Insomnia struck again and so I decided it was finally time I stopped getting less than half way toward my goal with my Media Center setup.
I have been dabbling in the use of XBMC for some time and always come and go from the project because it never seems to quite do what I want it to do. One thing works then another breaks, it looks good but NOT QUITE GOOD ENOUGH etc. and so, last night, spurred on by the geek passion that burns within my friend Mat I DID SOME GOOD IN THE WORLD OF NERD!
Basically, XBMC has shit tons of addons/plugins/scripts/skins etc. that let you do pretty much anything you could dream of with a media centre. Stream live TV? Check. Compile all of the movies on every machine in your house into a beautiful ‘library’ on your living room TV? Check! Play your favourite SNES games, CHECKKKK!
The problem is, as each addon is separate you end up trawling through menu upon menu to find the right thing. It’s hardly a fluid experience. On top of that it doesn’t natively work with my gamepad so I’d find myself jumping from armchair to desktop, keyboard to controller. Click, tab. Click, crash. Restart. Maximise etc.
ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN SOLVED!
IT INVOLVED ME DOING CODING!!!
I SUCK AT CODING!!!
Basically, I found out how to, with a heck of a lot of workarounds, link any specific part of the media centre to a button on its homepage. Upon doing that I designed logos, set parameters, programmed controller buttons etc. etc. I got to a pretty darn awesome stage. Then I wanted more. I wanted SPOTIFY! I bloody got it!
The problems with wanting to jump out of XBMC and into Spotify or my PS2 emulator or my SNES roms is XBMC keeps going and it certainly doesn’t like it if you’re bashing buttons in Super Mario that correlate to DELETE ALL MY VIDEOS in XBMC. That’s where an app called Eventghost comes truly to the fore. I thought about it, did some napkin scribbles and worked out how to set XBMC to automatically disable once I pressed the ‘OPEN FRICKIN SPOTIFY PLS XBMC’ button. Same for my emulators.
And, DA DAAAAAAAAAR. Bloody f’ing full on hotness.
What I’ve got here is
1. iPlayer. One click and you’re in the categories section
2. 4oD. One click and you’re in the categories section
3. SNES Roms. One click then launch your ROM, XBMC minimises. Close the ROM and XBMC reappears
4. PS2 Roms. Same deal as SNES.
5. Streaming TV shows – basically ANYTHING in the world that’s been put on stagevu, divxden, megavideo, sidereel etc. is ALL available in one alphabetised list
6. Streaming movies – same as streaming TV shows.
7. My movies – all movies on the household computers appear on a button click with full information, fanart, cover art and trailers
8. My TV – same as my movies but for TV shows.
9. Spotify – One click and it launches, pauses XBMC and lets you play music. Still requires a switch to keyboard currently. Fix will happen though!
4oD is perhaps the biggest workaround. There is no 4oD addon for the media centre so instead it uses the Youtube addon with my user details plugged into it. My account was then subscribed through a browser to the 4oD channels as they’re all conveniently on Youtube. BONZA!
The most fun, apart from writing things like this
was drawing the logos like this!
Well. There. That’s alienated a lot of people from my blog!