XBMC (Xbox Media Center) has been running solidly for the actual XBOX and Macs for a good deal of time. Their in the throws of developing a stable release for Windows and Linux at the moment. I’ve tried out the Linux version and had little success – however the Windows alpha version is running very solidly on my wife’s laptop booting Windows (a pretty powerful Toshiba Satellite, which now incidentally is also going to be powering our media center as it can boast XBMC and stream Netflix).

I’ll get some screenshots up in a subsequent post but my initial love with XBMC consists of very easy network folder management and some very stellar plug-ins. I’ve had no trouble connecting to my home network drives to access my repositories of videos and music – and the interfaces for playing said videos and music is very visually appealing and intuitive.

Plug-ins for XBMC are a great way to expand its functionality. Currently I’ve tested the Ted Talks video plug-in and the Apple Movie Trailers video plug-in. Both of which in my opinion blow away even the beauty and ease of Apple’s Front Row. In fact the only thing I was really using Miro for was to download Ted Talks and check out Trailers – now that I can stream these effortlessly from XBMC, I’ll be dropping the weighty and cumbersome Miro.

Check out a Lifehacker search for XBMC to get some more info and tips on XBMC or head to xbmc.org to peruse the official site and grab a download for your operating system of choice.

~ by veniatregnum on September 12, 2008.

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