It’s been a LONG time coming. Too long. But here it is. XBMC 10.0 “Dharma” is ready for consumption. Those who have been following development know that add-ons are the main focus of this release. In the past, in order to find a new skin, you would have to dig through the forums, find a link, and hope it worked. Ditto for plugins, scrapers, etc. Those days are over. All of these things are now available within XBMC, no need to put down the remote to find new content or change the look of your HTPC. Just head to the “add-ons” section in the system menu. At the time of this writing, there are 11 different skins available, all with distinct looks and personalities. But we didn’t stop there. Want to watch your favorite youtube videos? Listen to some web radio or podcasts? Install a web interface to control your living-room experience, or even one to manage your media? It’s all available in the new add-ons system. Even before the final release, we have seen an average of 50,000 add-on downloads per day. It’s time for you to see what many others have discovered! And remember, the best part is that the add-ons are very much alive. New ones are being added every day, and current ones are continuously updated.
But that’s just the beginning of Dharma. We have improved the entire experience. As always, we strive to play all of the current media formats available, including the new WebM/VP8 codec that is the latest buzz. Hardware acceleration has been added in windows (Vista or 7) via DXVA2, CrystalHD has been added for all platforms (best supported in OSX and Linux), VDPAU support has been improved in Linux, and VAAPI support has been added for the hardware that supports it in Linux. There are far too many improvements to list here, so check out the changelog for a full list. For those of you who would like to see what XBMC is all about without disturbing your current system, give XBMC Live a shot. It’s a bootable LiveCD that boots directly into XBMC, and even provides a nice graphical installer (check in “Programs”). If your htpc doesn’t have a cdrom, check out UNetbootin to create a bootable flash drive. And don’t forget to check out the iPhone and Android XBMC remotes, they’re the perfect companion to your mediacenter. We have spent almost a year on Dharma and we hope that you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed creating it. XBMC continues to be a great example of open-source software and community-based development. Maybe we’ll find some time to kick back in our media rooms for a few days and enjoy the experience… or maybe we’ll just get to work on Eden. Note that the skins in the Skins Gallery page has not yet been updated to match the newly available skins. Look for a website revamp that includes a live add-ons browser in the near future. Update: Shoutcast support via the addon was broken at the last minute (yesterday!) by a change made by AOL. See here, here, and here. We have mailed them asking for an exception, but if they wouldn’t do it for VLC, they aren’t likely to do it for us either. We are looking into other options.