XBMC4XBOX 3.2 Released

I am pleased to announce another release of XBMC4XBOX – v3.2

A number of bugs have been fixed, including a working fix for the lockups when using UPnP. There has been some significant performance improvements also, with the addition of the libjpeg-turbo library. Based on some code from XBMC, and some of our own, we now use this SIMD optimised library for decoding and thumbnailing JPEG images. The speed up is very noticeable – with navigating photos feeling at least twice as fast as before. XBMC4XBOX will now also use less memory when displaying and zooming in on images.

Release Includes:

  • libjpeg-turbo support for images
  • Fixed UPnP lockups
  • Browse by Country support in movie library
  • Scraper fixes
  • Switch to Roboto font in Confluence skin
  • Plenty of misc bugfixes and code backports from xbmc mainline
  • Lots of code refactoring to better match upstream changes

Thanks to all those who helped out, including those who spent lots of time helping users on the forums. Thanks to http://xbmc.org for the support after we lost our previous hosting place (see previous news). And thanks for all the code of course :)

Hope you enjoy the release, and should you want to show your support, donations are always welcome – and much appreciated. We are also always on the look out for anyone who is able to contribute time and skills to the project, from the main code development to skins and python scripting.

XBMC4XBOX Website Offline / Project Status

This is a brand new website for the XBMC4XBOX project. Please bookmark it – http://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk

What has Happened?

The http://www.xbmc4xbox.org site was hosted and managed by someone else. They have not been around since the end of May 2012, and at the end of June 2012, the site went off-line for non payment. So far efforts to contact the admin have failed, and there has been no luck to bring it back on-line even temporarily as the hosting provider is only accepting payments from the account owner.

This was always my worry when not hosting the project myself, and when only one person has access to the system.

What about the old forum contents and Wiki

The forum does not seem to be cached anywhere, so I can’t even get a list of the forum areas. The content is lost so long as the admin is not contactable, and the site is offline.

The Wiki content is available on some web archives still. We also might be able to get a dump of pages from the xbmc wiki (rolling back to the point before they added material not related to the xbox1)

Please Help!

If you think you could help in anyway – perhaps you have a dump of the old wiki, or want to help rebuilding it, or anything else, please join in over at the forum

Linux Mint 13 and updates for Ubuntu/JoliOS

Linux Mint 13 is now available for download. Due to the on disk size of Linux Mint, the install is cut down somewhat with removal of some packages including banshee, mono and libreoffice.

Ubuntu/Xubuntu 12.04 and JoliOS 1.2 images have also been updated, with kernel v3.2.20 and a config fix for florence, that fixes the “stuck keys” issue. The new images also include any distribution package updates.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Images, and updates for Joli OS and Linux Mint

Images for Ubuntu/Xubuntu 12.04 LTS, are now available. Also included is a Base/Server image that boots to console that can be used to build your own customised desktop, or used as a base for other tasks. The Joli OS and Linux Mint releases are also updated.

Changes include:

  • Kernel 3.2.16
  • EMGD 1.14
  • Updated XBMC, and new packaged mplayer with VAAPI support
  • Various other package updates.

See the distribution specific page for more details.

XBMC4XBOX 3.1 Stable Released

It’s been close to a year since the last stable release. The truth is, the nightly builds have probably been more stable than the last release as some useful fixes went in soon after. Due to lack of free time, and developers, it’s taken a while to get around to doing another point release but finally – here it is – XBMC4XBOX 3.1

There has been a lot of improvements over the last year – changes since 3.0.1 include:

  • FFMPEG Updates
  • DVDPlayer Updates/Fixes (Such as improved DVD Seeking and Slingbox support)
  • PAPlayer Updates
  • Updates to libcurl/polarssl/librtmp
  • Scraper fixes
  • Lots of other misc bugfixes and improvements.

For more details of changes you can check out the source history over at http://sourceforge.net/projects/xbmc4xbox/

Thanks to all the XBMC developers on over at http://www.xbmc.org as many of the changes are backports from their code base. Also a big thanks and farewell to Arnova, who has been supporting the XBOX over the years but no longer has any need for his XBOX1. He will continue to develop XBMC for Linux though.

We are now down to a single developer on this project. If you know some C++ or can help in other areas, and you wish to spend some free time helping out with the project – please do get involved and post an introduction over at the forums.

The Old Girl Is Still Going….

The old girl’s still got plenty to give. With hardware that’s now 10 years old you’d be forgiven for thinking the xbox classic’s time is up, however the old girl has still got plenty to give. True enough a lot of people now have HTPC’s, standalone media players or the latest games consoles to stream in true HD to their big screens. This however certainly doesn’t mean the demise of our trusty old xbox… Where else could you buy a media center that’s able to stream content from the internet (or locally) in a wide variety of formats, have an amazing library function, double up as an arcade machine and boot up in seconds? And all for the price of a couple of pints of beer! Yes these great warhorse machines can be picked up second hand for amazing prices, I know I’m not the only one to have picked one or two up for as little as 99p from a certain auction site.

So how do you use your xbox these days, are you still using it as your main media center? Obviously not everyone has an HDTV, in which case the xbox is still unbeatable but for those of us that do what happens to your xbox once you’ve upgraded to newer hardware? Personally I have one in every bedroom and also one in the shed (so I can sit in the garden and watch movies/football with a few beers in the summer). With a simple network connection (homeplugs are a great choice if you don’t like wiring) you can have all your media located on one dedicated machine and stream from there. Whether it’s a dedicated server, NAS or simply a PC you can store all media on that one device and then scan it all into your xbox libraries meaning thousands of movies/tv shows but only one large HDD needed. Of course you could just use the xbox to stream directly from the internet – how do you use yours?

Courtesy of Whufclee

Linux mint 12 and updates for all distributions.

Linux Mint 12 is now available. It includes the latest development version of MATE Desktop Environment and boots to MATE by default. Gnome 3 is included, but the Gnome 3 shell does not currently work on EMGD. Libreoffice, GIMP and VLC were removed to save some space.

Updates for other distributions are also available. New features include kernel 3.2.4, and on screen keyboard support for lightdm on Xubuntu. Also includes general package updates. The new kernel should hopefully fix some free space issues with btrfs that were present on 3.1.6.

Updates for all distributions.

Updates for all distributions are available. New features include kernel 3.1.6, updated Xserver 1.10 for natty/oneiric based distros and new EMGD driver. Note the new EMGD driver and some other updates are already available for older images via the launchpad PPA – installable via apt-get. The new EMGD driver can cause screen corruption on shutdown, but it seems to be slightly quicker for 2d operations than the older driver, and hopefully more stable.

Should there be no major issues with the updates, this will be the last set of updates for Ubuntu Natty, and Linux Mint 11. I still do intend to package up a Linux Mint 12.