Author Topic: Other Media Centers  (Read 9528 times)

jgaffney

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Other Media Centers
« on: October 03, 2008, 08:37:18 pm »
Greetings,

I've been using LMCE for about a year and the developers have done a great job so far.  But there are a few features I HAVE to have to make it useful.  1.  Ease of use creating playlists, (ability to queue files, not have start at the beginning after every entry). 2. Cover art should be able to find at least 90%, (amarok can do with the same files).  3.  Touch screen compatabilty with UI2. 4. Netlix tie in. 5. It also just needs to work.  I find myself constantly babying it and tweaking things to make it function.  The claim that no linux knowledge is a bit false to truly run LMCE.

So, I'm forced to use something other than LMCE for now.  Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendation?  The only other media center software I know of is Windows.  I'm not against that either and don't care about cost.  I've invested to much in hardware at this point so I really need something reliable and fully functional.

Thank you.

totallymaxed

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 09:12:51 pm »
Greetings,

I've been using LMCE for about a year and the developers have done a great job so far.  But there are a few features I HAVE to have to make it useful.  1.  Ease of use creating playlists, (ability to queue files, not have start at the beginning after every entry). 2. Cover art should be able to find at least 90%, (amarok can do with the same files).  3.  Touch screen compatabilty with UI2. 4. Netlix tie in. 5. It also just needs to work.  I find myself constantly babying it and tweaking things to make it function.  The claim that no linux knowledge is a bit false to truly run LMCE.

So, I'm forced to use something other than LMCE for now.  Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendation?  The only other media center software I know of is Windows.  I'm not against that either and don't care about cost.  I've invested to much in hardware at this point so I really need something reliable and fully functional.

Thank you.

Hi there,

Well I agree that in some of the areas you have identified there is some work to do for sure. But on the other hand we are installing Dianemo here ein the UK (Dianemo is based on LinuxMCE) and all of our customer are 100% non-technical users... ie they just use the system and are not in anyway interested in digging into to the technical side of the system. Our experience is that with properly configured hardware that is suited to the task LinuxMCE is very stable & reliable.

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freymann

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 10:18:25 pm »
I've been using LMCE for about a year and the developers have done a great job so far.  But there are a few features I HAVE to have to make it useful.  1.  Ease of use creating playlists, (ability to queue files, not have start at the beginning after every entry). 2. Cover art should be able to find at least 90%, (amarok can do with the same files).  3.  Touch screen compatabilty with UI2. 4. Netlix tie in. 5. It also just needs to work.  I find myself constantly babying it and tweaking things to make it function.  The claim that no linux knowledge is a bit false to truly run LMCE.

I guess LMCE just isn't for everybody ;-)

JonDecker has done some great work with playlists in the pluto-admin. Have been you following his work? Search the forums...

Are you referring to Cover Art for music or movies? I find about 98% of my movie coverart just fine, and when it doesn't, I open up a second window and use www.imdb.com and just cut & paste. Although I have a rather large music collection, I really couldn't care less if the album art shows up or not, but that's just me.

Touch screen would be nice indeed. There has been some discussions about this in the forums too but I haven't paid that close attention to the details.

A year or so ago when I was looking for a way to make my computer the central hub for media, I did some looking and quite frankly, I didn't find anything I liked until I discovered LMCE. My first attempt failed terribly so I went with MythBuntu until the next official release of LMCE and I've been here since June.

Initially I was happy with just media, but since LMCE does home automation, and I like that kinda thing, I added some X10 stuff (because it was cheap). I'd love to add VOIP but our DSL connection isn't that fast and it goes out more than I like, so I've passed on that for now.

Anyway, you asked about other media centers (and I can hear Thom in the background now yelling - "LMCE is not just a media center!!"). Here's some bookmarks I made that you may find useful (or not):

Some of these may be (cough) Windoze based..

http://vcrib.wikidot.com/start

http://geexbox.org/en/index.html

http://mythic.tv/product_info.php?products_id=44

http://www.mythbuntu.org/

http://xbmc.org/

And finally:

http://www.usbuirt.com/overview.htm

If you go to the bottom, the USB UIRT web page has logos for all the software it works with, and many of those are media centers.

