Android development

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Template:XBMC faq toc Inline You should read the Development Notes before reading this page.

Team-XBMC has not yet started porting XBMC Media Center software to Android as of late 2011.

The Android version of XBMC is expected to require Android 4.0 and utilize OpenGL ES, OpenSL ES, and OpenMAX AL APIs with support for hardware accelerated audio, video, image processing.

XBMC is a huge open source project and it takes loads of people working together to maintain it for all platforms, that is why Team-XBMC is always on the lookout for C/C++ programmers to volunteer in assisting us with the development of XBMC. Whether you have contributed to The XBMC Project in the past or not, please consider doing so now.

Those of you who are completely unfamiliar with XBMC can get a good overview of the features and functions that XBMC offers for its end-users by reading through the XBMC article on Wikipedia.

1 Skill requirements and where to start

Proficiency in C/C++ programming language and, though not required, knowledge of OpenGL and/or multimedia programming is a plus, as well as prior cross-platform or porting development experience. Familiarity with the Android SDK and NDK is also a bonus.

A good understanding of JNI is highly recommended, since many operations in the Android environment require specific actions from the developers, that are not necessarily common in typical native code. These include:

  • Not being able to directly access the content of VM objects through direct native pointers. E.g. you cannot safely get a pointer to a String object's 16-bit char array to iterate over it in a loop.
  • Requiring explicit reference management when the native code wants to keep handles to VM objects between JNI calls.

1.1 Where do I start on Android?

To begin with, download the Android SDK. Review the source code and samples. Read the Developer's Guide. The Android development kit requires the use of Eclipse IDE.

1.1.1 Supported Development Platforms

  • Windows XP (32-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), or Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later (x86 only)
  • Linux (tested on Ubuntu Linux 8.04 or later, Lucid Lynx)

Once available, the code can be obtained by cloning the xbmc git repository hosted on Github.

After obtaining the code repository, follow the compilation/development guide in the new repository to setup the required packages and so on. Team-XBMC developers opinion is that the best thing to start with is just to take a look through the source code and try to understand how it all fits together. Test things out, find what works and what does not, then try and track down why.

1.1.2 Hardware requirements

2 Development Progress

Many things need to happen prior to the Android port becoming available.

2.1 Porting Libraries

The following is a list of libraries which XBMC relies upon. Each one will need to be ported to be able to be compiled on the Android platform.

Library Progress(%) Comments
SlingboxLib 0
UnrarXLib 0
addons 0
afpfs-ng 0
asap 0
cmyth 0
cpluff 0
cximage-6.0 0
enca 0
ffmpeg 0
freetype 0
libRTV 0
libUPnP 0
libXDAAP 0
libapetag 0
libass 0
libbluray 0
libcec 0
libdvd 0
libexif 0
libhdhomerun 0
libhts 0
libid3tag 0
liblame 0
libmad 0
libmicrohttpd 0
libmodplug 0
libmpeg2 0
libnfs 0
librtmp 0
libshairport 0
libsidplay2 0
libsquish 0
nosefart 0
snesapu 0
stsound 0
timidity 0
tinyXML 0
vgmstream 0
xbadpcm 0
xbmc-dll-symbols 0

2.2 Developing Audio, Video and Image Renderers

A renderer for audio, video and image processing will need to be developed. Ideally, this can be accomplished by taking advantage of AudioEngine, OpenMAX AL, OpenGL ES, and OpenSL ES.