Release 0.5.0b9: Surrounded by Sound

06.21.08 47 Comments

I dropped Anna off at the airport this morning; she’s on a two week trip to the mainland to visit family. Plus, it’s been raining all day. These two things conspired to keep me inside all day wrapping up the release. (That’s not entirely true, a couple of friends came over with a lot of beer and I spent the better part of the afternoon in an alcohol-induced stupor. But I digress.)

Here are the changes in this release (HTTP, torrent, source). I’m hoping that we can get this 0.5 release wrapped up and move on to the new and interesting things coming in 0.6. (Translation: please don’t report any more damn bugs for this version!) The next beta will be a release candidate.

  • NEW: AC3 encoding. This is a killer new feature that allows your receiver to play full surround sound from “unsupported” formats, like AAC and FLAC. My hat is off to Ryan Walklin who got it working in record time. I know, we’re supposed to be stabilizing things for 0.5 final, but this was just too damn cool not to work in. Go play some Apple Trailers and then throw your Apple TV out the window.
  • FIX: The infamous and incredibly annoying “CAPETag” bug, manifested by a crash in the middle of music playlists (randomly, of course).
  • FIX: GIF image loading was kind of broken. I’m surprised nobody noticed. I guess everyone’s pr0n collection has moved to JPEG? Boobs do look better in 24 bit color.
  • FIX: A crash with keyboard layouts (thanks to Enrique and Roman).
  • FIX: Text subtitles with more than two lines would have missing lines.
  • FIX and FIX: Lots of fixes to smart folders. We now run asynchronously and timeout after a while if nothing has been returned. Memory handling has been fixed (thanks, Enrique!) so it doesn’t crash when scanning a smart-folder-source to the library. And we respect the folders scope when executing the query.
  • FIX: Switching between full-screen and windowed mode has been fixed to return to the same windowed resolution.
  • FIX: Hugely reduced latency with controllers (XBox360/Apple Remote). The difference is unbelievable with the XBox360 controller, it should be indistinguishable from a wired controller at this point.
  • FIX: Crash when displaying SSA subtitles in some cases. Thanks to Bad Mr Frosty and Parag for helping me track this down!
  • FIX: Minor changes to the way we do vsync, not sure if it will improve things for people having trouble, but it won’t make things worse.
  • FIX: Revert the logarithmic volume change. Not sure if it’s a Mac thing or not, but it just made things really quiet for the majority of the volume range.
  • FIX: Crash on exit when exiting when a script is running.
  • FIX: Some erroneous references to /opt/local in the libraries we ship in Resources.
  • FIX: 187.avi was getting stacked with 300.mkv, and I can assure you that the latter really doesn’t play well after the former. Although, come to think of it, Samuel L Jackson yelling “This is motherfucking Sparta!” would be pretty awesome.
  • FIX: The XBMCHelper is now killed again when you disable it in the settings.
  • NEW: Enrique added support for CoreFoundation’s exception handling, so that we better log those sorts of errors.
  • FIX: Enrique fixed a few more memory leaks and built the latest libcdio to fix a crash.
  • NEW: (Bonus subtitle-lover’s feature) Rather than just being able to select the lowly Arial font (or whatever you tossed in the media/Fonts directory in your application package (and come on, who does that?) you can now pick from a large number of Apple-supplied fonts. Seen below is Georgia Bold. Please let me know if you have an answer to the question posed.


I also cherry-picked some fixes from the linuxport branch, most notably:

  • A crash opening context menus (yuvalt).
  • Crash in Python selecting list items (nice one, vulkanr!)
  • Better thread-safety in DLL trackers (charleydoes)
  • Fixes to AC3/DTS buffering (elupus)

With these changes plus the crash on exit from the list above, Python support should actually be pretty solid, or at least getting there!

My sincere thanks to our community, you are all awesome. Almost 450 users on the forum, over 2000 posts, simply brilliant. We’re getting top-notch bug reports, and people are being really helpful and friendly.

Without further ado, your Barkley.


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  • Excellent work! I (and lots of friends of mine) are really pleased with everything you do. Every process you make is closely followed and makes us smile a bit more! This makes our apple mini’s excellent devices for vide/audio/picture media! I loved xbmc on my xbox but this is even better … looking forward to an ‘apple like’ interface instead of the xbox .. but that is just a minor detail. The ability to play almost everything and with excellent results is remarkable!
    I (and a assume many others) are extremely pleased with all the work you put into this project and every step you (and your friends) are making to create the ulimate solution for turning an apple in a brilliant media device!

    Many thanks!


  • Hi Elan,
    Awesome work…now important topic…..much as I love the pics of Barkley I’ve got to ask who’s the hot bikini chick in the background of the pic 😉

    Love your work


  • @Noel: That’s my wife :)

  • Oops, Noel. Bad boy! :)

  • I have noticed the bug with some .avi files playing faster too… like 1.5 times the speed theyre supposed to be played at.

  • … it wasn’t there in the previous resease I used btw

  • @kainen: Thanks for verifying that it is a regression. It will be fixed in the next beta (or here:

  • Hello again, thó i cannot start a new tread in feature Requests, i maybe could do it here, i have been using itunes for playing music before i heard of xbmc for mac in my livingrrom, now to my problem, i´d like xbmc to find all my album cover art like the itunes does, maybe a thought to change the server where xbmc get´s it´s album cover art? or maybe i can do it my self??? if so please help me with a great server, and a can confirm that also some of my videos now plays unsync with the audio. But the album cover art problem is much more prio 😉 have a great sunday, and may germany win today.

  • no, SPAIN won!! Yeahh 😛

    By the way, I was wondering, DVR functionality is planned?, or some kind of eye tv implementation or something, because I use it very often and I have to constantly switch between eye tv and osxbmc
    Thanks for everything, and Spain euro champion 2008! 😀

  • I don’t know you, but thanks so much!

    Some dude in a forum pointed me in your direction and I’m pleased to let you know that you’re in charge of –the only– program that allows my macbook to play 1080p without a hitch.

    I thank you kindly and look forward to whatever is up your sleeve.

  • I’d like to thank you guys for making such a wicked piece of software. The only software that allows my MacBook to play 1080p. You’re a life saver! I’ll donate if you make it so you can tell OSXBMC to apply full screen to an extended screen, example an HD tv. At the moment I have to clamshell my MacBook to get it to work properly. Unless there’s something I’m missing?

    Anyway, Keep it up! You rock!

  • @beto77: I was happy to see Spain won, since I lived there for four years growing up :)

    @Eric: Thanks for the kind words!

    @Andrew: Thank you! Go to Settings -> Appearance -> Screen and go through the modes until you find one that reads “Full Screen #2″ or something like that.

  • Hey madmax,

    Are you using the original xbox remote as your primary remote for xbmc for os x? If so, does it behave exactly as it does on the regular xbox (latency, buttons). I’m asking because every time I use my xbox xbmc it feels much more substantial (I know this sounds funny) than either the apple remote or my harmony 880.

  • @Andy: I know what you mean with the Apple Remote. With the latest fixes in b9, the wireless XBox360 controller feels quite good, indistinguishable (to me, at least) from the wired controller/XBox in terms of latency.

  • @ elan: Cool. I can’t over state how much nicer this project is to use compared to front row, even with the apple remote’s functionality as it is.

    I know there are bigger fish to fry, but plug n’ play usb-> xbox1 dvd remote for xbmc for os x would be killer.

  • elan: No problem, glad I could help :)

    Do you have any idea of when you’re going to release the next version?

  • any updates coming ?

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