XBMC 13 – Gotham – April and May cycles

Posted By: Team XBMC on Jun 11, 2013 in Site News
new_settings

With the release of XBMC 12.2 and GSoC, not to mention some behind the scenes work going on, an April cycle announcement was not published; however, thanks to a new process, both the April cycle and May cycle builds were built rapidly and efficiently (and on time). We have now switched from our old Billy the Buildbot to Jenkins for building our automated monthly alphas and nightly builds. Jenkins is quite a bit more intelligent and faster than our old buildbot, and we’re excited about the switch. In the future, for those who just can’t wait for a write-up about the newest alpha but tend to steer clear of the bleeding edge of nightlies, the new build should always be available on the 1st of the month at mirrors.xbmc.org/snapshots.

With that said, we’ve now completed months #3 and #4 of our monthly development cycle, and there’s a lot to talk about.

System-Wide – FFMPEG v1.2 and Settings Refactor

Without a doubt, the two biggest developments over these past two months have been the bump to v1.2 of FFMPEG and the Settings Refactor performed by Montellese. The list of changes for v1.2 of FFMPEG is frankly enormous, so if you’d like to see the list, check it out at the link.

The Settings Refactor is like-wise quite huge, but worth discussing in a bit more detail. Previously, settings were entirely dependent upon XBMC’s graphical user interface (GUI). If you didn’t manually change a setting in that interface, the setting could not be changed. Skinners had no access to the settings. Outside applications (like the official Android and iOS remotes) couldn’t interact with them. Any attempt by users to run XBMC as a server were hamstrung by the fact that you couldn’t actually control most of the server features without physically launching the XBMC GUI.

This refactor separated settings from the GUI, so now all of those obstacles can easily be overcome. In addition, because settings are no longer dependent on the GUI, we can do a lot of interesting things that were not previously possible.

new_settings

The Basic settings are, indeed, basic.

For the first time, settings can now be reset to default, so everyone who discovers they’ve completely screwed up their audio settings finally have a fallback. The reset feature is fortunately quite narrow. It only applies to the window you are currently looking at. So, for example, if you reset your audio settings, you won’t accidentally reset your video settings too.

The settings GUI also has now has “settings levels” including Basic, Standard (default), Advanced, and Expert. The default Standard shows fewer settings than the previous default, and Expert is still a work in progress, but is likely to house a number of the settings that used to exist solely as part of the advancedsettings.xml.

Finally, with this separation, skins now have the power to show actual explanations of what each setting does, so users are no longer forced to puzzle over “Preferred Audio Language” or “Vertical blank sync.” Skinners can present a simple description that may easily explain the setting in non-developer speak.

For more info, feel free to visit the Settings System wiki page, which is still fairly new and incomplete, but which will ultimately be the main source of Settings info.

System-Wide – Other

Multi-touch support is now available generically on touchscreens. Multi-touch gestures currently are limited to swipe backwards, two finger context menu, image rotation, and pinch to zoom. For a list of our touchscreen interactions, see our touchscreen keymap.

Airplay now includes volume control.

Movie sets management has been made moderately easier, as users can now clear sets and add movies to sets from the context menu.

The web interface remote can now send keystrokes from your physical keyboard to XBMC. So if you have the web inteface remote open on your laptop and you press up, the XBMC GUI selector on your HTPC will move up. If you press down, it will move down.

UPnP now supports the tracking of file state, so watched status and resume from last watched points are updated instantly across machines.

Conclusion

With the exception of a few fixes (keyboard presses in Android should work quite a bit better now, for example), most of the major changes for the past two months have not been platform specific. This means pretty much everyone should be able to play around with all these new features.

And of course, as always, this is merely a very small sample of the many changes this cycle. For a full list of changes, visit our April Merge Window page and our May Merge Window page. You may notice that we’ve begun tracking the merging of new features into our public Team Member forum discussion area, rather than on Github. With luck, this should make it quite a bit easier for users to follow along with development.

Now, if you are feeling a bit brave and a bit lucky, it’s time to start downloading. Be aware though, that this is very alpha software with potentially numerous bugs. There is a very good chance that this alpha will break on you.

Should want to download and install XBMC, please visit our download page.

How to Contribute

If you use this cycle’s build, we encourage you to submit bugs in Trac, provide support in our Forums where you can, or donate to the Foundation if you like.

