While I was away the Raspbmc project has been updated to release candidate 4. The XBMC build for the Raspberry Pi takes advantage of native floating point calculations making the UI much faster and smoother.
As well as the performance improvements there are lots of bug fixes and features like AFP and CEC support (see my post for more details). Checkout the blog post for all the details and since rc4 was released there has been some additional improvements detailed here
Hard floating point & Raspbian
Previously, Raspbmc relied software emulated floating point calculations. Now by using native hardware to perform this action, we see an incredible increase in performance. Navigating the UI is more fluid than ever, and, as before, playback performance is unrivaled and flawless. This is probably the most significant yet understated feature in this release. It brings the best performance increase of any bug fix or feature introduction yet. I would like to thank s7mx1 for working on getting XBMC to play nice with the toolchain, and Dom @ Raspberry Pi for giving us a workable toolchain.
Raspbmc is now based on Raspbian, which is in turn a derivative of Debian Wheezy. Raspbian has been optimised to run on the Pi as it uses hardware based floating point.
A new kernel and new firmware
An updated kernel and new firmware blobs are now available; bringing new features, stability and bug fixes. USB disconnect issues and freezes upon removal are a thing of the past. SD card compatibility is better than ever before, and it is most likely your card will work with little trouble.
- There was previously a bug where overscan would not persist on reboots.
- Fixed ‘mounting filesystem’ error
- Fixed scale of font for xbmc-watchdog. Now if you exit XBMC, you can read the text on non-1080p screens
- Fixed NFS library mismatch issues with new nightlies.
- Fixed webserver issues.
- USB drives now mount at boot as well as during uptime.
- CEC does not interfere with Composite playback