In my daily RSS feeds I read about the release of the newest version of XBMC, formally the Xbox Media Center, so I decided to check it out.
While the maintainers do not specifically support Fedora with pre-built RPMs, they do offer instructions on how to build it from source here. Even so, I did run into a couple of little problems along the way. For example on the step that says to enter
*sudo ln -s /usr/lib/mysql/libmysqlclient.so.15.0.0 /usr/lib/libmysqlclient.so
*sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/mysql/libmysqlclient.so.15.0.0 /usr/lib64/libmysqlclient.so
depending on if you are running the x86 or x64 version of Fedora, I needed to change this to say
sudo ln -s /usr/lib64/mysql/libmysqlclient.so.16.0.0 /usr/lib64/libmysqlclient.so
because that is the current version of my library. In addition running
failed due to an error with OpenSSL, specifically its lack of something called “openssl/ecdsa.h”. I managed to fix this by altering the source code according to the patch found here. Then before re-running ./configure I had to run
autoreconf –force –install
(that’s two dashes in front of force and install!) from within xbmc/cores/dvdplayer/Codecs/libbnav. Once that was done the ./configure ran smoothly. From then on I simply followed the rest of the instructions and I was in business!
There really is only one word to describe this version of XBMC: AWESOME!
It picked up my pictures, videos and music from all of my network shares and local drives without issue. The user interface is absolutely stunning as well. At one point I had Star Wars playing in the background (still in view) while navigating beautifully rendered and slightly transparent menus to adjust other system settings. It can even be configured to pull down information about the movies from the Internet, including who stars in it and what the plot is. The music playback is similar and offers a variety of visualizers for your viewing pleasure. The picture options allows for very neat slideshows, accompanied by your own music playing in the background, which would be great for atmosphere at a party.
From Wikipedia here are just some of the features supported by this release:
- Physical media: CDs, DVDs, DVD-Video, Video CDs (including VCD/SVCD/XVCD), Audio-CD (CDDA), USB Flash Drives, and Hard Disk Drives
- Network/Internet protocols: UPnP, SMB/SAMBA/CIFS, XBMSP, DAAP, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, RTSP (RTSPU, RTSPT), MMS (MMSU, MMST), RTMP, Podcasting, TCP, UDP, SFTP, RTP
- Container formats: AVI, MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, Matroska, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMVB, 3gp, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, and DVR-MS (beta support)
- Video formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.263, MPEG-4 SP and ASP, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), HuffYUV, Indeo, MJPEG, RealVideo, RMVB, Sorenson, WMV, Cinepak
- Audio formats: MIDI, AIFF, WAV/WAVE, MP2, MP3, AAC, AACplus, AC3, DTS, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Monkey’s Audio (APE), RealAudio, SHN, WavPack, MPC/Musepack/Mpeg+, Speex, Vorbis and WMA
- Digital picture/image formats: RAW image formats, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, MNG, ICO, PCX and Targa/TGA
- Subtitle formats: AQTitle, ASS/SSA, CC, JACOsub, MicroDVD, MPsub, OGM, PJS, RT, SMI, SRT, SUB, VOBsub, VPlayer
- Metadata tags: APEv1, APEv2, ID3 (ID3v1 and ID3v2), ID666 and Vorbis comments for audio file formats, Exif and IPTC (including GeoTagging) for image file formats
For a sampling of the beautiful new interface check out their official wiki here. I apologize for this sounding a lot like an advertisement but in all honesty I am floored by how impressive this application is and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet home theater setup. Try it out now!
I’ve been using the earlier version of XBMC since the summer now, and I can say that this release has me excited. I’ll comment again once I have a chance to test it out myself.
I’ve used the last version of the app on a previous Debian install, and was impressed with it then. Hell, it was great running on the original XBox three years ago, when Jake first used it to connect all of his network sources to his television. This is by far one of my favourite open source projects.
I’ve tested the Windows release of XBMC Camelot (9.11), as I still can’t get openSUSE to work for me. It’s really, -REALLY- impressive, save that for some reason it crashes when trying to add a network location to the library. I’m going to install this on my laptop with Kubuntu once the experiment ends, and see if I have better luck there.
Confluence basically takes all the great features from the MediaStream skin and adds them to the default skin. Very nice to use.