I don't how much help you'll get here, asking about other Media Centers, afterall, it is the LMCE Forum.  ;D

colinjones

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2008, 12:43:58 am »
I certainly agree that we can't spend too much time advising of other media centres on the LMCE forums! And freymann has given a list anyway. But I would like to comment on some of your points:

1) I definitely agree on this point, and as already commented Jon has done a lot of work in this area. He has been the first to admit that it isn't complete yet, but apparently it is far better than it was. But your enqueue point is the key here. With that in place it would be much more viable to create dynamic lists and simply save them for re-editing later rather than having to use the web interface. I logged a Mantis feature request for this many months ago. Although it hasn't progressed at all, I do know there was general agreement that this should be done. Unfortunately, my own skills are no where near what they need to be to make this change myself, yet.

3) This has been discussed, but I know the general consensus was that UI2 is intended to be exclusively an on-screen orbiter so having touch screen capability was pointless. I'm not sure I agree with that because it is certainly entirely possible that you could have a small/portable screen device in which case touch sensitivity would be helpful.

Mine is stable, and the only tweaking I need to do is when I have been dicking around with something. I would say that with the right hardware and following the recommendations, and then not dicking with it will leave you with a system that just works! Certainly in many ways 0710 is far smoother than 0704, and I anticipate that 0810 will be smoother again...

jgaffney

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2008, 06:46:25 pm »
Thanx for the replies.  I realize asking recommendations for other software here may be a little odd. But I see nothing wrong with helping other people.  I'm not into this vs that, I just want something that does what I need. I have nothing against LMCE, it's great, it just isn't fitting my needs at the moment.  LMCE is much more than just a media center, but all I need is just a media center.

How is anyone going to know if LMCE is good or not if they don't know their other options are anyway.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 06:56:22 pm by jgaffney »

Zaerc

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 07:14:10 pm »
Just out of curiousity, what effort have you put in to address these issues that are so important to you? 
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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jgaffney

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2008, 07:13:38 pm »
Since I'm not a programmer that answer would be nothing.  Since you brought it up,  that's the kind of question and attitude that turns people away.  You give out the feel that if you can't contribute then you shouldn't use it.  LMCE is marketed as "no linux skills required", but when someone comes out here and asks for help its a commen response that you just gave.  I kinda get the sense that if you can't help develop it then you have no business asking for help.
There are alot of helpful people out here but there are also a few that could be a little more friendly.



Zaerc

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 09:18:21 pm »
Now apart from you pretending you never got any help around here with anything at all...  How exactly do you expect your minor issues to get solved when you can't even be bothered to put in any effort whatsoever yourself

And just to point out the obvious, you weren't exactly asking for help with LMCE in this thread, now were you?  But maybe you're right and we should all just go sit on our asses and bitch about things instead, I'm sure that would magically fix everything in no time flat. :P
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jgaffney

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 04:59:15 am »
Nice Zaerc,  you're always so friendly  ::)

Do you honestly expect everyone to be able to write code who wants to use LMCE?  Please,  you're the most annoying kid out here.  You constantly talk down to people out here, make things up and think your king of the world.  You're posts don't even make sense.

First of all, when did I ever say I never got any help out here?
Second, "be bothered"   what does that even mean?  Like 90% of the other people who want to use a media center, I don't write code. 
And No, this thread isn't about asking for LMCE help, I stated that clearly in the first post.  So again, what's the point of that comment?

They are not "minor issues" as you claim.  They are issues that make it unusable for me, that's why I'm looking for something that fits my needs.  No one is bitching about anything but you. 

You can put yourself on the highest pedestal you want.  But you're the guy nobody likes, the one that turns people away from LMCE.  You're tone is horrible, you don't help, you just complain about other people asking for help.  LMCE is far better off without you.

So there you have it, now I helped.  Now I created a thread that lists issues that made me turn away from LMCE, it lists features that are missing that others may need. And most importantly it brought out your childish attitude for others to see and will now know that your the one they all need to avoid.

Since you had nothing useful to add to this thread, why did you even bother to jump in? 
FYI - Trolls are looked down upon on message boards.


