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XBMC 12.1 launches with focus on improving audio support, AirPlay reliability

19 March 2013, Nick Peers

Team XBMC has released XBMC 12.1 FINAL, a major maintenance update for its open-source, cross-platform media server/center. Version 12.1 includes AirPlay optimisations, iOS 6 support on the AppleTV 2 and enables the full iPhone 5 resolution.

XBMC also recently unveiled the early developmental version of XBMC 13, codenamed “Gotham”. Early development for version 13 includes support for the UPNP “Play using…” feature, library improvements with new TV Show and Music Video tags as well as inbuilt support for alternative media art.

Many of XBMC 12.1’s fixes revolve around Apple devices. OS X users gain support for using their Mac’s native audio output device, plus hardware decoding in OS X. The volume buttons have been remapped to control the OS X volume rather than XBMC’s own volume control – a tweak replicated with the new Android build. AirPlay support has also been improved, with more reliable discovery of XBMC implemented.

XBMC lets you access your digital media from one convenient location,

Apple TV enhancements include support for iOS 6 on Apple TV 2, plus a fix that ensures XBMC doesn’t crash when listed on the Apple TV top shelf. The Raspberry Pi build sees the player optimised for more efficient playback, improved subtitle support and unspecified crash fixes.

There’s added support for additional Xbox 360 controller types as well as broader, more intelligent support for CEC devices, which enable users to control XBMC via their TV remote using the HDMI cable connected to their XBMC device.

Seven new languages – primarily Asian – have been added, while problems with several add-ons due to broken binary read/write in XBMC’s Python interface have also been resolved. The update is rounded off by a large number of stability improvements and crash fixes across all supported platforms.

XBMC 12.1 FINAL is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. For a guide to configuring it to work with a TV tuner – a feature introduced in version 12.0, click here.

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