10 Xbox 360 tricks Microsoft doesn't tell you...Interesting

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by PKerr, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. PKerr

    PKerr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Essential hacks, tricks and secrets for Microsoft's supposedly closed system





    1. Connect your Xbox 360 to two screens at once

    If you've got one of the component/composite dual video cables – the one that comes in the box with most 360s – you can have your console display its gamey goodness on two TVs simultaneously. The trick is to flick the cable's switch to Standard Definition but hook up the composite (yellow) cable to one screen and the component (the red, green, blue) cables to another. It won't be high-def, but it could be handy if you're staging a mini LAN party and want to set up a display for bored spectators to point their eyes at.

    2. Play your own music in original Xbox games

    That you can fire up your own MP3s during a 360 game is common knowledge (and re-soundtracking moody horror games with the Benny Hill theme tune never stops being funny), but it doesn't work if you're playing a title from the original Xbox. There's a way around it – start playing your album or playlist before you load the game, and it'll keep on playing once you do fire the title up. The game's own music won't be muted, however, so if you can't do that in its settings you'll go mad from the weird cacophony.

    3. It can write its own blog

    Ah, the internet – founded upon crazy men making crazy things for free. Such as a blog supposedly written by your 360, based on what you've been using it for. It monitors your Live account and automatically generates entries about what it's been up to that day (or what it hasn't been up to – expect many posts about neglect if you don't turn it on for a while). The tone is very much American geek, but it's a fun record of your own gaming habits, and of keeping an eye on what your chums are up to. Get set up at www.360voice.com.

    4. Play Xbox 360 games online for free – without a Live account

    That you have to pay a subscription for online gaming, something that's free on other consoles and on the PC, is perhaps the 360's greatest bugbear. Stage your own form of peaceful process by playing online without paying a penny. You'll need XLink Kai, a free app you run from a PC on the same network as the console that tricks the 360 into thinking the internet is a LAN.

    So it'll treat remote opponents as though they're in the same room as you – and you don't have to pay for local multiplayer. Clever! One snag – Microsoft has set the 360 to boot out anyone with a ping higher than 30ms, so you'll have to be selective about who you play with. Local chums are best, not your Chinese penpal.

    5. Interact with your Xbox 360 music

    Hit X whilst playing a music CD or file (whether from the 360's hard drive, an MP3 player you've plugged in, or streamed from a PC) and you'll enter Psychedelic Wonderland. Well, some artful visualisations, anyway. Grab a controller or two (or up to four, as it happens) and start moving thumbpads and pressing buttons to interact with the crazed shifting colours. There are actually some fairly elaborate controls – read the full manual at http://www.llamasoft.co.uk/x360manual.php. Good at parties, this.

    6. Connect your Xbox 360 to a wireless network without an official adaptor

    The good news is you don't have to drop £50 on Microsoft's offensively overpriced Wi-Fi adaptor. The bad news is you'll need a laptop with W-Fi to do it. Head to Control Panel – Network Connections (In Windows XP) or Network & Sharing Center – Manage Network Connections (in Vista). Select the Local Area Connection and the Wireless Network Connection at once, then right-click and hit 'bridge connections'.

    Disconnect then reconnect to your wireless network, run a network cable from the laptop's Ethernet port to the 360's, and you should be good to go. Unfortunately, you may have to remove the bridge (repeat the above process and you'll see the option) whenever you want to browse the net with the laptop.

    7. Play music from your iPod

    Not a secret as such, but Microsoft doesn't exactly shout about the fact it plays nice with a device made by uber-rival Apple. Hidden in the depths of the Marketplace, you'll find a teeny download called 'optional iPod support'. Once you've grabbed that, plug in your iPod (iPhones aren't supported yet, sadly) and head to the Media Blade. You'll see your pod appear there, and can now browse its music by album, artist, genre or whatever. It'll also charge via the USB port, usefully.

    8. Reset your Xbox 360 video settings

    Remember this one if you're in the habit of carrying your console to chum's houses and hooking it up to different displays. It can end up trying to output the wrong signal, so you can't see anything or get a flickering screen. Fortunately, there's a fairly simple fix if this happens. Remove any discs from the tray and turn the thing off. Then turn it on using a gamepad. As it boots, hold down the Y button, then hit and hold the right trigger. The video settings will reset to default, and you'll stop your sobbing.

