If you've never heard of the Xbox Media Center (XBMC), you can turn in one of your geek cards right now. The open-source streaming media platform is legendary among tinkerers and DIY types, with its long list of features and insane customizations being its major draws. After nearly ten years of active development, the creators are preparing a full Android version complete with video/audio streaming and all the other goodies. Not to be confused with the current remote app (or any of the third-party alternatives) the upcoming XBMC for Android will have almost the full set of functions found in its desktop and stand-alone counterparts.

 xbmc android

The app still needs some time in the oven, with software decoding of audio and video on smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes (Google TV and the like) a priority. Hardware acceleration will come in a later build, and probably on a device-by-device basis. The developer team has a lot of good stuff planned, and it's easy to see that they're excited about Android as a platform:

As for taking advantage of Android itself, we haven’t even scratched the surface. There are so many interesting features that we could take advantage of: launching apps, location awareness, speech recognition, on and on. Once the core port is finished up, you can bet we’ll be exploring many new avenues.

The developers, who are sponsored by the Pivos set-top box manufacturer (don't worry, XBMC for Android will be fully open source), aren't quite ready to release the full app in the wild. But they are showing off a preliminary video. Check it out:

What say you, Android faithful? Suddenly a $300 Nexus Q doesn't seem quite so attractive, especially if you've got a spare tablet with MHL or HDMI laying around.

[Source: XBMC.org]

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1376149647 Charles Oisten

    Since my old XBMC took a crap I've been making do with Plex and my Revue. This is going to be a very welcome addition to my Android devices.

    • Kirbysuperstar2

      If Plex's fantabulous server/client stuff got ported to XBMC (given that Plex is a fork), well I'd just be the happiest guy on Earth.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lndshark7 Jason Moody

        The PleXBMC plugin will allow you to access your Plex library on XBMC.

      • ERIFNOMI

        You want a project to take the new features of another project that is itself a fork of said project? Wouldn't that just mean you have Plex and XBMC being the same thing?

        And why do you need a separate backend?


    No, this makes a Nexus Q even more attractive! Right now the Nexus Q is missing one thing: local streaming. This could complete it.

    • spectremANDROID

      agreed. it was made for this kind of thing and more.

      • spectremANDROID

        It's confounding how little vision people have.

    • Dllem

      Why spend $300 when the most basic of devices and home consoles support upnp streamed from your home pc?

      • ERIFNOMI

        Or you could get a Raspberry Pi for $35 and run RaspBMC, but where's the fun in that? Plus, the Nexus Q does more than that.

        If you want to be so anal about it, you can just run XBMC on a PC right now. My computer crushes any Android device, but that's not what we're talking about here.

    • celestre

      There are a ton of other Android devices you could run this on that you could get a lot cheaper than the Nexus Q.

      • ERIFNOMI

        Yeah, like a Galaxy Nexus (which has the same hardware as a Nexus Q, basically) but that's not the point.

    • Jeremy Lukan

      Just take a look on DealExtreme for Android and HDMI and there is a slew of devices for under $100 that will work well. Now we just need to wait for full hardware decoding support.

  • GliTcH

    Perfect! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Android-4-0-TV-Box-HD-Player-WIFI-PC-Allwinner-A10-4GB-HDMI-DDR3-MK802-New-/110915259338?pt=US_Internet_Media_Streamers&hash=item19d3108bca They have $80-$120 Android set top devices already with HDMI ports. This will also be perfect for the Ouya!

  • Kaero

    This is wonderful news :D If I can simply sync my tablet wirelessly with the content on my HTPC via XBMC's media server that would be completely awesome for the times I want to watch something but also lay in bed or if I just get in the house and want to check and see if any new episodes have downloaded while I was away. I very much look forward to more progress on this!

  • sky stanojevic


  • http://www.facebook.com/ivan.maldonado.9843 Ivan Maldonado

    I'm running into some issues building the dependencies. Mainly, the .configure --help is a little confusing. Anyone else trying to build this?

  • TynanDeRosa

    God damn it, they better support GoogleTV, JUSTIFY MY BAD PURCHASE!

    • Namarrgon

      Don't count on it. There's no Intel-native NDK for Google TV (and never will be), so media players like XBMC can't use the standard Android binaries of the media decoder libs they need.

      • Eric

        The standard X86 NDK works fine for Google TV. A port to Google TV would be much different than a port to a tablet, but no more challenging from this perspective.

      • IceBeam

        This is just another example of how Google screwed up so totally with their googletv implementations (so far)

    • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

      U must be a logitech owner... I can't say the same for my Sony Blu-ray GoogleTV... I used it more then a PC I had hooked up to it before I got it, and more then my PS3 and 360...

  • Soylent

    Nexus Q, here I come.

  • http://twitter.com/bat0nas Tomas Misevičius

    They should have finished XBMC remote app in the first place :D Yes.. it's finished.. but I think it's too buggy to be used on a daily basis.

    • zarac

      I have been using it daily for about 18 months on my Nexus One and haven't had a single issue with it.

      • ERIFNOMI

        The only thing I can think of is under some circumstances the ongoing notification will display after you close XBMC (or shutdown the PC) and going to the app through the notification causes a FC. But if you open the app normally you can exit as expected. No big deal really.

  • thajack

    Anyone know if it will support AdvancedSettings.xml like its desktop counterpart so it can connect to a library on MySQL?

    • GliTcH


      • Jim Bob

        Yes it does

  • Google_is_the_Higgs_Boson

    Hope to see this on my GoogleTV, even tho we got Plex...

  • grellanl

    Plex is already available for Android (just the client, not the server), and it's pretty great - the client/server setup is awesome and cross-platform. Does XBMC have any equivalent these days?

    • Cuvis

      I don't think that Xbmc has a server, but you can use it with a Plex server using PlexBMC.

      • grellanl

        Cool, thanks - must check that out.