If you are one of our faithful fans who have XBMC Eden (11.0) installed on your jailbroken Apple TV 1, Apple TV 2, or any other device for that matter, we have some exciting news for you: the development team over at xbmc.org has been hard at work, this past month, preparing to release the latest iteration of their multimedia center software known only as Frodo (12.0). This update comes complete with a great deal of improvements, bug fixes, and extended hardware support. The real question is what will this mean for us Apple TV junkies. Well, this new build offers:
- HD audio support, including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD, via the new XBMC AudioEngine (OSX/iOS not yet available)
- Live TV and PVR support
- h.264 10bit (aka Hi10P) video software decoding for anime
- 64bit support in OSX to match the 64bit support in Linux
- Improved image support, allowing the database to accomodate numerous additional image types and more interesting and complex skins
- Support for the Raspberry PI
- Initial support for the Android platform
- Improved AirPlay support across all platforms, including AirPlay audio in XBMC for Windows to match the other platforms
- Improved controller support in Windows and Linux
- Advanced Filtering in the library
- Video library tags to complement movie sets
- Advanced UPnP sharing
- Default video languages now match the language being used by XBMC
- Translations now powered by Transifex
For you Apple TV fans, one of the biggest adjustments is the extended support for H.D. audio. This latest builds helps enable you to make the most of the audio capabilities that the Apple TV has to offer. Aside from these listed improvements, you will see many changes under the hood. Some of these are great to see, others are a bit frustrating. One of the more exciting features, to me, is the inclusion of something known as skin.widgets. This tool makes skinning a much better experience. If you want to get a real idea of what this means for skins in Frodo, look no further than SiO2 by a developer named fastcolors. This skin is designed with you in mind.
Read also:How to change skins in XBMC on Apple TV
In contrast, one of the frustrating items is the fact that we lose the use of last.FM playback in this latest build. They explained this on their blog, at xbmc.org, as something that was unavoidable do to the changes in the coding, but it is missed none the less. It is also worth noting that there are quite a few add-ons/skins that are not currently supported in Frodo. Usually, this is not a problem as developers can easily make changes to get their add-ons/skins working in the latest XBMC build. Sadly, there are quite a few devs, of some well known add-ons/skins, that are no longer actively keeping their items up to date. This means that we may lose some of our favorite add-ons/skins in the upgrade. Time will tell.
All in all. It is worth the update. As a rule, we should always upgrade as it only improves the overall experience. If an add-on, or skin, is missed enough, someone will get it working again!