XBMC Eden Final Released

Final Version of XBMC Eden Released

Download XBMC Eden (choose your operating system)

The final version of XBMC’s newest upgrade “Eden” has been released, turning XBMC up to 11.0 after over a year in development. People who have been playing with the various release candidates and betas (or who have been following our coverage here) will be familiar with all of the features in this release. This final version mostly fixes some bugs that people were seeing in Release Candidate 2.

Here’s some of the highlights of the XBMC 11.0 “Eden” release:

  • Addon rollbacks to previous versions + addon searching
  • Library search function
  • Improved support for addons and features that focus on streaming content from the web
  • Improved mouse and touch support across all OS
  • Added more subtitle options and support
  • Added Airplay support for video, music, and picture libraries
  • Improved UPnP streaming experience
  • Improved support for movie collections
  • Switched Confluence (default skin) to a horizontal layout and improved fanart support throughout
  • Changed weather providers and added lookup by IP adddress
  • Ported XBMC to iOS 4.x and added support for most jailbroken iOS gadgets
  • Updated XBMCbuntu (XBMC based linux distro) to recent version with full Eden features
See full changelog: here

Review

XBMC Eden is undoubtedly quicker than it’s predecessor, and is much better suited to lower-end hardware. In my tests, I found that it uses less memory in an “idle” state (just sitting at the main menu) than Dharma does, and only uses a touch more than Dharma during HD video playback. CPU usage is about the same, while video card usage ramped up slightly.

Of course, the big news is in the difference you can see. Confluence (default XBMC skin) has gone horizontal, giving your fan art/image choices that much more viewing space. Scrolling is a little confusing in a horizontal skin, but overall it’s certainly more visually appealing and gives more space to screen-space hungry add-ons. If you still can’t bear to give up the vertical Confluence it looks like Jezz_X (author of Confluence) will be maintaining an old-school vertical version throughout XBMC Eden’s lifetime: see here. If you’re a true fan of your fanart, try an even more fanart focused skin: Transparency!

Expect to see a greater diversity of add-ons, since Eden has cleaned up its JSON-RPC API and enabled a number of changes that make creating add-ons easier, like the ability to have a seperate web interface and the ability for add-ons to create their own settings files. Add-on rollbacks will also allow users to downgrade to older versions of add-ons if a new version is broken or just not to their liking. Finally, the ability to search add-ons via a simple text search.

Unfortunately, XBMC Eden still does not address the number of “repositories” that users have made themselves. There is of course the official XBMC.org repo, but plenty of good add-ons come from other places. An open add-on repository (I hesitate to call it a “market” or “store”, but I guess it’s just a matter of time) would go a long way towards clearing up that issue and consolidating all the feature-rich add-ons out there. The best way to add unofficial repositories is still through the Repository Installer. They will then show up in XBMC and will be included in any add-on searches you make.

Upgrade Process

First, download the most recent version of Eden from XBMC’s download page. Choose your operating system.

Just run the executable you get from the download. Setup is quick, and you can choose defaults.

THIS WILL OVERWRITE YOUR OLD XBMC VERSION. However, your settings will be preserved. Specifically, your entire userdata folder will be preserved.

Any plugins that have Eden specific versions will automatically attempt an update. They may be a little broken until the update finishes.

Your libraries and media will all be preserved.

Here’s a link to the official XBMC Eden Upgrade FAQ: XBMC Wiki

 

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