Xbox360 Media Center Indeed

Microsoft updated the Xbox360 software in December with the ability to play Divx-encoded .avi files (previously, files had to be in Windows Media format), but I didn’t get a chance to test it until today, when I got back home where I can connect the 360 to the internet. But this is the most awesomest thing EVER. Most downloaded video files, like TV shows as an example, are encoded with divx (or xvid, which is also now supported, apparently–I was worried it wouldn’t be), so while I’d gone through the hassle of converting a couple to WMV to stream to my TV through the 360, it wasn’t really worth it. Took forever and quality went way down. But now. Oh, now. Just point the 360 at the .avi file on my computer, and it pops up with virtually the same quality it is on the computer.

So the few shows I missed over the holidays and my DVR ran out of space? I can still watch them on the TV rather than the computer. And my downloaded episodes of Australian Idol? I’m watching them on the TV right now! I’ve never been able to watch them on TV! It’s so exciting. Really. Maybe you have to be me to be this excited about it.

Now it’s just time for Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix and a member of Microsoft’s board, to get video streaming from Netflix to the 360 and my TV so I can use Instant Watching on my TV. Come on, guys. It’s only a matter of time, so let’s do it sooner rather than later, k?

Oh, speaking of Idol shows, I don’t think I’ll live-blog American Idol this year like I did last year. It got to be quite a hassle by the end, and I don’t think much of anybody read it while it was going on anyway. I’m thinking about Twittering throughout the show, though, and then posting those Twitters at the end of the show all at once. That way, if you were on the computer during the show, you could see the Twitters live if you wanted, but you could also just read them all at the end if you’d rather. And Twitter is made for that sort of short-form writing, while it was kind of a pain to be constantly updating the WordPress post and having to keep track of the timestamps and stuff.