My Linux Ubuntu 12.10 Minimal / XBMC V12.0 Frodo HTPC project has been coming along, almost at the point of getting in to XBMC skin configurations. I installed the Aeon Nox skin for a quick look.
Which skin are you using for XBMC? What do you recommend? The Aeon ones always seemed to be the best to me. Obviously on a proper HTPC build like the one I did recently for this project, horsepower is not an issue, how does this skin perform on devices like jail broken Apple TVs and Raspberry Pi?
Main Menu – Music
The background image of the speakers randomly changes to another background related to music, likewise on the other menu items like Movies and TV Shows the background images are dynamic and change.
On the Music menu (Or on other menus) you press the down arrow on the remote control to show the submenu which shows things like Recent – Artists – Albums – Songs – Files
Main Menu – Movies
On the Movies submenu you can select things like Titles, Genres, Movie Sets (My Movies.dk don’t support sets currently), Trailers, Latest.
Main Menu – Music Videos
Main Menu – TV Shows
Main Menu – Videos
Main Menu – Shutdown
Main Menu – Weather
Main Menu – Pictures
There is still no proper pictures library in XBMC by default, unlike the Windows Media Center pictures library. Its just a folder / file browsing type of deal. I believe there are some picture library add-ons for XBMC I need to look in to these.
Artists – InfoWall View
I am currently using the inbuilt Universal Scrapers for Music Artist and Album images and metadata. When I installed the Aeon Nox skin, it also installed some additional add-ons. These where called: Artist Slideshow, Artwork Downloader and I think there was another one called CDArt which I can’t find now in the settings, will need to look in to all these new metadata add-ons and see how they are going to work, as I know some of these add-ons actually place new folders and files in amongst your data on your server, unlike the Universal scrapers which don’t do that. So I am cautious about them. Especially if Posters are selected for download and they start replacing your My Movies.dk movie covers.
Artists – TriPanel View
Albums – Wall View
The album covers have not been downloaded by any of the XBMC Scraper add-ons they are all just my Folder.jpg images in the albums folders.
Albums – InfoPanel View
Album – Track List
Album Now Playing on main menu
The coloured blocks you can see is a dynamic and moving music visualisation, that spins round and the blocks move up and down, you can also pick other visualisations in the Music Playback settings.
There seems to be two now playing screens? If I click back on the remote control from the main menu when an album is playing, I then get this screen. The top left image of the band is dynamic and changes this is the Artist Slideshow add-on I think.
Movies Titles – Wall View
Looks a bit like the Covers Full Screen view in My Movies in MCE and is the view I normally use.
Movie Title – Info page
I haven’t figured out the Actors and Crew images yet, the parental rating is shown, however XBMC does not have proper parental controls like My Movies in MCE does. You can see the synopsis and other details and also the media information about the file is shown and the SMB path to the server at the bottom. This particular movie is a 1080P MKV file with a DTS audio track.
Movie Titles – TriPanel View
There are 14 different views from what I can tell in Aeon Nox, below are just some of them!
Movie Titles – Panel View
Movie Titles – Posters View
Movie Titles – Shift View
TV Shows – BannerPlex
I really like this view. Shame XBMC does not properly support TV Series that are DVD rips, you can read more about that here.
TV Shows – Seasons – List View
TV Shows – Episodes List
The wife and I have been watching Heroes lately, we are now on season 3 and I have totally lost the plot of what’s going on!
Again Media Info is shown about the file and the ticks next to some of the episodes is the Watched status, the ones that don’t have ticks are unwatched.
TV Shows – Episode Information
I think the Aeon Nox skin looks great, fantastic eye candy anyways! But its a big change from Windows Media Center and I was just getting use to the default XBMC Confluence skin. I think once I have worked out exactly how these new metadata add-ons are going to function and how they will affect the data on my server, I will feel more comfortable using a skin of this kind. The other thing that is a little daunting is the number of skin settings that you can mess about with. My other concern for myself here at home as I plan to use a Raspberry PI or Apple TV in my girls room, is how a skin like this might perform on hardware like that. I’d rather not have to use different looking skins on different hardware.
Let me know what you think? Any long term XBMC users reading? Any feedback or comments welcome!