Follow-Up: What’s going on?

Posted By: Team XBMC on Mar 25, 2011 in Site News

XBMC

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post. Apparently there’s enough interest to justify some technical ramblings every now and then. As promised, here is a follow-up to address the popular questions and comments. Next up after SCALE will be a few words about add-on stats.

I wonder if there are any work in progress for Spotify support, that is the most important thing missing in my setup

This is not something that we are working on, but if someone develops an add-on that works well and doesn’t anger Spotify too much, we would certainly accept it.

Any thought of porting this to Android, it is linux based. With all of the new tablets coming out, that’s something I’d be interested in.

The simple answer is: most of us are lacking the hardware. As tablets and small-form-factor boxes flood the market, we will likely look into it.

I have to ask, did you evaluate using Mercurial instead of Git? Why Git?

Many of the developers were already using git-svn. It has become increasingly popular, and many of our upstream libraries use it as well. There wasn’t much of a “what vcs should we switch to” discussion, so much as a “how do we switch to git?”.

Do have any updates to share regarding the Sigma port?

This is still being discussed. More info as it unfolds.

Any plans to update to Python 3.2 version of the scripting engine?

As mentioned before, we are working to support an external Python, rather than building the antiquated 2.4 internally. We will still have to include a version for OSX/Windows. As far as I’m aware, no decision has been made regarding which version to ship. Though my guess is that it will be 2.x initially to ensure the most compatibility with existing add-ons.

I truly recommend that the whole XBMC developers team read this from start to finish: http://progit.org/book/

Thanks, I’ll certainly pass that along.

Any more definitive ETA on packaging 10.1, that bug (and the VDADecoder issue) has been causing me a few headaches and I’d rather stick to official builds.

I volunteered to handle the 10.1 build and I’m in LA for SCALE this weekend (Come see us!), but I hope to get it done quickly when I return.

I am also interested in the Audio Engine branch given it’s supposed to support bitstreaming HD audio.

Details on AE were sparse the last post, so I asked gnif to give a quick rundown of what it brings:

  • Audio is now processed in the highest possible resolution instead of conversion to S16
  • The sound device is now opened in float mode, or the next best thing that is supported.
  • SDLMixer has been removed and replaced with our own mixing code finally giving us consistent GUI Sound support.
  • Latency of the audio stream has been greatly improved meaning GUI sounds now play on time.
  • AC3 transcode has been moved into the audio engine, meaning that GUI sounds and PAPlayer can be transcoded too.
  • AC3 transcode of every sample rate is now supported instead of just 48 KHz.
  • No more loss of stream sync on amplifiers when bit streaming and on pause/resume of playback.
  • We can now take full advantage of PulseAudio, including its sound cache ability.
  • Changing audio settings are now applied instantly and do not require a player restart any more.
  • SSE conversion between formats has been added as well as extensive SSE optimizations to the software audio engine.

I was wondering if your were planning on adding more flexibility to the menu structure? Right now we only have “Movies” and “TV Series” and no option of adding other entries/categories (Anime comes to mind), except for using custom skins. What would be great is if users were able to add menu entries themselves, defining what folders and which scrapers should be used for each entry.

We are looking into several ways this might be handled without requiring XML hacking. These things bother us as well!

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Discussion - 52 Comments

  • Me Feb 25, 2011 

    Cool, I always like reading what’s happening in XBMC world.
    Truly Awesome project and contributors.

  • Jaken Feb 25, 2011 

    These Q & A are great. Keep us updated :)

  • OGKK Feb 25, 2011 

    I’ve been using XBMCfreak 10b2 for months. It has been working well for me, but would like to use an official stable version. I’m waiting for 10.1 to update. Keep up the great work XBMC team!

  • Shish Feb 25, 2011 

    I always thought that the lag with GUI sounds was just my laptop being slow; good to know I’m not alone and it’s been fixed \o/

    Somewhat tangential, but how is anime separate to TV or movies? It’s like having a separate top-level category for black & white media, or having “TV, Movie, Non-fiction” o_O

    More flexible menus might be nice, but I like having fewer top-level categories as that gets people into the mindset of fewer scrapers (eg, signing up for thetvdb.org and themoviedb.org is ok, but it’d be a pain if I also needed to sign up for theanimedb.org, theblackandwhitemoviedb.org, thescifitvdb.org, thedramadb.org, …)

