Subscribe to
Posts
Comments
NSLog(); Header Image

Connect360

Based on the comments of others, I picked up a license to Connect360 for connecting the Xbox 360 to the Mac (or vice versa). I played some songs and videos last night and it worked beautifully.

However, I'm a bit disappointed that movies aren't sorted into folders as they are on my hard disk. This means I have a bunch of "Episode 04"s scattered about and I have no idea whether it's House, season two of 24, or Entourage. My movies are mixed in with my TV shows and the whole thing's a mess.

Also, I wonder if the Xbox controller can be used to browse media or to play it. Does the Y button, for example, map to pause? Can I plug in the Xbox "messenger" little hardware piece to type an artist's name if I don't want to scroll all the way down to "R.E.M." in the list?

Overall, I'm impressed, particularly with the image quality of movies I've ripped. It's pretty neat to play your own music while playing games, too, and I'm certain the photo-sharing capabilities will be used over the holidays.

Update: The nullriver site hasn't been updated since May and the support page they link to here doesn't exist.

Three more issues I've uncovered with the software:

  • The preference pane takes forever to quit. When it finally does, re-launching the app moves the menu bar item further to the left. My menu bar item is currently a good three inches left of where it should be, with nothing but space between it and my FastScripts menu item.
  • The software does not scan for updates. Stopping and re-starting takes awhile, as noted above, but you must stop and re-start the app every time you encode a new movie from your DVD collection or add tunes or change playlists in iTunes.
  • Connect360 sends files to the Xbox that the Xbox can't play. It should filter those things out.

Given the lack of updates and the problems, I'm seriously contemplating writing my own version of Connect360 (or talking Brad into writing it :-D).

15 Responses to "Connect360"

  1. The Xbox controller can most definitely be used to play/pause content.

    There is a limitation to how the Xbox 360 handles media via streaming so the whole folder/sort thing is out the window. That type of functionality only works with a Windows Media Extender.

    I label everything with showname_season_episode so I typically don't have a problem finding what I'm looking for.

    Enjoy!

  2. Does Connect360 update iTunes play counts? I would assume not, which is the only reason I haven't used it. Sigh, I wish I wasn't all OCD about that stuff. What format of movie do you play on the Xbox?

    I believe the Xbox controller's "messenger" add-on works the same as a USB keyboard plugged in, so you could test with a normal keyboard first. A nearby USB keyboard is really handy for text entry in those Xbox-standard input dialogs.

    'fitzymj' on Xbox Live, by the way.

  3. Mike said on November 21, 2007:

    Does Connect360 update iTunes play counts?

    The site says it does and there is a preference setting to do so. I've not actually checked that out, but I believe it's true.

    Mike said on November 21, 2007:

    What format of movie do you play on the Xbox?

    I think this page answers your question.

  4. A word of warning:

    If you buy digital content from the Xbox Live Marketplace and your Xbox 360 dies due to the known issues of "red rings of death", you're rights as a consumer will become SEVERELY compromised.

    Just thought I'd point this out.

  5. Erik J. Barzeski said on November 21, 2007:

    The site says it does and there is a preference setting to do so. I've not actually checked that out, but I believe it's true.

    Interesting; that must be new since I last looked at their site.

    Erik J. Barzeski said on November 21, 2007:

    I think this page answers your question.

    Very thorough; thanks. I wish I hadn't jumped on the XviD train when ripping my DVDs. Oh well, maybe I'll get lucky with the fall update that's supposed to come in a couple of weeks.

  6. Jeffrey said on November 21, 2007:

    A word of warning:

    If you buy digital content from the Xbox Live Marketplace and your Xbox 360 dies due to the known issues of "red rings of death", you're rights as a consumer will become SEVERELY compromised.

    Just thought I'd point this out.

    How's that? If you get a new hard drive, you simply recover your gamertag again and re-download. A hassle, yes. But compromised usage rights? Where did you get that?

  7. Erik, I can't stand the folder organization in Connect 360 either. I briefly owned a Windows Vista Ultimate PC, and while I was running my media off of that, the Media Center Extender and media browsing worked beautifully. But there was no way I was going to hang onto that PC, and when it went back, I was back with Connect 360. That's the only thing that bugs me about that software. Otherwise, it's great!

    I guess I could set up some sort of Automator action that would take existing podcast files, grab the name, append the folder name to the front and rename the file... or something. I just haven't put alot of thought into it...

  8. Aaron said on November 21, 2007:

    How's that? If you get a new hard drive, you simply recover your gamertag again and re-download. A hassle, yes. But compromised usage rights? Where did you get that?

    The content will only work when you're connected to Xbox Live and using the original gamertag that purchased the content. You are no longer available to use the content offline or with any other profile that lives on the console.

    Consider that compromised.

  9. Sort of a long read but this explains the problem and Microsoft's lack of response quite well...

    http://forums.xbox.com/16868677/ShowPost.aspx

    102 pages, over 3,000 posts and growing.

  10. Aaron said on November 21, 2007:

    Erik, I can't stand the folder organization in Connect 360 either. I briefly owned a Windows Vista Ultimate PC, and while I was running my media off of that, the Media Center Extender and media browsing worked beautifully. But there was no way I was going to hang onto that PC, and when it went back, I was back with Connect 360. That's the only thing that bugs me about that software. Otherwise, it's great!

    The issue isn't Connect360 at all. It's the fact that the Connect360 software is streaming content and is not a valid Media Extender. Only Microsoft software can be used as a Media Extender.

    Man, I love MS... NOT.

  11. Aaron said on November 21, 2007:

    That's the only thing that bugs me about that software. Otherwise, it's great!

    Why can't they mirror the feature set of the "Media Extender" stuff? Does it do folders and everything? Hrm. It's really somewhat disappointing. Makes me want to just point it at my Movies folder and not my "Videos" folder (which has "TV Shows" and "Movies" sub-folders).

  12. "Given the lack of updates and the problems, I'm seriously contemplating writing my own version of Connect360 (or talking Brad into writing it :-D)."

    Don't tease me! I'd gladly pay to have the lack of folders problem fixed!

  13. BTW, the messenger keyboard attachment doesn't help with scrolling through long lists of video names.

    I've got around 400 videos that I have to scroll through which is pretty annoying. The best thing is the LB & RB will page through the lists.

  14. [...] And to think, Rivet got its start because I didn't like Connect360 and the company went dormant for months at a [...]

  15. Hello folks!

    I have a solution to the movie sorting issue that will help some of you out there, I'm sure.

    If you're like me, you have iTunes keeping your library "organised", that is, ensuring everything is sorted neatly in ((( Artist > Album > Song ))) or ((( TV Show > Episode ))) orders.

    The easiest way I've found to sort out all your episodes for easier access on the Xbox 360 is to open the "Settings" in the Connect360 system preference pane and go to the "Movies" tab. There's a drop down box there which by default points to your "Movies" folder in your Home index. Simply change that to point to the "TV Shows" folder in your iTunes library and you're all sorted!

    Sure, it takes a few moments (or minutes, depending on the size of your library) for Connect360 to re-index your files, but it's well worth it if you're watching more than a couple of episodes at once. You could then also get it to point to the "Movies" folder in your iTunes library to watch a couple of movies, etc, etc.

    It's not the perfect solution, but it helped me.

    Cheers!


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please abide by the comment policy. Valid HTML includes: <blockquote><p>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, and <a href>. Please use the "Quote Me" functionality to quote comments.