|XBMC | Open Source Home Theatre Software|
Being Open Source enthusiastic I was knowing XBMC but never used it as I was happy with various other media players on GNU/Linux. Very initially I had used xine, then I fall in love with mplayer, then for some reason I started using VLC. Mainly I enjoy movies which my friends used to download & shared with me using torrent from ThePirateBay. Even I had subscription for NetFlix and BigFlix, I am not really getting what I want. But now I don’t think there is need for me to ask my friends or even me to store all these movies on external hard disk. Cause I got XBMC :)
It was originally intended for Xbox, that why XBMC stand for “XBox Media Center”. But its no more true, it works now on Mac, Linux, Windows and even on Android and iOS. Reader can check current stable release: 12.2 “Frodo”.
Mainly I can see so many things happening in this domain called “home theater PC (HTPC)”. I can see that XBMC is best solution. There so many useful repositories and add-ons which will just match with anything. By default you can have add-ons like YouTube, Vimeo, Wired, Time, TED, TechCrunsh, Metacafe, Khan Academy, etc. But with Unofficial add-on repositories, anyone can experience avalanche of entertainment ! You can access & enjoy variety of media ranging from TV Serials, Latest Movies, Documentary, movie trailer, Music, and many more.
XBMC kind of media center is mainly design and develop “ 10-foot user interface” in mind. Reader may not feel comfortable first time to use XBMC on PC or Laptop. It was for TV screen in Living room, where user should watch it from 10 foot, controlling using remote control. XBMC works with Keyboard, mouse, touch device and it has support for various type of remote controls. But I found interesting Smart Phone Remote i.e. Android & iPhone apps which can use smart mobile phone as remote control for XBMC. To use Smart Phone Remote, install apps on your mobile phone and configure name of instance, xbmc system ip address, port, username and password. You use default settings. Now make sure that XBMC is ready to use remote control. Start XBMC System -> Settings -> Services -> Remote Control and Enable it. Now you can use smart phone to control your xbmc.
To use Web browser to control xbmc, just start XBMC System -> Settings -> Services -> Webserver. Select the radial box that says "Allow Control of XBMC via HTTP". If user want to used it over internet then required ip address. Else user can provide Port, username and password. If user is not really worried about security then he can use default settings. Then open browser with ip address of xbmc, in my case I can access at http://127.0.0.1:8080/
This is such wonderful piece of software that I encourage you to donate fund, amount can be anything ! If not then at least spread the information about this software, which will save your families hundreds of dollar per years.