflect that I would suspect is much smaller then the number of people looking for just a media device or just a game machine and not wanting to pay for things they don't need.
        • by rikkards (98006)
          The one thing that really annoys me about XBMC though is that opening an MP3 Playlist it will parse it every single time.
        • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:5, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:00PM (#19322785) Homepage Journal

          From what I've heard part of the reason they're working on a Linux port is so that they can have this fine software running on the Xbox 360 (seeing as it's possible to run Linux on a limited number of Xbox 360 consoles) as well as the PS3 which can run Linux out of the box.

          Another possible motivation is departing from using the XDK. As you may or may not know the XDK (Xbox Development Kit) is not publicly available [xboxmediacenter.com] and thus the XBMC team does not distribute binaries, but only source code. Then various groups with illicit copies of the XDK compile this code into the XBMC that we know and love. You have to know where to go to get it, et cetera. In addition, to even run it you either need it to either be signed, which is only done by Microsoft, or to have a hacked Xbox. In order to run unsigned Xbox (XDK) programs on the Xbox, you need a hacked BIOS. And these are by definition modified copies of the original BIOS, which are in turn illegal to distribute, and possibly to create or possess (depending on how valid the Xbox EULA is.) Work proceeds on an Open XDK replacement [openxdk.org], but it's not up to most tasks yet.

          However, it is possible to run Linux [xbox-linux.org] on the Xbox using an alternative BIOS known as Cromwell [xbox-linux.org]. This is an entirely Free/free solution, and is completely legal. You can flash it to the system in the same way as you would any other BIOS, so if you have an early Xbox you can do the internal TSOP reflash [xbox-linux.org] and you don't even need a modchip.

          (Pardon my linkage; might as well make some links for posterity, and they support my argument) :)

          Anyway, HTPC, Xbox 360 (and Playstation 3!) compatibility were probably the primary goals. But it also has a dandy side-benefit.

          There is however still no legal way to do DVD menus (at least in the USA.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by nonsequitor (893813)
            Excellent analysis of the current situation regarding legality of the code. You left out that the XBOX lacks the processing power to handle 720p quality video (Xvid compressed), even though it is capable of output at that resolution. This among other things which have been accumulating just go to demonstrate that XBMC has outgrown the XBOX making a port desirable to best utilize the effort spent so far in development. A development effort which has been on going since the turn of the century. Waste not,
    • Re:What is XBMC? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @08:57AM (#19320283)
      Actually, I believe XBMC is for the first XBOX. I don't think homebrew is possible on the 360 unless you can somehow get a certain firmware version onto your 360 (without ever having something later that blows the hardware fuses and prevents a downgrade)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cabinetsoft (923481)

      For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries.
      That would ruin the moderation system making "Informative" inutile.
      • by treeves (963993)
        "Inutile"? Is that Italian or something? Please inform me so I can mod you up.
    • by gmack (197796)
      XBMC is the only reason I bought an XBOX and I spend far more time using the media functions than I do playing games so I don't care from being banned from XBOX live (which I never use anyways)
      • In the dorm right now, my xbox is connected to the network running XBMC with a 5inch PSone screen attached to it in the bathroom.

        It's used as an over-glorified shower radio right now but at home for the summers (and coming up in my apartment) it gets used connected to the TV. This lets me watch TV shows and other computer video content on a TV from a device that has GREAT video output for a TV (way better than the s-video connection on my laptop).

    • Sounds pretty cool, but it does require that you mod your Xbox 360


      It's been slashdotted, but from what I did read, it seems like the Linux version doesn't necessarily require an Xbox? Wouldn't this put it at odds with projects like MythTV?
      • by russ1337 (938915)

        It's been slashdotted, but from what I did read, it seems like the Linux version doesn't necessarily require an Xbox? Wouldn't this put it at odds with projects like MythTV?

        I'm not sure if XBMC provides recording and playback for live TV? Or you'd at least need the tuners/capture cards on a remote backend.

        There is a thing called "Project Grayhem" [mythtvtalk.com] which lets you skin your Mythtv like the Project Mayhem skin on XBMC. If you're into that kind of thing....

    • XBMC existed before the xbox360, and still hasn't been ported.

      You can be kicked off live for a modded xbox just like an modded 360, but from what I've read the switch boxes work pretty well, and anyway plenty of people buy them as a cheep media box and never even attempt to hook them up for Live at all.
    • by maniac/dev/null (170211) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:04AM (#19320357) Homepage
      For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries.

