Apple TV 2 and XBMC – how to switch between audio languages

If you’ve found this page then you probably already have a hacked ATV2 with NitoTV and XBMC installed. I could not find this in a single place so hopefully this is a one-stop shop for you. Remember – you are changing/modifying files on your system, if in doubt backup before you edit or delete files! Do so at your own risk, I am posting this for educational purposes only.

To play movies with multiple soundtracks/audio languages on a PC or laptop, you pick it from the Media Player menus. However, if using an ATV2 and XBMC, all you have is the Apple Remote. You only have the Up/Down/Left/Right, Menu and Play/Pause buttons. There is nothing to allow you to pick the correct soundtrack. So you get all sound tracks at the same time if there are multiple embedded!

To fix, you can modify the Apple Remote button functions. I picked the Up button to modify and change it from VolumeUp to AudioNextLanguage. I don’t use the volume control on this remote so it’s OK to reallocate the function.

You need to edit joystick.AppleRemote.xml on the ATV2. You can SSH onto the ATV2 and download it onto your laptop to edit with a suitable xml editor. If you need to know how to SSH onto your ATV2, Google it – loads of videos.  XML editors are abundant, again Google what you need. I use Cyberduck for SSH and TextMate (Mac OSX) for XML editing.

The file joystick.AppleRemote.xml is located in


This contains the default settings for each button. See for what it looks like (you can use this as a backup as well if you need to restore/screw up the file).

Look for the line which is around line 92 which refers to VolumeUp

    <joystick name=”AppleRemote”>
      <button id=”1″>VolumeUp</button>

Change this AudioNextLanguage e.g.

<button id=”1″>AudioNextLanguage</button>

Save the file and upload to your ATV2. No need to reboot it, you will see that the Up button on the Apple Remote will scroll through the soundtracks/audio languages. Note – this assumes that there is more than one soundtrack embedded in the movie you are trying to watch.

I hope you find this useful!