Is FireCore media player better than XBMC?

Thinking about finally buying FireCore, but wonder if it’s any better than XBMC? I use XBMC to play FLACs…

MediaPlayer can play FLAC files.

It depends on your needs/wants.

The FC Media Player allows you play non-iTunes formats (MKV, AVI, MTS, FLAC, etc…) without having to leave the native AppleTV interface. Using XBMC means you’re switching back and forth between the native interface and XBMC. 

FC media player is slow to open folders,when i am not getting a permission denied error.accessing my files has been a complete pain, XBMC on the other hand opens quickly but when they play i get a stuttering picture and buffering, not happy at all and that is one of the main reasons i bought this thing. I like the integration with the apple tv, it was an easy install but overall nothing works well, not the media player, not the browser, not the RSS. forget viewing photos, folders never open ,and Plex is a complete mess

Media player is awesome because I am in the Apple TV native UI. However, one thing that I miss from XBMC to have support for uPNP devices. I use Pogoplug connected to my USB drives which I can access directly via XBMC, but not using Media Player.


Thanks james

That does make a difference to me. Does the software expire after a year? Or is it just the ability to update it? So, after paying do I HAVE to pay again to keep it running?

Once installed, it will continue to work indefinitely. Having an expired license may just prevent you from downloading a new version in the future.

I am totally hating the FireCore Media Player it’s too freaking slow and doesn’t see my network (SMB) shares I even tried setting it up manually (included xbmc addon does), but browsing through folders and waiting for it to respond was too painful so I gave up.  Actually the entire aTV Flash (Black) is a waste of time/money – just jailbreak and install xbmc via ssh commands (look it up on xbmx wiki articles).

I had everything working with a plain Jail broken v4.4.4 aTV2 + xbmc installed (without FireCore Flash Black).  I restored my aTV2 to factory setting via iTunes, then jail broke it v4.4.4 again and installed aTV Flash (Black), and then enabled XBMC within it – what a mistake.  Now XBMC has poor performance, cannot find artwork for movies, crashes & freezes more often.  Just my two cents, I should have asked around before purchasing this crap.

XBMC works very well if you dont want to spend money.

aTV has the benefit that it fits into the native apple TV experience.
(Makes the Apple TV the Product it should have been.) 

I haven’t tried XBMC but I have compared between Plex and Media Player (MP). Additionally, I’m not sure what network settings those with complaints are using but I’m using a HomePlug AV 500Mbps network as opposed to the wifi. As I understand it, MP streams the content natively while Plex transcodes files on the fly via the computer-side server app. I also understand that Plex is an XBMC port.

I have had oddities in streaming with MP. For example a 720p MKV gives me a message that some stuttering might occur with the file which it then does on occasion. Later on, trying to stream a 1080p version of the same movie gives me no such message and plays with nary a stutter. On the other hand, in Plex, with the streaming maxed out to 10Mbps 1080p streaming, I have not seen a stutter at all. The ATV only outputs 720p but I still like the highest streaming profile to avoid any downsampling of the 720p MKVs I have in my library. In any case, navigating the filesystem via MP on my desktop/server has been pretty problem free via ethernet/powerline. I’m guessing the issues other are experiencing might be due to trying to navigate some dense file systems via wifi. The same rules for home networking apply here as they do anywhere else. There may be dips and drops in connectivity over wifi while a wired connection is stable. I’ll try and unplug the wifi and see how the system performs without the ethernet.

For a year I was using XBMC as my client.  The newest version of MEDIA PLAYER now has better automatic features that the XBMC client, and I have finally switched.  But still like them both.


Can’t comfirm that.

XBMC crashes quite often on me - and the Library updater really is bad.

The Media Player on the other hand - lacks 2 things only:

  1. Have the possibility to tell it to collect Metadata on all files.

(1.1 Provide the possibility to tell the media-player to only extract the metadata from the m4v files (Just ripped all my DVD’s and put them on the NAS - 400 files)).

  1. Decent Music player/library way. And support for Playlists - eventually even compatibility with the iTunes Playlists - this way, we don’t have to create m3u files on our NAS to listen to our music the way we are used to listen to it.


That would make it the best addition to the ATV2/ATV3.


Thank you very much for the responses. It looks like it might be time for me to buy FireCore.

To add my 2 cents.

