Set up your media center exactly the way you want it. Aeon Nox 3.5 is the most recent version of what is perhaps the best theme for XBMC, and it is a rare combination: beautiful and customizable.
I love my XBMC setup, but habitually try out themes – something my wife Kathy playfully questions.
“You never find a theme better than the one we already have,” she tells me. “Why do you keep trying out new ones?”
She was always right, until now. Aeon Nox 3.5 does so many things I’ve waned my media center to do – quickly access online media, actually see the fantastic “fan art” XBMC collects for all of my shows, customize what goes where in the main menu and remove interface elements I never use. All of this comes in a great looking package that makes XBMC feel like a brand-new program.
XBMC, if you didn’t know, is the software your television wants more than any other. Running on Linux, Mac, Windows, Apple TV and various other platforms I don’t have time to list, XBMC makes exploring your TV shows, music and movies with a remote simple. Add an ever-growing collection of plugins for watching content from around the web and you’ll have the media center of your dreams in no time.
One of XBMC’s geekiest feature, however, are the various skins you can choose from.
Using Aeon Nox 3.5
I can’t hope to document everything this theme can do with images and text alone; happily I don’t have to. Here’s a video overview.
Impressed? Keep reading and I’ll show you how this all works – and where you can find it.
The main screen of Aeon Nox isn’t unusual: the various categories of media are all presented horizontally. This leaves lots of room for relevant artwork.
Again, like most themes, you can browse your media and set the various sections of it to function the way you like. For example: while browsing TV shows I like to see as much of the background art as possible:
If you prefer seeing episodes in a list alongside thumbnails that’s possible too; you’ll find all of your options in the left-panel.
As you can tell from the above video plenty of animations ease the transition from one section of XBMC to another.
What really strikes me about this theme is the attention to detail. For example: if you pause a video you’ll see the current time and the time it will be when you’re doing watching at the bottom of the screen:
My old theme didn’t have this feature, and I’ve never seen it in any media player I’ve used. And it’s useful for planning, and occasionally prompts me to not watch a video when I should be doing something else
It’s only one detail; you’ll surely notice more as you browse. The point is this theme is designed with the user in mind and you can tell.
Under theme settings you’ll find ways to customize just about everything, including the entirety of the home screen:
From here you can easily remove things you don’t use (in my case, Live TV and Pictures) and add things you do (in my case a direct link to YouTube). Any add-on, program or favorite can be directly added to the menu
Like I said before: you can choose how certain screens are displayed in the left-panel menu. Feel overwhelmed by the options? You can eliminate ones you’ll never use in the options.
Also noteworthy: there’s a help menu in the options letting you know which plugins the skin uses you have and don’t have installed. Find a complete list of the plugins here, alongside a lot more information about the theme.
Install Aeon Nox 3.5
Ready to try this theme out? Good news: all you need to do is head to the Add-Ons section in the XBMC settings. Aeon Nox is in the default XBMC repository. If you’d like more information check out the Aeon Nox page on the XBMC wiki.
In case you haven’t noticed: I love this theme. I hope you do too, and let me know what things you add to XBMC’s home screen in the comments below. For me it’s quick access to YouTube, my Hulu Queue, my 1Channel favorites and my podcasts.
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