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Xbox Media Center


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#1 Mr. Blonde

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 01:26 PM

For some insane reason I had not even looked at the Xbox Media Center for over a year, in fact up until about 2 weeks ago I still had the Xbox Media Player on my HD. Then I went over to a friends house who had bought one of those XP Media Centers, you know that one from Gateway that looks like a part of your AV gear instead of an ugly white box, anyway as I looked at it I though, can't my Xbox do this? And do it better? The answer of course is yes. Then again, his was hooked up to a 54" Widescreen HDTV, while my Xbox suffers in the game room on a 32" but anyway...


How it Works and What it Does
The Xbox Media Center or xbmc is the latest version of the old Xbox Media Player that came with many people's Modded Xbox's. It;s the same thing you see an entry for in old versions of Evox. However a lot has changed since it's XBMP days.

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As you can see using the Mayhem skin it really starts to look like the high class Media Center PC's. You have your choice of playing videos, music, viewing photos, and even checking the weather if you have it hooked up to the net through weather.com

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What is Does

Another plus is that the XBMC folks are really pushing this as Dash replacement. Meaning that instead of Evox or Avalaunch you could just run XBMC to play your games. In fact they have even integrated Xlink within the dash so you can find people to play online fast and easy. It found all my games perfectly and the same for my Emu's and apps. It even has RSS feeds running across the top.

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Although I prefer Avalaunch for my dash this thing really does put up a good fight and it looks amazing to boot. The real driving reason to get this App/Dash though is it handeling of multi-media files. I know there are a ton of features but I will let other
people pick up an issues that I missed. My favorite thing about the Xbmc is that it plays almost any format of movies from avi, mpeg, etc. It even plays BIN files. Meaning you don't have to burn a movie, just send the BIN file over and watch. Nice and easy. Another neat feature is that it has a Built in connection to the IMDB. So no more trying to guess the plot or remember who starred in what movie. Just click on imdb or hit auto scan and you will know

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The controls for movies are well done as well and include a great chapter skipping feature as well as controls for how the movie fits on your screen. Even if your a rich bastard and own one of those wide-screen HDTV's thing thing will adjust and look great. Another great feature is the auto thumbnail feature which will go through all your pics and generate thumbnails. It also can do slideshows which is neat for those boring vacation photos your Uncle Lester took. ANd who can forget about the Media Streaming option.

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this allows you to stream videos , photos and music from your PC to your Xbox using Samba or XBSP or any of the other formats. Although I really haven't had time to set this up I imagine it's a bad-ass feature to have. I wonder how well it works with the Xbox wireless adapter? Anyway in conclusion I have to say that the XBMC is probably the best all around app for the Xbox their is. It handles well, installs well and handles almost all the formats you could possible want. So think about this before you go spend 3 grand on one of those Media Center PC's......

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#2 DuDeR MaN

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 04:25 PM

wow I'll have to download it now. I still have one of original xbmp versions on my xbox. I figured some of those features would make it into the version eventually but some things such as weather check is just something you wouldn't expect to see on a gaming console.

#3 mike96sc2

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 11:47 PM

Nice review, and with the screenshots you show it makes me want to play with it some more.

I'd love a feature that would download box art for games I own from the net. Well wishful thinking anyways.

#4 Mr. Blonde

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 12:52 PM

As crazy as this sounds I think that is a feature now included, or maybe that has to do with the streaming media feature to get them off your PC HD. I am sure someone else knows a lot more than me wink.gif

#5 kingroach

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 02:13 PM

yes its possible. I am using xbmc from day i modde my xbox and infact i modde only for xbmc. if set up network then you can view the files in your computer just like as the hard disk is connected with your xbox. you can play all media files and everuything, only playing games from pc hd is not possible.

#6 Tommy Vercetti

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 02:34 PM

Great review, didnt know Xlink was included. Thats great, although I like xbconnect. Then again I never tried Xlink, and your setup looks extremely customized. I have to look into customizing mine a little more with the whole icons for the games and stuff. Thats pretty trick. Looks like I have some experimenting to do tonight. Thanks for the info! beerchug.gif

#7 Mr. Blonde

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 04:44 PM

No problem guys. Glad people take the time to read my reciews and comment. I just wish someone would comment on how hard it is to set up all the streaming servers for it

#8 Helios

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 07:42 AM

Yea I was the same as Mr Blonde... Heard about it but thought Media Player was just as good... I was finally pushed to try XBMC and HOLY SHIT ITS AWESOME! So many sick features on it! I can't belive it took me a year to finally use it! Definatley a program that ALL xbox users should have

#9 Mr. Blonde

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Posted 28 June 2004 - 12:45 PM

The only thing I would add is thier a simple streaming FAQ out there. I am getting more and more into streaming stuff from my PC to the XBMC... blink.gif

#10 booker

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 02:00 AM

yes, i agree, i did the stream from the xbox to pc and is awesome.
best "dashboard" ever, now it really feel like a media center wink.gif

just one question, i didn`t read anything about xlink, so i`m wondering if u can guide me were i can get a FAQ of it, or a Setup guide to install xlink on mediacenter.

thanks

#11 tommy2hotty

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 07:14 PM

Does anyone know what the ReplayTV option is?? Is it like Tivo??

#12 nickg333

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 10:01 PM

where can you get this killer app?

#13 gronne

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 10:07 AM

You're not really allowed to ask that question as it's written with XDK which is MS's own code. But in the main page you click "tutorials", and from there you click "Other tutorials", and then "Guide to Using #Xbins". Everything you need to know is in there. Don't ask those questions again.


About Xlink, you can't run it along with games you've backed up on your harddrive, right? I reckon it asked me to insert my game-disc. Really annoying as I don't often have them around.

#14 jesus_clone

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 11:52 AM

XBMC is heaps good, i use it most of the time

#15 shorty

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 10:04 AM

QUOTE (gronne @ Jul 6 2004, 12:07 PM)
About Xlink, you can't run it along with games you've backed up on your harddrive, right? I reckon it asked me to insert my game-disc. Really annoying as I don't often have them around.

Yes, you can run games you have backed up, you just have to back up out of that menu and load your game, the streaming settings are only controled on your xbox, you have to have xlink running on your PC..... imagine it like using your xbox as a remote control for xlink on the PC..... it just stops you having to run back and fourth.

And to the person asking about streaming, yes it works fantastically.... i strongly urge you to use SMB streaming, the others i believe are pretty buggy and SMB is offically supported by XBMC team.

SMB is just standard windows file sharing so you enable sharing on your desired folders and add the settings to XBMC's XML file and thats it, no need for extra software running on your PC.

Thumbnails for games, it will not download them automagically, but most games already have them built in (for use in MS gamesaves manager) XBMC uses them, and for those that dont have one built in you can just stick a folder.jpg (or thumb.tbn?) in the same directory as the Games (or any APP's) default.xbe file and it will u see that............ this also works for movies albums, and i think pictures too (For directorys containing pic's, the pictures themselves are made as thumbnails abviously).

This is a truly great app that i would really pay serious money to have, but its free!!!

Fantastic work!

- Shorty

EDIT:: Stupid mistakes corrected.

Edited by shorty, 15 July 2004 - 03:15 AM.





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