What's Up With Xbox Media Center

April 26, 2005

Interface Sounds

Whoa! I don't know how this one got past me, but after installing the 4-22-05 build, not only is there a start up sound, but full blown interface sounds! Being a Tivo owner, I've wanted this feature since I got my hands on Xbox Media Player, the former project, years ago. Interface feedback sounds make a media center easier to use and adds to the refined presentation. The best part is that it looks like its themeable. There is a preference in the "Look & Feel" section to choose your sounds. Good work Xbmc guys!

The double click bug for the remote seems to be gone, I didn't have any problems. And I'd have to say I kinda like Project Mayhem III, its growing on me. Its by far the most impressive skin yet, and looks wonderful. Plus, when you pop back to the main interface while a video is playing, it plays full screen under the main menu. It looks wonderful. You gotta see it to believe it.

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Project Mayhem I and II Discontinued

Right on the heels of Project Mayhem III becoming the default skin of Xbox Media Center, Chokemaniac announced that his other skins will have their development stopped. He claims lack of time due to his new job.
"You may have noticed my time is very limited now with my new job. I didnt even find a quite moment to update the news here in almost a month. For the same reason i also had to discontinue Project Mayhem and Project Mayhem II for XBMC. I would be happy to share the sources with some other skinner who wants to keep them alive. So if you do, please let me know."

Speaking on part of the Xbmc community, I have to thank Choke for all his hard work and contributions to Xbox Media Center. It took a lot of hard work for him to create and maintain all of those skins, and it has make Xbmc 100x better because of it.

He says that he will release the old skins to let others maintain them, and will probably remove the download links to Project Mayhem III since it is now the default skin distributed with Xbmc. Hmm, maybe now we can get our hands on that font!

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Project Mayhem III Now Official Skin

pmIIIChokemaniac's Project Mayhem III skin is now the official skin of Xbox Media Center. Love it or hate it, its here to stay. I haven't checked it out since the first official beta. So I'll reserve judgement about the decision to make it the default skin. But my opinion of dark skins is still there.

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Xbmc Changelog Update

Seems like Xbmc development has ramped up a little on the New Features side. Browsing through the change log I've found some exciting changes and additions, here's a few to whet your whistle.

  • added: audioscrobbler support
  • added: option to disable music visualisation
  • added: Proxy support for shoutcast thanks to soepy
  • added: Music is muted 9dB on ffwd/rewd with mp3 player
  • added: Python bindings for built in XBMC functions
  • fixed: Double tap remote bug

There's some great stuff in there. One of my favorites is Audioscrobbler support. Audioscrobbler provides an API to let developers make plugins for audio players that will report what songs you listen to. The result is a nice formatted stats page of your listening habits. This allows you to find other people with the same taste in music and then find new bands you might have missed before. It also provides a nice RSS feed for your last few songs listened to. Check out my stats page to see what they're doing. Also, the double tap remote bug seems to be fixed. I'll believe it when I see it. I can't wait to get my hands on a new build to check it out. That bug drives me nuts!

The other thing thats been popping up all over the change log is tons of dvd player development. Lots of changes, fixes, and additions. Its nice to see full blown development being done on this great feature. Hopefully it will be ready to go soon!

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Ok, I know, its been a long time since I've posted. But I've been busy, I swear.

Since I've been gone, Xbmcscripts.com has launched and its a great site. Its now officially the go to place for xbmc plugins and scripts. Theres a few things left to be desired, like screen shots and comments, but for now, we finally have a single place indexing all of the scripts out there, and its about friggen time.

Thanks to the Xbmc Scripts guys, I think I speak for the rest of the community when I say, we needed it.

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