      What, you mean as a nerd you don't automatically know about every project on every platform everywhere? So you have no idea about the developments made by the TTMH team, or the ramifications of Project Windmill? What about your take on the social issues associated with the QRML?

      You don't even follow the news enough to understand a project that only runs on a modified version of an outdated hardware platform and does the same job and dozens of other far more powerful systems and commercial products?!? Turn in you nerd card, sir!
      • by ookabooka (731013)
        You don't even follow the news enough to understand a project that only runs on a modified version of an outdated hardware platform and does the same job and dozens of other far more powerful systems and commercial products?!?

        The modded xbox costs what now, maybe $150? With it (modded) you can play SNES, Genesis, N64 games. Not to mention xbox games. If that wasn't enough now comes XBMC. My roomates and I ALWAYS use XBMC to watch movies from our computers, we just leave the xbox plugged into the network
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ant P. (974313)

      For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries. Since it wasn't mentioned, XBMC is the Xbox Media Center, an open source media center project to play images and videos of various formats and from various sources, such as streaming from your PC or even the Internet, on your Xbox 360. It will let you use your Xbox 360 kind of like a beefed-up and free Apple TV

      All it ta

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jgoemat (565882)

        All it takes to avoid looking like an idiot is to use some common sense and hover over the first word of the summary.

        What does it take to avoid looking like a dick? I'm probably asking the wrong person...

        Of course hovering over the first link in an article and looking at the url in the bottom of the browser (which could have simply been "http://www.xbmc.com" but still only tells you "xboxmediacenter") is much simpler than reading a one-sentence description in the article. Heck, why even have sentence

      • Whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KingSkippus (799657) *

        All it takes to avoid looking like an idiot is to use some common sense and hover over the first word of the summary.

        And all it takes to keep people from having to jump through idiotic non-intuitive hoops that may or may not yield a modicum of an explanation of what the hell you're talking about is to spell out your obscure abbreviation at least once in the summary.

        I'm glad that people like you, who blame problems with a user interface on those "idiot" end users, are becoming fewer and fewer. And next

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          spell out your obscure abbreviation at least once in the summary

          While I agree that this is good practice, and should be followed, Slashdot is theoretically News for Nerds. If you're a nerd, you should either a) already know what XBMC is, b) be able to figure it out without help, or c) both. Those of us who fall into the latter category spend a significant portion of our time on slashdot either laughing or rolling our eyes at those of you who fall into none of these groups.

          What kind of nerd can't do some f

          • If you're a nerd, you should either a) already know what XBMC is, b) be able to figure it out without help, or c) both.

            a) is extremely arguable. I hate to burst your bubble, but most nerds I know do not own an Xbox, 1 or 360. The ones that do (I own one of each myself) don't keep up with the mod/homebrew scene, they just use them to unwind after their day at the office. (Which is why I had never heard of XBMC, and even mistakenly claimed that it was for the 360.) As such, it's unlikely that XBMC will mean anything to, well, I'm guessing around 99% of the nerds that read Slashdot.

            As for b), being a nerd myself, the f

          • Reprieve:

            I just noticed that you're not the parent of my other post, so you're not still needlessly arguing, only needlessly arguing. Stop that!

          • by smallpaul (65919)
            Question 1: what do you think that the role of a "summary" is? Question 2: how does a block of text become a good summary?
            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Question 1: what do you think that the role of a "summary" is? Question 2: how does a block of text become a good summary?

              Don't get me wrong, if there were two versions of the submission on the firehose, and one explained what XBMC was and one didn't, the one that did would be likely to be the one I voted up. But if there weren't, I wouldn't have voted the one down, but instead up.

              For the record, some marks of a good summary (as opposed to "acceptable") include an expansion of every acronym, proper link e

    • For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries.

      Though in this case, if you just mouse over the first link in the summary, you see that it leads to xboxmediacenter.com. There's no need to even follow the link to see what it stands for.

