Popular media center software XBMC has just seen the release of a major new version, 11.0 “Eden”. There are a ton of added features and updates here, so I’m going to steal a paragraph from the official release which sums it up nice:
“XBMC 11.0 Milestones include Addon Rollbacks, vast improvements in Confluence (the default skin), massive speed increases via features like Dirty-region rendering and the new JPEG decoder, a simpler, better library, movie set scraping, additional protocol handling, better networking support, better handling of unencrypted BluRay content and structures, adjustable display refresh rate in OSX (to match the already available feature in Windows and Linux), AirPlay support, an upgraded weather service with geoip lookup, and much, much more. Check out the highlights in the summarized changelog.“
In addition to all of that, the developers have noted that hardware support for the software is better than ever, with the latest version able to run stable on the Apple TV 2 (it still needs to be jailbroken), iPad and other iOS devices. Other updates include easier setting up of a remote control under Windows, some GPU decoding support on AMD cards in Linux and other enhancements to improve input and device communication.
There’s also a new ISO that’s worth downloading if you don’t feel like going the DIY route. It’s called “XMBCbuntu” and is a replacement for “XMBC Live”. Though XBMCbuntu utilizes an Xfce desktop, users can opt to never see it. Rather, they can boot right into the XBMC environment on each boot, making this OS the easiest ever to get up and running with the software. For those who want to take advantage of the actual OS underneath, regular desktop tools are still included, such as a package manager.
Overall, “Eden” looks to be a killer XBMC release. Perhaps the time is right to build that HTPC you’ve been contemplating?