XBMC 13 – Gotham – March Cycle

Posted By: Nathan Betzen on Apr 03, 2013 in Site News
pop_up_notification

We are now finished with month #2 of our monthly development cycle for XBMC 13 – Gotham. This month we see new features for iOS, Android, and PVR, as well as a new notification system, a new method for sorting images, and much more.

iOS

Dev ulion has added a boatload of new items to XBMC for iOS this month, including speed and stability fixes, along with a few major new features.  XBMC is now able to continue playing audio in the background on iOS, with support for the native media controller bar as well as headphone controls on the lock screen and multi-task bar. In order to continue playing music, the user will need to press play again in the multi-task bar or lock screen or with the headphone controls.

Music will also resume after an interruption such as a phone call. Additionally, thumbnail art and other info about the audio currently playing will be available on the lock screen, though this feature requires iOS 5+. Keeping video running in the background is not yet supported.

This provides for yet another means of controlling media around the house. Now, you can send the media from XBMC on your iOS device to other uPnP devices with Play Using and actually control that media from your iOS device while XBMC is running in the background. While video running in the background is not controllable on your iOS device, video IS controllable in the background if it has been sent to other devices using Play Using.

Android

While very few features visible to the user have been included this cycle, a number of major under-the-hood features have been included by TheUni which will allow XBMC to better communicate with Android and other Android applications in the future. The specific future actions this will allow remain to be seen. Additionally, starting XBMC as the launcher should no longer result in a crashes and black screens.

PVR

In PVR news, there an Electronic Program Guide (or EPG) button has been added to the Home Screen as a submenu item for Live TV, so that users can now have easy access to a list of all upcoming content. Additionally, when tuning a channel that isn’t currently working, XBMC will now be able to show what channel you’ve landed on.

System-wide

Many users turn off their RSS feed in XBMC and rarely visit the front page of XBMC.org, which means they may find themselves unaware that a major release has just occurred. With this cycle a pop-up has now been incorporated by Martijn that will occasionally check to see if a new version of XBMC is available. If it is, the user will be prompted to visit XBMC.org and download. The pop-up can be easily dismissed. Upon the release of XBMC 13, the pop-up will only show for final releases and bug fixes.

This pop-up is especially noteworthy at it is one of the first issues posted in our public Team Member discussion area in the forum that’s been resolved. With luck, that will become more and more useful as an area for open, public discussion.

The bug that was causing all the crashing early last month, due to two conflicting addons, has been resolve. The issue at the time was that both addons depended on each other, creating an ugly infinite loop. That particular infinite loop is no longer possible.

User rubpa has added a new sort method for images. Now, users can sort by the date the pictures were taken, data that is stored in the EXIF timestamps of every image.

Finally, theuni and Montellese are working on two projects that seek to unify things.

Theuni has unified dependencies. This massive project has provided the Team and other developers a much cleaner, simpler, faster, and easier building process. From this point forward, there should be significantly fewer problems as we release each monthly development cycle alpha.

Montellese, meanwhile, is unifying the touch input system. Theoretically, this should make a single change to the touch input system result in correct solutions across all the touch platforms, as well as making it much easier to add touch input to additional platforms as they arrise.  At present, Android and iOS have been included with this cycle. Soon, Windows and Linux touch input systems should also be included.

Conclusion

As always, this is merely a sample of the many changes this cycle. For a full list of all the March changes, feel free to take a look at our list of March milestones. It’s quite a long list this month. Also, keep an eye out for both the April Cycle and other stories on the blog. Or, if you are feeling a bit brave and a bit lucky, just start downloading. Be aware though, that this is very alpha software with potentially numerous bugs. There is a very good chance that this alpha will break on you.

How to Contribute

If you use this cycle’s build, we encourage you to submit bugs in Trac, provide support in our Forums where you can, or donate to the Foundation if you like.

For those of you who are tracking and submitting bugs: You may notice that Github has an “Issues” section. The Team would very much appreciate it if you did not submit bug reports through that section, but rather continued to use the forums and Trac. At the moment, the Team is using Issues as a concise means of grouping and identifying particular bugs that they gather from the forum and Trac sources. Thanks for your help!

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Discussion - 43 Comments

  • Dan Apr 03, 2013 

    is there ever going to be a Windows8/RT version like Plex did?

  • David Kron Apr 03, 2013 

    Update popup sounds nice. But for 14 i am seriously hoping for a way to upgrade easier. You could at least give the user a button that when pressed: downloads the latest release, shows progress, then closes xbmc, opens the setup and finally launches the upgraded xbmc.

    Xbmc is a front end which we therefore like to exit it as little as possible

  • Juan234 Apr 03, 2013 

    > With this cycle a pop-up has now been incorporated by Martijn that will occasionally check to see if a new version of XBMC is available.

    You say the popup can be dismissed, but can it be disabled?

    Exciting changes!

  • Justin Apr 03, 2013 

    Well the highlighted items you have been working on are things that most xbmc users are not using. Hopefully you are continuously working on the video and audio side of things, such as audio engine’s shortcomings (some movies having crackle in the audio where it plays fine in other apps) and the fact that it still doesn fully play well with video playback.

