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.
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.