XBMC Media Center 13.0 "Gotham" was released yesterday, bringing improvements across all platforms, such as hardware decoding on Android, proper PulseAudio support for Linux, improved settings, support for some 3D movie formats and more.
XBMC is a free, open source digital media hub and home theater PC that comes with a 10-foot user interface, which can be used to play videos, music and other media, either from local storage or via LAN or Internet.
The application is highly customizable and supports a wide variety of skins as well as plugins that can be used to access content from services such as YouTube, Grooveshark and so on. The application also comes with a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) frontend for Live TV with DVR and PVR support.
Changes in XBMC 13.0 "Gotham":
- hardware decoding on Android for both ARM and x86 architectures (requires Android 4.0+);
- speed improvements for Raspberry Pi and Android;
- support for 3D movies encoded in the following formats: SBS, TAB, anaglyph, and interlaced (on supported platforms for passive TVs);
- improved touchscreen support: gesture controls during video playback, swiping controls in navigation, etc.;
- improved UPnP: instances of XBMC throughout the house can now "speak" with each other and with other UPnP devices. Support now includes more advanced library browsing as well as "Play using..." functions, allowing XBMC to tell another device on the network to play a certain media file;
- the Audio Engine introduced with XBMC 12.0 "Frodo" has been reworked to be simpler, faster, with better quality and less likelihood of breaking in XBMC 13 across all platforms;
- Linux: XBMC now cooperates nicely with the pulseaudio server and provides real pulseaudio support;
- Linux: Improved VAAPI and VDPAU support;
- Linux: added VA-API (libva) support for decoding videos with larger resolutions than 1080p (such as 4K resolution);
- Settings improvements:
- the settings were broken down into levels, from beginner to expert level;
- every setting now includes a description;
- every setting page now includes a reset to default option;
- better subtitle search;
- extended Python and JSON-RPC API for developers;
- updated to FFmpeg 1.2;
- added support for H.264 (including Hi10P) multi-threaded video decoding when software decoder on CPU is used;
- stereo audio can now be up-mixed to 5.1 and sent through optical/SPDIF devices;
- various visual changes throughout the skin which should improve usability and logic;
- numerous PVR fixes and updates with additional new features updated on a per-platform basis.
It's important to note that you should create a backup of your current user data before upgrading to XBMC 13.0, in case something goes wrong during the upgrade. Also, due to changes related to the addon system and skin changes, some plugins and skins that used to work with the previous release may not work with the latest XBMC 13.0 yet!
Here are a few XBMC 13.0 screenshots:
Install XBMC 13.0 in Ubuntu
Ubuntu users can install the latest XBMC 13.0 by using the official XBMC stable PPA. Add the PPA and install XBMC 13.0 in Ubuntu and derivatives (Linux Mint, elementaryOS, etc.) by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xbmc
Download XBMC (for Windows, Linux, OSX, Android: ARM and x86, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Apple TV and XBMCuntu)