XBMC 13 – Gotham – February Cycle

Posted By: Nathan Betzen on Mar 14, 2013 in Site News

Before we get started with the Cycle release notes, we are going to let the cat out of the bag. Team XBMC has voted and determined that the development code name for XBMC 13 will be Gotham. Those of you with art skills are welcome to start putting together awesome XBMC 13 Gotham images now, if you like.

With XBMC 12 – Frodo released, we are now returning to our monthly development cycle, where the first portion of the month is dedicated to feature additions and the second portion is devoted to bug fixes for those and other features. This means, at the end of every month, developers, bug-reporters, and those willing to deal with potentially highly unstable builds can try a snapshot from the current development cycle, and the organization, in turn, will have a more stable and predictable development process. For those of you who would prefer a stable version of XBMC, we will always recommend the most recent stable release (XBMC 12.0), but for the brave, you are welcome to try the end of the month build. To give an idea of just how unstable/alpha these builds can be, there will almost certainly be months in which some platforms won’t actually have usable builds. As always, we recommend you backup your userdata folder before upgrading.

With that said, let’s review some of the more notable changes from the February Changelog.

Play Using…

As many of you know, one of the bigger pushes for the XBMC project over the past year has been a dramatic improvement in UPnP support. In continuing that trend, developer elupus has implemented a new UPnP Play Using… feature, which allows the current XBMC machine you are interacting with to push video or audio to any UPnP compatible device that supports the file-type.

For those familiar with AirPlay for video and audio, this is quite similar, except now you don’t need to be using an iOS device to push your content. You just need to check the box to turn on your UPnP server in XBMC under System->Services->UPnP and you can send your media anywhere that supports it.

Once UPnP is enabled, simply highlight some piece of media, open the context menu, and select “Play using.” A list of your UPnP compatible devices will pop up, including any other instances of XBMC that you’ve allowed to be controlled by UPnP (also a setting in System->Services).

At the moment, Play Using cannot be used mid-playback, though that is slated to be introduced. Also, as you can see in the above image, the controls on the device that is serving up the media are limited in the default skin Confluence, but are the full playback controls in the mobile skin Touched. Playback itself is already nearly flawless. Also, at present Play Using only works for local media and does not yet support video and audio streaming addons.

Android Improvements

This first cycle includes a slew of Android improvements. For starters, XBMC now controls native Android audio, so users don’t have to close XBMC, turn the volume up, re-open XBMC, and finally listen to whatever they were listening to. Instead, the audio is controlled like any other Android app (thanks to mcrosson). Second, XBMC for Android is no longer stuck facing one direction. If you flip your Android device 180 degrees, XBMC will flip with it (thanks to montellese).

iOS Improvements

The local iOS keyboard is already the default keyboard for XBMC, but now it has even more utility. It can accept any text from any iOS language, and it also supports the iOS clipboard copy and paste feature (thanks to ulion).

Other Improvements

Dev Montellese continues his breakneck work of improving the XBMC library. With this cycle, he has added tags for tv shows and musicvideos, and he has also made it possible for those individuals who like to pick and choose each piece of media art individually to add alternative artwork (landscape, banner, etc.) without needing to use an addon like the automated Artwork Downloader. To use this feature, click “Choose art” on a piece of media’s info screen, and then select “Add art” at the bottom.

Conclusion

As always, this is merely a sample of the many changes this cycle. For a full list of all the February changes, feel free to take a look at our list of February milestones. It’s quite a long list this month. Also, keep an eye out for both the March Cycle and other stories on the blog. Or, if you are feeling a bit brave and a bit lucky, just start downloading.

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.

For those of you who are tracking and submitting bugs: You may notice that Github has an “Issues” section. The Team would very much appreciate it if you did not submit bug reports through that section, but rather continued to use the forums and Trac. At the moment, the Team is using Issues as a concise means of grouping and identifying particular bugs that they gather from the forum and Trac sources. Thanks for your help!

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Discussion - 62 Comments

  • Anonymous Mar 14, 2013 

    Wow. Team XBMC is simply amazing.

  • Cristian Mar 14, 2013 

    I hope to see soon some improvements on library scraping so we don’t need to rename every single file

  • Niki Mar 14, 2013 

    I wonder if play using will support subtitles.. But if it is using standard UPNP probably not :(

  • Andrew McMillan Mar 14, 2013 

    GOTHAM. EPIC.

  • Jay Mar 14, 2013 

    Gotham is an awesome name.

  • saitoh183 Mar 14, 2013 

    I hope to see some changes to how we work with centralization of Database

  • wnuck Mar 14, 2013 

    I hope “play with” will be working on android soon.

  • sdsnyr94 Mar 14, 2013 

    Will the “Play On” feature play on both the local XBMC and the UPnP device simultaneously?

  • Klojum Mar 14, 2013 

    saitoh183 :
    I hope to see some changes to how we work with centralization of Database

    Care to share some of those “changes” with us? I too prefer to use a centralized database, and the setup should be done easier, via the GUI. Not via manually editing some hard-to-find xml file. But the internal schema of the database needs to be addressed first. More optimizations and normalisations need to be implemented. Not to mention the use of actual DATETIME fields instead of TEXT fields in the database where a date value is to be used.