Zaerc

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 07:08:52 am »
Nice Zaerc,  you're always so friendly  ::)
Unlike yourself.  ::)

Do you honestly expect everyone to be able to write code who wants to use LMCE?  Please,  you're the most annoying kid out here.  You constantly talk down to people out here, make things up and think your king of the world.  You're posts don't even make sense.
No, but I do expect them to either put in some effort or quit whinging about their uber-important issues which are most of the time really disguised feature requests that often make no sense at all. 

First of all, when did I ever say I never got any help out here?
Second, "be bothered"   what does that even mean?  Like 90% of the other people who want to use a media center, I don't write code. 
And No, this thread isn't about asking for LMCE help, I stated that clearly in the first post.  So again, what's the point of that comment?
There are more things you could do to help out besides coding, but oh dear that all takes actual effort, and god forbid you might learn a thing or two in the process.  Now what exactly was the point for asking us dramaticly what other media centers are out there, ever heard of this little site called google?

They are not "minor issues" as you claim.  They are issues that make it unusable for me, that's why I'm looking for something that fits my needs.  No one is bitching about anything but you. 
Your "major" issues (or rather mostly feature requests) are a joke.

You can put yourself on the highest pedestal you want.  But you're the guy nobody likes, the one that turns people away from LMCE.  You're tone is horrible, you don't help, you just complain about other people asking for help.  LMCE is far better off without you.
Bitch bitch bitch, nice attempted troll, a little obvious though.

So there you have it, now I helped.  Now I created a thread that lists issues that made me turn away from LMCE, it lists features that are missing that others may need. And most importantly it brought out your childish attitude for others to see and will now know that your the one they all need to avoid.
Thanks for your generous contribution, don't let the door hit you on your way out.

Since you had nothing useful to add to this thread, why did you even bother to jump in? 
FYI - Trolls are looked down upon on message boards.
I was bored waiting for another build to complete, and useless whiners, who have nothing better to do then bitch and moan, annoy me.
So... what's your excuse?


"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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hari

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 10:30:17 am »
* hari gets some popcorn
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

seth

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 02:07:41 pm »
 :(
Well. Another displeased user. Given the obvious complexity of this post, I will just add my bits to it:

1. LinuxMCE is just about perfect for use as a media center, but it can do so much more. If a media center is all you want, then hit up one of the mythtv distros, like Mythbuntu, Knoppmyth, or MyhDora (although I do not recommend this one) But understand, some of the greatest parts of LMCE are its ability to share media, and have it anywhere there is a network connection.

2. LinuxMCE can play well with all of these mythtv distros. I have a core, that normally just runs headless, but on occasion I do hook a monitor up to it, and watch some TV, grab a flick, or jam to some good music. But in my mix at home I have MythBunutu, and Xbox Media Center, using the files served up by my core. My main viewing area is a MD booted from an image on my core, but the Xbox in the family room watches the recordings made by LMCE's MythTV, as well as watching the Movies archived on the core, and it can play my vast music collection.

3. I am no coder by any means, I do have a fair amount of linux experience, but it is not really required. If you use supported hardware, and the vastly useful wiki entries, your whole house can benefit from having LinuxMCE at its core. Not only does it serve (as in server) as a media hub, but it also acts as a file server, print server, security system, environmental lighting system (really cool stuff), and lastly as a place to watch a good show, record it, or fire up a movie, or jam to some tunes.
I state here that I am no coder, but I have contributed in the forums, in the IRC channel, and have made several wiki entries. Not overlooking the one on using the netfilx player, as a core component in LinuxMCE, and being able to share its resources with any other MD in the house, or all at once.  So there is the netflix bit.

4. I say I contribute by adding wiki stuff, and answering questions in the forums, and on IRC. Most of this is based on the time I spent cutting my teeth on this wonderful whole house platform. I have run into all kinds of nastiness, almost solely due to my ignorance, but in those failures/mistakes, I have gained wisdom, which I gladly pass on to others who have hit the same hurdle, and I can help them over it, because I got around it.

