The GeeXboX is no more than an awesome standalone media player. Why such a name ? Well, its main purpose is to play DivX movies and, as everybody usually call this kind of projects DivX boxes, we'll just prepended a "GeeX", cause that's for the geeks you all are ;-)
So, GeeXboX is a full operating system, running under Linux and based on the excellent MPlayer. No need for a hard drive, you just have to put the GeeXboX bootable CD into the CD-Drive of any Pentium-class or Apple Macintosh computer to boot it. Moreover, GeeXboX is free software, created as open-source software. This means that everyone can modify it and build his own release of the GeeXboX.
You may wonder why you should have to boot another operating system to play your media files, but just think about the Mini-ITX platforms like VIA Epia/Eden or Shuttle barebones. It's now affordable to bring DivX to your home cinema, plugging this kind of computer directly to your TV !!
At the time of the first development releases (Dec. 2002), it was only capable of playing DivX movies, but now, nearly every kind of media file can be played with GeeXboX, with the OS supporting :
* MPEG 1/2 movies (MPG files, VCDs, DVDs ...)
* MPEG 4 movies (DivX, XviD, H.264 ...)
* RealMedia and Windows Media movies.
* OggMedia streams
* Matroska streams
* Audio streams like : MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, WAV (AudioCD), AC3, DTS, MusePack (MPC), FLAC ...
* Network streams : WebRadio and WebTV through SHOUTcast.
* Watching analog TV and digital DVB
* Playing analog Radio streams.
* Playing files from your local network (LAN) through remote NFS, Samba (i.e. Windows) or UPnP shares.
Want more ?
You may think that such a thing requires a new generation computer ;-) That's where you're wrong !! An old P2-400 with 64 MB of RAM will be quite powerful enough to let the magic play. Also, the GeeXboX ISO only takes about 16 MB on disc. And of course, the whole thing can be managed by a either a keyboard, a remote controller or a joystick, thanks to its full OSD (On Screen Display) Menu.
So, what are you still waiting for ?? Xmas ?