PtitSeb has been hard at work on a few exciting ports and he is releasing today XBMC for Pandora in a new fresh build. I was lamenting over the lack of proper video player front end a few weeks back, and now that XMBC is here my life is almost complete.
I’m familiar with XBMC since the early days of its inception. I had a hacked Xbox more than 10 years ago and I was using it to watch videos with the very first builds of XBMC. It was already a fantastic software at the time and since then it has become Open Source and Cross Platform and can be extended via tons of plugins to do about everything you can dream of.
I have just given this XBMC build a go and it feels smooth and just right. PtitSeb told me it runs using GLES2 so the interface is hardware accelerated. I tried playing some of my Coursera courses downloaded with Courserian and it had, as expected, no issue playing it.
I downloaded addons both in the video and music categories and the ones that were compatible worked fine (I had a crash with Gametrailers, though). I watched the news live with i24 (a Tv station based in tel-aviv) and I tried to watch Apple Movie Trailers and they worked flawlessly once I set up the resolution at 480p instead of the 720p default.
Note, and this is very important, that you NEED a wifi dongle to make streaming work properly. The Wifi chip on my 1ghz is usually not as bad as some others seem to report, but for streaming it just did not work. I inserted my wifi dongle in the USB port and that made a world of difference for both audio and video streaming.
On the music side I tried a radio plugin that enables the streaming of more than 7000 radios from all around the world. The few I tried worked well enough.
Having XBMC on the Pandora running THAT well is a blessing. I can now completely replace the Raspberry Pi that I sometimes turned on just to run Raspbmc on my TV. Yeah, the Pandora certainly does not do Full HD video but streaming quality is usually way worse than Full HD so who cares!
There are still a number of plugins showing as being incompatible and I am assuming it’s just a matter of missing libs at this stage. Ptitseb will probably confirm that down the road. By the way, this XBMC PND should be available on the repo as you read these lines!
A very impressive port, once again PtitSeb saves the day!