      No, I didn't know what it meant until then.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by brouski (827510)
      As we see here, nothing can whip a nerd into a frenzy more than an acronym he doesn't understand.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by multisync (218450)

      For reference, for the 99% of us out here who have no frickin' clue what something like XBMC might stand for, it would be nice to spell out the whole abbreviation at least once in summaries

      I used to tell myself this is a geek site, if I don't know what an acronym stands for I should look it up myself yada yada etc etc. Then I see this [slashdot.org] story yesterday about "altruism," and the submitter bothered to give us a definition of that word (I'm pretty sure it was the submitter; I didn't see the definition in the lin

    • by drew (2081)

      It will let you use your Xbox 360 kind of like a beefed-up and free Apple TV


      XBOX 360: $299
      Apple TV: $299

      Where is this "free" you speak of? If I could a 360 for free, I might actually get one.
      • Free, as in no incremental cost if you already own an Xbox for gaming that you're willing to mod. ;-)

        (Unlike the Apple TV, which you very unlikely own unless you're using it for this specific purpose.)

        And I accidentally misidentified the project as being for the 360 instead of the original Xbox, which you can actually get pretty dirt cheap these days.

    • And I thought XBMC was some really interesting software, so I get excited and click the link. Disappointment indeed.
  • Hasn't XBMC (And for a brief time XBMP, before they merged) always been GPL (Or atleast some other open source license)? Nobody has stopped anyone from porting it. The only thing that has changed is that the XBMC team are starting to port some bits themselves to encourage more people to develop for XBMC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by speculatrix (678524)
      the source has always been GPL... the problem is that the tools for building are Microsoft proprietary (i.e. no gcc/g++), and therefore once you've built XBMC from source you're effectively violating MS's rights, and so the binaries are not downloadable except from "interesting" sources.
  • by mw13068 (834804) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:06AM (#19320375)
    Update: XBMC decides to stop the port and says "screw Linux" after their Web server was reduced to a molten puddle by being slashdotted.
  • by Gamester17 (1108351) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:12AM (#19320425)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBMC [wikipedia.org] "Xbox Media Center (XBMC) is an award-winning media player for the original Xbox game-console. XBMC can play music, play videos and display images from the Xbox's DVD drive, its internal hard-drive drive, a local network, USB flash drive, and the internet. It also functions as a replacement dashboard to launch Xbox games off the hard-disk drive. Other functions of XBMC include large metadata databases for music/video-file handling, displaying weather forecasts and TV guides, watching YouTube videos and apple.com movie trailers, listening to SHOUTcast and Podcasts streaming internet radio/video, also XBMC functions as a gaming platform by allowing users to play python-based mini-games and a free online-gaming alternative to Xbox Live. It is important to note that the software requires a modchip, softmod exploit or other means by which to execute on the Xbox as it is a homebrew application. XBMC is free and open source software, the source code is distributed under the GNU General Public License. The XBMC project is not produced or endorsed by Microsoft."

    The article then goes on into more feature/function details, it is recommended reading ;)
    • The article then goes on into more feature/function details, it is recommended reading ;)

      I read it. 99% of it is talking about what it can play, which really has nothing to do with XBMC and everything to do with MPlayer, which XBMC uses.

      As far as the Wiki or XBMC's page says, only thing "special" about XBMC over any other MPlayer GUI seems to be that it displays weather and uses IMDB to show info about your movies...

      I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling. Certainly doesn't sound like the "best project of al

  • About damn time... (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvilNight (11001) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:30AM (#19320581)
    Xbox Media Center is one of the best kept secrets in the programming world. After all, it only runs on the original Xbox, and while there is a healthy modding community that has been hacking them since release, it isn't exactly mainstream. It's been a crying shame that this exceptional media program has been tied to the original Xbox for so long, and I'm thrilled that it's being ported over to Linux and set free for everyone to use.

    The killer feature of this program is *not* what it does. It's a very powerful and robust media player, certainly, but the true power comes from the user interface, which is simple, effective, straightforward and very pretty to look at (and fully skinnable). Anyone who has used a TiVo or similar television media interface should have no problems using XBMC. Now that it is no longer tied to the Xbox, it will be possible to create small form factor media center systems running linux and give them a truly excellent user interface.

    The interface supports running external programs (in particular, games and game emulators), python scripting to handle writing widgets to interface with popular media sites like YouTube, file management, and streaming from nearly any source. It also works as an FTP/Samba/HTTP server to serve out whatever media is stored on the disk to other sources. There is a web interface for remote management. It'll work with USB joysticks and remote control as well as keyboards. There is a web browser but it's a bit hinky - I'm sure that someone will merge it with Firefox after it is ported.

