Explore and queue up your XBMC music, TV and movie collection from your browser – in style. Chorus is a stunning and functional alternative to the drab XBMC web UI (user interface), and it even lets you play music from your media center on your browser.
We showed you how to control your XBMC media center using Chrome, pointing out a variety of Chrome extensions for the job. We also explored the built-in web UI option, which basically runs a web server inside XBMC so you can browse your collection and tell your media center what to play – from any web browser. All you need to do is type in your computer’s IP address, easily found from within XBMC itself.
Chorus is a new entrant in the XBMC web UI field, and it just might be the best option out there. Here’s how it works, followed by how to set it up.
A Better Looking Interface For Music
Open Chorus in your browser and and it doesn’t look like much. You’ll see some small icons at left, a playlist at right and some controls at the bottom.
It’s all pretty standard, until you start exploring. Click the music note icon, for example, and you’ll see your latest albums:
From here you can browse by artist, in the right panel, or run a search for what you want to hear. It’s all complete with album and fan art, and it looks great.
You have the option of playing a song or album right now, or simply adding items to a playlist. Creating a playlist inside XBMC itself can be a bit of a chore, so this is great if you’re planning a party – or just want to queue up some albums now and stop thinking about it.
TV, Movies & Files
Chorus, of course, isn’t limited to music. You can also browse your library of movies and TV shows:
As with music, you can play anything right now or create a playlist – you can even tell the program to play an entire season of your favourite show, if you want. Plus you’ll see all the fanart, covers and episode descriptions you expect.
Another thing Chorus offers that the default web UI doesn’t: access to your files. If you have any media not added to your music or video collection, you can browse it here. I use this for podcasts:
There’s also support for addons, but it’s limited at this point. Reddit Music worked for me, and not much else.
Play Music In Your Browser
If all your music lives on your media center, and not your other computers, Chorus offers a bonus: the ability to play your XBMC music collection from any computer on your network. All you need to do is click the “Local” tab at top-right, then explore your music collection.
You can add files to your playlist or play an album. This, tragically, doesn’t work in Firefox – though the developer is apparently working on it.
How To Set Up & Use Chorus
Installing Chorus couldn’t be easier – it’s offered in the default addon repository for XBMC. Just head to Addons in settings; you’ll find it under “Web Interface”.
Once you’ve installed Chorus, make sure to set it as the default web interface:
To use Chorus, head to a computer other than your media center. Type the IP address of your media center (you can find it in the XBMC settings, under “System Info), followed by 8080 (assuming you didn’t change the default setting). Note that, for best results, you should really set up a static IP for your media center – without it you may need to learn a new IP from time to time.
A web interface is great for desktop and laptop computers, but tablets and phones tend to work better with native apps. Don’t worry, we’ve outlined which Android XBMC remote app you should use. Our conclusion: Yatse. We also explored XBMC remotes for the iPhone and iPad, so check that out if you’re an Apple user.
But if you’re on a computer, I can’t recommend Chorus more. Disagree? Let us know your problems with Chorus, and your preferred WebUI, below.