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XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support 213

Xistic writes with news that the XB in XBMC won't mean Xbox any more. Quoting the project's own website: "The last official release for the XBOX by the XBMC team was Atlantis, over 18 months ago. Since then, one brave soul (Arnova) has been merging code from the main codebase into the XBOX branch in our repository. Because there were many users out there that took advantage of these updates, we had no problem with this. But times have changed. The XBOX has hard limits for what it can handle. Some users are satisfied with these limits, and we encourage them to use XBMC there if they are happy. But it is a popular misconception that official XBOX development is still taking place by the team, so we have decided to set it free. We have enough on our plates already, and worrying about a deprecated platform just increases our workload. A few days ago the XBOX branch was finally removed from our subversion repository."
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XBMC Discontinues Xbox Support

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  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:08AM (#32374362) Journal
    In its day, and for a fair while after, the XBOX was an excellent deal for video applications. ~PIII-733 level performance and(rather more importantly) a decent set of video outs, something that was sort of dodgy with the PC graphics cards of the day. They got quite cheap, especially used, as well.

    However, at this point, a PIII-733 with, IIRC, 64MB of RAM, just isn't that exciting. Nor, with the proliferation of nettops, is the price delta between a real computer and a used xbox nearly what it used to be. Then there is the fact that, while XMBC as a project has always been legit, actually building it for the xbox has been legally kind of dodgy.
  • by Parlett316 ( 112473 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:13AM (#32374400)

    That huge black box was the best media center I have had, the WD TV Live only comes close since it can play H.264.

  • the irony of this (Score:3, Insightful)

    by batistuta ( 1794636 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:21AM (#32374478)

    It is kind of funny how history made this package evolve. The XBMC, which abreviates "XBOX Media Center", was originally developed for the XBOX. And now, it supports different platforms and operating systems but not the XBOX any longer. If you don't know its history, you'd find it a joke what XBMC stands for.

  • Re:Alternatives? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RMH101 ( 636144 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:45AM (#32374694)
    I think best option is probably an Ion chipset small box, and run XBMC natively booting off USB/SD card. One of the nice things about my Xbox XBMC is that it works like an appliance - it does't need to be booted/shutdown like a conventional OS - you just turn it on and off. Yes, I know it boots, but you know what I mean - my kids can use it, turn it on/off with impunity etc.
    It's the little things that count - the Xbox had IR control, a DVD drive, and didn't ever need a keyboard or mouse connected to work. It's going to be difficult to replace with something half as functional and easy to use...
  • Re:Alternatives? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BarryJacobsen ( 526926 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @09:08AM (#32374940) Homepage
    For $100 you can get an Asus O!Play that will play all your files (at 1080p, including MKVs), has HDMI output, and comes with a remote, and requires no additional software.
  • Re:XBMC4XBOX Lives (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheRealQuestor ( 1750940 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @11:26AM (#32376652)
    Eventually he and I will merge our builds but for now My builds now are totally vanilla. no changes from svn at all. t3ch updater should be able to pull my builds as well now so its all good there. Most updater scripts now have options to pull from my builds. After r28000 everything went to hell though and as of r30621 scrapers are still an issue. Actually all addons are an issue. No scripts/addons/skins writen for post 28000 will work on these new builds. I'm doing my best to fix/mod most of the skins I have onsite and adding scripts as they come through to allow people to fully utilize the newer svn builds and for the last few months it has been really touch and go. Last few builds are shaping up well though and at least TvDB scraper is working again :) It's something at least :)
  • It is absolutely the best media center software I have ever used.

    Nothing beats the simple listing of directory content shared on a Windows PC by the 360, sure it would be nice to play all or create a play list. But I'll take that lack of functionality any day over some gaudy interface that does absolutely nothing other than create another obstacle between me and the content I want displayed on the screen. And if I ever feel the need for a pretty GUI to get to my videos, well then hey look at that Windows Media Center is already built right in!

