XBMC4Xbox Remote 2.8 for Android

July 11th, 2013 Comments off




  • v2.8 (Wed, 10 July 2013)
    • Add “Addons” (premium only, for now)
    • DVD Remote: repeat arrow keys on hold
    • TV Episodes: show “watched” icon
    • Main > Analytics (new), see:
    • Misc fixes

For guides on how to configure & use, see more at:

For support / feedback / suggestions use this forum thread:

Download from:

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XBMC4Xbox Remote 2.7.5 for Android

June 8th, 2013 Comments off



A new version of XBMC4Xbox Remote for Android was just released, including these changes:

  • v2.7.5 (Sat, 15 June 2013)
    • Add “Voice” search (where available);
    • Music > Playlist – show song numbers instead of icons;
    • Keyboard – close when “done”;
    • Handle SetResponseFormat() change by Web Remote;
    • Image cache not working correctly;
  • v2.7.1 (Sat, 8 June 2013)
    • Add: “Help” options menu item – Main;
    • Fix: CPU / battery drain while in background (thanks to Kozz);
  • v2.7 (Sun, 2 Jun 2013):
    • Add: Send YouTube videos to XBMC4Xbox (requires YouTube plugin);

For guides on how to configure & use, see more at:

For support / feedback / suggestions use this forum thread:

Download from:

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XBMC4Xbox 3.3 Beta 2 Released

May 23rd, 2013 Comments off

Following on from Beta 1, Beta 2 is now ready for testing. Changes since 3.3 Beta 1 include

  • Skin / Navigation fixes
  • Some locale updates
  • Workaround for Exif orientation with jpeg-turbo code

One of the changes works around an issue with skins and upper-casing accented letters for non English languages. To workaround this we now include the main navigation strings capitalised (which is how XBMC mainline will handle it for the next release as they have similar problems on some platforms). Currently this has been done for English and Spanish. If you want to help fix this for your language, please open a thread over at the forum, and I will provide instructions. I may well automate a fix for other languages before the final 3.3 release.

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XBMC4Xbox 3.3 Beta 1 Released

May 13th, 2013 Comments off

The upcoming 3.3 version of XBMC4Xbox has now reached a point where it should be stable for every day use, and can be put through more testing by end users.

The improvements in the 3.3 Beta 1 release include:

  • DVDPlayer improvements – including:
    • Updated libraries for DVDPlayer (FFMPEG/libdvd et al).
    • Recognises additional video extensions as used by some XBox games.
    • HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) support.
    • Other playback improvements from XBMC.
  • New default Confluence Lite skin.
  • Updated VFS and Cache
  • Improved 128MB Ram support.
  • Built-in support for recently added videos/music for skins (without the need for Python).
  • Updated MythTV support.
  • Better out of the box support for universal / Microsoft Media Extender remotes.
  • Password Manager for Samba shares allowing different usernames/password per share.
  • Skinning improvements.
  • Scraper updates.
  • Various other code / library updates and improvements.

Big thanks to all those who have helped with this, including JezzX for Confluence Lite and XBS for his work porting it over to XBMC4Xbox. Thanks also to the developers at the XBMC project, as the majority of features were backported from their code base. Thanks to Dom, Jan, Kozz, Temhil, XPhazer and XMan as well as others over at the XBMC4XBox Forum for their help with scripting, code testing, moral support and help running things.

For those wanting to build from source, the 3.3-BETA1 version can be checked out with svn from https://svn.exotica.org.uk:8443/xbmc4xbox/tags/3.3-beta1

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XBMC4Xbox 3.2.1 released

February 16th, 2013 Comments off

Development of the 3.3 release is still ongoing, but in the meantime, here is a small update to 3.2 that includes a few fixes and improvements, including:

  • Thumbnail scaling calculations are improved to correct the low-res issue with wide icons.
  • Included a modern new default web interface from Sander (called XBMC Reloaded).
  • The SVN Repo installer has been replaced with the Addons4Xbox installer, that is able to install addons designed for XBMC.

