Mac to Xbox 360 with Connect 360

by Aaron Wright Mar 14, 2007

It came to my attention the other day that many Xbox360 owners who predominately use Macintosh computers in their household aren’t aware of a little piece of software that brilliantly links up an Xbox 360 and any form of Mac computer with networking capabilities.

For those who aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, the Xbox 360 allows you to connect to a Windows XP or Media Centre PC (only), giving you the freedom of streaming music, photos and even movies directly to your console. Unfortunately for us Mac owners, we’re not even given a second look by Microsoft on this one.

But that’s where Connect 360 comes in.

What is Connect 360?

Connect 360 was developed by Nullriver Software, who also happen to develop a wider range of products that enhance connectivity and compatibility between other products not previously supported by their manufacturers to work with the Macintosh platform—for example, PSPWare, which allows a stable connection between your Sony PSP and your iMac.

The idea behind Connect 360 is to literally trick your Microsoft Xbox 360 into believing that the Macintosh computer connected to it is actually a Windows computer.


The main Connect 360 window

You are able to share your iTunes media library, iPhoto library, and movies from within your Movie folder, provided they are WMV or WMA only, between your Xbox 360 and Macintosh computer. Excellent stuff if you’ve either got no hard drive with your Xbox 360, preventing you from storing media on there as it is, or running out of room from all the demos you keep downloading off of Xbox Live.

How does it work?

First you need to make sure you have your Xbox 360 and Macintosh computers connected to a router of some sort (wired or wireless); once the settings are in place on your console, it’s time to install Connect 360 on your Macintosh system.

Connect 360 is available as a demo, giving you the freedom to stream up to 100 songs and 100 photos to your Xbox 360 console, from their website.

Configure Xbox 360: Once you’ve installed Connect 360 to the preference pane in System Preferences, turn your Xbox 360 on and head to the Systems tab, followed by Network Settings and then Test Media Connection. Once everything is connected correctly (you will need to make sure your Xbox 360’s IP settings are correct), head back to the main Xbox 360 screen and click on the Media tab. In here select any type of media you wish to stream (for example, Music) and follow the on-screen instructions. The first time you do this you’ll be prompted to go to a Microsoft website and download a program to run on your Windows computer that allows connection to take place—we’ve already got our little program, so click the relevant button which should say something along the lines of “I have already downloaded this program.”

Configure Macintosh: The next step is to go back to your Mac and open the Connect 360 preference pane (found in System Preferences). In here, make sure Xbox 360 Media Sharing is enabled by clicking on the Start button. You may find at this point that Connect 360 has discovered your Xbox 360 but can’t yet access it due to your OS X firewall; it will automatically adjust the firewall for you but requires you to enter an Administrator username and password (so make sure you have it handy).

After all of this is complete you should see your Xbox 360 console appear in the “Discovered Devices” section. Now it’s simply a case of streaming your media directly from your Macintosh to your Xbox 360 console. Magic!


Having used this piece of kit for over a week now I can honestly say that it’s a joy to have. I’ve been able to casually browse my music while playing online and even looking at last year’s holiday photos on my TV, which is considerably larger than the screen on my iMac. As I’ve already said, Connect 360 is definitely for someone who either doesn’t have much space left on his or her hard drive, or has no hard drive at all (found on the Xbox 360 Core pack). The only major downfall is the lack of video support (only WMV and WMA allowed), preventing you from streaming a lot of TV shows you may have purchased from the internet. As we’re now in a world that is becoming increasingly concerned with global warming, I should mention that having your iMac on just to browse songs, photos and movies on your Xbox 360 is a waste of power and is probably something we could do without, yet there appears to be no way around that at this point.

Connect 360 allows Wired or Wireless connections using a router only; it appears that P2P doesn’t work, or at least it didn’t when I gave it a shot.

You can give Connect 360 a go by downloading a demo from the official website. The demo allows you to stream up to 100 songs and 100 photos, after which you’ll need to purchase and register for $20.00, which isn’t exactly going to break the bank any time soon.

A must for anyone who owns an Xbox 360 and a Macintosh computer.

Latest Release: Version 2.82
Requirements: OS X 10.3.9 or later, Xbox 360 with network connection (wired or wireless), Flip4Mac Quicktime components to allow for streaming
Rating: 9/10



  • I’ve been using Connect360 for awhile now and my PowerBook G4 (800 MHz) as the host. It works very well.

    I used to have a Windows XP box configured with the Media Connect software and had persistent trouble getting the Xbox 360 to connect. One day it would work - the next not. When it did work, only a tiny fraction of my music library showed up although Windows Media Player was filled with over 8,000 tracks.

