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Summary:

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 […]

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?

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  1. 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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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

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  8. I was leaning towards XBMC. Is it less feature rich than these two or something?

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  9. 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.

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

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