What’s Going On: April Fools’ Non-Technical Edition

Posted By: Team XBMC on Apr 07, 2011 in Site News

It’s been a bit over a month since last we let you in on the inner workings of the Team, so we figured it was time to bring everyone up to date on some new and slightly less new developments.  Today it’s going to be technical-light, but we promise next week to provide some more interesting tech news.

Pulse Eight's XBMC purposed remote

First off, as many of  you know, and as quite a few of you commented on with great anger and furious vengeance in your hearts, we managed to pull a little prank on everybody.  For the record, we are not closing our source, we are not partnering with Sony, no one is letting us stream Bluray quality movies, and only our users are giving us any gifts, which is exactly how we like it, since those gifts allow us to give back quite a lot (we think) in return! Also, we are happy to say that about 4,899 of you were really curious to see just what kind of movies Sony was letting us stream. The “Bluray Streamer Addon” was the 4th most popular addon for the 3 days it was available. And those “streaming movies” were viewed 14,422 times… Clearly, somebody out there REALLY loves Rick Astley!

Second, smart people managed to port XBMC onto ARM and Intel based versions of MeeGo a while back. Now folks over at MeeGo Experts have posted a demo video of XBMC in action, and, as you can see, video playback is already quite smooth. Some may have been wondering what was next for MeeGo with Nokia’s  Windows Phone 7 announcement, but given the recent announcement by The Linux Foundation and a few big name participating companies, things are looking pretty exciting for MeeGo.

Next, if you haven’t already heard, Martin Ellis (Malard) and Pulse Eight are making the very first dedicated XBMC remote control with the intent of donating a portion of each sale to the Foundation. Visit the site for the specs. Needless to say, the Team wishes him well in his endeavor. Hardware that’s specially purposed for XBMC is invariably appreciated. Plus, donations are alright!

Finally, beginning next week, XBMC hopes to begin a Feature Friday, in which we invite you, the user, to submit a story about your setup, along with a few pictures. If you’ve got a full-on batcave or a dorm room you’re proud of, we’d love to see it. No guarantees that we’ll publish any of it, but we’ll definitely try to sneak you in if either you or your setup is cool or funny or really, REALLY terrible.

That’s this week’s roundup. Next week, we’ll focus on some technical things that a few of our Team members have been working feverishly to make happen (occasionally even with the much appreciated support of our users! Thanks much!).

Edit: Ah, apologies to all! If you’d like to send some pics and a write up, email them to [escapeemail email="natethomas@xbmc.org"].

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Discussion - 28 Comments

  • Josh Apr 07, 2011 

    Cool! *First to comment!*

  • spartan711 Apr 07, 2011 

    I was looking forward to an update. Thanks!

  • uomiarz Apr 07, 2011 

    Remote looks good, kind of square but the keyboard and programmable IR will do the trick for me. Receiver looks scary small (short range?)
    I have kind of funny setup so I will get you some pictures.
    Keep up good work XBMC team !

  • daemox Apr 07, 2011 

    While I’m keeping my out for the GNU/Linux version of Kinemote, I may have to nab this XBMC controller as well. Looks very handy!

    Thanks for the update!

  • jgslima Apr 07, 2011 

    Cool
    where do we have to send stories and pics to?

  • Coronado de cava Apr 07, 2011 

    This is nice but in real life there already is microsoft WMC-remote for linux and windows and for mac the apple remote of course. Unless this xbmc-remote has mce-compatability, it will has much less value (plus it will add clutter to homecenters).
    On the mac it would be nice to have an extended remote for xbmc especially but not only for those machines with no ir-receiver (PPC & Mac Pro) but i can already see how a osx-driver (esp. one that does wake the mac from sleep) won’t be developed.

    Anyway 59$ is a bit pricey, however if supported on PowerPC-Macs I would consider buying it – but for Windows/Linux no way: buying a ehome-compliant remote/transceiver and donating to the xbmc-team is just easier and you have a remote wich is supported by a lot software titles.

    ATM I’m evaluating xbox360 Kinect as I think this would be a perfect mate for mediacenter-systems and things like this will eventually replace remotes in the future.

  • jca1981 Apr 08, 2011 

    Nice update, cool Batcave.

    hope someone makes an android port of XBMC :P

  • natethomas Apr 08, 2011 

    jgslima :

    Cool
    where do we have to send stories and pics to?

    See above. I totally forgot to mention that incredibly important bit.

  • Avant Apr 08, 2011 

    remote look really nice. but 59$ is expensive

  • osirisjem Apr 08, 2011 
  • JackieBrown Apr 08, 2011 

    @ Coronado de cava
    The WMC remotes don’ usually work for “your TV, DVD Player, Blu-Ray Player and/or Amplifier.” The ones I have seen are for your computer only.

  • Adam Outler Apr 08, 2011 

    Awesome! I already placed my remote on order. I love you guys.

  • Moonwhaler Apr 08, 2011 

    I like the general look of the remote, but several things will keep me off buying that thing: no touch pad (mouse cursor > easier couch surfing), no umlauts (here in Germany that sometimes becomes very handy), very thick design (read: brick design). I’m currently using the Brando Rii Mini which works very good… (to be fair: the Rii Mini doesn’t support umlauts, too!)