  • Coronado de Cava Feb 25, 2011 

    I’d really like to hear bout pvr more often, atm there are different repos emerging (and many prebuilt downloads – but not for powerpc-osx arrrrgh;) and people really seem to be interested, even eager to try.
    Lots of people and myself already switched from Mediaportal to magros XBMC builds for daily TV-use, simply because an alpha/pre-beta/whatever XBMC is waaaaay more solid, reliable and pleasing than any MP-final will ever be (including vaporware MP 2.0). Anyone that ever fought with his wife/gf bout freakin MP crashing right in the middle of a movie knows that this was an understatement, cause he is the idot that replaced the stb with a puter in the first place.
    ..right
    So my point is, maybe you should get back in charge bout pvr stuff and reunify those forks/repos/builds on this page/your git, or at least offer us prebuilt alphas without any support from the downloads-area.
    As to say a base to rely on.
    And maybe from time to time little info on the subject?
    cumon just a little sumthinsumthin please
    please please
    please please please ;)

    thx n appreciated

    PS: not commending not offending just suggesting – i am a big fan of the xbmc-team, keep rockin!

  • EMKO Feb 25, 2011 

    @Shish

    anime is very different to tv shows for me as they are in Japanese and i have many of them which would make it nicer for other people to just see list of tv shows, same with documentaries its just to different then tv shows. Why would someone need to sing up for those sites? and why would there need to be duplicate sites when all the info would be in thetvdb.org?

  • Oral-B Feb 26, 2011 

    Any ETA on having the Linux PPA up and running?

  • MindTooth Feb 26, 2011 

    Thank you.

    To integrate Spotify: http://mopidy.com/

  • JiveTalker Feb 26, 2011 

    EMKO :
    @Shish
    anime is very different to tv shows…same with documentaries its just to different then tv shows…

    I also would like to see more video categories for things that are neither tv broadcast or movies, such as my personally recorded videos, live performance comedy/concerts and music promo videos.

  • Patrik Feb 26, 2011 

    Regarding AudioEngine I was wondering about additional karaoke features with microphone support?

    Other then that I to would like to see an entire post that is all about future PVR support 8)

  • Patrik Feb 26, 2011 

    Cool! AMD has just open sourced XvBA API and released a SDK with code for it!

    Any chance for native XvBA support in next upcoming XBMC stable release?

  • RedShift Feb 26, 2011 

    @Coronado, @*: For those needing PVR, use tvheadend: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=91716

  • TugboatBill Feb 26, 2011 

    Re: Ability to customize menus
    http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=76529
    Allows you to add items to the home menu. Works very well under Windows and should under XBMCLive as soon as the developer fixes the favorites bug.

  • ilm Feb 26, 2011 

    EMKO :
    @Shish
    anime is very different to tv shows…

    Perhaps the most simple and powerful solution is to add tagging to xbmc (if it isn’t already there). Just tag files and/or directories to be what you like (‘tv shows’, ‘movies’, ‘anime’, ”my kinky film collection’, etc.)

    Then have some powerful smart playlists/views that you can customize.

  • Ultratails42 Feb 26, 2011 

    Good to hear on that last one. I was actually just thinking this the other night as id really like to have a seperate tab for anime thats not in TV shows or movies but not have to goto the folder view and still use a library view. Look forward to seeing the progress on that and everything else. Keep up the amazing work guys!

  • Coronado Feb 26, 2011 

    @RedShift
    Seriously? I should switch 20+ systems from a workin state mptvs@win2k3r2/xbmcpvrtesting2@osx/win7 to tvheadend@linux/standard-dharma?
    Man, I was talkin bout pvrtesting2 working really good irl already.
    And I for sure know tvheadend, but as it’s not multifrontend-aware it’s not always an option for any card given (just an example).
    In fact even have delivered multiple tvheadend/pvrtesting2 systems :)

    My point is pvrbranch-integration in mainline being pushed back and pushed back for the obvious reasons (addon-system etc)
    while in reality it is working already, and it would be neat if there would be releases (maybe called technology preview) made by community (wich is done anyway, the team wouldn’t waste ressources) available from here (not somewhere). I would most certainly not profit from that, but i can imagine some guys out there would really appreciate it as some don’t like searching around for untested binaries from unknown origin, or some don’t want to compile (talking bout the g4-macies, takes them like forever).

  • Sam Feb 26, 2011 

    Hi I’ve been using XBMC for the past year and I LOVE IT!!!! Some feedback:

    + Regarding Flexible Menu Structure: Thank you. This is my #1 annoyance of XBMC. XBMC preveals over Boxee in that it doesn’t consider all videos movies or TV shows. Very powerful as I also have Music Videos, Stand Up Comedy, and Short Films. I am very happy to hear that you will be doing something about this.

    + A nicer interface for addons. By nicer I mean graphical, with snapshots and all that, so there is no need to go online to search to see how it looks and at the same time avoid installing not-so-good addons.

