Overview: XBox Media Center for OS X

If for whatever reason you’re not a huge fan of Front Row, the XBox Media Center (XBMC) for OS X may be the replacement you’ve been looking for. It supports the Apple Remote (not perfectly) and has almost all of the features of the original XBMC (and way more than Front Row). The developers will be the first people to admit that it’s not as stable as they’d like, but I’ve been using it for a couple of days now and it hasn’t crashed on me once. For a setup overview and lots of screenshots, keep reading.

  1. The Xbox Media Center for OS X is painfully easy to install. Open the .dmg file, and drag xbmc to the Applications folder.

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  3. Admittedly, XBMC is not the smallest of applications, coming in at 117MB.
  4. And now launch it from your Applications list.

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  6. The screen you’ll be greated with is the main XBMC dashboard.

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  8. Select Pictures to set up your Pictures options. You only have to do this once, XBMC will remember all of your settings after this.

    Click Add Source

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  10. Click the Browse button…

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  12. and navigate to the folder on your hard drive that you store photos in. Once you’ve selected it, click OK.

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  14. Give that source a name (eg. Pictures) in the Enter a name for this Media Source section. If you store photos in more than one folder, click the Add button and repeat the above process. You can add as many folder sources as you’d like. When you’re done, click OK.

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  16. Click on the name for one of your Picture sources.

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  18. And you’ll be presented with thumbnails of your photos. If the photo folder you selelcted has sub-folders, those folders will display 4 thumbnails of the pictures inside of them.

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  20. Select any image to make it full-size.

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  22. To add Videos to your XBMC, repeat the exact same process you did with Pictures.

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  24. During movie playback you can bring up an on-screen controller.

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  26. Which in turn offers a number of video settings.

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  28. You can even bookmark specific scenes in videos.

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  30. Or return to your list of videos while the currently playing video continues to play in the corner of your screen.

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  32. Adding Music is the same as adding Pictures and Movies.

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  34. When you open a folder for the first time, XBMC will scan that folder for media info.

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  36. And then present it all in a list.

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  38. From the home screen (dashboard) select Settings. The XBMC Configuration window will display. From here you can customize the look of the XBMC, set preferences for audio, video, programs, the weather and your network.

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  40. There a lot of options – in the Music section you can enable visualisation, setup your Last.FM account, specifiy CD ripping options and more.

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  42. The Appearance section offers too many features to even list. One important feature you’ll want to set is the Resolution, which can be found in the Screen section. Set the resolution to the same as your monitor, and XBMC will run in full-screen mode.

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  44. Click the small red button in the bottom right corner of the dashboard to shut down XBMC. Then choose the Shutdown option from the menu that appears.

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  46. Happy media-playing!

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