One of the best open source media players for Android, Linux, iOS, Windows, and OSX has just been improved with the release of a new version. The stable version XBMC 13 “Gotham”, which has been in development for several months, is now available free to download. The new software now supports hardware-accelerated video decoding in Android and an improved touchscreen experience among other things.
Here’s a list of the new features in XBMC 13.
Android Hardware Decoding
- One of the most heavily requested features by users has now arrived in XBMC. Hardware decoding allows the software to make use of the hardware of the device making it perform certain functions faster compared to just the software using the CPU. XBMC now supports hardware decoding for devices running on Android 4.0 and above and is available for ARM or x86 devices. Not all devices are supported though as AllWinner A1X/A20 and Amlogic SoCs are not designed to handle the standard Android StrageFright or MediaCodec APIs.
Raspberry Pi, Android Speed Improvements
- This new version has been designed to run smoothly in lower powered platforms such as the Raspberry Pi or Android. Users will notice that it now takes less time to open libraries, browse through files, load images, or even start videos.
Stereoscopic 3D Support
- Those who love to watch 3D movies should be pleased to know that this updated software now supports 3D movies encoded in SBS, TAB, anaglyph, and interlaced formats. It does not support 3D Blurays as of the moment and is not able to support hardware acceleration for FullSBS/TAB movies.
Improved Touchscreen Support
- Gesture controls can now be used during video playback. Swiping controls is also now supported in navigation.
Improved UPnP capabilities
- Devices in your home with the latest XBMC installed will now be able to communicate with each as well as other UPnP devices. This allows video files to be easily accessed from a tablet, smartphone, or home media player. One great feature is that if you watch videos from the XBMC UPnP server your watch status will be updated so you will know which movies you have already watched and which ones you haven’t.
Audio Engine Improvements
- XBMC 13 uses an improved audio engine that is simpler, faster, and provides a better audio experience.
Settings have now been made easier with the introduction of levels starting with beginner going all the way up to expert. An average XBMC user will not need the advanced settings list therefore they can just use the beginner level which allows for the easy navigation and watching of movies. If there’s a setting that’s not included but needs to be accessed then all that has to be done is to simply adjust the setting level to gain access to more settings. Every setting now includes a description of what it does. There’s also a reset to default status included which is useful when the settings have been messed up.
Improved Subtitle Search
- Users will now be able to download their preferred subtitle add-on before starting a movie.
If you are interested in checking out this new version then try installing it on your Android device now.