aMPed update for MediaPortal 1.2 | Page 2

Discussion in 'aMPed' started by TLD, May 1, 2011.

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  1. TLD

    TLD Portal Pro

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    "So do you mean I should only provide the Landscape backdrops?" No i just like them the best others will like different things.



    "Did you check out MyHome and Plugins screens?" You bet, I have gone in and removed all the multicolor backdrops and created a radio folder then moved the tubes backdrop and receiver backdrop from the music backdrop folder along with 2 city lights backdrops to the radio backdrop folder. Then i moved the waterfall backdrop and the river backdrop to the music backdrop folder along with the sheet music and turntable backdrops that were still there. Then used the editor to switch radio to the radio folder i made and its just the way i like it now, thank you for the tip Dadeo.

    I have a couple questions 1) will it overwrite the new folders i made for backdrops when i update the SVN and do a new install.
    2) Any chance of getting aMPed to support "HTPCInfo plugin" this time around.

    "I assume you backed up aMPed 3.2?" No i didn't think to do it and i did a clean install of MP. I did find the dark forest backdrop and the sun burst forest pic's in C:\Documents and Settings\Ted\My Documents\MPsettings\MP_User\skin\aMPed\Media\animations\Home which must be a backup i made at some point, i'm just clad i forgot about it because i thought i had lost all my custom TV logos but they are there too. COOL

    Does aMPed classic view use the travel backdrops mine seem to be using that folder i noticed a backdrop folder called aMPed with lightning and fireworks pic's and thought maybe it was suppose to use that one?
     
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  3. Dadeo
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    Dadeo Docs Group Manager

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    If it is in the skin\aMPed\media\animations folder, likely yes. However, you do not need to put your custom backdrop folders there. When you use the multiimage backdrops in BasicHome, and use the Browse option, you can select any folder, anywhere.
    So I would definitely recommend that you keep custom backdrops in Documents or somewhere outside the skin folder. They are jpgs and not cached in any case. Also, you can always resize them (smaller) if you want to improve performance a bit.
    It has been on the aMPed Issue Tracker for ages, I have tried to include it previously, but I can never get it to work on my system. IIRC, seems you need Speedfan and some other utilities? And I could not manage to get those to work here. I will give it another go at some point, but it is not easy to skin plugins that don't work on my system. I probably spend as much time learning all the plugins and getting them to work, and understanding all the options, as I do to actually skin them!
    Nice you got lucky! However, MP does create a backup folder when you reinstall. Can't remember if clean install does it also, but I think so? That backup can include all program data as well. I usually am too impatient as mine is Gigs of data. :p But I make sure to backup program data every so often.
    Nothing is 'set' about the backdrops yet. I just added them now so I could get some feedback. Currently the aMPed backdrops folder is used as a default folder, which applies when you use fanart backdrops. Fanart handler backdrops do not display until they are all 'loaded' so I used a multimage backdrop folder as a default so a random image displays each time you open a Home screen. The new version of Fanart Hanlder allows users to select either synchronous or asynchronous loading, so you could have a fanart image display right away, but I don't know if there is a way I can control visibility of the default image based on that user option.

    The main issue with using a ton of multiimage backdrops in one window is performance and depends on your system as they each load into memory. So normally I tried not to use too many that have a lot of images. However, in 1.2.0 there might be some tweaks I can apply. I will try to investigate and try some options once I get the main skin work done.

    What you are using from SVN I would call barely an alpha version of aMPed 3.3. Once I have it pretty much working, I will post an installer file here in the forums for more users to try/test, but even then I will consider that a beta ;). Not that it will matter much, since most of us are already using 1.2.0 beta as if it was an RC or final release. So I imagine we will all do the same with aMPed 3.3 :p
     
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  4. TLD

    TLD Portal Pro

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    Thanks i will move them out of the Team MP folder.

    I can not get any of the newer versions of Speedfan to run on my 2 Windows XP client systems but it runs fine on my Vista system which is my TV server. I used PureVision for a while last year after i got a new HD monitor on the Vista TV server, it supports "HTPCInfo plugin" and it worked fine on that system.

    Yes i know, but when i do a clean install i track down and delete all MP folders, backups and registry entries left after the uninstall, i'm so used to programs leaving all kinds of artifacts laying around. Next time i think i'll leave 1 backup, i've learned my lesson. lol

    The one XP client system i use as just as a HTPC has 3 Gigs of memory. I am using the new aMPed 3.3 on it and performance is fine even though I am using a lot of Backdrops.

    Well for being "barely an alpha version" it's working great for me , I haven't seen any glitches yet (i'm using Moving Pictures, My TVSeries, OnlineVideos, Fanart Handler plugins so far), i would think that once you finish the supported plugins you will be close to final release (I know where will have to be beta testing). You do great work Dadeo and it is appreciated. :D
     
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  5. Reg

    Reg Portal Pro

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    I just did another update from svn ... you have been a very busy boy Dadeo :)

    I must say that I REALLY LIKE that you have taken up the suggestion of yellow for watched programs / movies etc.

    One thing I did spot the other day was that when running 18pt fonts that the tetris scores are still overlapping, but fine at 15pts.

    Also noticed that at 18pts on music playing the elapsed time and time to still run are squashed together, not overlapping but could do with a tiny space between them.

    :D
     
  6. Dadeo
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    Dadeo Docs Group Manager

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    Hi Reg:

    I fixed Tetris so it should now display even your 5 digit Tetris high scores. :)

    Yes, I know the progress bars and times in Music Now Playing need work. I hope to redesign them completely as now I can right align images, they don't line up correctly either. Music is next on my list. There are a LOT of changes in 1.2.0b.
     