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Discussion - 66 Comments

  • edwin Jun 03, 2013 

    ik wil dat programa maar het is niet te doen veelte moelek om het te instaleeren voor my

    • Bas Jul 12, 2013 

      Citaat: “ik wil dat programa maar het is niet te doen veelte moelek om het te instaleeren voor my”

      Wat is er te moeilijk aan? Zonder toelichting van welke problemen je ervaart wordt het lastig om jou te helpen.

      Bij deze kan ik je adviseren om gewoon de laatste stabiele versie 12.2 te downloaden (Of je wacht dat versie 13 uitkomt als stabiele release), en dan is het een kwestie van dubbelklikken op het gedownloade bestand, en een paar keer op “volgende” en 1 keer op “afsluiten” klikken.

    • Maarten Jul 15, 2013 

      Tjah. Het begint al met een taalbeperking zo te zien..

  • Maciey Jun 03, 2013 

    Snapshots link seems to be entered wrongly – points to:

    http://xbmc.org/mirrors.xbmc.org/mirrors.xbmc.org/mirrors.xbmc.org/snapshots

  • kibje Jun 03, 2013 

    Nice writeup :)

  • storrgie Jun 03, 2013 

    Will the Android builds get the hwaccel compilation that we saw in January and February last year (http://mirrors.xbmc.org/test-builds/android/)? I’m getting very jittery playback on my Nexus 10.

  • natethomas Jun 03, 2013 

    @Maciey
    Whoops. Good catch. Updated. Thanks!

  • johan Jun 03, 2013 

    Hi. Great work guys! Can I install this alpha parallell to my frodo 12.2 win7 installation or will it interfere with my current installation somehow (databae, setting files etc)?

  • garbear Jun 03, 2013 

    @johan
    Look into running the alpha in “portable mode”. Otherwise, they will both point to the same userdata folder (http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Userdata )

  • isamudaison Jun 04, 2013 

    The 13.0 Alpha 4 build seems to be running better for me than 12.2/stable. Lovin’ it!

  • Sergi Jun 04, 2013 

    Sounds nice.
    Please add a setting to choose Default Settings Level :)

  • D.C. Jun 04, 2013 

    great! Looking out to try the touch support on my Galax touch on my Raspberry Pi

  • Weirdh Jun 04, 2013 

    Yay, new versions! Does this new ffmpeg version do anything related to 24p playback?

  • Akshay Zade Jun 04, 2013 

    natethomas :
    @Maciey
    Whoops. Good catch. Updated. Thanks!

    Now, did you just reply to the wrong person? Long night, huh?

  • Harley Jun 04, 2013 

    Post title missing “Alpha” might be misunderstod by some here?

  • Anonymous Jun 04, 2013 

    @edwin
    ??? It’s as easy as pie????

  • Henrik Jun 04, 2013 
  • Marco Jun 04, 2013 

    Movie sets management has been made moderately easier, as users can now clear sets and add movies to sets from the context menu.

    Great! finaly i can fix my james bond movies ;-)

  • Giorgio Jun 04, 2013 

    Will XBMC 13 have the hardware acceleration on android devices??

  • Tim Jun 04, 2013 

    Good news. I’m still waiting for a complete overhaul of xbmc. After years of using I know what I’m doing, but everyone who uses it for the first time (or the first few times) is confused. The settings aren’t very intuitive. There are video settings right under “video” but there are more under “system”-> “video”. Same goes for audio settings. Adding an addon should be easier. Right now it’s download the zip-file, install from zip-file, get add-ons, search your addon and install. It looks like I have to install it twice.
    Then theres still stuttering in HD-Videos. Even if I could install other encoders and stuff, shouldn’t the default encoder do it right?
    Oh, and it would be so great, if there would be a backend for watching TV right in xbmc, so that you don’t have to use other programs.
    And the export of settings and library-stuff has to be easier.
    If you use xbmc for a long time, you get used to stuff like that. Even now I get sometimes lost, because I forgot where I can edit the video-sources or something like that. If you’re a first time user it is often really frustrating.
    Oh, and why do I get TrueHD-Sound only if I choose optical output? I don’t even have a cable connected but it only works with this setting. This makes no sense!
    I know that actually this is the wrong section for posting all that crap. I like my xbmc but it could be so much better and easier.

