Saturday, July 17, 2010

XBMC Tricks and Workarounds

Quick rundown on my week - I have Windows Vista 64-bit and it didn't come with Windows Media Center. I have no idea if Windows Media Center is any good or worthless since I don't have it. After doing some research, I decided to go with XBMC (

I have been messing with XBMC lately on my PC just so that I can have all of the places that I can watch movies or TV and listen to music all in one place. I went through all of the help materials, etc. but found a few things that didn't work as planned. I got it to work to my liking and have been loving using it. Here are some things that I found helpful in setting up.

Check out before you get started and you will get your system set up quickly.

Some things that I found didn't work that should have and some workarounds:

Streaming Internet Audio .strm Files: This was probably me over thinking but I followed the instructions here but didn't understand why XBMC couldn't find the stream files. I figured out, you just select the folder that the streams are in, not double-click it to open. If you open the folder, it will be empty. Just click it once, and press 'Ok'.

Sorta, kinda, hack around to get NetFlix and Fancast to work: There isn't a straight plug-in for NetFlix and Fancast to work. What I ended up doing is grabbing the Web Browser plug-in (you can do that through XBMC Zone Installer). I set the Web browser to use Internet Explorer (I know IE sucks but Chrome and FireFox both crashed repeatedly). And, I set up the Arguments (optional) to -k so that it opens in kiosk mode. Then I set up the bookmarks for NetFlix and Fancast and also to a GeekyClown page that took my TV post and simplified it. Here is the URL - Once I set up the bookmarks, I right-clicked and chose as Favorites. NOTE: You will need the keyboard when these are open so that you can Alt-F4 to close IE.

Vista 64-Bit Fails: Visualizations froze up the program each and every time they would start so I had to turn them off so if you are running Vista 64-bit and having freezing problems, you will need to turn Visualizations off through 'Settings'. Also, it errored out on install because I needed to install the newest DirectX environments. I had heard that was the case with Windows 7 as well.

Anyway, I have only been using this for a few days so I am sure there will be further 'workarounds' I will need to do to get it to work. I will share as I go. Please, XBMC experts if you have any hacks or tricks for using XBMC use the comments and let the XBMC NooB know.

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