But fore most, above all this, are the guys who actually tame this beast, like Thom (Tschak), Hari, Posde, DanielK, TotallyMaxed, tkmedia, and Mostly, our friend Zaerc. He may be short at times, with the whiners (and yes I have been called that as well, and yes it was true) but his knowledge of this platform is such a blessing to us all, that even being short, we can only be glad he is working for us (for free I might add) as are all the others. Sometimes tensions get a bit testy about these forums, but you can only truely appreciate them, when you see what it is giving you in the end, which will only cost you time, and a little bit of patience, and possibly some hardware.
And don't even get me started on Thom (Tschak) he I think out of them all knows this system down to the code level, and I have been smacked in the head by him more than once, and he was also correct. You have to understand, this entire project as a whole is voluntary, granted contributers like TotallyMaxed do this for a living, putting this amazing platform in peoples homes all the time, but the rest of the core devs have lives and jobs and families as well. They do this in their spare time, sometimes at great cost to themselves, just to be able to hand users like yourself and I this great piece of software. So give it a chance to become a part of your life, and thank them. Heh, when you get smacked, say "Thank You, and May I Please Have Another", you won't regret it.  ;D

Please do not let angry retorts, or a bit of character bashing, sway you from using the best whole solution available to you, at no cost.

I have had my arse handed to me more than once, and I still come back, and help in ANY way that I can, and when you get rubbed the wrong way, just smile. If you stick with it, you will not be sorry that you did.

New features emerge all the time, and you may not be able to code, but you can help test, and report issues on new features. Heck maybe by some odd luck, you could solve the very issue that you reported, just do your part, and watch this project fold into your life.

Just my bits, and observations.

Regards, and All The Best,

Seth
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 02:16:37 pm by seth »
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jgaffney

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2008, 04:41:17 am »
Zaerc,  at least have the decency to read what's written.  For you to decide for someone else what's a minor issue is just foolish.

So here are the detailed reasons (for others to understand) for my so called "uber-important issues that make no sense at all"  ::)  that you claim "are a joke"

The main users in my house are my wife and children.  The Fiire remote is OK, but not great.  It's not something you can move around very accurately with and tends to drift at times.  It ends up being more a pain for us than ease of use and my kids have no shot at it.  So, the answer to this problem is a touchscreen.  A touchscreen that requires cover art as my kids are to  young to read.  You just can't beat the ease of use of a touchscreen.  And who wants a media center without cover art?

Yes, I could *manually* add cover art to over 4000+ files through a clunky web interface, but it's very impracticable.  Especially when it will most likely get lost when an updated is needed. 

Playlists are created almost daily in my house.  When I'm use to using an app like Amarok that can browse files and *queue* them to a playlist in seconds compared to the tedious method in LMCE, it just isn't worth doing.  And yes, I followed the playlist thread and tried it that was mentioned early, it just needs more work at this point.
Finally, Netlix.  If you're a subscriber it only makes sense to have it tie into ones media center.

The bottom line here is LMCE just doesn't fit my needs.  I understand this make you angry, get over it.  As you stated, you started a bitch post because you're tired of people whining.  Now that's just hypocritical. Not to mention you're really not helping your cause here at any level.

Finally, if these issues are as "minor" as you claim.  I would think a kid of your skills would be able to fix them without much effort.  So get at it and you won't have to read so many threads about people "bitching".  :-*


tschak909

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2008, 04:47:26 am »
I would very much like to point out that yes, it does take a bit to tag things.. BUT, once they are, they are stored alongside the files..so they aren't lost in an upgrade.

You really are on the cusp of assuming things out of frustration. I wouldn't do that.

There is also a fix for what you see as unexpected playlist behavior:

There is a switch in the media plugin, go to advanced > configuration > devices, and select the media plugin.. there is a switch for queue only. Select it and reload router.

and NetFlix support? you're going to ditch us over that? Really?

my god, okay.. you know what? ... go. You are someone that even if we did all these things, you still wouldn't be happy... so... go...

-Thom
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 04:51:35 am by tschak909 »

colinjones

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Re: Other Media Centers
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2008, 04:59:29 am »
Thom - I'm curious about what the queue only switch does that you mentioned... but when I look in the config for my Media plugin I don't see the switch you are talking about. Is it a check box, or do you mean a piece of text added to the string down the bottom (with the audio ripping details in it already)?