    If you're wondering why anyone would give a damn about the original Xbox or this program, the upshot is this... for $129 you could buy a P3 system (xbox), hack it with software exploits (fairly easily), install a hard disk up to 1TB in side to replace the original, and have a portable media player box that could hold hundreds of hours of content and play it back in 480p/720p/1080i and DTS. The price to do that with any computer was far higher at the time (and frankly still is, especially in setup time). I've been carting mine around for years and have had a great many friends request that I make one for them. I think I've done around thirty of them by now.

    I think Microsoft/Sony completely missed the boat by overlooking this application for their gaming consoles. Either they just didn't see it or they don't like this behavior and see it as a liability of some kind. Either way, we won't be needing them much longer. A clever company could probably turn this into a killer set-top app with some business savvy. All it needs is a bit-torrent backend for sharing content with other users and connectivity to media sites, and you've got a TV channel killer on your hands and a new distribution network (if it ever gets big).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by poot_rootbeer (188613)
      install a hard disk up to 1TB in side to replace the original

      Why bother? With the exception of a couple of console emulators, every XBMC application I've tried has had flawless support for Samba file sharing. I'd rather stick that 1TB drive in a desktop PC or network file server, and mount my video/game/music directories so they're accessible to any machine on the network, including the Xbox.

      play it back in 480p/720p/1080i

      Upscaled to 720p/1080i, it should be noted. The Xbox's CPU isn't quite powerful eno
      • by EvilNight (11001)
        All of the media center implementation attempts I've seen others make fell flat for me as well. They always came off as a half baked idea that was never properly implemented, and in Microsoft's case, always tied to a windows box somewhere. The teams looking at them didn't see them the way we do. They've failed to understand their customers - a problem XBMC does not have.

        The reason you'd do the 1TB thing is because it's portable and all you need is a TV to enjoy your entire DVD library (XBMC will play raw IS
    • by Hatta (162192)
      The killer feature of this program is *not* what it does. It's a very powerful and robust media player, certainly, but the true power comes from the user interface, which is simple, effective, straightforward and very pretty to look at (and fully skinnable). Anyone who has used a TiVo or similar television media interface should have no problems using XBMC. Now that it is no longer tied to the Xbox, it will be possible to create small form factor media center systems running linux and give them a truly exce
      • Well designed interface that my parents/wife/kids were able to use without a single explanation from me. You should try it and see the difference.
        • by Hatta (162192)
          What are you talking about? MythTV is dead simple to use. Might be a hassle to get set-up, but anyone that breathes should be able to use it.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        I haven't used MythTV, but XBMC is truly beautiful and the default skin is not only gorgeous but highly functional. Take a look at XBMC. It's really quite impressive. (I wonder if you could run it in an Xbox emulator, for a trial...)
        • by Hatta (162192)
          Maybe I wasn't clear in my original posting, but I've used both. In fact, I use XBMC now because I have an xbox hooked up to my TV anyway. If I were to use a linux box as suggested in TFA, I'd just use MythTV.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Maybe I wasn't clear in my original posting, but I've used both.

            Actually, you were being deliberately obtuse, which is horribly annoying. I don't think I can be faulted for not understanding the truth...

            Regardless, the benefit of XBMC on Linux over MythTV on Linux is supposedly the interface, but again, I haven't used Myth. I have an Xbox, but I don't have a HTPC. And the benefit of XBMC on a faster system as opposed to XBMC on the Xbox is that it could support full-HD video.

    • Here's a question for ya.

      Can I make the XBMC in my living room start playing MP3s based on what I type in my bed room?

      Every "Media Center" I've ever seen wants me to "Share" the files, walk 50 feet, pick up the remote control, squint at my television to read what songs are there, select them, play them, and walk back to my bedroom. Frankly, it's annoying.

      My current hack is a homebrew wsh script on an XP pro box, I dump MP3s over the network, it picks 'em up, plays 'em, and deletes 'em.

      The only problem is wh
      • by Hatta (162192)
        If you want network transparency and scripting, why the hell are you using windows? Use the right tool for the job and you'll find that there's no end of solutions. You might find you'd like the Music Player Daemon [musicpd.org] or MythTV [mythtv.org]. Or enable X forwarding and run Amarok across the network. Or just ssh in and use mplayer.

        And if you're seriously set on using Windows for this, why not enable file sharing and let the network transfer your MP3s on the fly?

        Anyway, to answer your question, you can do this with FTP Si [xboxmediacenter.com]
        • > If you want network transparency and scripting, why the hell are you using windows?

          Windows was there... I have a Windows PC hooked up in the living room so I can play Wolfenstein. Yeah, I know, that's kind of lame. LOL.

