We’ve touched on it before, but to recap: Back in the day when modding your Xbox was a criterion of geekdom, Xbox Media Center was king. Pictures, videos, file streaming, skinning, application launching, script support – you name it, and Xbox Media Center could probably get it done. With its awesome codec support and surprisingly vast functionality, it quickly built up a significant following of fans. Over time, efforts began to bring the application to other platforms, and the project dropped the Xbox association from the name to be redubbed as the XBMC Media Center.
After a few months of public alpha, Team-XBMC yesterday released a Beta version of the application for Mac OS X (Leopard and Tiger), Windows, and Linux in preparation for the stable ‘Atlantis’ release.
Besides being the first release stable enough to bear the Beta label, XBMC Beta 1 brings a few new goodies to the table. They’ve replaced the default “Project Mayhem 3” skin with the new, high resolution “PM3.HD”, and added iTunes/iPhoto support to the Mac release. Also, XBMC can now be ran without actually being installed via a bootable “XBMC Live” CD. And as a bit of bonus news, they’ve managed to get it up and running on AppleTVs.
If you’ve already got some crazy custom built media center PC running MythTV or SageTV, XBMC might not be enough for you quite yet. That said, if you’re looking to pick up a Mac Mini and set it up with something a bit more big-boy-toys than Front Row, XBMC is a solid option.