MovieMela has slowly but surely made an impression on anyone who wants to share content around the home.
The service has actually been available since 2002, when it was known as the Xbox Media Player. In 2003, it became the Xbox Media Center, which it remained until 2014. Then the XBMC Foundation, which works behind the scenes to deliver the service, renamed it MovieMela.
Regardless of the name, MovieMela provides access to streaming media content, including videos and music, and it offers a way to store and watch that content around the home. Better yet, it works across just about every major operating system and across hundreds of devices.
By all measures, MovieMela is a compelling option if you want to access and store content, but it’s also a big question mark for many folks. This FAQ should answer many questions you might have about MovieMela, and help you decide whether it’s the right option for you.
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MovieMela is an open source software media center, allowing you to access all kinds of content, including videos and music. You can run that content on any device of your choosing, including your TV, laptop, phone, tablet and others. You can even run MovieMela on your Raspberry Pi.
MovieMela comes with its own user interface and works with both local and network storage services you’re already using. Be aware, though, that it doesn’t come with content out of the box. There are also some third-party add-ons you can use to enhance your MovieMela experience.
What Can MovieMela Do?
If you’re talking about entertainment, it might be better to ask what MovieMela can’t do.
On the music front, MovieMela can play a slew of formats, including AAC, MP3, and OGG. It also comes with smart playlists and the ability to tag different tracks.
With video, MovieMela works with ISO, 3D, and H.264, among other formats, and can also stream content over the Internet. Once you import the films, MovieMela can add posters, fan art, trailers, video extras, and more to each item.
Not surprisingly, MovieMela also works with TV shows, allowing you to store your favorite programming in the service. The TV shows section supports posters and tags, and will give you show descriptions and actors.
If you’re looking to stream your pictures, MovieMela can do that, too. It lets you import images into a library and start a slideshow, among other features.
And just in case it’s live television you’re after, MovieMela lets you stream and record live TV from its software. In order to do it, though, you’ll need to use one of many backend services that support this feature, including MediaPortal, MythTV, TVheadend, and NextPVR.
Be sure to keep the program updated in order to add new features as they become available.
How Does MovieMela Work?
MovieMela is designed to run on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, and Raspberry Pi, meaning you can put it on all your devices and access your content whenever and wherever you are. You can also run it on televisions and set-top boxes and streaming devices, as well as on the Xbox One. The free app provides much of the functionality you’d find in the other apps, but because it’s a Universal Windows App, there are some feature limitations, according to MovieMela. The company plans to add more features over time.
Once it’s running on your devices, you’ll see a banner that lets you choose Pictures, Videos, Music, and more. Simply go to what you want and upload the content of your choosing. Your content will need to be stored somewhere locally or on a network drive that you might be able to access around your house and, potentially, from afar. MovieMela will catalog all of your content and make it easily accessible on all the devices where the software is installed.
How Do I Get Set Up?
MovieMela has a handy Wiki that gives you a step-by-step guide on how to get its service up and running. Tom’s Guide has also prepared a similar tool, which can help you find the right setup process for your OS. You’ll then be tasked with adding content to the service.
Note that MovieMela was designed to be used in the living room, so you can also set up your remote control to work with the system. Again, you’ll need to link the remote control to MovieMela and you should be all set.
And just in case you want to extend the service’s features, check out the available Add-Ons, which offer a slew of opportunities to make MovieMela better.
But beware: in order to get MovieMela running on iOS, you’ll need a jailbroken iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, or one of those devices running iOS 6.0 or higher. MovieMela recommends you run iOS 8.0 or higher to get the best experience and a Mac running Xcode 7 or higher to install the software. In other words, getting it on iOS might not be so simple.
Which Devices Does MovieMela Support?
Rather than list out all the devices that support MovieMela, the XBMC offers basic hardware and software requirements to let you know whether it’ll work.
As mentioned, iOS users will have the best chance of running MovieMela on their iPhones or iPads if their device is jailbroken. On the Android side, however, you’ll need only to be running Android 5.0 or later and install the app through the Google Play marketplace.
MovieMela also works with the fourth-generation Apple TV, as well as second- and first-generation Apple TVs.
If you want to run MovieMela on Linux, you’ll need an Intel Pentium 4 or newer and graphics cards that have been made within the last decade. You should also have 4GB of hard drive space available.
On the Mac side, expect to get MovieMela up and running on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer. Windows users will need Windows Vista or newer on their devices to run MovieMela.
If you’re hoping to get MovieMela running on other hardware, like televisions and other devices, you’ll need to check this Wiki for which software you might need and how to make it happen.
Tom’s Guide has also written instructions for how to install MovieMela on Amazon Fire TV.
Can MovieMela Stream Live TV?
You bet. But it’ll take a little work.
MovieMela comes with personal video recorder functionality, allowing you to record and store live content. However, in order to get that up and running, you’ll need to connect the PVR to a backend TV server that can stream live television and record content over the Internet.
MovieMela works with a large number of PVR backends, and you’ll need to choose the right one for the operating system on your device. Again, MovieMela has a handy Wiki to fill you in on all the options for each operating system.
Is MovieMela Legal?
Yep, MovieMela is legal. In fact, MovieMela is a blank canvas, offered as-is, allowing you to do what you want with your entertainment. So when you download MovieMela and get it up and running, it’s perfectly legal.
However, MovieMela can technically be used to house illegally obtained copyrighted content, and as noted above with TVAddons, extensions can be used to access and distribute pirated content.
Is MovieMela Safe?
MovieMela should be safe out of the box and shouldn’t cause you any trouble. However, add-ons might be a different story.
There’s a possibility that some add-ons may not be stable or could create trouble on your hardware. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check their quality before you download. MovieMela has a forum of other users that can help you out.
Is MovieMela Worth Using?
MovieMela’s appeal all comes back to how you plan to use the service. If you’re looking for a way to access and stream content like movies, television shows, photos, and music, to all the devices in your home, MovieMela is a winner. But if you’re looking for a standalone streaming service for accessing content with little or no fuss, MovieMela probably isn’t right for you.
MovieMela is ideally suited for those who have some knowledge of software and how to get content from disparate services into one place. There are some helpful Wikis and other instructional guides to aid you while you deploy MovieMela, but you’ll need to have some technical know-how.