The Xbox dashboard update is out. They now “support” all sorts of new video codecs – including the ones us video podcast watchers love.
Some questions and answers for you:
Q: Can I watch these things through the Media Center Extender (XP version – cause that's what I got)?
A: Nope, you have to do this via the “Computer” connection in the video area. Yes, the version of XP not made for video streams video fine. The enhanced Media Center PC (XP) Experience – not so much.
Q: Howz that interface?
A: Pretty bad.
Q: What Podcasts (Mp4) just work without tweaking?
A: I tested Ninja, Cranky Geeks (H.264), Digg Nation (Large Quicktime), Gear Media Tech, Geek Brief TV (Large Format), the Merlin Show (Apple TV Version), Rocketboom, Vintage Toon Cast.
Q: Anything not work (in your test)?
A: The “Apple TV” version of Mac Break I watched had some audio syncing issues. Yes, I catch the irony.
Q: The good.
A: All of the videos I tested were right from my iTunes folder for my Apple TV. Between now and the launch of Microsoft's Podcatcher (it's coming, it must, keep hope alive), you can just have iTunes manage things for you. Pretty much everything worked right out of the box.
Q: The bad.
A: Interface is lousy and the titles for the Podcasts are often “download.” They are in folders so it ain't hard to figure out – I just couldn't hand this over to my Mom. Now, let's be honest, Mom ain't the demographic for Xbox anyway.
Q: Howz the streaming?
A: Never had a problem with my Apple TV (btw, my Apple TV and Xbox pull from the same Windows XP Media Center Edition computer). Had a hiccup here and there with my Xbox. Nothing severe, and I'm sure I could tweak things to work – but there are hiccups.