The majority of Linux distributions come supplied with a wide range of software that lets individuals use their PC to watch movies and television programs, listen to a music collection, and view photos. However, if you are looking for a more harmonious approach, turning your Linux box into a state of the art media center with an integrated easy-to-use interface, media center software will be just the ticket.
In the media center department, Linux has a fairly narrow range to choose from. Fortunately, the software featured in this article ticks all the boxes. We have also chosen to include some distributions which are dedicated media centers, as they significantly simplify the installation process. At the heart of each of these distributions is XMBC.
One media center application that is not included in this article but is worthy of a mention is Boxee. Whilst this application has won many plaudits, it is unfortunately no longer being supported for computers. Instead, the developers of Boxee believe that the future lies with connected televisions and secondary devices.
Now, let's explore the 6 media centers at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Media Centers Applications|
|XBMC||Award-winning, free and open source digital media hub and HTPC|
|MythTV||Home Theatre convergence box|
|Freevo||Manage your entire digital media collection|
|Media Center Distributions|
|XBMCbuntu||XBMC software bundled with an embedded operating-system|
|OpenELEC||Living room PC for everyone|
|GeeXboX||Media center centric Linux distribution for embedded devices and desktop computers|