Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Midnight in Paris and XBMC

About the movie? I have only one word – WOW! The story is great; the execution is brilliant and the actors are great. Also I waited 2 weeks since I got this movie in my hands so that I wouldn't rush through it and instead saved it for the day when I was feeling like watching such a movie.

I have read the reviews and they were positive but this movie is the kind of film that I love – the story is leisurely told and is acted out brilliantly, you find yourself enjoying the acting, the events and the overall tone of the film. You find yourself getting involved in the film; thinking about it and you find some great thing in it. That's the recipe for a really laid back pleasurable film to watch. And Midnight in Paris is just the film. All I missed was some grapes (I don't know why!) and someone to feed them to me (Ok, just kidding!).

Now the software, and yeah this article was originally about XBMC 11. It was lauded all over the internet as a worthy upgrade to XBMC 10 in terms of both functionality and performance. To my pleasure I found it to be true.

Of course I'm not regular user of XBMC, but I had the opportunity to use XBMC 10 a few months ago and I had to drop it because of pathetic performance. But with this release I find myself turning on XBMC all the while when I am touching my machine for only entertainment.

The interface is smooth to operate – the mouse pointer used to move jerkily and used to lag a fair bit for version 10; but in this version it's almost as good as windows mouse pointer. Also the lags in various places while navigating the menus are gone and navigation in 11 is smooth. Also smooth is the theme used. So this release scores high on usability.

Now I use vlc for everyday videos and stuff but with xbmc's inbuilt video browser (files menu under videos; you add sources here) and the ability to browse and queue up others while watching one is making me use XBMC more and more.

I have powerDVD for Movies but since XBMC provides almost all the options powerDVD has and the fact is I'm still light years away from Blue Ray Disks makes powerDVD's advantages over XBMC (inbuilt blue ray playback; sound enhancements etc) moot for me. As for powerDVD's sound effects; I prefer plain sound rather than the emulated (or digitally created) surround sound.

Well kudos to XBMC Team for giving us something so beautiful and so functional!

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