    • morbidpete Jul 09, 2013 

      “Good news. I’m still waiting for a complete overhaul of xbmc. After years of using I know what I’m doing”
      Doesn’t sound like it based on this post.
      “everyone who uses it for the first time (or the first few times) is confused. “
      As with most full features media playing software.
      “The settings aren’t very intuitive. There are video settings right under “video” but there are more under “system”-> “video”. Same goes for audio settings.”
      I’ll agree with you there. The video tab should be labeled “video library” or “video files” something along those lines to know it does not directly deal with the output device but rather the library and appearance of files.
      “Adding an addon should be easier. Right now it’s download the zip-file, install from zip-file, get add-ons, search your addon and install. It looks like I have to install it twice.”
      Your doing some thing wrong. You have the “install from zip” part right. And that’s it. If you are installing a repo via a zip file, then that is when you have to go in and search. But like I mentioned. Your installing a repo. Not an add on
      “Then theres still stuttering in HD-Videos. Even if I could install other encoders and stuff, shouldn’t the default encoder do it right?”
      It does, Sound like a hardware problem. Underpowered PC? Slow network performance is suing a NAs or PC. I have 3 PC’s and 2 Pi’s running XBMC. 1 PC is a dual atom 1.8 running win starter, the other 2 are core 2’s at 1.8 with discrete graphics that also fold 24/7 using cpu and GPU. Never have an issue with HD using 5.1 DTS or DD. Have had 3 devices at once playing back 1080P from 1 windows server 2012 storage pool over a gigabit line.
      “Oh, and it would be so great, if there would be a backend for watching TV right in xbmc, so that you don’t have to use other programs.”
      There are many, I use next PVR on a dedicated box with 2 digital tuners for OTA. Been running solid for a few month’s now (mainly to watch the games)
      “And the export of settings and library-stuff has to be easier.”
      Yes! I’m currently using folder redirects to sync settings and add-ons. Library is synced via mysql hosted on the server 2012 serving media.
      “If you use xbmc for a long time, you get used to stuff like that. Even now I get sometimes lost, because I forgot where I can edit the video-sources or something like that. If you’re a first time user it is often really frustrating.”
      Agree. But as mentioned before, Any media player with the capabilities of XBMC will always have a learning curve. You can only assume so much on an individuals setup as everyone does and runs things differently. I feel if your picking XBMC, you know and are willing to learn and configure. The uneducated or willing just buy apple tv’s or boxee and all those simple devices.
      “Oh, and why do I get TrueHD-Sound only if I choose optical output? I don’t even have a cable connected but it only works with this setting. This makes no sense!”
      Makes lots of sense. True HD can only be output via a digital connection. Toslink/coax or HDMI. If you are connected any other way, its useless. Even with HDMI, its still a discrete component and needs to be enabled. You may see it as 1 cable, but to any device, it is a separate device.
      “I know that actually this is the wrong section for posting all that crap. I like my xbmc but it could be so much better and easier.”
      We all like it, that’s why we are here!

  • Jakke Jun 04, 2013 

    Better changelog for FFmpeg version 1.2 available in XBMC’s GitHub:

    http://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/blob/master/lib/ffmpeg/Changelog

  • John Jun 04, 2013 

    @Jakke

    Does it mean that hardware acceleration is now working on android devices?

  • JOe K. Jun 04, 2013 

    Very excited about the retroplayer branch. Hope it makes it to Gotham.

    FFMPEG v1.2 is also very intruiging. Great job as always guys!

  • nivk Jun 04, 2013 

    “UPnP now supports the tracking of file state, so watched status and resume from last watched points are updated instantly across machines.”

    Been waiting for just that. Now I have to figure out a way of getting the nightly build on Ubuntu and iOS. Would be cool to have the iOS nightly available in a repo just next to the stable.

  • natethomas Jun 04, 2013 

    Akshay Zade :

    Now, did you just reply to the wrong person? Long night, huh?

    Um, no? Maciey pointed out that I’d screwed up a link in the write-up, so I thanked Maciey for pointing it out. I’m not sure who else that reply could possibly be meant for?

  • natethomas Jun 04, 2013 

    @Harley
    I always use the same post titles for all cycles. So far, for the past year, it doesn’t appear to have been a problem.

  • natethomas Jun 04, 2013 

    Jakke :

    Better changelog for FFmpeg version 1.2 available in XBMC’s GitHub:

    http://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/blob/master/lib/ffmpeg/Changelog

    Ah, nice. I’ll use that. Thanks!

