[Usability] Goodbye MEPO and some thoughts (1 Viewer)

ray076NL

Portal Member
August 30, 2008
39
4
Netherlands Netherlands
After some 8 years using Mediaportal, when XBMC was just an infant on the xbox, I finally made the switch after mediaportal had lost all it's settings for the last time.

Maintaining Mediaportal became a daily chore, whilst mediaportal crashed or hung regularly on a daily basis I was more and more looking for a decent replacement. I obviously adored mediaportal for its tv-series plugin and moving pictures, the edit-ability kept me away from xbmc for quit some years, so i'd like to share my thoughts on what i think is positive about mepo, and what makes xbmc such a smooth experience. Overall I Think it's just MePo1 that's getting old.

MePo Strongpoints:
  • Editable TV-series Database which actually let's you know what's going on.
  • Editable Movies Database, I don't necessarily like renaming all movies that come in and mediaportal is strong in that respect.
  • Configurability, I like the more advanced feeling of the mediaportal configuration process, it works well for me and i want to be in control.
  • Well, xbmc only recently got TV, mediaportal has had it for years.
  • I always liked the Christmas skins
XBMC strongpoints from which i hope mepo 2 will get some of these
  • searchable databases
  • shines of uniformity, addons simply work.
  • Does not hang, is extremely quick.
  • Is plug and play, this is essentially a well thought-out system.
  • remotes actually work, i am currently using a x360 controller. Controller support should be improved for MePo, maybe even develop a new remote for use with both MePo and xbmc.
  • music database does a decent job
MePo1 weakpoints:
  • Slow booter, and generally just slow.
  • Hangs regularly
  • no uniformity
  • no integrated plugin database, eventhough there's a plugin that tries to rectify that.
  • no global search, the plugin doesn't work well, or not at all
  • TV-series plugin's advantage was editability, for example i wanted my Anime to be shown in it's own genre, with a large collection editing the tags became tedious.
  • the crashes and maintenance
  • Enormous amounts of plugins are defective in some way or another, like the emulator plugin with pj64, or the difficult integration with hyperspin, the reality is that many plugins just don't work anymore as intended or feel like patches to the main program.
xbmc weakpoints:
  • I am not sure what is going on in it's importers
  • Cannot edit the databases to add a new genre
  • Subtitle annoyance hell: It can only play subtitles corresponding with the, to it, logical audiostream and i just hate that.
  • Well thats pathetic, there should be more... i'll find them.
And i guess with both: I cannot add modules to the home menu myself, i always wanted to just copy the tv-series plugin, rename it to Anime, and just import that shit. Making that possible would be such an improvement, to be able create your own module on the homescreen easily.

To conclude, i had an awesome time with mediaportal, I saw my library grow from under 500GB in 2006 to about 25TB in 2014 and went from 4:3 CRT''s at which dvd-rips looked just fine to a more decent 50" ST60 panny with blu-ray rips. I did sincerely enjoy the program, and for a long time i did not take xbmc serious because of my my extensive usage of both moving pictures and the tv-series plugin, I have high hopes for MePo2 since the team has proven it can be very creative.
 

mm1352000

Development Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • September 1, 2008
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    Good luck with XBMC. Can't help but say that I wish you'd asked for help with these:

    Maintaining Mediaportal became a daily chore, whilst mediaportal crashed or hung regularly on a daily basis I was more and more looking for a decent replacement.
    Hangs regularly
    the crashes and maintenance
    We can't do anything about problems that aren't reported.
    Again, good luck with XBMC and thanks for the feedback. :)
     

    ray076NL

    Portal Member
    August 30, 2008
    39
    4
    Netherlands Netherlands
    Hi mm1352000 thx mate,
    i feel i may have come on a bit harsh on mediaportal, i didn't mean to insult the development team in any way but i hope to inspire to create something unique with MePo2 and regain the lead it had for many years, because indeed it was the better software.

    I am always willing to lent a helping hand, i could send some logs or whatever is necessary. The problems i am encountering are substantial, on more than 1 system, and i don't believe they can be solved. In general all comes down to the speed of MePo, or the aging code of the plugins. I guess most of those issues i mentioned are going to be tackled with MePo2.

    at some point you just get fed-up enough to look for something else, xbmc has matured enough to be a viable choice until MePo2 surpasses it. I still feel like MePo is in essence a better system, it took xbmc a long time to implement all it's functions.
    I have actually noticed software wise that all attention is going to MePo2, rightfully so, which has had some noticeable effect on MePo1 as mentioned above.
     

