XBMC- Media beyond the ultimatum!

XBMC, recursive acronym for “XBMC Media Center“, is an award winning free and open source software media-player and entertainment hub for all your digital media.

Multi-platform, Internationalized, and Localized

XBMC is a cross-platform software available for Linux, Mac OS X (Leopard, Tiger, and Apple TV), Microsoft Windows operating-system, as well as the original Xbox game-console. With translations to over 30 languages for a worldwide audience. All versions of course completely free of any adware or spyware.

  • XBMC for Linux
  • XBMC for Mac
  • XBMC for Windows
  • XBMC for Xbox
  • XBMC Live

XBMC menu


Over 50 developers have contributed to XBMC, and over 100 translators have worked to expand its reach. XBMC was created by created by a group of like minded back in 2003. XBMC Community Forum today have over 30,000 registered members, nad XBMC had already an estimated userbase of over one million daily end-users when it was only running on the the Xbox platform, and now that XBMC runs nativly on several other platforms as well we estimate that that the userbase have growed exponentionally.

User-friendliness that is Next To Godliness

XBMC is easy to install and setup, and its many beautiful custom user interfaces offers simple very intuitive navigation which are very convenient and flexible, adding to great price verses performance ratio when installed on cheap hardware to this best in class software. With and experience surpases all retail media center systems.

Superb Format and Codec support

XBMC supports a very complete spectrum of of audio and video multimedia file formats and codecs right out-of-the-box, and include features such as playlist playback, audio visualizations, picture viewing, slideshows, and weather forecast functions, RSS feed scroller on your home screen, together with a ever expanding array of community driven third-party add-ons and plugins.

Endless playback capabilities for All Types of Media

XBMC can play most audio and video file formats as well as display images at resolutions up to 1080p and over from virtually any source, including your local harddrive, CD/DVDs, USB flash drives, the Internet, and network shares, upscaling any lower resolutions videos to the maximum of your displays capability. XBMC can also playback DVD-Video movies with menus from ISO/IMG-images on-the-fly, even when they are in an RAR or ZIP archive. For music playback XBMC offers gapless playback, crossfading, cue sheet, replay gain amplification, advanced smart playlists, and chapter support.

XBMC can download or stream Internet video and audio streams, and play Internet radio stations (such as Podcasts and SHOUTcast), and listen to your favorites and discover new music with free, streaming music from Last.fm, among others.

XBMC of course handles all common digital picture formats with the options of panning/zooming, and slideshow with “Ken Burns Effect“. XBMC also handles CBZ and CBR comic book archive files, this feature lets you view/read, browse and zoom the pictures of comics pages these contain without uncompressing them first.

Online Powered Media Management

XBMC has a database driven video and music library view modes which help organize and filter all of your media straight out-of-the-box in. The video library allow you to easily browse your video content by things like; genre, title, year, actors, and directors, as well as carry our extensive searches on casts and related information. Similarly, XBMC’s music library allows the organization of your music collection by information stored in your music file ID meta tags, like title, artist, album, genre and popularity, as well as having access to powerful search and Smart Playlists features, helping you find exactly what you want in a fast and simple way.

Album and Cover Art

XBMC takes full advantage of broadband Internet connection if available, Artwork is automatically fetched for posters, artwork, fanart, synopsis and reviews on movies, plot, cast and episode information for TV shows, also album covers and artist information for music.

Extendable and Flexible Add-ons

XBMC features a Python Scripts Engine and WindowXML application framework (a XML-based widget toolkit for creating a GUI for widgets) in a similar fashion to Apple Mac OS X Dashboard Widgets and Microsoft Gadgets in Windows Sidebar. Python widget scripts allow normal users to add-on ‘extensions’ with new functionality to XBMC themselves, using the easy to learn Python scripting language, without the need for knowledge of any complex programming languages or the inner workings of XBMC. Current plugins and scripts include a multitude of added functions like Internet TV and radio streams, podcasts, movie-trailer browsers, and cinema guides, e-mail clients, instant messaging, train-timetables, peer-to-peer file-sharing downloaders, IRC, also casual games (sometimes also referred to as mini-games or party-games) such as Tetris, Snake, Space Invaders, Sudoku, and much more.

Fully Skinnable and Customizable Interface

XBMC is noted and highly regarded as having a very flexible GUI toolkit and robust framework for its GUI, (now also proven by the fact that several other software projects have copied it). Users can create their own skins, or choose one of the many already available skins. XBMC uses a standard XML base, making theme-skinning and personal customization very accessible to everyone. Users themselves can create their own skin (or simply modify an existing skin) and share it with others via public websites dedicated for XBMC skins trading. Colors, controls, navigation, positioning of elements, animation, even adding additional functionality can be achieved with a skin. “Project Mayhem” is the official skin from Team-XBMC; which is now in its third version, commonly know as “PM3″. Many third-party skins exist and while many are of original and unique designs, a few skins are almost exact replicas of other multimedia software, with skins clones of Apple TV and Front Row, Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition (MCE), MediaPortal, Meedio/MeediOS, HDeeTV, Kaleidescape, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and others. Each skin provides a totally different and unique user experience, all showing just how flexible XBMC’s skinning engine really is.

FOSS (Free Open Source Software)

XBMC Media Center software is distributed as open source under the GNU General Public License, (with a few sub-libraries licensed under the LGPL), and as a non-profit project XBMC is run and developed by volunteers in their spare-time without any monetary gain. Team-XBMC encourage anyone to contribute to the project, submit their own source code patches for new features and functions, improve existing ones, or fix any bugs in XBMC that you might find.

Technical Summary

XBMC is written in the C++ program language (and some Assembly code), XBMC uses the SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) multimedia framework and OpenGL for graphics rendering the Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows based operating-system platforms, and the Xbox version of XBMC uses Microsoft DirectX multimedia framework and Direct3D for graphics rendering, (as the Xbox does not support OpenGL).

Open System->Administration->Software Sources and select the Third Party Software tab. Add the following software source:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main

Close Software Sources and when prompted, choose to reload the repositories.

Install XBMC from the package xbmc (click the link to install), or by running the command below in your terminal:
sudo apt-get install xbmc

Optionally you can also install:

  • additional skins
    sudo apt-get install xbmc-skin-*
  • support for remote controls
    sudo apt-get install xbmc-eventclients-*
  • a scripting example
    sudo apt-get install xbmc-scripts-example

Starting and Running XBMC
All that is left now is to start XBMC. You can start XMBC by going to Applications->Sounds & Video->XBMC Media Center.


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