Long time user thinking about options.....

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Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Richard_P_Harvey on Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:47 pm

I admit that once Xlobby went commercial I lost interest in the product BUT continue to use it on several of my machines with continued success. I wanted to reach out to the experts here and get a read on what you're all doing and thinking for a front end to your HTPC's. I have looked at XBMC and I must say it's really beautiful and far more professional looking that any XL skin that I have seen. But it's got some things that i don't like about it and it seems to have a learning curve associated.

Is there something else out there, have you guys stuck with XL ...? How about Windows Media center...? I never got comfortable with WMC and it never did look to be very flexible. Just looking to the future as I don't see XL, certainly the free (old) version as having all that much more life in it.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby rorsdors on Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:22 am

Still with FreeXlobby just. Meedios now has a jukebox module, looking to get near what I want - but I havent got it working yet.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby rembetis on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:19 pm

I would say stick it out with XBMC. It does approach things differently than xlobby but the learning curve isn't all that steep, especially compared to the other options out there. I still use freeLobby on my "catch all" machine and music server, but XBMC on my dedicated HTPC.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Marbles_00 on Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:17 pm

Pretty much stuck with the free version on my HTPC, MediaPVR and Music-Server. I've messed with XBMC, but like you, didn't enjoy the learning curve. Also, I really needed TV solutions, so that basically cut out XBMC at the time. On the HTPC I have used MediaPortal (and still use the TV portion). I like it for the most part, and the StreamedMP skin was the influence for creating my xStreamed skin.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby gravy on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:41 pm

Same here - I've stuck with Free Xlobby, its pretty customized now and very tightly coupled with Girder. I went with the skin that looks a little more like MediaCentre to try to update the look, but I'd sure be interested in alternatives too.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Richard_P_Harvey on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:55 pm

Sounds like you guys are in the same place as I am. I really like the look of XBMC but in that it does not support calling external applications and that it does not have support to play BluRay movies it's out for me. What I have adopted over time is creating a clean, highly edited skin for each machine that I use X on. Once I get the look and feel I'm happy with I save the entire X folder off to my RAID box. That way when X croaks like it does every now and then I can simply go grab a fresh build for that machine off the RAD box and I'm back in business.

What would be great is if someone with a ton of skinning skill could create a REALLY beautiful skin, maybe even use one of the XBMC skins as a guide. It would give free X an updated look and feel. The basic functionality of free X is actually perfectly suited to my needs, it's just the old looking skin I guess that I would like to see updated.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:18 am

Any XBMC skin that you have taken a fancy in? If we knew the skin, then we could address it better. Note, if you say the MediaStream skin by Team Razorfish, I will chuckle. ;)
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    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Richard_P_Harvey on Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:38 pm

Marbles_00 wrote:Any XBMC skin that you have taken a fancy in? If we knew the skin, then we could address it better. Note, if you say the MediaStream skin by Team Razorfish, I will chuckle. ;)


The base skin called Confluence is nice, but my two favorites are PM3.HD and Transparency. I actually think Tranparency is the nicest looking but it's missing some of the easy navigation buttons, like a home button at the top of each screen to make it easy and quick to get home.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:33 pm

The Confluence skin has some similar qualities to the MediaStream skin (so only a :) not a :lol: ). From what I can remember, it is a hash of an assortment of skin designs. You should look at the xStreamed skin.

The Transparency skin is something that could be done. Give me a chance to work some more on the xStreamed skin...I got sidelined with work/vacation/huge home projects, and skinning has taken a back seat for the last little while. One of the things I wanted to do with xStreamed was to create off-shoots of it, one being a horizontal menu system. I was hoping that the community would jump on and take the "bull-by-the-horns" so to speak and someone would come up with a design with xStreamed influences, but I'm not sure how many of us are left??
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    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby wesblack on Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:10 pm

Marbles I thought we made the V3 version of xLobby available to you, why are you still using the free version. :?


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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Marbles_00 on Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:27 pm

Just ease of use right now. In my spare time (though limited) I've been working on learning V3, and the intentions are to port the xStreamed skin over to it (and take advantage of the additional capabilities). I tried to load over a previous skin (AppleTV modified), and ran in to a bunch of compatibility issues (crashing at startup). That's when I realized that V3 is a whole new beast, which I will have to tackle with and learn. So it's coming, albeit, slowly.
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where my:
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    -HTPC
    -MediaPVR
    -UnRAID box
    -OTA
are all discussed.

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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby samsonlov on Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:50 pm

Hey Marbles,

Just "dive-in". Once you really start using V3 you'll be very happy you did.
(All the new features in V3 - like reflections, HTTP "get" and "post" commands, and the new xController - are especially useful for integrating all kinds of functionality without having to write so many plugins.)

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:)
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby Richard_P_Harvey on Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:23 pm

Wes - With all due respect the "commercial" version of XLobby or V3 is really only a busy looking free version, at least cosmetically. We all love Steve and what he created and 8 years ago it was cutting edge. But today his buttons and on screen controls just look VERY dated to me. Have you looked at XBMC at all....? I think that is what a HTPC of today needs to look like to get people jazzed about it.

Marbles - I did look at xStreamed and I must say it really nice and does have many of the qualities of Tranparency. My issue with it however is that you have it built for a remote and that's not what I use. My HTPC is NOT my display device as I use a dual monitor setup. To control XLobby I either use a mouse or I use the touch screen of my HTPC. If I did display the XLobby screen right on my TV I can see how a remote would be the choice. I can't ask you to re-create Transparency for XLobby as I understand how much work that is.
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby samsonlov on Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:12 am

Richard_P_Harvey wrote:Wes - With all due respect the "commercial" version of XLobby or V3 is really only a busy looking free version, at least cosmetically. We all love Steve and what he created and 8 years ago it was cutting edge. But today his buttons and on screen controls just look VERY dated to me. Have you looked at XBMC at all....? I think that is what a HTPC of today needs to look like to get people jazzed about it.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

I have clients that like the look Steven's old "default" skin better than *any* of the skins out there (including everything in the "xbmc" gallery). One client used the "default" xLobby skin along with Calrad/xLobby hardware and accessories instead of a "$50,000+ Cre****n" system.

And yes, V3 does WAY more than just about any one user would need (options that aren't needed can be disabled in less than 1 minute), but for an installer, or anyone looking for a media, control, automation solution, there is still no other viable option that actually works as well right out of the box. And from the installers I've been in contact with who install xLobby they all seem to find that it works extremely well for them and their clients.

I guess it's a matter of personal preference.
:)
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Re: Long time user thinking about options.....

Postby wesblack on Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:58 pm

There are many nice skins from Andy Grooby and others, I need to have Steven update the skin area again. If you dont like whats available then create your own skin or port the graphics over from something you like. xLobby V3 is very powerful now in terms of automation control, if only looks of a menu and basic media interfaces are important then yes there are other options to consider.

Andy's skins and others skins here on the forum look as good as any from XBMC.


http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=7283

http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=7262

http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=6841

http://www.xlobby.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=6973



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