Author Topic: Playing media of a USB flash drive  (Read 718 times)

TRF

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Playing media of a USB flash drive
« on: November 12, 2009, 02:51:36 pm »
Hi,

I'm trying to play media (either music or video files) off of a USB flash drive (ie plug in a flash drive with media on it and select a file to play). I'm not sure if I'm missing something, this question seems so simple. I've search this forum and Googled this. The same applies to playing media off of a data DVD (ie not a movie format DVD). The only way I can do this at the moment is to install VLC and access the flash drive from the Kubuntu GUI environment, which defeats the purpose of the awesome interface!

I have LinuxMCE 7.10 installed.

Thanks in advance.

colinjones

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Re: Playing media of a USB flash drive
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 09:49:28 pm »
Currently there is no standard way in 0710 of playing data DVDs. The Disk_Drive device used to play optical media expects DVDs or CDs only. However, there is a thread in the forums you can search for where someone created some patches to allow this - I think 0810 only - and these will probably be rolled into 0810 in due course.

As for actual drives, such as a USB thumb drive - this needs to be added to the system like any other drive. It needs to be detected first - plug the drive in and wait. After several seconds the pnp system will detect the drive and ask you if you want to add it.

Your best bet is to allow it to be added and then, when prompted, tell LMCE that you want it to use the LMCE folder structure. This will create the public/data/audio|video|documents|pictures folder structure on the drive. Now you should move any media you want to be able to play on the drive into the appropriate folders. Each time the drive is plugged back into LMCE, the UpdateMedia system will scan those folders for new media and add them to the library. You will then be able to browse to them in the media browser as normal when in Filename sort mode. Or if you have tagged the media, through the other sort modes.

The critical thing is to ensure that LMCE was told to add the drive when you first plugged it in, the media is in the folders created, and that you give UpdateMedia enough time to scan that media into the system. From then on LMCE will recognise the drive whenever you plug it in, and playing media should be a snap as long as you are searching with the right sort mode and in the right location.

TRF

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Re: Playing media of a USB flash drive
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 09:45:27 am »
Hi colinjones

Thanks for the reply and info. I'll try getting the USB flashdrive detected and working then. If I may suggest as someone new to LinuxMCE and therefore having an outside view, would it not be possible to treat removable media such as DVD's and flashdrives differently to media stored more permanently on the core or MD's? I say this because generally when using a flashdrive I would either know whats on it but the files may not be well named, or may even not know what's on it, and would therefore not know what to look for in the library.

Anyways, just a thought, I have no idea whether its feasible or not. Perhaps there is a way to view files from a single source? I'll look this evening.

Thanks again.

colinjones

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Re: Playing media of a USB flash drive
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 01:42:04 pm »
I think you have misunderstood - but practice will help....

The whole point of the library is that nothing is treated differently, nor should it! LMCE 'aggregates' all media sources into a single location, precisely so that you do not need to know exactly where it is. If you have 10 Media Directors scrattered around the house, 3 NAS devices, a few internal drives, a couple of USB thumb drives plugged into 2 different Media Directors, and a DVD or CD in a drive somewhere.... every single Media Director displays all of this media, combined, in a single, consistent location irrespective of where YOU are or where the MEDIA is. That's the point. You can play any media, wherever it is, wherever you are, on any Media Director... and you can find it all in the exact same location whether you are selecting it from your Media Director, webpad orbiter, mobile phone/PDA orbiter, web browser orbiter, etc, etc...

Seriously, play with it for a bit and you will see exactly why it is this way.

The beauty of the library and pnp systems is that it is aware of removable media sources. When it goes through its update process every 2 mins, any existing media sources (such as a hard drive or USB drive) that has disappeared (you unplugged it, say) is hidden from the library so that it doesn't appear. When you plug it back in, it is unhidden again so that it appears again as part of the library... This way you can have media everywhere, and unplug and plug back in again with impunity... the system deals with it, and displays only what is really available... the trick is not to think about it too hard, or second guess, just let it do its thing and all will be good :)

Most mp3 media is already tagged so no issue there. Other media, you really should make an effort to tag it for simplicity (!! you only have to do it once, just do it!) but even if it is an occasion where a friend has brought over some media untagged.... so what... you browse your media directory in Filename sort mode.... every media source in the house is still aggregated into a single location for you to browse... worst case, you are no worse off than normal directory browsing on a normal computer... ie no more difficult to find. But in LMCE you could easily be far better off if the files happen to be tagged.

And btw, yes, you can view files filtered based on the source... please!! just play with the system, you will immediately find those options in the media browser menus (although in practice I doubt you will ever use them!)

Have fun!