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XBMC Dharma Beta1 Released: Great Add-on System

Easily install skins and more with new Add-ons Manager

 

A new beta version of XBMC, the media center that seems like the granddaddy of them all, has been released. [XBMC] Dharma has been in development for over 9 months now, and we’re quite happy with the result says Team-XBMC. I’m quite happy and impressed as well. XBMC Dharma Beta1 brings many new features and improvements such as a new Add-on Manager, DXVA2 hardware acceleration in Windows and Mac OS X H.264 hardware acceleration.

 What I’m most excited about is the Add-ons Manager. Team-XBMC has created this repository serving as a centralized, organized place to find, install and update XBMC add-ons making it much easier to enhance the look and functionality of XBMC. If you remember anything about the prior builds of XBMC, it was often a pain in the ass to use the SVN Repo Installer plug-in. It used to be hard to find what you need and while you’re installing, XBMC couldn’t do anything else. With the Add-on Manager, however, everything is different. Here is what I love about it:

  • Well organized and easy to use.
  • Add-ons are downloaded and installed in the background. You can navigate away from Add-ons.
  • Add-ons are auto-updated unless you select not to.

No more manually downloading files and extracting folders around here, folks. Everything is done directly from the XBMC interface by simply going to System > Add-ons > Get Add-ons, finding your add-on and then clicking Install. That’s it.

Here are a couple notes Team-XBMC wants you to be aware of prior to installing Dharma Beta1:

 As always, treat this as beta-quality software. Be sure to back up your profile in case you decide to roll back.

  • The clunky old web interface has been removed. We’re working hard to have a new one ready for final release.
  • svn-ppa users may have to remove old xbmc packages before installing Dharma.
  • You may have to reset your screensaver and visualization settings after upgrade. These are now addons.
  • Pre-Dharma scripts/plugins/skins will NOT work with Dharma, but most have been updated accordingly.

To try out Dharma Beta1, head to http://xbmc.org/download/ and grab the testing release.

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