Recent xbox media centre changes

Firefox entension in use

Recently the Xbox media centre team have been working on a stable 2.0 version. This means there is a code freeze while they iron out any outstanding bugs. But this hasn't stopped the innovation around xbmc.

So first up, xbox media centre took both game and multimedia 2006 sourceforge awards. On the side, Azureus won overall winner which like Jon is a permanent fixture in my video viewing. Good to see xbmc winning awards like this. I really believe its one of the best open source projects out there at the moment.

Some innovation which I haven't quite worked out the possiblities of yet. In the recent update to xbox media centre (march betas), is the ability for xbox media centre to connect to FTP servers. This is pretty crazy, because the only limitation is now the pipe, as you will also see in the next innovation. I've connected to my personal cubicgarden FTP server and a couple of annoymous FTP servers. It works really well and you can browse around for any media which is on there. It would be good to connect to Webdav servers but I'm sure thats coming soon. Reminds me to suggest that in the forums.

The next thing is the send media URL to Xbox media centre. Its been in xbmc for quite sometime but the application to get it working has been a windows only application. And there was no way I was going to run some odd application just to quickly post a media url to the xbox. But now someone has wrote a Firefox application which does this. Its really cool too, because all you need to do is set the ip address of the xbox and then right click on the link you want to send. And within seconds the xbox will start streaming the media link. Oh and for you mac fans theres is also a Dashboard widget, i'm sure it won't take long for it to be a Yahoo/Konfabulator widget too. Obviously the pipe/bandwidth is still a issue. But damm its quick and easy. This fits perfectly with Keep Vid.com however you can't get stuff from You Tube because its in FLV format and the xbox won't play back flash video files. Ideally the xbox would play back flash formats or Keep Vid would transcode it to something more playable like avi or mov. Then people could also take it away and play the media on there psp or ipod.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.