Connect360 or Rivet for Xbox 360 Media Sharing?

36 Comments

I use my Mac for a fair number of things, and one of those is sharing media with my Xbox 360.

Ever since I got my Xbox 360 a few years ago I wanted the feature of streaming media to the machine, one of the rare instances when I was left wishing for a Windows PC. Soon after Connect360 saved me by offering exactly what I needed and expected.

Connect360 gives you the ability to stream all of your music, movies, and photos from your Mac to your Xbox 360 over a wired or wireless connection. Share your iTunes playlists, WMV+WMA, H.264 and MPEG4 video files, and your entire iPhoto library. However Connect360 is not the only option when it comes to sharing media between the Mac and Xbox 360. Rivet is a new contender in the ring offering many of the same features as Connect360, and a few extras.

The two programs are very similar in nature; however there is one small feature that sets Rivet apart. Rather than Connect360 projecting a flat list of media when viewed on the Xbox 360, Rivet replicates the file and folder structures on your Mac. Connect360 does not have this small feature and I didn’t know what I was missing. It makes browsing your files on your Xbox 360 a breeze, which is a huge plus when faced with as many media files as I have.

I demoed Rivet for about a week and didn’t notice any exemplary features aside from mimicking the folder structure of my Mac. At $18.95 Rivet does come in a bit cheaper than Connect360’s $20 price tag. Rivet is a solid product at a solid price point, but the only real advantage in my opinion is the dollar cheaper price point. Is this enough to make me want to pay for a new program? I would not purchase Rivet for my own personal use simply because I have used Connect360 for some time, and dropped $20 on it, and I don’t feel Rivet has any additional features to warrant me buying what is essentially the same program. However I will say this is only because Connect360 jumped the gun and was sharing media a few years prior to Rivet and if the roles were reversed, I would say that Rivet is an extraordinary product and would recommend it to anyone looking to share media for their first time.

What is your preferred method for sharing media with your Xbox 360?

36 Comments

Nuke

I just returned to Mac with a new IMAC. Started with Connect360 and bought it. Then this weekend tried Rivet, liked the folders and bought that as well. For under $40 for both, can’t complain. Still find even over ethernet the HD downloads stutter and stop a lot for both.

Phil Mann

I stumbled across the ability to share media between Mac and Xbox 360 recently, and was about to purchase Connect 360 when I spotted Rivet. Googling it, and downloading the trial I found that, after about 10 minutes, I generally preferred it for many reasons.

Originally, I only wanted to share my iTunes libary, and for that Connect 360 does the job as well as Rivet. However, after I discovered the Movie & TV Shows structure I was sold, really nicely done.

While I prefer the user interface for Connect 360, Rivet works well and it’s cheaper, plus the folder structure replication is a real bonus. It just has a few nicer touches and while the interface maybe a little old compared to Connect 360, Rivet is the best choice.

Great article, really helpful. Thanks!

Que

Omar McFarlane, excellent tip for using PreSetter! Thank you very much.

I don’t know much about playing with prefs, but I noticed the pref that said “moviesFolderPath” is there any way to modify this to make it look in multiple folders? The biggest problem with Connect360 is that you can only have 1 movie folder and it won’t allow aliases. I have multiple HD’s with movies that I would love for Connect360 to be able to read.

Que

Is there any way to get Rivet to work on 10.4 instead of 10.5? I don’t want to upgrade to 10.5 just for Rivet. That seams very silly. BUT, I can’t take Connect360’s lame non-folder structure anymore. It’s horrible. And it won’t even load alias folders. I have multiple external HD’s and there’s no way to pull videos from each. It seams like it would be SO simple for them to at least add the ability to read alias folders. There is no way to do it, right? I’m not missing anything, am I? I hope I am and someone tells me how to do it!

Seanemac007

Just to reiterate a reply I made above, I have not even bought Rivet yet, but I can tell you that you buy Connect360 from Nullriver at your own risk. From personal experience, I can tell you Nullriver has horrible customer support.

My Connect360 worked great for over a year, when it suddenly started crashing after about a minute and a half after startup. I reached out to their customer support earlier this year and got a single email back asking me a series of questions. I’ll admit I was impressed, as they did not seem boilerplate. I really felt that ALEX was thinking about my problem.

I spent some time gathering the info, sent it back, and nothing. Not a peep for more than three months.

Again, it worked great for a year, then nothing. Reinstall does not help. For me, it was a $20.00 demo with an 18 month trial period.

Excited for Rivet!