    In contrast, my Xbox 360 connected to Connect360 very quickly and has kept the connection. All of my iTunes and iPhoto libraries are shared, even Smart Playlists. Oddly enough, Connect360 worked better (for me) than Microsoft’s own software.

    The limitation of Windows Media Video (WMV) files is due to the codec used by the Xbox 360. If it supported other codecs, like DivX, other formats would work. What’s interesting is the Xbox HD-DVD drive supports H.264 decoding which, in theory, could mean a H.264 video on your Mac might be playable via Connect360. This assumes, of course, the Xbox supports H.264 from other sources than the HD-DVD drive.

    Eric Brodeur had this to say on Mar 14, 2007 Posts: 23
  • Please tell me there’s a PS3 version of this. I’d buy it in heartbeat.

    mcloki had this to say on Mar 14, 2007 Posts: 25
  • provided they are WMV or WMA only

    Why god why?  If this supported Quicktime or could convert on the fly, I’d have it already.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Mar 14, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • Quicktime is an Apple product. WMV, WMA (Windows Media Video/Windows Media Audio) is MS. Same reason QT doesn’t support those out of the box, proprietary. If you ask, they will do it.

    I’m not into gaming but it’s GREAT to see more interaction between cross manufactured products. Makes choices a little easier.

    Heck I still have an original NES and a PS1 (the original grey models). Both work and I still play with both from time to time. I guess when you have to save up for months to buy something like these when your younger you tend to see the value of a dollar in the product. The NES was a summer of mowing lawns and painting 3 fences… I was 10. Now my son gets to play with it, it’s simple enough, even at 2 he gets it.

    xwiredtva had this to say on Mar 30, 2007 Posts: 172
  • I realize that QT is Apple.  Duh.  But lots of applications support both QT and WMV. 

    What I’ve read is that this is a limitation of Connect 360 and that nothing prevents the XBox360 from playing QT video.  I’ve heard that they will include it at a later date.  Here’s to hoping.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Apr 01, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • Beeblebrox-

    It is not a limitation of Connect360 to not play QT video. I don’t know where you might have read something like that, because everything I have read clearly states that the Xbox 360 only supports WMV+WMA video.

    An update coming on May 7th will allow mpeg4 and h264 video to be played on the 360. I’m certain that Connect360 will support these types of files as well.

    Next time you ought to actually read something before you post such a snide remark.

    kazumashell had this to say on Apr 18, 2007 Posts: 1
  • Update:  Connect360 now supports QUICKTIME movies in mpeg4 and h.264 codecs.

    Finally!  No AppleTV for me!  I can’t wait to get this.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on May 14, 2007 Posts: 2220
  • Does this work in reverse? Can you take screenshots from your 360 and send them to your Mac? This sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m considering the purchase of a PS3, but it’s so darn pricey. This opens up the 360 as a more viable option for me if it works like I hope it does. I create a lot of video game screenshots, so this is a huge deal for me.

    BDawg35 had this to say on Jul 02, 2007 Posts: 1
  • Has anyone been having trouble wirelessly connecting the Xbox 360 to their Apple ? When I try to test the connection on the xbox it fails on the IP address test, any suggestions ?

    rossingi had this to say on Aug 31, 2007 Posts: 1
  • I recently came across his article and thought I should update it. Connect360 now supports most video files. You can use Quicktime and AVI as well as many others. I just picked it up two days ago and it works great.

    Cdino had this to say on May 02, 2008 Posts: 1
  • I’ve downloaded some games for my xbox from internet , but how can i transfer them in my xbox ? does anybody knows ? by macbook i mean
    I would be thankful if somebody helps me

    rezakd had this to say on Dec 13, 2009 Posts: 1
  • I want to say that is some really good advice here! Thanks! sèche serviette double emploi

    fatfatluve23 had this to say on Jun 15, 2011 Posts: 4
  • This is the first time I visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work.

    health magazine
    business magazine
    food magazine

    waqashbfm had this to say on Jun 22, 2011 Posts: 4
  • For most of the people mac is 50 times easier to control than xbox. But Salute to that person who introduced xbox in the industry. It has its own charm. Anyway good placement.
    security stickers

    iamasters had this to say on Jun 24, 2011 Posts: 7
  • This piece became an inspiration for me to share with everyone I know. I must commend the writer and the site as well for coming up with a marvelous creation like this. Your unparalleled presentation coupled with the passion and desire to nurture and teach people knew techniques and information is something that we must laud and applaud.
    tenant screening

    apollosan had this to say on Jun 27, 2011 Posts: 16
  • Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >
You need log in, or register, in order to comment