    Edalex

    Community Plugin Dev
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  • January 3, 2008
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    I am not sure what is going on in it's importers
    Probable worse than MPTVSeries and MovingPictures :(
    Cannot edit the databases to add a new genre
    Well, if you know SQL you should find the way to edit almost every database.
    I had some experience with XBMC some years ago. it definetely started in no time but constantly consumes PC time for me :(
    To make that "plug and pay" and "out-of-the-box" system use such simple feature dxva you had to work with such user-friendly interface as text config files/ I didn't ake it work honestly.Probably now its better because one russian guy is working on their dxva player.
    And yes, good luck.
     

    Brownard

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    Enormous amounts of plugins are defective in some way or another, like the emulator plugin with pj64
    Out of interest, what problems with pj64 were you having? AFAIK it should work fine, though there is a slight difference in the required config depending on which version you are using.
     

    tony72

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  • August 15, 2009
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    @ray076NL - are your system specs up to date? You're showing a 7-year-old low-powered Athlon and only 2GB of ram. Without wanting to imply that MediaPortal is a power hog, I had a very similar system (I had the Athlon X2 5050e), and at a certain point it became clear that that system was simply not powerful enough to run MediaPortal well. Admittedly a lot of that was down to the GPU (onboard Geforce 6150le), and you don't list yours, but I'd suggest a lot of your reliability issues might go away with more powerful hardware. Since I upgraded my hardware, I see very few actual crashes on my main HTPC, which runs MediaPortal 24/7; about once or twice a month the TV client decides it can't play any channels, and I have to restart MediaPortal to watch TV, but I don't actually remember the last time I saw an actual crash.
     

    Lehmden

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  • December 17, 2010
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    Hi.
    I'm using XBMC, MP1 and MP2 alongside since years. Every one has it's pros and cons.
    The most annoying thing on Kodi as it's named now, is the still really ugly video- picture quality of the Windows version if you're not using the (really unstable, at least all versions I've tried) DXPlayer Versions. Last week I've installed most recent Kodi Version after not using XBMC for some time on my main HTPC and really got a shock how ugly all my videos are looking compared to MP1 or MP2. Played with MP a DVD rip is looking better than a BD rip played with Kodi. And the TV plugin still is a pain in the a.... compared to MP1 TV Plugin. The configuration of Kodi also is not what I would call usable. Some basic things are cluttered all over the GUI, some things you need to set in context menu e.g. during playback and some others you're forced to fiddle with XML files manually....
    The best things on Kodi are the smooth working GUI. the kind how media are added to the DB and the multi platform architecture so I can run Kodi on devices without Windows... (BTW, on Linux the picture quality is a lot better than on Windows. So if you're only running XBMC/Kodi on your HTPC ,you better change to Linux as OS).

    MP1 as the opposite is slow as hell, needs an enormous amount of power (both, CPU and GPU) and is lacking lots of possibilities due to really old code base (e.g. Skin engine...)
    But it has the absolute best TV solution of all HTPC software, has most of the features that I want to use and I'm comfortable with using and configuring.

    MP2 is the future imho. The centralized Database, the multi- player architecture and the "everything is a plugin" structure really is a league of it's own. Nothing compares to MP2 under those aspects. And MP2, also it's still not even Beta, is running more stable than MP1 or XBMC (at least on my system)... The GUI is nearly as fast and smooth as XBMC but did not reach it completely.
    But MP2 still lacks some really important and necessary basic features like the possibility to correct wrong DB entries or a working Pictures plugin. The TV part also is not on a level to call it "typically MediaPortal". ;) Aside this the skin engine really is hard to handle if you're no Dev. For this there are only a few skins out there and none of them is fitting my taste...
     

    marv

    Portal Member
    February 16, 2009
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    After some 8 years using Mediaportal, when XBMC was just an infant on the xbox, I finally made the switch after mediaportal had lost all it's settings for the last time.

    Maintaining Mediaportal became a daily chore, whilst mediaportal crashed or hung regularly on a daily basis I was more and more looking for a decent replacement. I obviously adored mediaportal for its tv-series plugin and moving pictures, the edit-ability kept me away from xbmc for quit some years, so i'd like to share my thoughts on what i think is positive about mepo, and what makes xbmc such a smooth experience. Overall I Think it's just MePo1 that's getting old.

