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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 is released

October 14th, 2014 16 comments

SettingsAfter more than a year’s work since v3.3, we are very pleased to announce XBMC4Xbox version v3.5. A large number of new features and improvements have been made since v3.3, including the integration of Python 2.7, improved video playback, updates to the skinning engine, scraper fixes, and plenty of bug fixes.

Key improvements:

Python 2.7 & API improvements

Python support in XBMC4Xbox has been overhauled, with the out of date Python 2.4 replaced with Python 2.7. This update, along with the addition of some missing API functions brings much better compatibility with Kodi (Formerly XBMC) plugins. The Addons4Xbox installer has also been updated, allowing many plugins written for Kodi to work right out of the box. The Python 2.7 update also brings performance improvements, and comes with fully working libraries for sqlite3, and SSL amongst others.

DVDPlayer updates

DVDPlayer (The main video player in XBMC4Xbox) has received numerous changes, including having the FFMpeg core libraries updated to v1.2.8 which brings a variety of new codecs, bug-fixes, and optimisations from the previous 0.10.x version. The libraries used for DVD navigation have also been updated which should bring better compatibility with problematic DVD menus.

Scraper fixes and clean-ups

We had a lot of broken and unmaintained scrapers with the previously version of XBMC4Xbox. With the 3.5 release only a few are included, but they are all maintained and working. We have scrapers for themoviedb.org, thetvdb.com as well as theaudiodb.com for music. Please do support and contribute to these open database projects, as the content and results are only as good as the information people have contributed.

PAPlayer updates

PAPlayer (the core audio player in XBMC4Xbox) has received some updates since the last version of XBMC4Xbox. DVDPlayer’s FFMpeg libraries are now used for decoding of some audio formats which means some of the old out of date libraries we used previously are no longer needed. This simplifies maintenance, and brings with it better performance and compatibility. The FFMpeg libraries are now used for OGG, FLAC, AAC, AC3,and DTS.

Skinning improvements

A variety of improvements have been backported from Kodi for the skin engine. This allows skins and features for Kodi to be more easily implemented. Thanks to the skin developers who requested changes/features and helped with testing. We currently ship with the same selection of skins as with v3.3 – Confluence Lite, Confluence, Project Mayhem III, and the PM3HD skin, but more can be found on the skin development section of our forum (such as the excellent Xbox Extended skin from Dom).

New branding

Thanks to SwedishGojira we now have our own project branding – our new XBMC4Xbox logo is used on our project site as well as for the XBMC4Xbox boot-up splash. Since the renaming of XBMC to Kodi, there has been some discussion regarding our name. I can confirm we are keeping the name XBMC4Xbox for our project. Changing it now would just introduce more confusion.

Transifex integration

Thanks to Kodi and their useful tools for handling translations, we are now using the on-line service Transifex to manage translations for the project. This means anyone who wants to help improve translations can now go and sign up over at https://www.transifex.com/organization/xbmc4xbox and start translating the software to their favourite language via the easy to use web interface. The updated translations can then be merged back into the XBMC4Xbox code base by us.

Bug fixes

There have been many bug fixes around the software with around 44 issues on the bugtracker resolved/fixed as well as more reported via the forum. Thanks to all those that have reported bugs, provided fixes & patches, and helped with testing.

Thanks

As well as the key features above, many other changes have been made with a lot of backported features and fixes from Kodi. Thanks to Team Kodi for creating our favourite media center software :) Thanks also to all those who help and contribute to our project and forum.

If you enjoy using XBMC4Xbox and want to show your support for the ongoing development please consider making a donation to the project. Please also do join in the discussions over at our Forum.

Obtaining XBMC4Xbox

See the development page for links to the source code and the SVN repository. For binary builds, read the information on the download page. For those that want to build from source, 3.5 is tagged here: https://svn.exotica.org.uk:8443/xbmc4xbox/tags/3.5/.

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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 RC2 is out

September 5th, 2014 11 comments

Unfortunately RTMP streaming was broken in RC1 due so it’s time for another release – XBMC4Xbox 3.5 RC2. It also gives us the opportunity to show off the new branding before the final 3.5 release.

