I personally really like "Transparency" for its easy-to-read vertical menu. You can see every menu item on the menu page (that is, you don't have to scroll to see any of them), and nothing is buried in a submenu. From the main menu, you can see the Movies, TV Shows, Play Disc, and other options and go straight there with a few taps. It's much easier for an XBMC newbie to navigate than something like Confluence, Aeon, or Alaska, and it's still pretty darn attractive. Of course, there may be others out there, so search around and see what else you can find. … [Read more...] about How to Make XBMC Easier to Use (Especially for Non-Geeks)
XBMC is by far our favorite media software, letting you create a kickass, customizable, play-everything media center right on your TV. One of its coolest features is the ability to completely overhaul the interface with different skins, and while there are more skins and layouts than we could possibly show in one gallery, we're showing off four of our favorites today. Check out the gallery above to see a few screenshots of each skin. And, remember that each skin is customizable in its own right—which means that the media layouts in the gallery are only one of many. If you like the way a skin looks even a little bit, install it to XBMC and play around with it to see everything it can do. … [Read more...] about Four Beautiful XBMC Skins That Make Your Media Center Look Awesome
In the end, it's really about personal preference and how much work you're willing to put into the setup of your media center. After testing all three of these, my choice is OpenELEC because it feels faster, more stable, and more responsive than Xbian and Raspbmc, but your mileage may vary. When it comes down to it, they're all free, and since you can have multiple SD cards with multiple operating systems on a Raspberry Pi, there's not much harm in checking each of them out if you're interested. … [Read more...] about Raspberry Pi XBMC Solutions Compared: Raspbmc vs OpenELEC vs XBian
The vast majority of Lifehacker readers prefer XBMC. The Lifehacker staff is pretty much split down the middle. Regardless of what everyone else likes, you don't necessarily have to choose. XBMC and Plex can work in tandem. Plex provides excellent media server software that automatically organizes your media library with exceptional accuracy. XBMC understands what Plex's server software does, so you can still run it and use XBMC on some platforms but not others. For example, if you use Plex Server on a computer with all your media, your HTPC can run XBMC and connect to it. You can use either option on your mobile devices, depending on what suits you best. Don't feel as though you have to choose a single platform and stick with it. If you want to use both, you can. So, if you just can't decide—don't! … [Read more...] about Should I Use Plex or XBMC for My Home Theater PC?
What It Does: If you'd prefer not to have to restart XBMC every time you add something new to the library (or every time your automated system does it for you), you can start up this add-on at the beginning of your XBMC session, and it will automatically scan your library for new content on a certain time interval. … [Read more...] about Power Up Your XBMC Installation with These Awesome Add-Ons