I’m back with an update! It’s not the biggest, I was waiting for the finalisation of XBMC Eden, a Spotify issue to be resolved and a CEC driver for Hardy so I could offer Eden with Spotify and CEC support for Christmas. However, it seems like the necessary bits to incorporate into Crystalbuntu won’t be ready for a while yet, and it’s been an awful long time since I got something out the door, so I felt something was better than nothing. Also, there is a new configuration utility, as many forum users have requested that configuring some settings can be difficult and that this could be automated. Simply run sudo ./configure from an SSH session to run it:
I’m happy to announce I have secured a 10% discount on CEC adapters for Crystalbuntu users in advance of support which should see its way into Crystalbuntu by the end of January. If you order before the 16th January using the coupon code CRYSTALCEC at the checkout you can take advantage of this offer.
So here are the offerings of this month’s update:
- New PVR build
- Eden Beta 1
- New configuration utility – beta
- Wireless support (BCM43228)
- Blu-ray ISO support (decrypted only)
- Optimised update system
- Fixed PVR bugs
- Fixed weather issues
- Fixed OSX Terminal bug
- Fixed update notification bug
Update: Some users were reporting issues with pausing. This has now been resolved.
Just restart your Apple TV to get this update immediately. Let me know how it goes, and consider making a donation to help fund future enhancements such as the aforementioned. To see what’s coming in the new year, click here
I wish you a
Merry Christmas, and
A Happy New Year!
The year is coming to a close. Crystalbuntu has now been available for Apple TV since June 2010, although the self-updating and UI installer mechanisms have only been available since March. I would not be blogging about such a bespoke platform had it not spiraled into such a large project. Here are the achievements of 2011:
- Crystalbuntu has over 9,000 daily users. That only covers the users that are synchronizing with the update server every day. I’m willing to guess most users reboot once a week or don’t use their aTV that often, so this number is quite impressive. At this rate, it will be 10,000 by the end of January. Crystalbuntu downloads have accounted for 23,283,706 megabytes of traffic between March and December.
- The distro has an unsurpassed one click install utility, allowing the average user to install Crystalbuntu with no prior Linux knowledge. There’s no need to do any dodgy CLI wizardry and in 20 minutes, the distribution is running on a USB or the internal drive.
- Crystalbuntu is the distribution of choice for those serious about HD content on the Apple TV. It delivers better performance than any other software combination running on the Apple TV. It’s optimized to run on the device in every way, be it power consumption, heat output, system performance or usability.
- I’ve enjoyed pushing out updates (almost) every month for the past nine months. It’s taught me a lot of things: maintaining a distribution used by such a vast user base without messing things up is hard. I particularly enjoyed the July update, which saw the introduction of a number of new features. Crystalbuntu was the first XBMC based Linux distribution to feature AirPlay and AirTunes, ahead of OpenELEC, XBMC Live and XBMCFreak. It still has some unique features, such as PVR and USB Automounting, that you won’t find in every run of the mill distribution.
Goals for 2012-2013:
- I plan to release XBMC 11 (Codename Eden) as soon as it is finalised (expected this month) and after this start offering nightly builds for release twelve, codename Frodo.
- I’d like to make some significant system improvements, not just functionality as I am always striving to do so, but also in the fields of performance and support, such as for new hardware such as Pulse Eight’s new CEC Adapter. I will also be releasing a service pack to combine all the updates and be making some improvements to the update system.
- The dual boot model seems increasingly attractive. A lot of people want to retain the original Apple TV OS so they can rent films or access their iTunes library. I definitely see this as a good idea for the future.
- Crystalbuntu really thrived this year. Since I developed the UI installer, the counted installs went through the roof. I’m going to attribute that to the ease of installation.
- What’s also important to realise is that while the 1st generation Apple TV is no longer sold, the Crystalbuntu user base is growing, not declining.
- It’s for that reason I pledge to support the distribution for as long as I can which will be until at least 2013. This is a stark contrast to Apple who have not released an update in 21 months!
- Bandwidth, hardware, even my own time is in heavy demand.
- A small donation really shows me that the distribution is worthwhile to you. If the distribution has given your device a new lease of life, help keep the project alive for as long as possible.
- Thank you for giving me the opportunity to expand my skills by developing for you, I hope you enjoy your XBMC experience.
- Here’s to another year.