    + I have a dream; (many actually) but wouldn’t it be awesome if XBMC have HTML5 apps like Google TV? I am a front-end developer and this year Google TV and Boxee, I think, are doing this already. Creating this interfaces is very simple and could enrich XBMC. Again, graphical interface is very important as that’s how people pick most things.

    + Taking point above a step further… (just hear me out) wouldn’t it be cool if we could do HTML5 based themes for XBMC? XD Not sure how difficult this must be, but allowing designers and non-techies to easily do themes could be very good for XBMC.

  • Riffmaker Feb 27, 2011 

    I’d like to see an option for ‘Library by Folder.’ Might be the easiest way to make the most amount of people happy. I’m abit sick of seeing all my kid’s Disney movies when I flip through the library.

  • Le_Squirrel Feb 27, 2011 

    Hello,

    thanks a lot for all those great technical insights !

    What would be great, for each official release of XBMC, would be to display on the download page, a detailed “table of features”, that would list, for each platform, what is supported and what isn’t (+ details if some additional hardware is needed for some feature).

    That would give an easy and clear view for newcomers (and some oldtimers who don’t update or read the forums often), of what to expect.

    For example, I myself read from time to time the forums, and I’m still quite lost as: on which platform GPU acceleration is supported, with what brand of video chipset, what configuration can allow HD audio bitstream, or LPCM transcoding, etc.

    My best regards, and thousands of thanks for developers and contributors of XBMC.
    L.S. – France

  • Juan Feb 27, 2011 

    Thx for the info. It’s interesting to know what is going on, and you are talking with devs/users. It’s nice :)

  • S80_UK Feb 27, 2011 

    Good to have these more technical updates from time to time. Looking forward to 10.1 and beyond, but I shall hold back from adding to the already overflowing wish list… ;)

  • Lorenzo Feb 27, 2011 

    Guys
    First I’d like to say thanks for fro the technical posts, I’m rather enjoying hearing about the technical developments and very much looking forward to having the svn-ppa back up and running although it’s no longer very aptly named.
    I agree that the menuing structure could do with being more flexible. Mostly I’d like to be able to add add-ons as icons directly under videos at the same level as recently added movies, partially just because its a 4×2 grid thats only 3/4 full and the space could easily accommodate my favorite add-ons.

  • weeG Feb 28, 2011 

    @Riffmaker
    Hi –

    Totally agree “Library by folder would be good – specially for separating kidds movies from rest. This could be extended so that meun options are then available via profile – so kids only see their moveies etc.

    Another useful feature would be the ability to go to specific points in time movie or audio. I have audiobooks which I’ve converted to mp3 – these can be an hour long – it would be great if I could stop and resume as I can with movies.

    Otherwise XBMC is awesome – keep up the good work!!! ;-)

  • Josh Lyon Feb 28, 2011 

    Good feedback! I’m glad to see more posts like these. Regarding the comment on Android tablets and that none of the devs have one… this is part of my hesitation with the donation process. I understand that we don’t want donators thinking that they are paying for a specific feature as they’ll start to feel entitled… but on the other hand, they’d at least like to see their money going towards their specific “cause”.

    I see that after a number of people donated from the iOS threads that an iPad has been purchased. While I’m happy that things are moving forward on the touch UI side of things (which will ultimately benefit me), I’d rather have my donation be focused towards extending XBMC to a different cause (Tegra powered devices). That doesn’t mean I expect to see a Tegra version out in a specific period of time or anything, but it would be nice to see that money used to acquire a Tegra device for a core dev…

  • Jehmarjeh Feb 28, 2011 

    Does somebody know what they have done to improve the video playback?

    I love xbmc but sometimes i have to use another program because in xbmc there is a “twitch” in the picture even my htpc is fast as f…

  • irune Feb 28, 2011 

    necesito saber si el XBMC solo funciona via wifi

  • topfs2 Feb 28, 2011 

    @Josh Lyon
    I understand your problem but the thing is that we can never guarantee the money going towards a specific cause as that would be borderlining to buying features, which is something we cannot support for obvious reasons. That being said if you donate and say you would like that the money goes to getting devs hardware X and given your suggestion being reasonable and we have one or more devs wanting to do it we will obviously try to accomondate it, afterall thats out of both yours and ours best interest. AFAIK we don’t really have a way to suggest what the money goes towards when you donate but if you donate a large amount contact us and say what you wanted it to go towards and we might be able to do that.