Changes since 3.5 RC1 include:

  • Fix for the RTMP streaming issue.
  • Updates to PolarSSL, librtmp and libcurl as well as the Curl VFS.
  • Update FFmpeg Libraries to 1.2.8.
  • Update translations from Transifex.
  • Added missing hard disk / DVD information on Confluence Lite system info page.
  • New splash screen / branding.

More changes have been included than we expected after the initial release candidate. This is due to some updates that were planned before, but got overlooked, as well as some fixes for problems reported by users. Thanks to everyone who tested 3.5 RC1 and reported back to us. In addition our PolarSSL was rather out of date, so it made sense to rebuild librtmp and libcurl against a newer version (and update them in the process) . Thanks to Sean for reminding me to pull in the Transifex translation updates.

We finally have a new branding/logo design – massive thanks to SwedishGojira for his work on this. The logo is already being used on this site, but you can also find it on the new XBMC4Xbox splash screen. Hope you like it – we do! :)

For those building from source, 3.5-rc2 is tagged in SVN at https://svn.exotica.org.uk:8443/xbmc4xbox/tags/3.5-rc2

The new XBMC4Xbox splash

 

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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 RC1 is released

August 29th, 2014 10 comments

Settings window

It has been some months since 3.5 Beta 4 – a little longer than planned, however many fixes have been made since then, and we are now very close to the 3.5 release. If no major problems are found, XBMC4Xbox 3.5 final will be made in the next week or two. Please do test out this release candidate as it will be the last chance to get any changes/bugfixes in before 3.5.

Changes since Beta 4 include:

  • Removal of all the defunct and broken scrapers, fixing up some problems with the imdb/tmdb scrapers and adding a new default music scraper that uses the http://theaudiodb.com API.
  • FFMpeg/DVDPlayer updates from XBMC.
  • Updated Python to 2.7.8 and added some missing Python API functions from XBMC.
  • Fix for browsing library when network is not connected.
  • Improvements/fixes from XBMC for ID3/Tag parsing, CD Ripping, and Playlists.
  • Updates to the included Addons4Xbox installer.

For further information you can refer to recent commits from the Redmine Repository Browser.

Thanks to Dan Dar3, brentdc42, and psyko_chewbacca for contributions/bug fixes and all those who help out on the forum.

For those building from source, 3.5-rc1 is tagged on SVN at https://svn.exotica.org.uk:8443/xbmc4xbox/tags/3.5-rc1

[EDIT] Unfortunately RC1 has a problem with RTMP streams. I will be pushing out a RC2 soon with a fix. Apologies.

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The last Beta ? XBMC4Xbox 3.5 Beta 4 is released

May 15th, 2014 26 comments

Video playback

Due to some recent changes, and a few more issues reported and fixed, we decided to push out another beta.

XBMC4Xbox Beta 4 is out, which includes the following changes:

  • Fixed string encoding issue on system information screen.
  • Fixed some cases where XBMC addons would fail due to our strict type checking – now automatically convert parameters for listitem’s to the correct type where possible.
  • Additional Python API infolabels / infotags.

Should there be no more major issues, we hope the final release is just around the corner :)

If you enjoy using XBMC4Xbox and want to show your support for the ongoing development please consider making a donation to the project. Please also do join in the discussions over at our Forum.

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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 Beta 3 is out

May 10th, 2014 12 comments

After a few more months of development, we are very pleased to announce the release of XBMC4Xbox Beta 3. We are getting very close to a final release of 3.5 now, and hopefully if there are no major issues, 3.5 could be out in a matter of a week or two.

Changes since the last beta release include:

  • Python 2.7.6 with some stability improvements.
  • Much improved Addons4Xbox installer, with better dependency handling, meaning many addons designed for XBMC can now be installed and work out of the box. It should also run somewhat faster due to less logging, and the better use of local caching.
  • FFmpeg Libraries updated to 1.2.5
  • Added support for .po files for language strings and updated translations using Transifex and XBMC‘s excellent toolset for handling them. Users can now join in and help translate the project into their favourite languages. More details below.
  • PAPlayer codec improvements
  • Many other bug fixes and improvements

Thanks to XBMC and their useful tools for handling translations, we are now using the online service http://www.transifex.com to manage translations for the project. This means anyone who wants to help improve translations can now go and sign up over at https://www.transifex.com/organization/xbmc4xbox and start translating the software to their favourite language via the easy to use web interface. The updated translation can then be merged back into the XBMC4Xbox code base by us.