The SVN Repo installer has become little use as most of the scripts and plugins it references are no longer maintained. To fix this Temhil created an Addons4Xbox installer that allowed installation of addons from XBMC addon repositories. This doesn’t completely solve the problem though, as due to our old python version, and differences in XBMC4Xbox from XBMC many of them don’t work out of the box. To remedy this, we have our own repository that contains fixed up versions of many of the most popular addons. You can see details of which have been changed and the current working status at  https://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/addons/.

The Addons4Xbox installer still has some issues, and could be improved, but it’s works well as a temporary solution.

Thanks to Skatulskijean, Kozz, XPhazer, Sander and Temhil and everyone else who has helped.

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Good news – Paypal account restored.

January 9th, 2013 Comments off

Good news – the Paypal account is restored.

I would like to think that the big social media fuss wasn’t necessary and this would have been happily resolved quickly anyhow, but I somehow think it might have been more to do with the large discussion on reddit, all the Tweets, and the 220,000+ hits we had on the blog post. I am happy though about the outcome 🙂

Thanks to everyone for their support.

Here is the email.

Dear Julian Wills ,

Thank you for contacting PayPal regarding the recent limitation of your
PayPal account.

We have further reviewed your case and determined that your account is
currently not in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy. As such, the
limitation on your account has been lifted.

We sincerely appreciate your business and offer our apologies for any
inconvenience this disruption in service may have caused. 

In the future, if you have any questions regarding what items are
prohibited under PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy, please see the following
URL for the complete text:

Again, we thank you for your cooperation and understanding in resolving
this matter and appreciate the fact that you chose PayPal to accept
payments for your business. If you have any further questions, please
contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management Department at euaup@paypal.co.uk.

PayPal, Brand Risk Management


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Paypal “guilty until proven innocent” account freeze

January 8th, 2013 Comments off

This issue is now resolved – please see https://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/2013/01/good-news-paypal-account-restored/

We have a donation page where we have accepted donations via Paypal for the project and site. This money goes towards the project, with money sent to developers, and helps covering costs etc.

Today I received an email from Paypal informing they have frozen my account.

Dear Julian Wills,

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account
activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal's
Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales / offers on

Please refer to: 
- Transaction x
- Transaction x
- Transaction x

Therefore, your account has been permanently limited. 

Per the User Agreement, when PayPal permanently limits an account due to an
Acceptable Use Policy violation, we may hold your funds up to 180 days. We
will review your account at 30 days from the date of this email, we will
calculate our exposure and will release any excess funds to you for
withdrawal. If there are any funds remaining in your account at this time,
we will review your account every 30 days until either all your funds have
been made available to you for withdrawal, or a period of 180 days from the
date your account was limited is reached. Please log in to your PayPal
account and verify that your account information is accurate, as PayPal
cannot be held responsible for incorrect information provided by the
account holder.

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website/s and/or
auction/s. This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment option, but
also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart. 

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion,
reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User
Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy.

Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive
payments for items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others
to engage in illegal activity.

The complete Acceptable Use Policy can be found at the following URL:

To learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy, please refer to our Help
Centre page here:

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions,
please contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management Department at

PayPal, Brand Risk Management

So it looks like I am guilty until I have proved my innocence. It is strange they refer to the forum link rather than the main site url. Am I being accused of something they have found on the forum? Hard to know since they give no real information at all to what I am guilty of. “PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” – in reference to? Are they suggesting XBMC4XBOX facilitates/encourages or instructs people to engage in illegal activity? Are they referring to the software itself or some specific forum discussion ? Hard to know, but no project donations have been used for anything like this. The transactions they listed in the email are just donations to the project from users. All money goes towards project costs, and to developers for their time.

