Yesterday, XBMC Media Center’s Private Package Archive (PPA) sneakily came through with an update for the current stable release (10.0 Dharma). Today, we find out that this incremental update from 10.0 to 10.1 brings with it several bug fixes, as well as updates for the various included add-ons in its repositories.
(For those that are not familiar with XBMC Media Center, or are interested in trying it out on their GNU/Linux based operating system, see my XBMC Install, Setup, & Configuration Guide for Ubuntu & Linux Mint!)
A lot of the fixes in the 10.1 release look to be small changes with the Add-on updates possibly being the most significant change for the GNU/Linux platform.
Essentially, they are focusing on the next “new features” release of XBMC which, will be, 11 codenamed “Eden.” Also, in the background, they are working on cleaning up and organizing the code and structure of the program and separating the XBMC code and files from up-stream libraries and dependencies. While this may not seem like anything notable to end users, this may ultimately allow for XBMC Media Center to be included in Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint repositories by default (doing away with the need for a separate PPA)!
Probably the biggest new feature hinted at for XBMC 11 (Eden) is the new audio engine which is suppose to rectify many existing issues at once as well as include possible support for bitstreaming HD audio! For more specifics please see the quote below.
- Audio is now processed in the highest possible resolution instead of conversion to S16
- The sound device is now opened in float mode, or the next best thing that is supported.
- SDLMixer has been removed and replaced with our own mixing code finally giving us consistent GUI Sound support.
- Latency of the audio stream has been greatly improved meaning GUI sounds now play on time.
- AC3 transcode has been moved into the audio engine, meaning that GUI sounds and PAPlayer can be transcoded too.
- AC3 transcode of every sample rate is now supported instead of just 48 KHz.
- No more loss of stream sync on amplifiers when bit streaming and on pause/resume of playback.
- We can now take full advantage of PulseAudio, including its sound cache ability.
- Changing audio settings are now applied instantly and do not require a player restart any more.
- SSE conversion between formats has been added as well as extensive SSE optimizations to the software audio engine.
Aside from the audio engine and code clean-up there look to be a lot of smaller, neat, new, features being worked on for XBMC 11 (Eden) (which, should be out sometime later this year as they’re working on smaller more frequent releases following Dharma). Visit the links above for more specific details if interested!