          Going with a non-Windows solution would mean buying new hardware, though, since there aren't Linux drivers for almost everything on the [free] BookPC I'm using. Which means considering XBox makes sense, too.

          MythTV -- not sure what this gets me? I thought it was your basic PVR? I have
    • by drew (2081)

      I think Microsoft/Sony completely missed the boat by overlooking this application for their gaming consoles. Either they just didn't see it or they don't like this behavior and see it as a liability of some kind.

      More likely they just haven't figured out how to monetize it yet. Since Microsoft sold both Xbox's at a loss, and Sony is selling the PS3 at a substantial loss, I doubt either is jumping up and down to find a way to let people use them in a way that won't make them any additional revenue.

    • by costas (38724)
      I am a happy XBMC user for years now. However, I think XBMC has hit a ceiling of sorts: there are still bugs aplenty, especially around error handling: a small hiccup on your LAN and XBMC may freeze or stop media playing. Canceling out of most network-streaming ops also hangs XBMC... these have been around for years and although they've been getting better, it's not exactly a consumer-friendly experience.

      Secondly, interfaces are getting complex enough to need their own IDE (yes, I know there's one floatin
    • Don't tell people about it!...

      Fine you can also get all the old emulators (They're working on a ps1 emu right now but everything prior to that) All Xbox games, several PC ports....

      My Xbox also rips DVDs which is nice (Pop it in it copies and encodes overnight.

      If it had line in it would be the sickest media centre ever. It's still Big heavy and ugly and needs a physical mod (though there are soft mods I haven't seen anyone who has used one) and doesn't support HD-DVD (gasp) or DVD burning.

      I actually
  • I am confused (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Slashcrap (869349)
    I was under the impression that XBMC was basically a modified version of Mplayer. Now I can't believe that they coded their own OS to run on the bare metal and I somehow doubt they were using Windows. So that basically leaves Linux, right?

    So they're porting a Linux based Linux media player to Linux?

    Would anyone like to correct me or alternatively join me in a severe case of WTF?
    • Re:I am confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by pike2k (1108803) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:43AM (#19320707) Homepage
      yes you are (confused) Yes, we use mplayer on Xbox1, as one of _several_ CORES for playback. it's not the stock mplayer but a modified version. XBMC is the gui and all added functions, too many for me to list. You need to have used xbmc to understand what it's about /pike, XBMC Projectmanager
      • by nagora (177841)
        You need to have used xbmc to understand what it's about /pike

        Well, I've got MythTv, gqview, and mplayer and it's several years since I had any trouble playing a media file on my Linux box, so why don't you tell us, since you're here, why I would want something else, let alone download and install 350Ms? What's the point of this xbmc thing outside of the console environment?

        TWW

        • by CerebusUS (21051)
          As a longtime XBMC user: What XBMC brings to the table is an excellent 15-foot interface, seemless integration with a LARGE number of formats (including SMB shares and many types of streaming media) and a very active skinning / modding community. The fact that it's currently limited to the original xBox hardware is it's only weak point, in my mind. This keeps it from being able to play 720p content very well, simply because the hardware lacks the power.

          A typical XBMC installation package (which is general
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I think the biggest challenge they will face with the linux port is hardware support. The xbox platform allowed them to focus more on the interface than trying to support a ton of different ir controllers / video cards / etc.

            That is not a problem, because it is an OS problem, not an application problem. Remember, they're porting it to Linux and SDL, not to some bare hardware. To them, SDL is the driver layer. This is excellent because SDL is available for a number of other platforms, so this is also a firs

            • by CerebusUS (21051)
              I seem to remember them doing a win32 port of XBMC a while back that was less than stellar.

              Also, I'm not a coder, but SDL doesn't appear to grant any interface to IR Remotes, which is one of the main reasons I still haven't ditched my xbox in favor of streaming video to my PS3. I still can't believe they didn't put an IR receiver in that thing.
              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                Also, I'm not a coder, but SDL doesn't appear to grant any interface to IR Remotes, which is one of the main reasons I still haven't ditched my xbox in favor of streaming video to my PS3. I still can't believe they didn't put an IR receiver in that thing.

                You don't need SDL for that, support for IR is provided by the Linux kernel as well.

                Linux also supports all the Xbox hardware (but with poor video support thanks to nVidia - The OpenXDK guys are making some headway though) already, including the IR dongle

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          WAF or GFAF. (Wife Acceptance Factor and GF Acceptance Factor, respectively).

