The Hidden Features of the Xbox 360

There are a lot of very useful applications and tools on the Xbox 360, many of which most people don’t even know about. This article will walk you through some of the most useful of these and how to use them.

Windows Media Center

Did you know you can use your Xbox 360 to play music and videos and view pictures that are stored on your computer? It will only work if you have a computer and the Windows Media Player software is installed on it. But first you will have to link the two of them.

There is a great guide to the linking process here, but basically you’ll have to have both your computer and Xbox 360 turned on and connected to the internet for it to work. Just use the Windows Media Center option from the Xbox 360 guide menu and follow the instructions.

You will have to have your computer turned on and will have to have both it and the Xbox 360 connected to the internet whenever you want to use this feature. But it’s a great way to access your media on a larger screen or if someone else is using the computer. Using this feature takes a lot of the Xbox 360’s processing power and slows it down considerably, so you will have to be patient with it.

Playing Your Own Music During Games

Most people know that the Xbox 360 will play music when a CD is placed in the disc tray, but far fewer are aware that you can store music on your Xbox 360 and play it during a video game. To store music on your console, you’ll need to put a CD in. The console will start playing the music automatically and will also give you the option to rip the music onto the console’s hard drive or memory card.

You can pick which songs you want to save to your console and rename them and organize them into playlists. Once they are saved to your console, you can access them while on the dashboard or during a video game by pressing the guide button, then scrolling to the left over to the Media tab. At the bottom of the tab is the “Play Music” option.

When you play your own music during a video game, your music will play instead of the game’s own music soundtrack. You will still hear characters’ voices and game sound effects like normal. This feature does not work during movies.

Video Chat

To talk with other people through video chat on your Xbox 360, you will need an internet connection, a headset, and an Xbox Live Vision Camera. The person you’re talking to will also need the same.

To start a video chat, press the guide button and press the “Chat and IM” option. From there, pick the “Video Kinect” option. You don’t need a Kinect sensor to use the feature, but you may need to download a free update to use it. The update will be offered to you when you select the “Video Kinect” option.

To invite someone to your video chat, you can select them from your friends list or type in their username manually.

These are just some of the great, yet slightly hidden options your Xbox 360 provides.

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