Jack

Just bought Rivet and I have to say that its really amazing!! Must own app if you have a mac and 360. Well worth the mula. Take Rivet over connect360 any day.

marty

obviously when i said “stumpled upon rivet” above, i meant “stumbled” …

marty

i too downloaded and installed the trial of Connect360 last night, and then stumpled upon Rivet today… luckily just before i paid for Connect360.. so I will be trialling Rivet tonight, I am looking forward to being able to add more than 1 movie folder. I thought that was very limiting in Connect360.. As i have movies on the Mac Mini HDD, and also an external HDD, so i want to add more folders.

Looking forward to trying and possibly buying Rivet :)

Thirst

Seems like Rivet would be the better choice based on developer reputation alone, but after trying the Rivet demo today, I’m sold.

yan

I am really glad I found your article before buying Connect360. I had used it as a trial in the past and was about to purchase it. Went with Rivet instead. Thanks!

Patrick

I got Connect360 and everything installed fine but for some reason even though the xbox sees the mac, and vise versa, and I have converted my files to .wmv the xbox still fails to see any video files when I try to play them. Any idea of what I might have done wrong?

Kanuck

I purchased Connect360 some time ago, but I’ll be buying Rivet tonight. There are three key differences making me switch.

The preservation of the folder structure, like the article says, is a HUGE difference-maker; making me navigate a flat list of files is just ridiculous.

I’ll also enjoy the Aperture support, as it means I’ll be able to show my photos to folks.

But the #1 difference is that I don’t feel Nullriver deserves me as a customer anymore. Yes, I know they’ve already got my money; but they’ve said Aperture support is “coming” for a very long time now, with no indication that anything’s actually on the way. And they actually claimed for a long time that it was “impossible” to preserve folder structure on the Xbox’s interface, which is obviously a lie.

So, I’ll be giving my money to the makers of Rivet, and here’s hoping they created their product out of the same frustration I’m feeling.

Gideon

I really like Connect360. After a year or so of owning and dealing with their PS3 app – MediaLink – I’ve grown to absolutely despise Nullriver and their lack of support – but Connect360 works consistantly very well. Thank God for that… I’d not want to have to try to get support if it stopped.

That being said… because of said support issues, I don’t plan on ever buying another product from Nullriver again.

Seanemac007

I second your sentiments about Nullriver’s complete lack of tech support 1000 times over. C360 worked fine for years (has it been that long) until one day it started crashing approximately 90 seconds after startup.

I have made more than 10 attempts to contact them to no avail.

Rivet sounds great. Buying tonight.

Klip

Another satisfied Connect360 owner here. LOVE it. But it can be a system resource hog. Especially since it automatically updates your library every 2 hours and there’s no setting to go with longer intervals. Obviously a P.I.T.A. if you have 500+ GB of video, music and pics. So I usually disable it until I know I’m having company or I want to stream something to my home theater ahead of time.

Chris Rogers

I just stared using Rivet and it seems to work perfectly. No complaints! I do like having the folder structure replicated.

RLT

XBMC is pretty long in the tooth, was originally developed for the first XBOX but has moved on since then to run under a few platforms including OS X, Apple TV and Linux.

I’ve just tried quickly to configure it for photos and music, this didn’t appear to work but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing it.

The video side appears not to support transcoding and I’ve not tried it with the XBOX 360 yet. It would be good to get the MKV container working on the PS3.

I’ve bought both Connect 360 and Rivet. Both support the iTunes library well. I think Rivet is the better of the two although there hasn’t been much on the development front of late. An open source product might be better from this point of view.

RLT

XBMC has a DLNA server built in, i’ve tried this and its not bad for video. Not sure how well it works with an iTunes database.

For the Mac its a nice “Free” alternative.

Twist

I own both and while I like Rivet better I have had lots of problems with it crashing and so I have switched back to using Connect360.

Ryan

If you are not afraid of the command line, ushare works great. You can install it with macports. And it is free!

Alec Peden

Started off with Connect360 but have happily moved to Rivet in the past months. While I prefer Connect360’s prefpane to a menubar app, Rivet just gets it right, and its cheaper.

David

I’ll stick with Connect360 only because I own it already. I’m with you – if I didn’t have it I’d use Rivet for the file system nav. Let’s hope Nullriver adds this feature.

Jeremy

I originally purchased connect360 and was happy about it, until I found rivet and the folder structure. I have so many movies in different categories on my mac that I share, that I couldn’t stand having the flat list. For me, it was worth the $18.95 to change to rivet, for that one feature. I believe I had emailed the connect360 dev and he basically said he had no plans to incorporate the folder structure feature at all, but that was before I found rivet, so many they’re changing their mind.

Chris

I’ve been using Connect360 for about a year now and my family and I love it. My only complaint is that sometimes video gets out of sync with the audio, but that may be more of a network issue.

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