X-box Media Center (XBMC)

I recently have developed a server to just stream my videos to my XBox 360. Using the help of some forums and crazy tinkering this is the results.

Installing on Ubuntu 11.04

Using the newest version of Ubuntu (11.04) I installed the XBMC with ease with some helpful instructions and commands (XBMC is also available in Windows OS and a few others). Here are the commands:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc

Then go to the Package Manager. Click Settings -> Repositories. Under Other Software, highlight the XBMC PPA and click Edit. For the distribution, change it to maverick.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-standalone
sudo apt-get update

Setting up Video Sources

Following this you have installed XBMC, now it’s time to tweak it slightly. First you need to go to the Video section and add a source. You need to keep your sources clean and have one source be your Movies and one your TV shows and such. Once you add a source through either SMB or FTP or many many other settings you can then tell XBMC to scan and add internet content to it such as the trailers and actors to organize your collection better.

Making Content Able to Be Streamed

Following the setting up of the sources you need to make it streamable to the XBox. This is KEY. In Settings -> Network -> Share video and music libraries through UPnP. Once you check this box all your content will be magically seen from your X-Box 360 under the Video Libraries application.

Auto Updating Your Sources

Finally you need to make sure this server doesn’t need to be touched in years. There is an add-on that will make it so that if you change your content in one of your video sources your XBMC will recognize the change and add it to your media collection on your X-Box. You need to go to Settings -> Add-Ons ->XBMC Library Auto Update. In here you install the add-on then click on it again to configure it to auto-update by intervals of hours. After you do these steps you will almost never need to touch your server again.

Note: If this is a VM you are making this server into, it will be SLOOOW. I have installed the VMware tools and updated all video drivers, but the hardware acceleration needed to display the XBMC’s GUI is too intensive for the VMs display quality. Another note, I attempted to use a Win 7 VM first. That did not work at all as running the XBMC doesn’t even work because it replies with an error caused by displaying XBMC through a remote desktop program, which is unavoidable through a VM program.

Thank for your attention and I am always up for comments.

Sources:
http://magvar.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/xbmc-running-on-ubuntu-11-04/

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