    If you want to see if it is a feature we are interested in before donating start a thread and see what the devs think, obviously they might not say “Yeah this is perfect and we will promise you to work on it” but if its a good feature and there is interest there is a good chance that the money will go towards that. Donating hardware directly is another way but afaik we don’t really have a standardized way of dealing with that but contact us and we might be able to sort something out.

    As you may notice we are interested in an Android version but atm we cannot really do it since we are missing hardware, and sadly we are not only missing hardware there are very few hardware available which is perfect for XBMC. Many like the tegra devices but they are somewhat flawed with video playback and might prove only somewhat useful. Ofcourse they could still be nice development machines until such a time when more interesting hardware exists (like set top boxes with intel CE4100 or Omap4). Also since no dev have really looked at it hard enough (the NDK is just starting to have enough of the features so it may be possible) the NDK might be missing pieces and a port is not possible, this is also something we must reserve against when we say we can’t promise anything. Most of the time it might be possible but say we need to completely butcher the xbmc core to support a feature we won’t do that as that will lead to either another platform (or all) getting butchered in some way or we must do a fork for just that feature, which will lead to so much maintenance it might be impossible to handle.

    So to summarize, we can never promise anything but we are reasonable and if its a reasonable request and devs are interested in the project it is rather likely to happen given we have the resources and that it is possible without hindering our long term goals :)

  • MarcusMarcus Mar 01, 2011 

    @JiveTalker
    I would like to add a category for exercise videos.

  • Adam Outler Mar 01, 2011 

    [quote]The simple answer is: most of us are lacking the hardware. As tablets and small-form-factor boxes flood the market, we will likely look into it.[/quote]
    Noone is lacking Android hardware. http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

    The Android SDK comes with a virtual machine. You can emulate any version of any form factor… It’s all about supporting screen size and API version. Also, Android SDK has a “Native Code” section. it would be possible to run the C/C++ directly. The UI uses XML which may be compatible with what is already used for the UI. It would require no additional resources to port the ARM branch over to the Android

  • Adam Outler Mar 01, 2011 

    You build an android program in eclipse, send it to the android virtual device, then watch the Java output from the included DDMS.

  • Martdj Mar 01, 2011 

    @Adam Outler
    But why would they do that if they don’t have an Android device themselves? When I develop stuff and make it open source I only develop it in the first place because I can use it myself and feel others might benefit others too. When you can’t use it yourself, what’s the fun in making it?

  • topfs2 Mar 01, 2011 

    @Adam Outler
    A) virtual machine and emulator is NOT hardware…. The emulator cannot do everything and it can certainly never run xbmc.
    B) Without hardware you can never gain incentive. An emulator is a great development tool but at some point you need access to real hardware.

    Also, without hardware even if you would be able to get it to run (which you won’t) you can never optimize and make it run good without access to proper hardware which you target.

  • Paul Mar 01, 2011 

    Oral-B :
    Any ETA on having the Linux PPA up and running?

    I’d like to know as well

  • Ransom777 Mar 02, 2011 

    Can someone please help me out, a friend put XBMC on my xbox, I had something similar on it before but I can’t remember what it was, anyways when I was playing a game with the old interface I could just hold down the triggers, black and white, start and select buttons and it would take me back to the home screen, but I can’t figure out how to do it with XBMC, and have had to turn off the xbox each time I want to play a new game…its getting really annoying…Can someone please tell me how to do this without turning off the xbox?!?!?!

  • MacGyver Mar 02, 2011 

    @Riffmaker
    I have been playing with SmartPlaylists, they will allow you to “filter” by various methods, one of which is path/folder. Then use a custom menu item to point to that playlist. They really are quite powerful. I have a Kid Movies” one that I made for my daughter that shows all Rated-G, PG, PG-13, and removes any that have the words crude, vulgar, sex in the MPAA description and further removes any PG-13 with the genre of horror.
    Like I said, they are quite powerful.

    Note: If all anime was in a folder, you could have “Just Anime” and a “All but Anime” menu items.

    It would be nice if Playlists could be tagged to exist in specific sections of the library menus ie. (Movies,TVShows,MusicVideos) so they would show up alongside the Genres,Titles, Years, Actors selections. Or if the Playlists menu supported sub-folders.

    Anyway, always great work XBMC-devs! I love to read the tech updates.

  • Paul Mar 02, 2011 

    Is blu-ray (ISO and disc) playback already on the feature wish list?

  • Chris Mar 02, 2011 

    Thanks a bunch for all your hard work on this fantastic program, I really enjoy using it. Do you know if there’s any plans to have support for the on-die GPU of the new Sandy Bridge chips… through VAAPI I imagine?