          XBMC is idiot proof. They turn it on and it works. I use ccxstream instead of Samba because I have no reason to use Samba on my debian server.

          It's hard to explain if you've never seen it in action. If I go over to a friend's house and we want to watch some movies I can ftp them to the hard drive, toss the XBOX in my backpack and go. Almost all TVs on the market have RCA inputs. If I lose my remote I can pull up http://xbox/ [xbox] on my l
      • by Sark666 (756464)
        I don't have one but have used xbmc at my friends and it is a joy to use. It doesn't just look good, but has a sleek, responsive interface. I do have a myth box myself, and the backend is rock solid, but have found the mythfrontend to be somewhat sluggish and have wanted the responsiveness that xbmc gives.

        But I am curious as well now, I know it's main player is mplayer, but regarding the gui and everything else, I thought it was all written with a modified version of linux? I guess not, but a better expl
        • by Torne (78524)

          But I am curious as well now, I know it's main player is mplayer, but regarding the gui and everything else, I thought it was all written with a modified version of linux? I guess not, but a better explanation there would be interesting.

          No, XBMC runs on top of MS's standard Xbox kernel (well, standard except for being patched to support binaries not signed by Microsoft, and often a few other features such as hard disks larger than 137GB), using MS's standard Xbox libraries for IO, the same as an Xbox game d

    • by lazyl (619939)
      Now I can't believe that they coded their own OS to run on the bare metal and I somehow doubt they were using Windows. So that basically leaves Linux, right?

      No, it runs on the xbox os. The same one that all the games use. It was coded with the xbox development kit the same as any game. The port to linux requires writing sdl and opengl implementations of all the libraries that microsoft provided in the xbox sdk.
  • by bbzzdd (769894) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:42AM (#19320701)
    The developers are looking to target AppleTV as the lead platform [avsforum.com] (at least on the low-end). This is great as the beauty of XBMC was that it ran on a console and everyone running it was on the same page hardware-wise. The only downside is lack of optical storage on the ATV and whether or not it can decode 1080p content.
    • by Lukano (50323)
      That is the single best news I've heard this year. I've been daydreaming about something bigger and better than an XBOX for XBMC - or similar.

      This made my year. I'm ecstatic.
    • The only downside is lack of optical storage on the ATV and whether or not it can decode 1080p content.

      The USB port is working now, isn't it? Yeah, not integrated but you can hook up a DVD writer.

      IIRC, the decoder chip can only handle 720p - are hackers finding hidden capabilities?

      I was going to try running MythFrontEnd on one under OSX, but this project sounds interesting as well.

      Since I'm here - is anybody else running MythFrontEnd on AppleTV/OSX yet?
  • check out Linux MCE [linuxmce.com]... far more powerful and sits nicely over existing linux distros. See the nice review here [google.com]
    • by B5_geek (638928)
      Except that LinuxMCE is broken, doesn't work, and support from the developers is poor.

      Infact it is un-installable (unless they fixxed it last night, and I have not checked). How many other FOSS project offer 'support' via Skype and YIM? Yes it is a nifty idea, but only if the devs actually log-in to those accounts. IRC remains barren. IRC is ideal because many people get to see/share the info that is posted. The official forums seem to be devoid of any dev interaction, and the bug-report might be falli
    • by EvilNight (11001)
      I've played with it. XBMC has more stability and a much better interface, and is far easier to set up and get working, and requires far cheaper hardware and a lot less hacking even to get on a modded xbox. XBMC has a much more active community, is more feature rich, and has better support. Frankly, LinuxMCE is for linux weenies - the kind who want to play with a computer. I don't want to play - I want to turn something on, get a killer media center, and then *use it* to watch media without ever worrying abo
  • by Etyenne (4915) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:29AM (#19321321)

    XBMC is, by far, one of the finest projects to come out of the open source community

    Clearly, it is in the same league as Apache, Firefox, gcc and the Linux kernel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Builder (103701)
      Not even close. I could use Zeus to replace Apache. I could use an Intel or a Sun compiler to replace gcc. I can use FreeBSD to not only replace the Linux kernel, but to get a full OS. I can use Opera to replace Firefox.

      XBMC is FAR more important than all of these things - it gives me a full media extender that my wife can not only use, but loves for around 90 quid. It brings peace and harmony to my home. It replaced my VCR and DVD recorder.
  • Hmm.. maybe just to add another choice, but I use and really like MythTV!

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)

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