  • pxpto Mar 14, 2013 

    A feature I would love to see on XBMC 13 is the ability to quickly rate pictures during a slideshow and then viewing them later through a rating filter (ie, all the pictures with 5 stars, etc). Like a library mode for pictures. It would also be nice to somehow copy those stared pictures to a specific place (ie, pen drive for printing).

  • natethomas Mar 14, 2013 

    sdsnyr94 :

    Will the “Play On” feature play on both the local XBMC and the UPnP device simultaneously?

    Not at the present. You have to select which device you’d like it to play on. I’m not really sure how much work or how possible it would be to do simultaneous playback.

  • Pynto Mar 14, 2013 

    Nice :)
    Maybe in next version the “watched status” will be personal for each user, and not shared as it is now.
    And the scrapers dont really work outside of usa, had to create movie.nfo in each folder with imdb url.

  • Pop006 Mar 14, 2013 

    interesting that you called the monthly build “xbmc-13.0-Gotham_alpha1.exe” instead of 12.1 like you use to. Any particular reason for the switchup?

  • Martijn Mar 14, 2013 

    @Pop006
    We have always called it like that. Check the download mirrors.
    12.1 would be a bugfix release and no alpha

  • dhead Mar 14, 2013 

    Thanks Nate.
    The dev’ cycles and the monthly posts are great.
    Cheers :)

  • LusseLelle Mar 14, 2013 

    Let me get this straight – is it possible to play, for example, music from my Android/iPhone using Spotify and then stream said music to my HTPC?

  • hewligun Mar 14, 2013 

    I know its not likely happening soon but hopefully upnp or something else will replace the mysql or sqllite and we can manage 1 instance for the rest of the home.

  • Red Tape Media Mar 14, 2013 

    Gotham is the best code name ever. Batman is awesome. :)

  • deltaco4life Mar 14, 2013 

    One improvement Id like to see is with file browsing. For instance, in windows explorer when you press “P” the list will navigate to the folders/files that begin with “P”. This would make it a little easier to maneuver through larger archives. Just an idea….

  • ManelR Mar 14, 2013 

    Hi,

    Thanks to all XBMC Development Team! You’re awesome people!

    I’ve read about many improvements in the library management. I would like to see some improvements in the file recogntion if the files have been renamed from outside XBMC. Actually they are re-scrapped and you have the same title twice in your library.

    For example, this happens a lot if you have a season for a TV show and use some automatic renamer (like FileBot or TVRename) for changing the name to the chapter title instead of a simply SxxEyy.

    In the meantime, I export the library to individual files in the media folders, remove the content from the library, change the names of all files (media files, nfo, jpg, etc.) and re-scrappe again.

    Thanks again for your software!

  • Tanglin Mar 14, 2013 

    @deltaco4life
    XBMC already does that, but you have to hold down the Shift key…

  • Martijn Mar 15, 2013 

    deltaco4life :

    One improvement Id like to see is with file browsing. For instance, in windows explorer when you press “P” the list will navigate to the folders/files that begin with “P”. This would make it a little easier to maneuver through larger archives. Just an idea….

    Hit SHIFT+P

  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2013 
  • Bruno Rosa // TaRuGo Mar 15, 2013 

    Hardware acceleration for Android users? :D

    (Galaxy S3, maybe?)

  • deltaco4life Mar 15, 2013 

    Tanglin :@deltaco4life XBMC already does that, but you have to hold down the Shift key…

    Wow, thanks. I was always surprised that it didn’t have that ability. :/

  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2013 

    I wish there was support for standard definition tv’s included in the default skin instead of having to modify the skin manually enlarging the fonts. At the same time, the skin just doesn’t look right.

  • craig Mar 15, 2013 

    @Laser
    the like you showed is for airplay not upnp

  • TC Mar 15, 2013 

    You guys are great.. hope you’re getting paid in whatever fashion necessary for you to keep up the good work… (beer, bjs, $$, drugs, whatever :)

  • die Mar 15, 2013 

    @Anonymous
    I hope one day your SD TV topples over and crushes you. #2013

  • ricardo Mar 15, 2013 

    saitoh183 :
    I hope to see some changes to how we work with centralization of Database

    Me too

  • nick Mar 15, 2013 

    @wnuck works already

  • AJ Mar 15, 2013 

    Team XBMC,

    I hope you will support the external subtitles while using UPuP for version 13 (Gotham). I’m looking forward to this! I’m deaf by the way! Deaf community needs this!

    Thanks,
    AJ

  • Grim Mar 15, 2013 

    is http://trac.xbmc.org/ticket/13191 going to be in 12.1 ?

  • Grim Mar 15, 2013 
  • dg Mar 15, 2013 

    any chance that freememorycachepercent and alwaysforcebuffer are available in this build?
    if not, any idea if and when for the future?