Massive thanks to all those who have contributed, from reporting bugs over at the bugtracker, to those that help out with the forum and answering users’ questions.

Finally we would like to congratulate XBMC for their release of the latest version of XBMC – XBMC 13 Gotham – our favourite media player for Linux, Windows, Android, and IOS. You can read all about it over at their blog – http://xbmc.org/xbmc-13-0-gotham-rises/. Awesome work – and we have certainly merged a few of your improvements back into our code base. Thanks ;-)

If you enjoy using XBMC4Xbox and want to show your support for the ongoing development please consider making a donation to the project. Please also do join in the discussions over at our Forum.

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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 Beta 2 is released

January 20th, 2014 20 comments

Shortly after the release of 3.5 Beta 1, Beta 2 is now ready for testing.

Changes since the last release include:

  • Fix for freeze when launching some Python plugins.
  • Fix for custom movie set fan-art being displayed on all sets.
  • Issue with weather showing “busy” under certain situations.
  • Improved RTMP stream pause functionality.
  • Fixed duplicate sources on Filemanager.

Thanks to those that reported back bugs and contributed fixes.

See the development page for links to the source code and the svn repository. For binary builds, read the information on the download page. For those that want to build from source, 3.5 beta 2 is tagged here: https://svn.exotica.org.uk:8443/xbmc4xbox/tags/3.5-beta2/.

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XBMC4Xbox 3.5 Beta 1 is now available

December 30th, 2013 32 comments

A late Happy Xmas to you all, and wishing the best for the new year. What better than to give you a new XBMC4XBox release to test though. Just in time :)

The 3.5 Beta 1 release has seen a massive amount of work from the last stable, and includes all fixes from 3.3.3, but has been ongoing in development since the first 3.3 release. Released now as a Beta 1 as it does require some further testing, and there may be new issues or regressions, but I would encourage people to try it alongside the current stable and feed back any problems via the forum or bugtracker.

Changes include:

  • Python 2.7.5 – includes working libraries for sqlite3, and fully working ssl. This brings far better compatibility with upstream XBMC plugins, and logging in on YouTube etc works, which it never did on the previous Python 2.4. This took many hours of work to do including building working python libraries compatible with the XBMC4Xbox architecture. Bugs may remain, but I hope it will be an improvement for most people.
  • DVDPlayer has been updated to the FFMPEG 1.2 libraries which brings improved codec support, and new features. We still include two sets of FFMPEG libraries, one for the most common formats, and another which has everything.  Webm and XMV support is now added to the smaller library set, but please do report any issues/questions on the forum.
  • Skin changes from XBMC to make backporting of xbmc skins easier.
  • Many bug fixes and other improvements – you can always check on development activity via the Redmine activity page.

Many thanks as usual to the XBMC project for without their support and open source licence, we could not exist. Many congrats to them on the release of Frodo 12.3, and we are all exciting about their upcoming Gotham 13 release too. Cheers :)

Big thanks to all contributors, including a special thanks to Dan Dar3 for many bug fixes and his ongoing work on XBMC4Xbox Remote, to the many people who help in the of the running the forum, and those who have contributed financially to the project. My personal thanks to XPhazer, Ghostly, Xman, and co for moral support, and to Dom, Byron and others for providing users with skin customisations.

If you enjoy using XBMC4Xbox and want to show your support for the ongoing development please consider making a donation to the project. Please also do join in the discussions over at our Forum.

See the development page for links to the source code and the svn repository. For binary builds, read the information on the download page.

 

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XBMC4Xbox 3.3.2 Released

September 13th, 2013 15 comments

XBMC4Xbox 3.3.2 is out. It fixes a couple of issues that were introduced in 3.3.1.

Fixes:

  • Fixed black background issue for Confluence Lite when interface is not in English.
  • Fixed a problem with the recently updated build script that didn’t package up PM3 and Confluence.

See the development page for links to the source code and the svn repository. For binary builds, read the information on the download page.

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