Before there was XboxMediaCenter there was its predecessor the successor of XboxMediaPlayer, which is where the story of XboxMediaCenter begins.
The XboxMediaPlayer project was founded by, two software developers nicknamed d7o3g4q (a.k.a. duo) and RUNTiME. It started out as two separate players, by these developers each working on their own design, and code. d7o3g4q's player was called XboxMediaPlayer and RUNTiME's player was called XBPLAYER, they began by sharing some code and coordinating features to not duplicate efforts and by XboxMediaPlayer beta 5 the two player where totally integrated into one. In beta 5 they also started using FFMPEG as the video codec and in beta 6 they also added XVID support vith code from the XVID project. The development and beta-testing was done ''behind closed doors'' for this project (d7o3g4q and RUNTiME promising that when version 1.0 was made they would release the source code to the public, but after beta 6 was done there were a lot of complains from a lot of people why the developers did not release the source code for the player sooner as they were using FFmpeg and XVID code which are under the (L) GPL license. Even though the project was closed d7o3g4q and RUNTiME released the source code for beta 6 on the 15th of October 2002.
In the November 2002, another software developer nicknamed Frodo who was the founder of "YAMP - Yet Another Media Player" joined the Xbox Media Player team and the XboxMediaPlayer and YAMP projects were merged, the first release of the merged projects was called "Xbox Media Player 2.0" and the source code for it was release on the 14th of December 2002. XboxMediaPlayer 2.0 was a complete re-write using a new core based on the MPlayer project, still using FFmpeg/XVID codec code. On the 28th of December 2002, the source code of XboxMediaPlayer 2.1 was released with many bug fixes and a couple of new features like true AC3 5.1 output, volume normalizer /amplification and an additional post processing filter. Two weeks later on the 12 of January 2002 XboxMediaPlayer 2.2 source code was released with new features like dashboard mode to launch other Xbox applications/games, separate national language files, streaming media from windows file shares (SMB), audio-playlist, playing media on-the-fly from ISO9660-Mode1 CDs and Windows DLL support for WMV 7,8,9.
XboxMediaPlayer development stopped on December 13th, 2003, by which time its successor XboxMediaCenter was ready for its debut. As it was growing out of its 'player' name and into a 'center' for all your media needs. This was important move, as it signified the software was not only just a player to play your media but was an effort to provide a center point for all your media needs. The first stable release of XBMC was on Tuesday the 29th of June, 2004, with the official release of XboxMediaCenter 1.0.0. This represented a change as the CVS when into lock down to nail down the bugs. There were no release candidates leading up to this point, so there were still a few bugs in it and plans were in place to release a 1.0.1, as soon as major bugs were found and fixed. This announcement also encouraged everyone using XBMP or XBMC-Beta to update, as all support for those previous versions would be dropped, and they would only officially support version 1.0.0. Just to name a few, new things in XBMC 1.0.0 is addition of the Filezilla FTP Server, DHCP Support, the ability to configure a lot more settings from the XBoxMediaCenter.xml, a new version of mplayer was packaged and the embedded Python was given the ability to draw GUI Elements.
With the release of 1.0.0 in the middle of 2004, work continued on the XboxMediaCenter project to add more features, such as support for iTunes features like DAAP and Smart Playlists, as well as lots of improvements and fixed. The second stable release of XboxMediaCenter, 1.1.0, was released on October 18, 2004. This released included support for more media, file, container formats, as well as video playback of Nullsoft streaming videos, karaoke support (CD-G).
After two years of heavy development, XBoxMediaCenter was proud to announce, stable point final release of XBMC 2.0.0, on the 29th of September 2006. Even more features were packed into this such as the addition of RAR and zip archive support, a brand new player interface with support for multiple players, such as PAPlayer the new Audio/music player with crossfade, gapless playback and ReplayGain support, and the new DVDPlayer with support for menu and navigation support as well as ISO/img image parsing. Previously, XBoxMediaCenter just used mplayer for all its media needs, so this was a big step forward. Support for itunes 6.x DAAP, and Upnp Clients for streaming was also added. A reworked Skinning Engine has also maded it into this release to provide a more powerful way to change the appearance of XBMC. The last two features include read-only support for FAT12/16/32 formatted USB Mass Storage Devices up to 4GB in size, and a brand new "skinnable" 3D visualizer.
A few that are especially worth mentioning are; the enhanced GUI/skin-engine, the Project Mayhem III skin, DVD-Video menu/navigation support (with ISO/IMG image parsing), RAR/ZIP archive parsing, a new audio/music-player (PAPlayer) with crossfade, gapless playback and ReplayGain support, Karaoke CDG-file display, Xored Trainer Engine (gaming-cheats), XLink Kai (online-gaming) front-end, iTunes 6.x DAAP and UPnP-clients, and two surprise features; read-only support for FAT12/16/32 formatted USB Mass Storage Devices up to 4GB in size, and a brand new "skinnable" 3D visualizer. Chokemaniac who was the team skinner for XboxMediaCenter, retired from XBMC Development, many thanks go out to him. 12th of Novemeber 2006, saw the release of XBMC 2.0.1 which contained numerous fixes for some bugs that made it through the 2.0.0 release. This also marked the change from CVS to SVN (Subversion) for the development tree. Development on the SVN Trunk is continuing which is currently 'pre-2.1', and once it goes through the bug bash and feature lockdown process will become XboxMediaCenter 2.1.0 (unless it is decided to skip to another version number).
On the 29th of May 2007, the Team XBMC, put out a call for developers to interested in bring XboxMediaCenter to the GNU/Linux Operating System. Since a few developers on Team XBMC had already begun porting parts of XBMC over to GNU/Linux using SDL and OpenGL as a replacement for DirectX which XBMC was using heavily on the Xbox platform. Development on both the Xbox, and this Linux port is continuing to this day, they are both kept in sync, when the Xbox version gets a new feature, it is merged into the Linux branch.
Milestones in XBMC (XBMP)
- The release of XboxMediaPlayer Beta6 source-code on 2002-10-05
- The release of XboxMediaPlayer 2.0 on 2002-12-14
- The release of XboxMediaPlayer 2.0 on 2002-12-28
- The release of XboxMediaCenter 1.0.0 on 2004-06-29
- The release of XboxMediaCenter 1.1.0 on 2004-10-18
- The release of XboxMediaCenter 2.0.0 on 2006-09-29
- The release of XboxMediaCenter 2.0.1 on 2006-11-12