On my old blog that I started while I had a mountain of time, I made a series thingie about stuff that I liked. Granted, it was 99% about parenting stuff, but I still think it's important to share what I like.
I'd like to revisit the situation. Plus I'm avoiding getting on a treadmill, so....
Media - Kodi
|It looked complicated to me, but it really wasn't at all.|
I can't say enough awesome stuff about this setup, but in short, it gets it done. I have a ChromeBox that boots into Kodi or Chrome OS, and Kodi does 99% of the stuff I want it to. For that 1%, Chrome OS gladly takes up the slack.
The long version is:
Kodi used to be called XBMC, standing for XBox Media Centre.
I started using XBMC back in the days when I had an XBOX classic, and loved it. It streamed media beautifully. I even went to stores that sold used XBOX classics (the 360 had been around for a few years), and bought them to have, just in case mine died. And it did. Several times.
Eventually, I got to the point where the hardware was failing faster than I could replace it, so I decided to go back to having a computer do the job and bought a Mac Mini. I was used to having XBMC, and there was a version of XBMC that ran on the mac, so I thought I was all set. I found that it was too slow, so I went to using the core OS. Bit by bit, my Mac got a bit old, and wasn't able to do stuff very well. I pondered the idea of upgrading it, but it was so expensive, and I didn't know that I'd be happy with the results, so I plunged again, this time to a ChromeBox. I have a ChromeBook, and it's great for what it is - a window to the web. That's it, though. The limitations of the Chrome OS started to show after a while, namely:
- Inability to access Windows File Systems
- Wonky File Manager (Moving one file at a time was possible, moving multiples was problematic)
- Limited media viewing (couldn't see images of DVDs, and stuff like that).
It was gorgeous for web stuff, and it booted SO fast, I barely needed to breathe.
I heard about the ability to load XBMC, now renamed to Kodi, onto a ChromeBox, and I started salivating. It takes awhile, but it's amazingly worth it (instructions here). I'll admit, I was hesitant, but after an hour of floundering, I was ready to rock.
I'm still working out some network kinks with it, but this is small potatoes next to the feeling that I couldn't do anything with the old setup. It can do everything that I was missing, and looks damn sexy doing it too!
I have a few other things that I like, that I'll ramble on about when I have a few moments.