[...] we strive to play all of the current media formats available, including the new WebM/VP8 codec that is the latest buzz. Hardware acceleration has been added in windows (Vista or 7) via DXVA2, CrystalHD has been added for all platforms (best supported in OSX and Linux), VDPAU support has been improved in Linux, and VAAPI support has been added for the hardware that supports it in Linux. There are far too many improvements to list here, so check out the changelog for a full list.
I recently wrote about the Spotify integration in XBMC. The problem with the current state of the plugin, is that it does not automatically remember account information. This means that you have to enter it each time you start xbmc, which is quite frustrating.
To remedy this, open up your advancedsettings.xml in your userdata directory. If the file doesn’t exist, just create it — it’s not there by default. Then paste the following information into the file. Note that if you have other settings there as well, just accommodate the xml to fit.
<advancedsettings> <spotify> <enable>true</enable> <username>username</username> <password>password</password> <cachefolder>a temporary directory</cachefolder> <maxsearchartists>30</maxsearchartists> <maxsearchalbums>30</maxsearchalbums> <maxsearchtracks>150</maxsearchtracks> </spotify> </advancedsettings>
Just remember to set the username, password and a directory for the music cache and you are good to go!
XBMC is a superb media center application for your Home Theatre PC, and thanks to OpenSpotify it is now possible to do all sorts of integration — for instance integrating Spotify in XBMC!
The project is called spotyxbmc so just download it and try it out. It is built from the latest XBMC release so you should be good, just copying over your user profile.
Cool features include the ability to import Spotify albums into your own music library, which blurs the lines between local and remote music in a beautiful way. It is also possible to browse your playlists and the various top lists. Just one thing, it requires a Premium Spotify account.
Remember that this is alpha, so it does crash occasionally. Fortunately, just restart xbmc and you are good to go.
XBMC is an excellent media center application, and there are some beautiful themes available like Alaska. There is one problem though, some movies have previews or “samples” which clutter up the otherwise excellent movie wall. To fix this problem, just create a file called advancedsettings.xml in your user profile with the following text.
This will surely make your life a lot easier. Sorry about the strange formatting, I blame WordPress.
Songler – a Spotify plugin for Windows Media Center.
I have two devices connected to the TV using HDMI, one xbox 360 and the HTPC. This is great as long as the sound plays on the TV itself (since HDMI carries video and sound). The thing is that I want to use my surround speakers as the sound output when playing games on the xbox or watch movies on the HTPC.
The surround system accepts an optical Toslink cable and has a decoder for DTS and Dolby Digital, and it just so happens that my Samsung TV has an optical Toslink output! Great … or is it?
While the TV does output 5.1 sound to the optical cable when watching TV, it does not when the sound source comes from HDMI. The TV recodes the audio to standard 2.0 sound and forwards it. I haven’t been able to find a way to disable this “feature” as of yet.
This leaves me with three options.
– Live with it. Accept the fact that I only get 2.0 sound from the xbox and HTPC. As you might have guessed, this is totally unacceptable!
– Get a new TV. Getting a TV which supports forwarding 5.1 sound from HDMI to Toslink, if one exists. While this is an option, there is a cheaper option I will need to try first.
– A switch for multiple Toslink sources. A cheap switch which switches between different sources can be bought for a reasonable amount of money (plus two extra Toslink cables).
I found the following switch which seems to do what I want.
The main disadvantage with this solution is the manual switch which has to be turned when changing sound source. It is not that bad I guess, if it works as advertised. I will pick one up as soon as possible and try it out.
Partner link: A good place for Toslink Cable & Switch and other home theater supplies.