Stream Music, Movies, and iPhotos to Xbox 360 (from a Mac!)

28 Comments

I have a fairly large music and movie collection, and a fairly nice TV/stereo setup in the family room. To watch my movies and listen to my music on the good TV and stereo I could hook my Macbook Air up to the TV each time, but who wants to do that? Fortunately, we have an Xbox 360 in the living room that we can use to stream everything to.

I have found several different pieces of software for OS X that allow the Xbox 360 find OS X based computer’s media, but hands down the best one is Connect360.

Things I like:

  • Can stream divx – this is a new feature and it totally rocks!
  • Can point to a specific movie folder – instead of simply streaming iTunes content
  • Can view all of your iTunes playlists
  • Can adjust how often it scans your libraries – that way everytime you add media you don’t have to restart the software

Additionally, Connect360 can pretty much handle any format you throw at it:

  • AAC, Apple Lossless, WMA
  • MP3, WAV, AIFF
  • H.264, DIVX, XVID
  • MOV, AVI, WMV, ASF
  • JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP
  • RAW

So if you want to stream your media from your mac to your living room and have an Xbox 360 then definitely make the $20 investment into Connect360. I absolutely love it!

28 Comments

Jeff

I want to say I am not an expert like a lot of the people here. I would classify myself as an intermediate computer user and a casual gamer. I downloaded the demos of Rivet and Connect 360. For me the rivet saw my videos but not the MP3s so I decided to go with connect 360. Just thought I’d share my experience and many thanks to everyone on this blog for sharing this solution. I was really bummed that neither my new ipod or iphone worked with the xbox so I am thrilled to be able to play the songs from my mac. Thanks again, Jeff

grant Steele

HELP!!!!!how out of touch am i! Im only trying to install this now and cant find any forums to answer my Q’s. ive downloaded Connect 360, plugged ethernet cable from xbox 360 to wireless modem and all i get is drop down box saying “could not allocate a required port”. A required port seems to be in use, free ports 1900 and /or 9335 if you wish to connect 360….. WTF..

p0wr

I bought both.

Connect360 is much better:
– File lists come straight up (takes literally for ever in Rivet)
– Can stream AIFF encoded audio (Rivet Can’t)
– Keeps folder structure just the same as Rivet

Connect360 downside is that you can only share one video source. I have no idea why they would limit this!

Lucas

i want to know the same thing that Faisca keeps asking.. is there a way to make connect360 play itunes movies or rented movies?

Jens

Connect360 is great, it works so much better than using a PC with Windows Media Player (which is quite funny) :). I am also using MediaLink from Nullriver to stream audio, video and photos from my powerbook to my PS3, works like a charm! :)

Ryan Stone

Rivet is better. I’ve used both, but rivet is much better @ sorting items and updating the content listing on my xbox.

Michael

I tried both Connect360 and Rivet. I have my videos organized on an external drive by show and then by season folders. Connect360 would break up some of the folder hierarchy (not all of them) and it wouldn’t display all the folders. Rivet keeps the hierarchy as well as displaying all the videos. Unfortunately it sucks because I paid for Connect360 before Rivet only to find out it doesn’t work like I expected it to.

Faisca

I tried the demo of Rivet, and while it seems like it would be better, it kept crashing on me after being up for like 2 minutes. I assume you all don’t have the same problem…

Can Rivet play iTunes movie rentals? Can Connect360?

Jamie Nathan

You should try Rivet. I have only just discovered it but it is far better.

Scott

I think Rivet is a better choice too, and I agree with Twist on his list of better options available with Rivet.

Nawaz

Anyone worked out how to convert mkv’s into something Connect360 can use, without having to transcode? Been tearing my hair out over this one for a while now, bought visualhub but just cant seem to get anything mac based to do the job.

Ben

Yeah, I like Rivet better. Sorts out all my TV Shows into folders based on season and show name.

And Brad at Cynical Peak Software is MUCH better at getting back to you with support issues than the guys at Nullriver. As far as my experiences have gone, anyway.

Twist

I am a user of Connect360 and first off yes it does work wirelessly. My Xbox 360 is connected to a LinkSys WRT54G (an older one at that) via ethernet, but I serve files to it off of a wireless iBook G4. It works pretty good most of the time and tends to work better than the Windows Vista MCE setup a friend of mine uses.

But I have to say that I think Rivet is a better product. From what I have seen it is just as easy to setup and works just as well as Connect360. Rivet has the added benefit of preserving your file structure in the Xbox 360’s interface while Connect360 just sends it as a big flat list. Also Rivet can serve files stored in multiple locations for videos and picture (plus your iPhoto library and videos in your iTunes library) and you can just define a location on your hard drive to serve images from while Connect360 requires iPhoto.

Both applications do tend to have issues with large music collections (10,000+ songs) in iTunes. This may not be as noticeable on a faster machine though.

Faisca

I just downloaded it and tried it out, and it works like a charm!

The only thing holding me back from buying it right now… is that I wonder if it can play movies that you’ve bought or rented from iTunes??

If it can do that, I’m sold.

Doug Scott

I love this product. Has been updated regularly to include new features and adapt to changes in OS X. The only limitation that I still find annoying is that DRM protected files can’t be played.

Jenny Kortina

My setup is as follows: My Macbook Air has the software on it, and connects to the router wirelessly, all of my media is on a time capsule, which is wired to the router, and the xbox is wired to the router. So, the Xbox is definately streaming through a wired connection, but I can stream video wirelessly from the time capsule to my Macbook air no problem. I would suggest downloading the trial version and giving it whril!

Faisca

Do you know how well Connect360 works with a wireless connection? My 360 is wired directly to a router, but my MacBook connects wirelessly. Does that cause any connection problems or slowdowns?

BB

Hey,

I downloaded Connect 360 and have the same set-up as you but it doesn’t work for me.
The xbox doesn’t even know the mac is there. and Yes the connect 360 is running when I turn on the xbox. just wondering if I did something wrong?

Andre

Hey dude go into preferences and disable the access control list. that helped me but moth my xbox and mabook are wireless. hope this heps

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