How-To: Watch H.264 Encoded MP4 Videos on Xbox 360

I use some software called ushare to stream video from my pc to my Xbox 360. I won’t go into the details on how to set that up, it’s pretty straight forward. Chances are good that your linux distribution already has a package for ushare built.

If you find yourself with a video encoded in H.264/x264 (it’ll probably have a .mp4 file extension) you will be frustrated to find out that the Xbox 360 won’t play it. There is an incredibly easy workaround to this. Just change the .mp4 filename extension to .avi.
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Not sure exactly why this works, but I have a feeling it’s simply due to the .mp4 filename extension. The Xbox 360 must assume it doesn’t know how to play mp4 files, without actually checking to see what codec the video file needs. But that’s total speculation on my part.

Tip: List of Voice Commands for Kinect on Xbox 360

I came across this list of voice commands for Kinect on the Xbox 360.

I wanted to document them here as well for future reference. I also get quite a bit of traffic related to Xbox 360 stuff, so someone else reading might find it useful.

Please be aware that this is not a complete list. This list mostly covers voice commands that let you interact with the Xbox 360 Dashboard, not specific games. There are, however, voice commands for some apps: Hulu Plus, Last.fm, Netflix, ESPN and Zune.

You need to say “Xbox” before saying these voice commands.

Open Tray (only if there’s no disc inserted) -> Opens Tray
Kinect -> Opens Kinect Hub
Dashboard -> Takes you back to dashboard
ESPN -> Starts ESPN
Zune -> Starts Zune Marketplace
Video Kinect -> Starts Video Kinect
Trailer -> Starts Trailer
Dance Central -> Starts Game trailer
Play Game (disc) -> launches game
Next – > Takes you to next blade
Previous -> Takes you to previous blade
Sign In -> Signs you in
Achievements -> shows lists of achievements
friends -> shows friendslist
Face Id -> starts Face ID
Yes
Cancel
No
Last Fm -> Starts Last FM

Voice Commands In Last FM:

Love -> hearts song
Ban – > bans song
next -> skips song
play -> plays playlist

Voice Commands for Last FM, Hulu Plus, Netflix, ESPN and Zune

fast-forward -> Fast forward a video or song
rewind -> Rewind a video or song
pause -> Pause video or song
play -> Play a video or song
next -> Skip to next video or song
previous -> Skip to previous video or song

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If you’re aware of any voice commands that are missing, please leave a comment describing the voice command and I’ll get it added to this page.

UPDATE 1/3/2011:
I just came across the official Xbox Support “How to control your Xbox 360 console by using your voice” page. It doesn’t list all the voice commands listed above, hopefully they will update it with all the voice commands at some point.

UPDATE 1/17/2012:
Martyn Herb left a comment with a tip on how to turn your Xbox 360 off via a Kinect voice command. Before you can turn your Xbox 360 off, you need to say “Go to settings”. Once you’re at the system settings panel, you can then say “xbox turn off” to shut your Xbox 360 down.

Twee60: Automatic Xbox Live To Twitter

Twee60 is a web based application that tweets your status on Xbox Live to your Twitter account. The nice thing about Twee60 is there’s no software to install, unlike the Xbox Live to Twitter application I wrote about previously.
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Don’t get me wrong, Martin’s Xbox Live to Twitter app does a very nice job and offers many more customization options than Twee60. Twee60 is ideal for me though because it doesn’t require any software to be installed.

Twee60 is especially nice for Linux or Mac users who don’t even have a software package they could install to tweet their Xbox Live status. I installed a Windows box at home just so I could run Martin’s Xbox Live to Twitter app. Now that I have Twee60, I can take that box down.
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There’s only a few options you need to set in Twee60 before it’s ready to tweet your Xbox Live status. All you’ll need is your gamertag, twitter e-mail, twitter password, and zip code. Xbox Live members who are also Twitter users should check it out and register an account.

Halo 3 Screenshot Site

There’s some truly amazing looking screenshots people have taken in Halo 3.  I absolutely love the fact that you can take screenshots from Halo 3 matches, I could spend hours watching movies looking for good screenshots to take.

i <3 halo 3 is a site that features some of the best Halo 3 screenshots I’ve ever seen.   If you want your screenshots featured on the site, just get in touch with bs angel, the site operator.  bs angel will browse through your screenshots at bungie.net.  If she finds something good, she may post the screenshot to the blog. Now, go check it out!

Gears of War 2 is official

I’m a bit late and it’s been covered a lot already, but since this is the first official teaser video for Gears of War 2, I had to post it.

I got so excited last night when I watched this on my Xbox 360. There’s only been one other game I’ve been this excited for, and that game was Halo 3. Gears of War is one of my favorite games of all time. The other day, I had an urge to play some Gears. A buddy and I sat down played through the whole campaign on Casual in a few hours. It was lovely.

I can’t wait for Gears of War 2.