Googling for this sort of email shows it happens by mistake time and time again. From freezing charity donation funds, to other cases similar to ours. I have had my Paypal account frozen twice before, firstly when a card expired (some random security audit), and a second time when I made a transaction from another country and it was frozen since I was connecting from a different geographic location. Both times were a pain to resolve, even though I did nothing wrong, which seems to be the way Paypal like it.

I have already spoken to them on the phone. But guess what, they can’t do anything, because I need to speak to the “AUP” team, who of course only have an email account. Email has been sent. I wonder how long this will take to resolve. I suspect later rather than sooner. It’s also worth noting that a note on my paypal account states “This limitation cannot be appealed against. – that’s fair!

I realise the article title with “Guilty until proven innocent” is not that well worded, and this is in relation to the AUP and not a court case. In hindsight I could have made it clearer. In fact it has been decided I am guilty of breaking the rules, with no real information as to how, and with no right to appeal the decision. Oh and hi to all the visitors from reddit that have kept me up late making sure the server doesn’t fall over 🙂 Interesting to read other peoples stories and opinions.

Please do tweet/facebook/link to this post. If it gets some attention you never know, Paypal might actually look into it.

Categories: News Tags:

The shameful state of XBox 1 homebrew and the GPL

December 18th, 2012 Comments off

There is a large amount of useful software available for the XBox1. From original apps, to ports of emulators from other platforms. The large majority are ports of existing software. This was made possible usually due to the original authors making the source code available, often under the GPL licence. The idea is that you are allowed to use, and modify the code, but any changes will also come under the same licence – meaning you must make the source available to others.

Current XBox 1 developers seem to have no respect for the GPL and no respect for the work of the original authors of the software they have ported. They are building on top of others work, but keeping the changes private. This is an issue that has been bothering me for some time, but has gotten significantly worse over recent times. We wouldn’t even have the large selection of emulators had the source not already been available. It seems a pretty easy concept to grasp – we benefit from  the source licence of the original software, so we should follow suite and comply with the original authors wishes. Licence aside, it’s still the respectful and decent thing to do.

What is happening currently, is not only a breach of the original licences, but very disrespectful to the original authors.

I have read countless excuses, the most prominent one being “Author X will use our code if we release it and they don’t release theirs”. This isn’t an excuse though – if they are breaking the GPL, then why not contact them about it (or the original authors of the software). The old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. Devs should look at their own compliance first.

XBMC is GPL licenced for example, and as such we make all XBMC4XBOX code available in a public code repository – https://www.xbmc4xbox.org.uk/development/ – if you use code from XBMC in your own GPL project, you are expected to release the source. (http://xbmc.org/team-xbmc/2003/10/31/please-respect-the-gpl-license/

There have been discussions (some heated) about this recently. I happened to be reading a forum earlier that suggested I was breaking the GPL, by providing XBMC code to others who are not GPL compliant. This is of course nonsense – and I did no such thing. Our code is public, and the author in question took the patch from our repository. Thanking me in a readme is actually no thanks at all if you are breaking the source licence. Today was the first I had heard about it, and the code in question.

Because of this and the fact XBMC code was being used in a few of the emulators I wrote a polite request on the http://www.emuxtras.net forum for the sourcecode to a emulator update. Shortly after my post was deleted, so I asked again and queried the deleted post.

Pretty shameful state of affairs. How do you think all the original authors would feel – to see the way their hard work is being abused. This childish attitude has to stop. I am hoping when I get a reply later the author in question on emuxtras is going to do the decent thing.

That goes for the all the GPL emulators over at Emuxtras that are not released with source, coinops, and the XBMC based apps such as Dragon/Vision. Release your source code. Even better work on it in a public repository, and you can all benefit from each others improvements, as well as making it far easier for people to collaborate.

It’s worth noting this doesn’t happen in the other homebrew scenes. This bad behaviour seems an Xbox exclusive.

One last note:
Something that came up in an earlier discussion, was an accusation of double standards on our part, for arguing about the GPL and then providing builds created with the XDK, which is a breach of Microsoft’s end user licence. One wrong does not excuse another, but we will not be providing any new builds.

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