GeeXboX 1.0 review

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The GeeXboX is no more than an awesome standalone media player

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Aurelien Jacobs and Benjamin Zores
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The GeeXboX is no more than an awesome standalone media player. Why such a name ? Well, its main purpose is to play DivX movies and, as everybody usually call this kind of projects DivX boxes, we'll just prepended a "GeeX", cause that's for the geeks you all are.

GeeXboX is a full operating system, livecd that can run on any machine and it is based on the excellent MPlayer. No need for a hard drive, you just have to put the GeeXboX bootable CD into the CD-Drive of any Pentium-class computer to boot it. Moreover, GeeXboX is free software, created as open-source software. This means that everyone can modify it and build his own release of the GeeXboX.

You may wonder why you should have to boot another operating system to play your media files, but just think about the Mini-ITX platforms like VIA Epia/Eden or Shuttle barebones. It's now affordable to bring DivX to your home cinema, plugging this kind of computer directly to your TV !!

At the time of the first development releases (Dec. 2002), it was only capable of playing DivX movies, but now, nearly every kind of media file can be played with GeeXboX, with the OS supporting :

MPEG 1/2 movies (MPG files, VCDs, DVDs ...)
MPEG 4 movies (DivX, XviD ...)
RealMedia and Windows Media movies.
OggMedia streams
Matroska streams
Audio streams like : MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, WAV (AudioCD), AC3 ...

GeeXboX is an operating system but you still need something to boot on ;-) You're lucky, GeeXboX is based on MPlayer, which can be considered as one of the less cpu-dependent movie players, thanks to the use of FFMpeg for decoding movies.

Pentium-Class CPU or above (P2-400 should be quite enough)
a VESA 2.0 compliant graphics card.
an ALSA compatible sound card.
at least 64 MB of RAM
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Motherboard which supports booting on CD-ROM (should be ok for everyone
Keyboard, Joystick or Remote Controller, using a Lirc-compatible IR (InfraRed) receiver (check to build yours), e.g. Miro PcTV's one or ATI Remote Wonder.

What's New in This Release:
After more than 3 years of perpetual development, GeeXboX finally reaches its long awaited 1.0 release. The most noticeable thing probably is the support for DVD menus; this feature that had been requested so many times by so many people and that was unfortunately missing from MPlayer is now part of GeeXboX. Also, a lot of work has been done on the playback of network streams from SHOUTcast WebRadios, WebTVs or even RTP/RTSP streaming so that you should now be able to easily watch any kind of network or broadcasted stream from your GeeXboX media center.

GeeXboX 1.0 keywords