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XBMC 9.04 delivers impressive media center experience

The XBMC project, which develops a popular open source media center application, announced the release of a major new version last week. XBMC 9.04, which is codenamed Babylon, delivers improved codec compatibility, an enhanced theming system, better Linux support, and many other features.

The XBMC project has its roots in the Xbox Media Player, an MPlayer-based media application that was originally designed for the Xbox video game console. XBMC currently uses its own playback engine that leverages FFMpeg, libdvdcss, and a number of other well-known open source multimedia libraries. Coded primarily in C++, it uses SDL and OpenGL for rendering. XBMC is cross-platform compatible and will run on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

The project is now on a six-month release cycle, which loosely mirrors that of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. The previous version, which was codenamed Atlantis, was released in November. XBMC can play an extremely broad assortment of common codecs and media formats.

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