  • Re:XBMC4XBOX Lives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by malakai ( 136531 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @11:51AM (#32377034) Journal

    I feel a bit back stabbed by the XBMC core developers for cutting lose the whole reason for the project in the first place. Granted, it has many limitations, but limitations like these help make software more robust. When you have to worry about something like the FATX file system and it's limitations on characters and character length, the solutions you come up with help you solve other problems later on. Yes it takes more work, but it generally forces you to abstract out another level and really think about what you are building and the flow through the different modules.

    I've seen game engines keep around TTY plugins just for this reason.

    The XBOX port should be kept around as the bare minimum scalability test for all code. If your particular plugin is too CPU intensive to run even in a redacted state, then meta data should flag that with some sort of required minumum clacs/second threshold. Some people have moded their xbox with faster CPUs, more memory, etc...

    I appreciate the work the xbmc4xbox guy is putting into it. I run TECH builds non stop on my xbox's and have them setup to auto update from the tech installer. I really like the tech builds because they seemed to simply 'just work'. If you two can collaborate and make us build toned down for XBOX that'd be great.

    To the XBMC developers, I'd say look at ROCKBOX and CrystalSpace and other projects that have had to deal with limited hardware while trying to keep pace with new features and better hardware.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 28, 2010 @12:54PM (#32377852)

    What they really need to do, is get 'official support' from Microsoft, so I we can get XBMC working on the 360.
    The 360's default media player is GARBAGE. Almost no support for anything other than avi or mp4, and no support for subtitles or alternative streams, combined with a terrible interface for managing what limited options DO exist, I dream of the day I can play mkv or similar on the 360. Sadly, it's just a dream...

  • by qortra ( 591818 ) on Friday May 28, 2010 @01:33PM (#32378376)
    Wow, I don't even know where to start.

    Nothing beats the simple listing of directory content shared on a Windows PC by the 360

    XBMC is an absolute joy to use with a decent media library. I have around 225 movies, 6500 songs, and 4000 television episodes. XBMC cheerfully and quickly scrapes all the media information and indexes all video content by actor, year, genre, TV series, season number, and episode number. These indexes are really quite helpful, and if you don't like the added flexibility, the default functionality is to browse by directory anyway (what is more simple than that?). Not having used a 360 with Windows Media Center, I can't comment on that setup. I do however own a 360 that I use as a game console. It sounds like a jet engine, possesses about the same power efficiency as a Hummer, has a life span that compares poorly to a Yugo, and looks like a Caribbean oil leak. The thought of using it as my main media device chills me to my core.

    other than create another obstacle between me and the content I want displayed on the screen

    An Obstacle? What program were you running? The XBMC interface on my rig is so simple that my parents can use it. The fact that you consider it an obstacle is more telling about your computer competency (or lack thereof) than about the capabilities of XBMC.

    it would be nice to play all or create a play list

    It is shocking that WMC/XB360 can't do that. Both WMC and XB360 are software upgradeable, and have been upgraded on several occasions, yet they still lack these basic features. This is the kind of thing that always annoyed me with Microsoft. The good folks at XBMC, who aren't even getting payed, are better about listening to what I want than the $250b software giant.

    hey look at that Windows Media Center is already built right in!

    For those of us fortunate enough to have something other than Windows, it isn't built right in. Hell, it isn't even built into most copies of Windows! But whether you have MacOS, Windows (almost any version), Linux (almost any distribution), or even an Xbox, XBMC will run just fine. Also as somebody who was forced to use WMC at a previous domicile, it is a big heap of putrescence. While it handled OTA DVR relatively well, its support for various media types was completely underwhelming, and its extensibility was low. The third party "codec packs" that were required to make it work with even the most common of media types frequently broke and I was without Dolby Digital and DTS for a large portion of my tenure with WMC. That being said, I wasn't the one who maintained the system, and it probably would have worked better if I was.

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Friday May 28, 2010 @08:10PM (#32384488) Journal

    Many of us commenting here love(d) our Xbox's - it was a true monster at playing video, it played _everything_
    Why oh why did Sony block access to the accelerated video features on the PS3 under linux? XBMC would've been PERFECT on the PS3.
    Wifi, gigabit, 1080p output, USB ports, internal HDD :/ such a huge shame.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears