Home Theater Systems – Part 2 Linux running XMBC

The Linux platform has huge potential for development of media center entertainment options. It is open-source so basically anyone who wants to develop software can make something sweet run on there. Making a media center is either more complicated or less complicated depending on your experience. If you have the ability to build or modify the hardware of a computer, then you’re probably in good shape. If you can’t, you can always just pick up another system built with the specs you want. It is important to make sure you have some way to output HD video and a processor with RAM enough to make sure the computer can play video well.  The capacity to store a lot of data would be good if you have alot of movies, DVDs or TV shows that you want to archive on a hard drive.

There is software available for free to organize and display your video on whatever screen you might have. XMBC is a great program with a slick GUI.  You can check it out at http://www.xbmc.org.

XBMC is some pretty sweet software and is actually available for Windows, Mac, on Linux.  You can use it to manage your media library of music, pictures and videos.  It even has a weather widget within the software and an RSS reader so you can keep up to date on what is important to you.  The software offers settings within it so that you can use virtually any source for your data.  You can store your data on an internal drive, on another computer or even a network storage device.  This allows you access to all of your media all through one easy to use program.

Another interesting fact about Linux is that the file format used by Linux, is readable and writable through both Mac and Windows operating systems.  So, in other words, sharing files across other platforms is much easier and also giving your Linux media center access to all of your media is easier whether the media data is stored on Windows, Linux, or Mac file formats.

Anyway, at some point in the future, I plan on talking about different software I have tried for media and entertainment on various platforms.

If there is anything that you might think is interesting for me to know about, consider or think about, please feel free to comment or email me at jason@jasoncastellente.com.

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