Version: 11.0 || Release Date: 2012-03-24 || License: Freeware Developer: XBMC | App Owner: gnofs

XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media.

XBMC can be used to play almost all popular audio and video formats around. It was designed for network playback, so you can stream your multimedia from anywhere in the house or directly from the internet using practically any protocol available. Use your media as-is: XBMC can play CDs and DVDs directly from the disk or image file, almost all popular archive formats from your hard drive, and even files inside ZIP and RAR archives. It will even scan all of your media and automatically create a personalized library complete with box covers, descriptions, and fanart. There are playlist and slideshow functions, a weather forecast feature and many audio visualizations. Once installed, your computer will become a fully functional multimedia jukebox.

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8 Opinions

"XBMC does not yet support any listed methods of hardware (eg: GPU) accelerated video decoding" :(


I've used all of the XBMC variants (xbmc, plex, boxee), and the official is by far the best and most well maintained. Plex only has the advantage of the Plex media server (closed source) which leverages WebKit for such things as playing Hulu. Boxee similarly allows for great simple and social support of online content. However, when it comes to expandability, features, customization, plugins, organizing/playing local media, and bug fixes they just can't match XBMC.

I highly recommend running the latest SVN, as the release schedule is very slow and lacks the features and updates you get from the nightly revisions. Just google "XBMC nightly builds" to find the unofficial nightly builds to download. Also check out the latest skins as they make all the difference in the world, the included skins are a bit boring and feature lacking. The Rapier skin is my current favorite. (available from the official downloads page).

I just installed the 9.0.4 (Babylon) RC1 release and my first impression is "WOW". This program has breathed new life into an original 1.25GHz Mac Mini. I had previously connected the Mac Mini to the AV system and added an IR receiver and Remote Buddy to get an Apple Remote to work with iTunes but this is really a much better solution that looks great on my 52" LCD TV.

Great Job!

The video player is multithreaded (ie: uses multiple cpu cores), this is very useful to play 1080p hd movies, although the fans become quite loud on my 2.2Ghz macbook pro. (VLC and Mplayer aren't really multithreaded afaik.)

Can play "DVD-Video movies that are stored in ISO and IMG DVD-images, (...) IFO/VOB/BUP files on a harddrive or network-share, and also ISO and IMG DVD-images directly from RAR and ZIP archives." (wikipedia)

The XBMC for Mac specific FAQ is here.

Both VLC and MPlayer would use 100% CPU to play my HD videos. Boxee was fine, but it wouldn't display complete subtitles. Then I found XBMC and all my problems were solved. :)