  • Adam Outler Apr 08, 2011 

    @Coronado de cava
    Have you seen the price of other remotes? A RF remote goes for about $50. This one is designed for XBMC and it also has infra-red so it can control the rest of the devices. It also has a keyboard and mouse on the back. What’s the cost of a miniature keyboard these days? $60?

  • chrisliby Apr 08, 2011 

    Great, remote ordered.

  • Anonymous Apr 08, 2011 

    I have a Harmony One, that has cost me over 130€, which I absolutely love, but the lack of qwerty keyboard is a nuisance. From that perspective, and comparing it to say, a Logitech diNovo solution, 59$ doesn’t look pricey to me _at all_. Looking forward for some reviews.

  • Pedro Alves Apr 08, 2011 

    I have a Harmony One, that has cost me over 130€, which I absolutely love, but the lack of qwerty keyboard is a nuisance. From that perspective, and comparing it to say, a Logitech diNovo solution, 59$ doesn’t look pricey to me _at all_. Looking forward for some reviews.

  • S80_UK Apr 08, 2011 

    Just ordered one. And kudos to PlusEight for not charging excessive shipping for customers in the UK. It’s a welcome change from the norm.

  • bbdor Apr 08, 2011 

    You got me good! I really believed thejoke. Is ok. xbmc is great!

  • coronado de cava Apr 08, 2011 

    @JackieBrown
    Actually WMC-remotes usually come with a ir-transceiver so you can do that (I already did).
    BTW isn’t a reason for having a puter in the living room to replace all of those devices? ;)
    However you made a valid point, a good remote should indeed be able to adapt to different scenarios.

    @Adam Outler
    The point of a remote is not having to use a keyboard/mouse. And only if this remote is hid-compliant to be used in BIOS and like it will really replace the need for additional real kb/m. Personally I believe in bluetooth for wireless input as it was designed for that and is a standard.
    Interface-wise the flipping (or the need to have to) and small kb-buttons (or a too big remote, whatever applies) is ergonomic horror. We’ll see.
    And for the price, you are right indeed but I just can’t see why rf is so much better over ir so the pricing is justified.
    If I invest that much i could just add a few bucks more and get something really good, but even then I would likely end up with something very isolated on the software-side (not talking bout the keyboard-part here obviously).

    I really hope this XBMC-remote is a success, but I can’t believe it will happen as long as it isn’t at a minimum as supported as WMC-remotes.
    This will be hard if they don’t have the same mappings or an equal solution.
    Also I see why this remote is a fine product I just don’t get why it would be a success.
    A lot of very good hardware coming from the oss-world bombed already because of the same reasons, hopefully I am proven wrong!

    now you guys have already four of my cents gotta stop here

  • Anonymous Apr 10, 2011 

    In regards to the remote i think it kinda cool that its for xbmc but $59 is bit to much i have a logitech harmony remote and a $10 hp mce reciever and it does it all i just got this
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Wireless-Windows-MCE-Keyboard-Remote-Control-PC-HTPC-TV-/290485316866?pt=AU_Input_Peripherals&hash=item43a2462d02. for a friend
    im looking into making it work on xbmc right now only the mouse and a few buttons work but its $59 so yeah kinda the same story as above.

  • james richards Apr 10, 2011 

    looks nice. With a mouse and keyboard on the back, the price seems quite reasonable. I’m curious to see what the battery life will be like.

    Now if this just had a wireless microphone built into it for voice control, it would be the “One Remote to Rule Them All” !

  • osirisjem Apr 11, 2011 

    Really enjoying the xbmc blog.
    Great way for me to get some updates how xbmc is doing.
    This is a good way to get the XBMC message out to the non-forum rats.

  • Lee Apr 11, 2011 

    I find I’m pretty happy using the Android Xbmc remote app on my phone, not sure I need another remote, but kudos to the people behind it.

  • Meh Apr 12, 2011 

    “The “Bluray Streamer Addon” was the 4th most popular addon for the 3 days it was available.”
    So you ran the April’s fool joke for 3 days in the addons download section but changed the news title?

  • Anonymous Apr 12, 2011 

    I think the best value is the Rii Mini RF backlit keyboard and touchpad. It works really well, and the USB rechargeable battery lasts a long time. In any home theater situation, the backlit is indispensable. $38 on Amazon: http://goo.gl/t7dGL

  • LTourist Apr 13, 2011 

    I really like the concept of this remote, and seriously considering buying one of them. I can’t understand people claiming about the price. A good IR remote is somewhere around 40$, and this one is RF, and IR programmable!!! These ones are around 100-150$!!!

    What I don’t really like, is the pre-order concept. I understand it’s easier for pulse eight, as they have some money to work with, but in the mean time, I buying something that I’ll see in at least two month!! And what if this remote is a bad one ? When this will be realized, there is no way to going back, and I will lost my money!!

    BUT, if I don’t buy one now, I might not be able to get one before ages as they might be sold out!!! Arrrgggghhhh, this is a difficult choice.

    If only we can have some real preview of that product, see if it’s worth buying it ?!

  • Andreas B Apr 14, 2011 

    Man it looks ugly. :(

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.