  • Mitchell Mar 15, 2013 

    Sounds great. Please be sure to include BB10 support as well.

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2013 

    The UPNP failed to work on my Denon 3808 receiver. Oh well…

  • Dush Mar 16, 2013 

    Nice feature with the uPnP send. I’ve been after that in the Plex android app for a while. This way I can browse meta data and just send it to my DLNA TV/WDTV.

    At present WDTV doesn’t work though, it’s picked up but doesn’t render.

  • stephan Mar 16, 2013 

    Great works .

    I am wondering when the hardware accelerated will be avalable for Android TEGRA 3 devices (ASUS). I cannot help you with this programming, but I respect all of you.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Losty Mar 16, 2013 

    Wow play using rocks! I can finally use xbmc as the remote to xbmc :-)

  • The_D Mar 16, 2013 

    I have tried Play Using to my Oppo 103 BD player & my Denon 3311 AV receiver and both fail to play any file type. Maybe I’m missing something.

  • moonwhaler Mar 17, 2013 

    That rocks! Will the UPnP feature support some kind of “multi room audio” (without a separate addon)? E.g. sending media to multiple UPnP devices at once?

  • The Mar 17, 2013 

    pxpto :
    A feature I would love to see on XBMC 13 is the ability to quickly rate pictures during a slideshow and then viewing them later through a rating filter (ie, all the pictures with 5 stars, etc). Like a library mode for pictures. It would also be nice to somehow copy those stared pictures to a specific place (ie, pen drive for printing).

    Please, support KPhotoAlbum’s format out of the box for this Library and I’m all set. :)

  • natethomas Mar 17, 2013 

    @Losty
    Yo dawg,

  • Pierre Mar 18, 2013 

    @deltaco4life

    Press “shift” + P

  • Aenkor Mar 18, 2013 

    @Cristian: I totally agree with you…

    I think the whole image changes in Frodo were not necessary!? Fanart,folder,… were common names and it was good. Why did they change the names at all? I didn´t get it… It was a lot of work for all of us…

    Thx to team XBMC for your work. I don´t want to bash…=)

  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2013 

    Hi :)
    It is possible to stream from an Android system, like Nexus 7, or other, to Ps3?
    I wanna stream xbmc contente add-on line hulu,break.com, etc to ps3?
    Thanks in avance. Cheers from Portugal.

  • Ned Scott Mar 18, 2013 

    @Aenkor
    Most, if not all, of the old naming conventions for images are still supported. Changes were necessary so that XBMC’s core could properly handle additional images, like poster and banner at the same time.

  • Laser Mar 19, 2013 

    that version is newer, this or the 12.1?

  • Anghor Mar 19, 2013 

    Is XBMC for android “Play Using…” capable? I can’t find that option anywhere. I have UPNP turn on.

  • alcoheca Mar 19, 2013 

    @AJ It’ll definitely make it into Gotham – you have my promise, we just ran out of time last year.

  • Ghostdivision Mar 20, 2013 

    Will the play using feature be available to be used right from an xbmc app? That is where I see the real beauty in this not having to be confined right to your xbmc setup and do it, but be able to access your media from the xbmc IOS or android app and use the play to function wherever you are in your home…

    IS this or will it be possible?

  • Ziplock9000 Mar 20, 2013 

    Please please please more hardware decoding support for Android. With almost all media content being 720 or 1080, this renders XBMC on Android a toy for most and not something serious.

  • Ghostdivision Mar 20, 2013 

    Also just to follow up in-case I am unclear, could i say select a show or music file on my xbmc iso app on my iphone, and select the play now feature from the xbmc iphone app itself while being entirely away from my xbmc/htpc player?

  • Ghostdivision Mar 20, 2013 

    Sorry play using I mean, not play now.

  • pete Mar 20, 2013 

    ive got the right click on video on play via (name of tv) its a Samsung smart tv I can find xbmc server in the content area but no way of playing what xbmc tells me its sending too it any ideas ?

  • HTPC Mar 23, 2013 

    I would like to see this implemented within Xbmc 13.

    http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=78431

    Thanks to the Xbmc team once again.

  • Huzz456 Mar 26, 2013 

    Can ‘play using’ be used to stream music to an airport express?

  • Huzz456 Mar 26, 2013 

    Ooh I just found a way to stream to airport express you just need to install an app from dbpoweramp which picks up airport express’ on your network then broadcasts them as upnp devices which xbmc then shows under play using. It doesn’t actually show in xbmc that its playing but you can control it and basically works. Not perfect but a great step forward! :) I really hope that in the future we are able to get a multi room experience from this

  • The_D Mar 27, 2013 

    The play using feature mysteriously started working for me, not sure what the problem was before.

    Any idea if/when we will be able to use the xbmc remote app with the “play using” feature? Wait for the official v13 app, probably?

  • bdgarcia Mar 27, 2013 

    Hi, will native playback of 3D Blu-Ray ISOs be included as part of Gotham? That is the only thing that keeps me from moving to XBMC!!

About Kodi

Kodi is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.