  7. Lyfesaver74
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    Looking good so far Dadeo! It is nice to be able to use aMPed again!!!
     
  8. Dadeo
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    Dadeo Docs Group Manager

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    Thanks Lyfesaver. I just committed a ton more changes - mostly refinements and improvements based on 1.2.0 skin features.

    The main one is for music lovers - adding all the database properties to music database views! Now you can view artist bio, album reviews etc in the aMPed style, similar to actors and plots in video windows. See screenshots below. Of course the data depends on how well your music is tagged, OR you can 'lookup' artist and album info from AllMusicGuide using the F3/ShowInfo option. So far there is no option to scrape data for all artists/albums but that might be coming in MP v1.3.0 ;). At present the Artist info is only available in AlbumArtists view, I suspect that is a bug or oversight, but checking into it! If you want to see what data is available at which level, see the Wiki - Music Browsing Properties I have also added some fixes to NowPlaying, but more data can be displayed now. I just don't have much room on 4x3 with 18pt font!

    Things are still in process, but the main work is done. With 2 screen sizes x 3 font sizes x 6 layouts (in some windows) = 36 windows I have to check for each change, so sometimes my brain overloads. :p I am sure I have missed a few things here and there! LOL I am still in process of making the item count text specific for each window.

    Next up is Radio as there are a lot of changes. Then I will double check all the new plugin releases to make sure the skin files are still working and add any new skin features.

    I think I have added coverflow to all the windows that can support it now.

    @Lyfesaver, I have not forgotten your suggestion about alternate layouts, and I have laid some groundwork for that already. I MIGHT get a few into aMPed 3.3 but Migue and I are planning a way to offer different options for each layout because MP does not allow you to mix and match very easily! We are also already working on a Theme Editor that lets you completely design the colors of almost all skin elements. But that is for the next version of aMPed which I hope to have ready for 1.2.0 final release.

    Keep in mind, aMPed is one of the only 4x3 skin options left besides the default skin. So it remains the priority for the design. I have tried to improve the layout and design of some wide screen windows as well this time, but once we have the layout options worked out, I can do a lot more!

    Dadeo

    P.S. I don't know if you noticed but I added weather backdrops for specific conditions now, so when it is snowing you will get a snow backdrop, aso ;)
     

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  9. Lyfesaver74
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    Dadeo: I did not notice the weather as i disable it most of the time =(

    I am really excited about the changes and the final release! The theme editor sounds VERY interesting!!!

    Keep it up, Dadeo and if there is anything I can do to help, pls let me know =)
     
  10. Dadeo
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    Dadeo Docs Group Manager

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    I have updated all of the currently available 1.2.0 beta versions of plugins supported by aMPed now. See the aMPed Wiki: Supported Plugins - I added a column for 3.3 / 1.2.0 versions.

    As you will see, most are supported, although there is no 1.2.0 beta versions yet for the following:
    • MyFilms 5.0.1 - not yet released but hopefully soon will be (skin files are already done)
    • Streamradio
    • DailyComics
    • For The Record
    • Outlook Mail - might check out MyeMailManager instead?
    • Programs - seems neither Programs nor Programs Alt are in development anymore - should I remove it?
    • Games - none seem to have a 1.2.0 beta version yet although there is an unofficial version of MyEmulators - It seems to be working in aMPed, but I don't really use it, so need someone to test! (Migue? ;))
    I have added support for Browse The Web plugin. Are there any new plugins you wish to see supported? On the tracker already for consideration:
    • HTPC Info
    • SubCentral
    • VideoNews
    Now that the grunt work is done, I hope to add a couple new features for 3.3.

    NEW DETAILS VIEW
    It is getting harder and harder to display all data on a 4x3 screen. Menus are longer, more data is available and there are several cases where I cannot fit both the Menu and data on the screen at the same time. This means that plots and other long description fields end up quite short in List Layouts. So, I am considering adding a Info Button for Details View. This means that in List Layouts you will press the right arrow key for any screen that has an aMPed Details view and as before the left arrow for Menu. Then you can have a much larger display for all the details.

    What's your opinion? Should I do it?

    WideScreen - WIDER LISTS
    The design of the current widescreen layout does not really support wider lists very nicely. So I am working on an alternative layout for those who wish to have those wide lists. There are a few options:
    1. Leave fanart as is but just add an overlay behind the wide lists, so part of the fanart will be obscured.
    2. Only support wide lists in non fanart (i.e. Big Covers and no backdrops) layouts. This would be similar to the current Icons/Filmstrip/Coverflow layouts where fanart would only be visible when you access the Menu or Details view.
    3. Make fanart full screen so lists overlap it, like in 4x3 version. However, the top and bottom bars of aMPed will obscure part of the fanart, and need to or text will not be visible.
    What's your preference?

    Finally, if those who have tested latest SVN could let me know if they think a beta release is 'ready', I will post an installer version here in the forum for everyone to test. Or should I wait until the above new features are added?

    In particular I really need someone to test the new Recorded Radio and Radio Search features, as I cannot use Radio here.
    (Reg?)

    Thanks for any input/feedback.

    Dadeo
     
  11. Lyfesaver74
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    Dadeo, I will test whatever you need tested. And as for releasing now or waiting until features are ready: Well I would need to know how long you think it would take to add those features, what else do you have on your plate and if you do release it now, will you "back burner" the project for other just as important things like the wiki or 1.2 RC?
     
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