I have tried both.  Firecore’s media player works incredibly well, fitting in with the native ATV GUI.  XBMC whilst the new version Eden is a vast improvement over the older version, I still find it clunky as well as it causing regular crashes on my ATV.  XBMC on PC’s works really well, because they have the power to run it, I’m not sure the ATV is powerful enough, you certainly won’t be able to add any extra themes to XBMC as this will make it slower again.  I have replaced my Media Centre PC with an ATV2 running Firecore’s media player.

My setup is a HP Proliant server storing all my media, gigabit hardwired network to my Airport Extreme, which then sends via megabit hardwired network to one ATV2 (the ATV2 only supports 100mbps over CAT5) and via 5GHZ WiFi to the second ATV2 upstairs.  Yes when starting any program there is up to 10 seconds of buffering, but then the entire program/movie plays with no issues.  The only time I ever get buffering during playback is if I try to fast forward or rewind and it then needs to re-buffer to catch up.

I think as long as you have a good network backbone to your setup then it will cause you no issues.

As for the comment about Metadata issues, you can always create a specific Metadata file for the programs you get issues with that then will point the scraper to download the correct information.  There’s a knowledge base article floating around somewhere.



Agreed on most points.

However - why should I start working on Metadata - apply all the workarounds, if I already have everything I need as Metadata in the m4v  files ?

If the information is there - grab it. It’s probably the most accurate information you will find on the Movie/Media - as it is embedded in the Media File itself.

In that case - no need to go fetch it over the internet.

If a file has no metadata embedded - then go fetch on the Net. It’s as simple as that.

I just bought ATV Flash (black) to answer the same question.  I’m disappointed pretty fast.  The library browsing on XBMC is much better because:

  • It's faster
  • Metatdata is better (maybe it's the filename parser)
  • Filters and display choices in XBMC are much better
  • AFP shares give an error in ATV Flash despite working fine in XBMC.

– edit 

The AFP shares (on a MyBook Live NAS) fixed themselves a few days later.  They work just fine in Firecore Media Player now.

My experience:

If you have both Mediaplay and XBMC, XBMC will crash from time to time. Tested this with last version of ATV flash (black) and the new 2.0 (and XBMC eden)

As soon as I removed mediaplayer XBMC was stable again.

For me XBMC works bette since I can choose what share to add. Mediaplayer seems to add all shares on the pc. Which is not what I want.

I also like the grouping of collections in XBMC. ( not sure if this feature is abailable in MP, it did not do it automatically)


Mediaplayer has the native gui, and it seems simple and easy. Do to it lacking what I like I still use XBMC.

I finally ended up buying ATV Flash (black). I’m not sure if it’s better or worse. It’s just different.

I’m so used to XBMC, that I still use it. I’ll need to just play with Media Player for a while to see.

One thing that is troublesome is that it’s always scanning my media drives. I never stops. Every time I open Media Player, it asks if I want to continue to scan.

My experience with the XBMC is that it works really well if you do not use another skin than the standard skin.

I hav a large library of music (about 2000 albums) and it crashes every time I use an alternative skin.

After reset it works well. 

Benefit of the library XBMC vs Mediaplayer is as described by the members before:

  • it’s fast

  • better metadata

  • nice look and feel

Despite that you can use a lot of add ons that you cannot use with the Apple TV IOS.

If you want an AppleTV experience, the FireCore Media Player is a clear winner.

I used XBMC quite extensively, exploring all the live TV options and getting Hulu, ESPN and all the US TV station aggregators to work. The possibilities were very exciting.

Then I slowly realized how much maintenance it is to keep XBMC running smooth on the video side of things … replacing files and updating to the latest librtmp. There was always the risk of updates breaking compatibility. And XBMC crashing was a daily occurrence. 

On top of all that, the content (streaming) available for the most part, is pretty dismal in quality and the interface is very clunky to navigate with an ATV remote.

What sealed the deal for me was realizing that XBMC had been responsible for not clearing video cache directories on the ATV, leaving zero space available on the media partition, and thus sending the ATV into a spiral of corrupt files and unpredictable behaviour.

A fresh iOS restore, and a reinstall of Media Player and I’ve never looked back.

Sure, I miss live news streams on the ATV, but I just picked up a decent OTA antennae to fill that void.