The Quest Continues

Welcome to part two of my quest to find a suitable Media Center for Linux. In my last post, I had said that I would report back with my findings from Freevo. Well, I’m sad to say that I don’t really have any. I was unable to figure out how to properly configure it for my system. Minus five points for complicated configuration.

I suppose that, in itself, is something to report. I’ve tried a couple times, and even poked around on a couple forums. Minus another five points for making me look on forums. 😦 Unfortunately, it’s just a bit beyond my skills to configure properly. Minus ten points for making me feel inferior.

The good news, however, is that there are a couple of slick Live disks available for download from Freevo’s website. While I had a difficult time with the Mandriva based disk (which my aging rewritable CD may be partly to blame for), I had a painless and nicely automated experience with GeeXboX’s preview edition available for download here. A word of warning for the wary: this live disk is a technological preview not only of Freevo’s new 2.x series players, but also of GeexBox’s new 2.x series. If you’re a little less adventurous at heart, you can download their stable version for either PC or Mac . I do have to say that the tech preview looks a hell of a lot cooler than the 1.x series. I know you can spice it up with themes, but still…

Dragon bootsplash

Within GeeXboX, the navigation was intuitive, although I couldn’t figure out a few simple navigation techniques such as: how to get to the next full screen picture without going back to all the pictures. I also couldn’t figure out how to change the file view easily. Somehow I managed to change it once, but never again. Here I’ll give them a bit of leniency since it is just a preview and not a full fledged release. Here’s a couple more screenshots from GeeXboX’s Freevo.

GeeXboX photos

GeeXboX Video screen

MythTV’s setup seems roughly as complicated or even more so. I think I’m going to sit the next one out, and report back on my extended experience with Elisa Media Center after living and working with it for a couple more weeks. On a final note, it turns out that Elisa’s simple text configuration file wasn’t so bad after all. 😉

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