When Microsoft released the original Xbox a decade ago hackers immediately set upon the goal of turning the game console into a media player.  A number of different hacks were released, and one of the better ones was XBMC.

XBMC was so popular and worked so well new versions were released for computers running Windows, Linux, and OSX. And pretty soon there will be a new version of XBMC which can run on Android.

It’s still in the early development phase, but the developers are already sharing their work:

So what’s the catch? None… in time. Currently, for most devices only software decode of audio and video is hooked up. We considered waiting until universal hardware decode was ready before making our announcement, but in the end decided that in the spirit of keeping things open and working with our ever-expanding community, it made sense to open up sooner rather than later. We are confident that an OpenMax-based player (similar to the one used for the Raspberry Pi) will spring up very quickly. That said, software playback of most media plays quite well already.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can download the source code and build the app from scratch. Or you can try one of the 3rd party builds of the app; Miniland has already compiled and posted an app which is designed to work on their devices (it should work on other Android devices as well).

I don’t feel like taking risks, so I plan to content myself with watching the early demo videos on Youtube:

The above video shows XBMC running on the Mele 10 Android settop box.