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Xbox Media Center. By: Victor Koretsky. Open Source. Xbox Media Center (XBMC) is a free, cross-platform, open source software. Since its inception, XBMC’s revenue has come strictly via donations by end-users.

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Xbox Media Center

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xbox media center

Xbox Media Center

By: Victor Koretsky

open source
Open Source
  • Xbox Media Center (XBMC) is a free, cross-platform, open source software.
  • Since its inception, XBMC’s revenue has come strictly via donations by end-users.
  • As the software is open source, the programmers have not implemented any kind of business model.
the developers
The developers
  • “Put simply, we write the software because we enjoy doing it.”
  • XBMC is a non-profit project run and developed by volunteers located around the world.
  • More than 50 software developers have contributed to XBMC.
  • More than 100 translators have worked to expand its reach, making it available in more than 30 languages.
history of xbmc
History of XBMC
  • In 2003, developers released first version.
  • It could only be run on “modded” Xbox gaming consoles.
  • As new forms of content arrived, Xbox hardware became outdated.
  • Developers started “porting” the software to Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • The Linux version is ground zero for development and the most reliable operating system for viewing 1080p content.
impact on society
Impact on Society
  • People looking for a home theater solution have access to one of the most versatile media solutions on the market.
  • XBMC’s free and has many more features than pricy items like Windows Media Center and AppleTV.
  • Users participate in forums pointing out bugs in the software, making suggestions for developers, and writing how-to’s.
  • Since XBMC is a voluntary project, its main means of relevance is word of mouth.
  • Relevant expensive alternatives are heavily advertised and are thus more widely used than XBMC.
  • Some products like Popcorn Hour run their own software on pre-built home theater computers (HTPCs) and are plug and play.
staying relevant
Staying Relevant
  • As the project is voluntary, competition isn’t the primary driving force of developers.
  • Roughly every six months, a new “stable” version of the software is released.
  • As of this writing, “Camelot” is the latest stable version.
personal appeal
Personal Appeal
  • One day, I stumbled across a website that mentioned instructions on how to convert an old Microsoft Xbox into a nice-looking media center. One thing led to another and I ended up building my own high-scale HTPC. At the time, I was annoyed with always having to plug in my laptop to the TV to watch movies. With this media center, I can have music, pictures, movies, and shows on one network hard drive and navigate through them with a remote control. Some 1080p movies I have just don’t look as good on a regular computer monitor. As an audiophile, I am obsessed with using the best speakers and the best technology to reproduce the sound pristinely, they way it was meant to be heard. This software allows me to combine multiple hobbies into one accessible device.