  • Anonymous Jun 04, 2013 

    @natethomas I see a couple other folks are also asking about android hwaccel. Would you mind clearing that up?

  • Ned Scott Jun 04, 2013 

    @Anonymous
    @John
    @Giorgio

    Libstagefright work, which will bring hardware decoding to most Android devices, is not yet included in these Alpha versions. The final version (whenever it is released, please don’t ask when) of XBMC v13 Gotham will have libstagefright. Until then, you can try out the test builds here: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=152005

  • Johan Jun 05, 2013 

    @garbear

    Thanks.

  • jrat Jun 05, 2013 

    why does every build i try have problems with flac

  • jrat Jun 05, 2013 

    forgot to add i am using windows an flac always has problems

  • nikc0069 Jun 05, 2013 

    Can anyone advise what impact the introduction of stereo3d filter in FFMPEG will have in XBMC please? It looks like it is now able to do a lot more manipulation to 3d picutre (e.g. on the fly anaglypgh from sbs) – will this tie in with a 3d compatible gui? I assume ffmpeg doesn’t have mvc support still?

  • Nirmv Jun 06, 2013 

    What about MULTI LANGUAGE ON SCREEN KEYBOARD ????
    So simple, and so frustrating… Waiting for this since Dharma…
    Anyone ?

  • Anonymous Jun 06, 2013 

    @natethomas
    Your replies end up below a totally different poster, not below the message of the person you are replying to. Hence the remark of replying to the wrong person :)

  • natethomas Jun 07, 2013 

    @Anonymous
    Assuming you are also Akshay, I presume by now you’ve realized that all replies are posted in order, relying on the @ link at the beginning of the comment to indicate who the commenter is speaking to, rather that getting posted in a threaded order, as it appears you originally expected.

    I know that can be a tough one to understand though for some people. Rough night, huh?

    Edit: I should probably be clear. I respond very, very poorly to a condescending attitude. Particularly when the condescension is based on the incorrect understanding of a fact. At the risk of arming trolls with too much ammo, the spread of misinformation using a condescending manner may be the last remaining internet comment activity that really gets my goat.

  • anon Jun 07, 2013 

    @natethomas
    you have goats? cool… when do you find time to code?

  • Frank Jun 07, 2013 

    @edwin
    Misschien moet je maar eerst even je school afmaken, te beginnen met Nederlands.

  • natethomas Jun 07, 2013 

    @anon
    Hah, me, code?

  • Mo Jun 08, 2013 

    For those wondering how to change the global settings level in this release (given that there is no GUI option available), you need to change one line in one of the xml files.

    Locate your userdata folder, open file ‘guisettings.xml’, and search for ”, edit the integer (I put it to 3 for expert), save the file and restart XBMC.

    Tada. HTH

  • Jose Jun 08, 2013 

    Hello, I update the xbmc and i couldn’t find the option “clean the library” in my System panel.

    Where is this option now? T

    hank you.

  • Joe D Jun 08, 2013 

    @Mo Not all skins have GUI option for Level settings, but Confluence does. You will find in any Settings submenu ie: Video,System,Services etc.. there is a tab to the left which opens Level settings with option for basic,standard,advanced,expert.

    @Jose
    using Confluence skin the “Clean Library” option is where it always has been. Settings>Video>Library

  • James P Jun 09, 2013 

    You can change the settings level via the context menu on the left on confluence skin. Then it will be visible Jose.

  • Amibz Jun 10, 2013 

    Hi,

    Do you think it’s possible with the new FFmpeg to read animated gif in XBMC.

    Would be nice to show a collection of gif in diaporama.

    Thanks

  • jokono Jun 11, 2013 

    As always, thanks for the update and all the excellent work.

    Now for my whining: I’m really hoping that video brightness adjustement will return for NVidia (and other non-intel), like we had for Eden. Some videos are brighter or darker than others, and not being able to adjust individually makes using Frodo with a projector… not as good as Eden. This is especially true if the rig is used for computing when not XBMC-ing. I know I can get brightness settings back if I disable HW acceleration, but… comeon.

  • James P Jun 12, 2013 

    Any word on Ouya configuration changes. Like mapping controller, launching apps from programs and having it show up in the “play” section?

  • Japa Jun 12, 2013 

    @Joe D
    No it’s not. Where is the clean library gone to?