    MePo Strongpoints:
    • Editable TV-series Database which actually let's you know what's going on.
    • Editable Movies Database, I don't necessarily like renaming all movies that come in and mediaportal is strong in that respect.
    • Configurability, I like the more advanced feeling of the mediaportal configuration process, it works well for me and i want to be in control.
    • Well, xbmc only recently got TV, mediaportal has had it for years.
    • I always liked the Christmas skins
    XBMC strongpoints from which i hope mepo 2 will get some of these
    • searchable databases
    • shines of uniformity, addons simply work.
    • Does not hang, is extremely quick.
    • Is plug and play, this is essentially a well thought-out system.
    • remotes actually work, i am currently using a x360 controller. Controller support should be improved for MePo, maybe even develop a new remote for use with both MePo and xbmc.
    • music database does a decent job
    MePo1 weakpoints:
    • Slow booter, and generally just slow.
    • Hangs regularly
    • no uniformity
    • no integrated plugin database, eventhough there's a plugin that tries to rectify that.
    • no global search, the plugin doesn't work well, or not at all
    • TV-series plugin's advantage was editability, for example i wanted my Anime to be shown in it's own genre, with a large collection editing the tags became tedious.
    • the crashes and maintenance
    • Enormous amounts of plugins are defective in some way or another, like the emulator plugin with pj64, or the difficult integration with hyperspin, the reality is that many plugins just don't work anymore as intended or feel like patches to the main program.
    xbmc weakpoints:
    • I am not sure what is going on in it's importers
    • Cannot edit the databases to add a new genre
    • Subtitle annoyance hell: It can only play subtitles corresponding with the, to it, logical audiostream and i just hate that.
    • Well thats pathetic, there should be more... i'll find them.
    And i guess with both: I cannot add modules to the home menu myself, i always wanted to just copy the tv-series plugin, rename it to Anime, and just import that shit. Making that possible would be such an improvement, to be able create your own module on the homescreen easily.

    To conclude, i had an awesome time with mediaportal, I saw my library grow from under 500GB in 2006 to about 25TB in 2014 and went from 4:3 CRT''s at which dvd-rips looked just fine to a more decent 50" ST60 panny with blu-ray rips. I did sincerely enjoy the program, and for a long time i did not take xbmc serious because of my my extensive usage of both moving pictures and the tv-series plugin, I have high hopes for MePo2 since the team has proven it can be very creative.
    you can try tinymediamanager to edit your library. don't need it myself but it should do what you want
    http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=142723

    what do you mean by that?
    "Subtitle annoyance hell: It can only play subtitles corresponding with the, to it, logical audiostream and i just hate that"
     

    Stéphane Lenclud

    Development Group
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  • April 29, 2013
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    remotes actually work, i am currently using a x360 controller. Controller support should be improved for MePo, maybe even develop a new remote for use with both MePo and xbmc.
    I've been trying to improve the situation in MP1 lately.
    My first contribution in this area is part of the upcoming v1.11 release.
    I'm hoping I'll get around getting gamepads working out-of-the-box for v1.12 or v1.13.
     

    ray076NL

    Portal Member
    August 30, 2008
    39
    4
    Netherlands Netherlands
    I'd like to reply to all above after having used xbmc/kodi for almost 3 months now.

    I see that stéphane is currently tackling the control issue, that is very promissing. I still would love to see actual hardware being developped for both kodi and mepo, a fantastic remote that would just work (with a keypad on the back, offcourse). I cannot possibly find any decent remote to work with MePo anymore since they all lack support for MCE signalling.

    On the issue of my system being old, yes thats true, allthough i had added a descrete graphics card (nvidia 520) which was because of AMD shitty drivers and lack of dts-hd support. I also had some of the same behavior on a much quicker system, though not that often i must admit. MePo was slow as hell on both.

    I have a hard time to see what Lehmden in on about quality wise, I did not notice any difference at all. I agree with mostly everything else he says, i just have a hard time noticing the difference between MePo and Kodi.

    I am just waiting for MePo2 to mature, i'd love to see that one take off.

    One thing that i am freakishly excited about is the emulator plugin currently in development for Kodi, it will be able to launch roms/games inside Kodi natively like it is also able to with for example music or video.
     

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