    Then there the strange issues with video playback at 50 and 60hz, and the fact a lot of users have to put an audio delay in advanced settings to get 24p working correctly etc etc. Please tell me you are working on this instead of adding bloat like a lot of the big devs do?

    And better support for a bigger range of hardware would be nice, instead of writing it off and telling people they need to upgrade :-)

  • Martijn Apr 03, 2013 

    thanks for complaining

  • SDBALLER Apr 03, 2013 

    AGG

  • Rodalpho Apr 03, 2013 

    @Justin XBMC is free open source software. The developers are not paid so they work on whatever they find compelling or interesting. That’s just the reality of FOSS. Complaining about dozens of people working for years completely free is a bit disingenuous.

    If you have a pet feature you feel is missing, they do accept patches. If you aren’t a developer yourself, I’m sure you can find a developer who will accept a donation to add what you want.

    Otherwise, suck it up.

  • Köaus Apr 03, 2013 

    Multichannel flac dont work in Frodo for windows. Eden was null problem. Cheers

  • PeerAS Apr 03, 2013 

    Are there anyone who is working on a WP8 release of XBMC

  • Hojan Apr 03, 2013 

    Thank you for all the hard work!

  • Martijn Apr 03, 2013 

    David Kron :
    Update popup sounds nice. But for 14 i am seriously hoping for a way to upgrade easier. You could at least give the user a button that when pressed: downloads the latest release, shows progress, then closes xbmc, opens the setup and finally launches the upgraded xbmc.
    Xbmc is a front end which we therefore like to exit it as little as possible

    There is such a “working” version for Ubuntu that is being tested now. likely iOS could perhaps have the same. OSX and Windows are not lickely to get this feature. Android has it by default if in Play store

  • peol Apr 03, 2013 

    First off, I love this release schedule. It’s awesome to have somewhat stable builds every month.

    Second, thanks to the hard-working devs and other people contributing. I have reported a few bugs myself last few weeks/months and has always had encouraging and positive discussions around the solutions (like Montellese and the websocket stuff). Really appreciate it.

    Please continue going strong! It would also be fun if you could mention any plans for the upcoming month (if there are any, ofcourse) each time, so we get a glimpse of what might be in the pipeline :)

    Thanks,
    peol

  • Rodalpho Apr 03, 2013 

    Sadly GPL software is incompatible with the mac app store. It’s unfortunate, because that would be really convenient for OSX users.

  • Henk Apr 03, 2013 

    New features are nice
    But where are xbmc users waiting for?
    On a stable interference-free version.

  • Justin Apr 03, 2013 

    @Rodalpho
    Wow if I had a £1 for every time someone pulled that one out of their asses….

  • Dally Apr 03, 2013 

    Justin :
    @Rodalpho
    Wow if I had a £1 for every time someone pulled that one out of their asses….

    You would have enough money to purchase a media center software that would fulfill all your needs ;)
    Seriously though, you came in to a monthly build update to complain about what you view as “short comings” with this work of art and expect a warm welcome, Devs to drop what they are doing to fix the “bugs”. Good luck with that. The features that no one is using may only apply to yourself as I was excited to hear about most of them. Since I don’t have any of the problems you mentioned in your post, so it must be just you.

    Sounds silly when you talk in generalities, doesn’t it?

    On Topic:
    Thanks for the continued work towards perfection. I love the changes you are making to bring XBMC to all sorts of embedded devices and OS’s. The PVR features are something I am most anxious to see perfected. I use it daily and cannot see that changing anytime soon.

  • Wingehater Apr 03, 2013 

    @David Kron Use Openelec. It does everything you just stated.

  • Jonathan Apr 03, 2013 

    Looks great! I love the idea for a picture library. I need some way to show off all the photos I take on vacations to friends…xbmc is perfect for this.

  • Anonymous Apr 03, 2013 

    @Justin

    The point is
    “for every time someone pulled that one out of their asses….”,

    you should give a pound , in time or money for the features that you care about. Then someone will benefit from your efforts. Similarly to the way we have all benefited from the efforts of others.

  • Daragh Apr 03, 2013 

    It really gets my goat when you get idiots complaining about lack of features or a particular issue as if they had paid for or even made a contribution to the Project. XBMC does a brilliant job and I have followed it from the early days with the first Xbox. You are getting this for FREE, operative word FREE!!

  • Thy Apr 04, 2013 

    Justin :
    Then there the strange issues with video playback at 50 and 60hz, and the fact a lot of users have to put an audio delay in advanced settings to get 24p working correctly etc etc. Please tell me you are working on this instead of adding bloat like a lot of the big devs do?

    Not always a software issue a lot of the time it is to do with the hardware

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1333324/lets-set-this-straight-no-one-can-do-24p-consistently-well

  • Klojum Apr 04, 2013 

    Henk :
    New features are nice
    But where are xbmc users waiting for?
    On a stable interference-free version.

    No version of any application is without bugs or at least some (minor) issue. There is no perfect world.

  • Gab Apr 04, 2013 

    PVR client addons dont work in 13. Is that right?