  • Jehmarjeh Mar 02, 2011 

    It is on my wish list

  • pschemmo Mar 03, 2011 

    Forgive if it’s not the right place for such a comment, but I’m new here and still a little confused.
    I’d like to ask if the development of video bookmark feature is intended. Possibility to bookmark favourite scenes in movies or creating kind of menu in video files by XBMC is something I dream about. So for example do you think about naming bookmarks instead of time display only, eg. ‘Horse-head scene’ in Godfather etc.? Or introducing new option in main window (next to music, movies etc.) which could be kind of scene database?

    Sorry for my english, if it’s not fully understandable

  • Øyvind Hauge Mar 03, 2011 

    I just wanted to give a big pat on the back to all the XBMC developers. Thanks for a great product! I really appreciate these posts too. They are a fun read. Theuni and you other guys (and girls??), keep up the good work! Cheers

  • John Mar 03, 2011 

    I know this is a stupid question, but what do programs like this do? I would like to stream internet video to my TV (I have a Netgear 9100) and the Playon interface is a resource hog. I thought something like this might work, but I can’t make heads or tails of it.

  • AroundSound Mar 04, 2011 

    I recently came across your program in a recent Maximum PC issue and decided to try it out and am I ever glad I did! As far as Media Players go, you guys have the best one I’ve tried. The open source approach has really served to produce some incredible features and a layout that is easy to use and customize. I have spent the last few days having a blast not only with the software but also navigating through the wikis, repos and your posts. Keep up the great work!

  • NoGi Mar 04, 2011 

    Would be great to get some enhancements in the database space for those of us that use the advancedsettings option of having a mySQL shared db. Main thing missing is the ability to store thumbnail art in the db itself. At the moment I’ve got rsync jobs pushing it out to multiple machines.

  • Klojum Mar 05, 2011 

    NoGi :
    Would be great to get some enhancements in the database space for those of us that use the advancedsettings option of having a mySQL shared db. Main thing missing is the ability to store thumbnail art in the db itself. At the moment I’ve got rsync jobs pushing it out to multiple machines.

    Graphics images, thumbnails or otherwise, should imho never be stored into a database. The size of the database would grow exponentionally (the total of raw database data is mostly less than the size of, for example, a single fullhd backdrop image), and access speeds could be comprimised substantially.

    I would advise to store the thumbnails and other graphics (backdrops, season thumbs, etc) as normal files, but yes on a remote server. I myself am still experimenting with all xbmc data + files on a Synology NAS. I’m trying to let my Windows and XBMC Live clients all share that same data.

  • yLke Mar 07, 2011 

    Ahoy *.*,

    Do we have any ETA on the 10.1 yet?

  • Keith Mar 07, 2011 

    I am a long time user and supporter of the XBMC project. I love reading the patch notes and seeing what new and cool features have been added or how exsisting functionlality has been tweaked.

  • Dave Mar 08, 2011 

    I too am experimenting with my xbmc database on a remote mySQL server and have run in to all the same issues as others with the Thumbnails not being shared. It would be great if there was some agreement on how this might be resolved long term within xbmc, so that I could happily await the day it was implemented and released ;-)

    I came across xbmc about 6 months ago and have never looked back since performing my first install. It’s a brilliant way of managing my video and music media across the multiple devices within my house. I even went out last month and purchased an AppleTV2 with the sole purpose of jailbreaking it and using it as an xbmc client. Brilliant!

    Keep up the great work.

  • queeup Mar 09, 2011 

    Yupiii 10.1 up for win/linux/osx :D Thank you guys.

  • dzirkelb Mar 09, 2011 

    Can you use regular sql express 2008 opposed to mysql for the database server?

  • Ransom777 Mar 10, 2011 

    Hey XBMC…Why you no answer my question!

  • iGadget Mar 11, 2011 

    @John – for your use case I’m not sure if XBMC would be the perfect candidate. Although there are several plugins which make watching internet streams possible, XBMC is really focused on using a local (or networked) collection of video’s, music and photo’s. But why don’t you try it out? I don’t know if your Netgear 9100 is supported by XBMC. A quick google search revealed it sports a Sigma SMP8635. So if I were you, I’d try to figure out if that chipset is supported. Otherwise, get yourself any nVidia ION-based mini-PC out there, install XBMC and enjoy the magic…

  • VlatkoB Mar 11, 2011 

    Any plans on solving remote control problems in Ubuntu 10.10? It would be nice if it would work out of the box. :-)

    As I read, LIRC has moved into the kernel now (i.e. for iMON), and XBMC is not receiving remote keys (except for arrows, volume, and a few more) even though IRW shows them all correctly.

About XBMC

XBMC is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. XBMC is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.