So, you already built a completely silent HTPC and installed XBMC Media Center in 15 minutes, but you are looking for more ways to get video and music content? In this article, I will highlight the list of the best XBMC addons that will help you to get more out of your media experience.
Tip: Do you want to turbo charge your new XBMC installation? Be sure to download a free insider’s guide to HTPCs here.
Most of the recommended addons are available from the official repository that is preinstalled to your media center. However, if you need to add unofficial repositories, you need to download a repositories installer.
Alternatively, you can install a third-party repository by downloading its zip file to your computer. Next, select System -> Add-Ons and “Install from zip file”. Once you have installed the repository, you can go to “Get Add-Ons” and you will see the new repository in the list.
Spotimc is a fantastic plug-in to bring Spotify online music service to your media center. It is still in alpha stage, but it is already the easiest way to get a real 10 foot interface for Spotify. The Spotimc allows you to browse the new stuff, playlists or search your favorite music. Give it a try!
PseudoTV turns your movie and video collection into an EPG that will look like a normal cable TV. This is a great way to browse your media collection as PseudoTV helps you to discover what to watch next. The script allows you to define your own TV channels and rules to discover content to those channels.
YouTube needs no introduction and this plugin has some nice features such as a YouTube disco and trailers modes that are specifically designed for the 10 foot user interface.
Just download the YouTube plugin from the official repository under the Video Add-ons folder.
Navi-X is a content aggregator that allows you to stream video content from the original source webpages. The service has been around for many years already and it is very popular among the home theater PC community.
You cannot find this addon from the official repository, but you need to download the third party repository first.
GrooveShark is a popular online music service similar to Spotify. There are actually two different versions available at the official repository (Music Add-ons) called Grooveshark and Grooveshark add-ons.
The service is similar in both of the add-ons, just the interface looks a bit different. Try them yourself to see which one you like the most.
If you like to watch music videos, then you should definitely check out the Muzu.tv online music video service. The great thing about this service is that you can either search for your favorite artists, or simply let the jukebox to play music video playlists per genre or artist. You need to download the third-party repository installer to get the muzu.tv under the Video Addons in the t0mm0′s addons repository.
If you play games or simply want to launch external applications from the interface then the Launcher plugin is the way to go. You can set thumbnails for each application, so you will get a neat looking application launchpad. I use the launcher to launch applications such as Firefox to browse Internet with my Live Linux. This plugin can be found from the official repository (Program Add-ons).
Unfortunately, Blu-ray playback is not yet supported out-of-the-box which is why you need to install this Blu-ray plugin to stream Blu-ray disc movies with the MakeMKV application. Just download the add-on from the third-party repositories, insert the movie disc to the Blu-ray tray and in a minute you are watching the movie.
Read here the complete guide to watch Blu-ray on XBMC.
Tvheadend plugin allows you to watch and record live TV. It is a TV streaming server for Linux that can be used as a separate back-end server or run together with your front-end HTPC.
The easiest way to get started is to install OpenELEC Linux operating system which includes Tvheadend pre-installed.
This one is not really an add-on, but you should definitely the install the Aeon Nox skin. Most media center users agree that Aeon skins are the most beautiful skins available.
The Aeon Nox is particularly good in my opinion as it supports PVR feature, too. Read more about Aeon Nox, MQ3 and other great skins here.
Finally, as a bonus tip, have a look at this cool trick to integrate Netflix, Hulu and other premium services into XBMC with XBMC.MyLibrary plugin.