XBMC has a highly “skinnable” interface meaning that it can look radically different based on which “skin” is used. Confluence is used by default, so this is what will greet you upon install. You may wish to change the look to something more flashy, more artwork-based, etc. It’s up to you. See the list below for a list of active working skins. Visit this page for help installing these skins.
Aeon is a new interface for XBMC that was built upon a very simple brief: to create an attractive, sophisticated and above all personal environment for organising and enjoying media. Of the many HTPC frontends in development and circulation, too many like to bombard the user with overwrought textures that draw attention away from the most important thing of all: the media itself.
This is a very polished theme that's been around for years. And very usable for both SD and HD setups. It has grown so much over the years. It also gives you plenty of views in individual sections (IE- TV Shows, show episode's, Movies, Music, etc.) Most all of it is HD. Some remaining stuff is in the works. It has been around the block for a very long time, and it always kept up being compatible with the newest XBMC release. A lot of what's in it, was implemented on the fly as users would recommend additions or changes, to the point where it's grown into such a beautiful piece of work.
The MediaStream skin was developed by Team Razorfish over the course of about a year, before being publicly released on the 8th August 2008 (08/08/08). It was then developed for a further 4 months until the v1.00 release was made (stable and pretty much bug-free) at the end of 2008. It then lay dormant during most of 2009 but has been picked up again with v1.50 released in January 2010 bringing the skin more into line with recent advances in XBMC. Work is ongoing to add more features and clean up the code and interface to make it as user friendly as possible.
The idea for the skin grew out of the feedback we got for the MediaStream skin. Many users seemed to want to make MediaStream more transparent so that they could see the background images better. Since MediaStream was designed to focus on the media it wasn't really practical to adapt it for that purpose. Instead I decided to create a new skin from scratch where the core concept was to make the skin itself very minimal so that the backgrounds could shine through.
PM3.HD (Project Mayhem III High Definition) was based on the design of the Project Mayhem III skin by Chokemaniac. This skin was created because as XBMC moved off the xbox platform onto PC's people were wanting to display proper 720p and 1080p versions of XBMC. The old Project Mayhem III skin was designed for use on the xbox at low definition and looked very blocky when scaled up. So this skin was creeated to fill the gap for High definition users.
The goal is to provide a simple but elegant interface that emphasizes efficiency when browsing your media. Important considerations are put on usability, performance, and providing the user with flexibility when it comes to customization. Rapier supports the latest XBMC features and new ones will be added in the future as long as it fits in with Rapier's design goals.
What is Transparency!? Short answer: a fanart skin. The main goal of Transparency! is showing your fanart, fullscreen, in all of the views, all of the time. Besides this, it also tries to support every neat new feature xbmc has to offer. To save everyone a lot of time and trouble hacking the xml code themselves, all of these new features are already included in the skin, pre-configured and enabled by default (wherever possible).