  • The_D Jun 12, 2013 

    @Japa
    From the post above that you are commenting on:
    The settings GUI also has now has “settings levels” including Basic, Standard (default), Advanced, and Expert. The default Standard shows fewer settings than the previous default, and Expert is still a work in progress, but is likely to house a number of the settings that used to exist solely as part of the advancedsettings.xml.

    You need to select a setting other than Standard.

  • James P Jun 12, 2013 

    I assure you it is on the left side hidden pannel only on the confluence skin on the settings page@Japa

  • Wurzbecki Jun 14, 2013 

    Japa :@Joe D No it’s not. Where is the clean library gone to?

    Maybe the goat got it?

    They can be bothersome.

  • Leung Jun 16, 2013 

    “Play Using…” cannot work when I want to push the video from ipad to my samsung smart tv via DLNA. I can find my tv in the context menu of XBMC, but no video is displayed on the tv.

  • zag Jun 24, 2013 

    Loving the new features!

  • subcell Jul 04, 2013 

    Still not up to VLC performances regarding 4K +/- 40Mbs video files oh well!

    1080p is just fine including the 10bit encoded ones!

    Nice work!

  • Anders Jul 04, 2013 

    I updated Gotham Alpha 4 with Alpha 5… and my video is all screwed up.. whenever i start a movie or tv-show the video goes directly to highspeed or something and there is no audio.. and it doesnt work with pause and resume either.. same result.. so going back to alpha 4..

  • monstercody Jul 04, 2013 

    will this version report back window id via json ,the frodo doesn’t would be nice for thirh party intergration

  • Dror Tiv Jul 05, 2013 

    Hi,
    Version 13 alpha 5 is BROKEN!!!
    It keeps fast forward seek whenever I play a video. There is no way around it that I was able to see after toggling many of the setting options on and off (video sync etc.).
    This does not happen on 13 alpha 4 and I returned to it and all is working well.
    I have an Intel HD 4000 graphics with the latest drive.

    • Croq Jul 06, 2013 

      I’m getting the same problem as you with alpha5. Went back to alpha4 and all is good again.

  • conza Jul 05, 2013 

    love the work you guys put into XBMC :)

    But with the lastes alpha 5 I get the same issue as Anders and Dror Tiv – video playback is way too fast.

    Intel 4500hd graphics. did not have this issue with alpha 4.

  • billyx Jul 06, 2013 

    Alpha5 works good for me. Alpha4 crashed every time I started to play a video, but with Alpha5 this problem is fixed.
    Is there a way to disable pause-skip permanently? Because the pauses are detectet incorrectly by mythtv and then parts of the recorded video are skipped.

  • Per Jul 17, 2013 

    Is anyone using this 13 on a daily basis with the pvr function enabled? my understanding is that timeshift is working better on 13 then 12 something that is really a must

  • Joe D Jul 21, 2013 

    Alpha 5 > nightly 7-21 is broke for me. Some videos(not many) play super fast with no volume. Went back to Alpha 4 and all is well…better than Frodo actually.
    Win 7 64
    AMD 965
    Nvidia gt440

  • bezor Jul 24, 2013 

    thanks for your job !! AirPlay work very well with the windows streaming software (vodobox iphone server). I can watch tv channel on xbmc and switch of channel from my iPhone.

    if you are interest all begin with this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRLqFEMO6ag

  • BigJRM Jul 29, 2013 

    We’ve been told even the monthly builds may be broken and on my setup, alpha 5 is broken too. I just went back to alpha 4. I will try alpha 6 when it comes out. I found 12.2 doesn’t work very well for me either,not as well as Alpha 4, But i LOVE XBMC! I am not a coder so I can’t fix anything or contribute in that manner. I’m totally blown away by the commitment of all the coders who contribute to XBMC and make it such a really fine MEDIA PLAYER! Keep up the fantastic work, you CODERS sure have my gratitude and thanks.

  • tillbaks Jul 31, 2013 

    So when can we finally change guisettings with jsonrpc? Or automate in another way?
    Going trough the settings every time I want to switch between headphones and speakers is getting really annoying. :D

  • Joe D Aug 03, 2013 

    Alpha 6 still broken for me. Seems about 50% of my mkv files play super fast, Haven’t been able to determine the cause or format responsible. It happens sometimes with x264/ac3 and sometimes with x264/dts other times those formats are fine. I haven’t seen it happen with x264/acc.
    Win7 64
    Nvidia gt440

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