    9. Play any media file, plus online videos on your Xbox 360

    Free app Tversity neatly sidesteps the pointless video/audio restrictions Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo alike slap on their consoles, making them able to play any format. Again, you'll need a PC on the same network, but it's a simple matter of installing the program and having it scan the folders you keep your media in. It'll replace the standard network file-sharing system Windows uses, but behaves pretty much the same way at the 360's end. As well as that, it'll convert unsupported files on the fly – though you'll need a pretty beefy PC to do this with large video files, otherwise you'll be waiting ages. You can also add online video URLs on the PC's end – including Youtube – and then access those from the console.

    10. Use any HDMI cable and still get digital surround sound

    Though the newer 360s have an HDMI output for optimal video quality, they've built the ports in such a way that you can't have the standard component/composite video cable, with its crucial optical audio output, plugged in at the same time as HDMI. Instead, you're supposed to drop a frightening amount of money on the official HDMI cable with audio adapter. Balls to that. See the big plastic box at the end of the standard video cable that connects to the console? Wedge a knife or screwdriver into the join and twist to pop it off. The result looks messy, but is small enough to plug in alongside a standard, cheapo HDMI cable.



    http://www.techradar.com/news/gamin...-doesn-t-tell-you-your-xbox-360-can-do-464200
     
  2. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    i use a USB port on my 360 to charge my nintendo DS
     
  3. Arrqh

    Arrqh Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I used the USB port on my Wii to charge my Zune once.

    That 360voice thing, BTW, has nothing to do with Microsoft... it just looks for updates in your public gamertag profile.
     
  4. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it actually uses data that Microsoft collects since one of the engineers works on the Live team or some such.

    I'm actually curious to see how that Xlink LAN fakery thing works. Can you search for games or are you basically only allowed to invite friends in to play?
     
  5. Arrqh

    Arrqh Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The point is there's a difference between a "hidden feature" and something that a 3rd party built on their own.
     
  6. firehawk12

    firehawk12 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's technically both, I guess. MS collects all this data in the background, something that most people won't notice. The use of the data is, as you suggest, done by a third party.
     
  7. DontFeedPhil

    DontFeedPhil Fleet Captain

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    Just back from Your Moms House...
    Another thing they dont tell you about is...
    that you can reflash your dvd drive on the 360 so that it will read a burned game. Then you can take a game that you rented and make a copy with your computer and a simple little app...Pop it in the xbox and play. Oh and yeah you have to return the original to the video store...:devil:
     
  8. JonathonWally

    JonathonWally Admiral Admiral

    Could anyone help me do this? I've had my 360 for almost a year, but never played around with it besides playing games and watching movies. But today I feel like learning the thing. Maybe even get Live Gold.

    But I can't find this download, when I go to the marketplace all i see are demos, videos and games.

    Any help would be appreciated
     
  9. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Ah, the one thing that struck me as really clever had nothing to do with Microsoft?

    Suppose that should come as no surprise.
     
  10. Arthur Frelling Dent

    Arthur Frelling Dent Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Go to Marketplace, select All Games, sort Alphabetically and scroll down to Optional iPod Support.

    Or so I've read. I haven't tried it yet.
     
  11. JonathonWally

    JonathonWally Admiral Admiral

    Found it, thank you. "Optional Media Support" for anyone else as clueless as I am :D
     
  12. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The iPod thing is really weird, since I've been playing my music off it since I got my 360 last November and the only time it had any sort of snag was when I blanked out the iPod's menus somehow. It only had artists and albums show up, but that was enough me.

    Does the Optional Media Support allow you to play the audio from music videos on your iPod? And is it free?
     
  13. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is a feature that was very specifically mentioned by Microsoft when the Xbox 360 was revealed to the public.
     
  14. JonathonWally

    JonathonWally Admiral Admiral

    Ya, good call, I remember the dude with the headset doing the big demo.
     
  15. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Peter Moore was awesome. I miss him sometimes. His successor may be good at his job, but he's not nearly as interesting for the public.
     
  16. JonathonWally

    JonathonWally Admiral Admiral

    Ok, I thought the iPod thing was awesome. This, by far, is one of the coolest things ever.

    PKer, dude, thanks for posting this. I've done more in 1 day with my 360 than I have in the entire year I've owned it.
     
  17. PKerr

    PKerr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No prob.

    BTW great Avatar
     
  18. JonathonWally

    JonathonWally Admiral Admiral

    Thanks.

    Any other cool stuff I'm missing out on with my 360?