    Thank you

  • Gab Apr 04, 2013 

    @Gab
    My mistake, it works. Sorry.

  • Khakzoy Apr 04, 2013 

    A popup? what? Why? you can so easily update by running apt-get update & upgrade, why a pop up. Can I disable it??

  • Buff Apr 04, 2013 

    Can’t believe people complain about this fantastic software!! Many thanks to the devs for all their hard work.

    The article mentions last months crashes – is that what some people were experiencing with 12.1? If so, is there going to be a 12.2 released soon?

  • Ned Scott Apr 04, 2013 

    @Rodalpho
    A common misconception. The Mac App store is full of GPL software. XBMC would be rejected for other reasons, though, such as the sandboxing rules and some other things.

    @Juan234
    Of course you can disable it. It’s an add-on, like the screenshot shows. Any add-on can be totally disabled.

    @Justin
    None of this is bloat, and tons of other things that are never mentioned are being worked on. That’s why there’s links to github, so people can see everything that goes on.

  • Wilhelm Apr 04, 2013 

    Will XBMC be released on google play and app store in the future? My GF doesn’t want to jailbreak her device :P Scary word

  • natethomas Apr 05, 2013 

    Wilhelm :

    Will XBMC be released on google play and app store in the future? My GF doesn’t want to jailbreak her device :P Scary word

    Yes Google Play, no Apple App store. There are a lot of rules we can’t get around in the app store if we want to release a full version of XBMC. Meanwhile, there are virtually no rules in Google Play, so that’s much easier.

  • Memphiz Apr 05, 2013 

    @David Kron
    You ever thought of doing something like that on ios or android or rbpi (hint – its not possible)? You need to think a bit broader – XBMC is not a single platform solution. Multiple things need to be taken care off and we try to prevent a scissor between platforms as much as possible.

  • benTHEman89 Apr 05, 2013 

    great news!

    but the issues section on github is gone?!

  • Makeitis Apr 05, 2013 

    Good work, thanks! Links to github milestones pages are broken, though.

  • liquidhot Apr 05, 2013 

    The milestones link doesn’t seem to work correctly, I get a 404 error.

  • Martijn Apr 05, 2013 

    Khakzoy :
    A popup? what? Why? you can so easily update by running apt-get update & upgrade, why a pop up. Can I disable it??

    uhm what does the post say?

  • spiff Apr 06, 2013 

    @everybody concerned about disabling the pop-up; this is just an add-on. you can disable it like any other add-ons.

  • CodeeCB Apr 07, 2013 

    I’m looking very forward to the PVR and Live TV enchantments! Xbmc works perfectly for me for media playback and now it’s getting to the point of working great for live TV and pvr/DVR features all within one app! Awesome job, keep up the great work!

  • S Chr Apr 07, 2013 

    The improved OS-Integration under iOS (I can have XBMC running in the background for a bit without it exiting!) is overdue, but very, very welcome… And works great.

    To MySQL users: this version appears DB-compatible (at least for videos) with Frodo.

    Thanks again, dev team!

  • Neil Apr 09, 2013 

    Just WOW to anybody that actually has the balls to complain about this software when it’s awesome and FREE!!!! Massive KUDOS to all devs for this, yes it has a few bugs that are quickly resolved but at the end of the day, it’s the best of all the media centres i’ve tried and that includes paid for solutions. I’ve had just one problem with it myself and that is that it lost sound through HDMI so now have to have it plugged in for audio via optical….. not a problem at all really but just a very minor niggle….. all in all, i feel that these fine folk at XBMC are very generous to be giving this away for free and should get a lot more respect for what they’re doing!!

  • Nick Apr 09, 2013 

    Thank you to the devs who work hard on this. Do I have requests for features to be added? Yep. Do I have any (successful) experience programming? nope. Am I going to shit on the people that are supporting clueless fucks like myself by releasing AWESOME open-source software like XBMC? not a chance in hell.

    Awesome job guys, please keep up the good work. It will never be finished, but you have a damn fine product.

  • bulkzooi Apr 10, 2013 

    Great cycle was March!! Many great enhancements and improvement..

  • S Chr Apr 10, 2013 

    @Nick
    Haha; amen to that, brother!

  • JJ Apr 10, 2013 

    Installed on Samsung Note 2 and so far works fine. Library updated in seconds , video of hd mkv on wifi N with no problems (few frames missed from time to time but hay ho 5GB of video streamed on wifi). Will continue to test and will post any glitches and bugs noticed.

  • Joshua Jackson Apr 14, 2013 

    Windows RT?
    I have a Surface that seems would be very nice to connect to my TV.

    Also, is there any means of multiple XBMC installs working in concert?
    I have XBMC on my HTPC and on my wife’s laptop.
    I did the UPNP shares from my HTPC XBMC (wow that’s a lot of capital letters) to her laptop but it didn’t transfer any of the watched information over.
    Maybe I shouldn’t have expected it, but I did.
    Also, the shows that we watched on her laptop, were still unwatched on the HTPC.
    It just seems like they should communicate more.
    JJ

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.