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MediaPortal 2 Updates - MP2 blog

Discussion in 'General' started by chefkoch, March 29, 2013.

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  1. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    Within this thread we would like to give you updates about MediaPortal 2.

    These updates might be announcements of new features, plugins, skins or any kind of improvements we think you should be informed in addition to the existing resources like Mantis or GitHub.

    The thread is set to read only to keep it clean and compact. If you have any questions, suggestions or other kind of feedback, use the existing threads if we added a link to the post or create a new thread, please.

    If you are looking for more updates and information, please check the following links:

    You can subscribe this thread by clicking "Watch Thread" in the upper right corner.
    20130401_021358.png




     
    Last edited: August 5, 2013
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  3. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    So let's get started with this...

    As some of you might already know from our social media channels, we have a new tester on MP2 board.
    Welcome to @hafblade. Thanks for your NFO Metadata Extractor plugin.
    Besides that we also added/updated some wiki pages about the​
     
    Last edited: April 4, 2013
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  4. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    Last edited: April 4, 2013
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  5. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

    chefkoch Development Group

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    After announcing the new team members, we should add some development or feature related news to this thread. :)

    This weekend we finally merged the 'Server-As-A-Service'-branch to dev-branch.
    FYI: Every feature and fix is being developed within it's own branch. Once it is finished and confirmed working, it will be reviewed by the lead development and merged into dev-branch. The master is updated from dev around new releases only.

    So what is it about the Server-As-A-Service now?
    The MediaPortal 2 Server (MP2-Server.exe) is the responsible for the central management of all media. You can connect multiple clients (MP2-Client) to the server and across all those clients you get the same data. Besides the media files itself, this also includes the meta data like genre, summary, actors, as well as the play count, watched state and last time a media has been played.
    Until now the MP2-Server.exe was used as a standard application. You have to start it manually or add it to the system's autostart. While running the server the following window was available:
    20130407_004447.png

    Now we changed the MP2-Server.exe to be a windows service. This means it is started automatically with windows. A windows service is already running if you are not even logged in to the system, yet. Windows is able to detect stops or crashes of the service and automatically restart it.

    Since there is no graphical user interface (GUI) available anymore when running the server only, we added a new
    application to the MediaPortal 2 package: The MP2-ServiceMonitor.
    This is a small application running in the system tray to monitor the status of the MP2-Server.
    It can be used from any PC in the network no matter if the server or any client is on the same or another machine in the network.
    The tray icon changes depending on the connection state:
    • MP2-ServiceMonitor disconnected from MP2-Server / MP2-Server not running
      20130407_005012.png
    • MP2-ServiceMonitor connected to MP2-Server
      20130407_005031.png
    • MP2-ServiceMonitor and at least one MP2-Client connected to MP2-Server
      20130407_005051.png
    From within the context menu of the MP2-ServiceMonitor, you can start and stop the service (MP2-Server) if it is running on the same machine.
    20130407_001409.png

    The MP2-ServiceMonitor window displays a list of clients attached to the server and their current connection state.
    20130407_011241.png

    If it is necessary, the MP2-Server can still be used in the old way by starting it with the "--console" or '-c' parameter.
     
    Last edited: June 18, 2013
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  6. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    As I noticed some confusion in forums lately, let's talk about playlists.
    Better to say "I talk and you listen". If you would like to talk, feel free to open a new thread ;)

    Playlist: What do we know about it? Why do we use it? Which content do we manage with it?
    • Of course we need a music playlist.
    • What about a playlist for a season or a whole TVShow?
    • You might want to watch your pictures using a slideshow?
      Wait, what? Slideshow? Why do we a new term now for pictures?
      We don't!! Isn't a picture slideshow a playlist, too? Yes it is.
      That's also the reason why you start a slideshow of picture by "Add all to playlist" and not by pressing "Slideshow".
    Now let's get into the details and look at some visuals.
    The following examples are episodes filtered by TV Show="Games of Thrones" and Season=1 and pictures filtered by Year=<empty> (no date taken in exif).
    You can do the same with all kind of media (audio, video, image, series, movies, ...) and apply all filters you want or even none before starting the playlist.

    You are viewing media items, in this case episodes. Within the hidden [menu] you have a button called [Add all to playlist]. After the button has been clicked all items of the current filter are added to the "Active" or "Current playlist" and playback is started immediately. (2 clicks)
    TVSeries-01-start.png TVSeries-02-menu-add.png TVSeries-03-progress.png TVSeries-04-playback.png

    After leaving the fullscreen video by pressing Escape (playback continues), you'll find a few new item in the menu on the left.
    We are interested in the [Show image/video playlist] this opens a new dialog.
    TVSeries-05-menu-show.png


    The new dialog lists all the playlist's items. Clicking on an item immediately starts it's playback.
    TVSeries-06-playlist.png


    You can choose the play mode between
    • "continuous" (play items in the order they are listed) or
    • "shuffle" (random playback)
    TVSeries-07-shuffle.png


    Repeat mode can be set to
    • "none" (play until the end of the playlist and stop),
    • "all" (play items and start again from the beginning),
    • "one" (plays current item endless).
    TVSeries-08-repeat.png


    We are also able to edit the playlist:
    TVSeries-09-edit.png


    The playlist edit screen also lists all the items, but here we have additional controls to move items up and down or remove the from the list.
    TVSeries-10-editscreen.png


    Let's move the first episode down and remove a few items:
    TVSeries-11-moved.png TVSeries-12-deleted.png


    Let's save the playlist:
    TVSeries-13-menu-save.png TVSeries-14-save.png TVSeries-15-saved.png


    You can load existing playlists using the button in the hidden menu or on home menu.
    TVSeries-16-1-playlists.png TVSeries-16-2-playlists.png


    This gives you a list of playlists you can load. You can see details about the playlist and after loading one you see exact the same items and order we had before.
    TVSeries-16-list.png TVSeries-17-details.png TVSeries-18-loaded.png


    Now the slideshow, ehh, the playlist of pictures.
    Let's browse a few pictures and add all to the playlist.
    pictures-01-menu-add.png pictures-02-progress.png


    While the pictures are being displayed, we left the fullscreen by pressing Escape. And opened [Current media info] within the [menu].
    The media info is automatically updated as soon as a new picture is being displayed.
    Within this example you don't see more details than the filename, because the test files are only screenshots and png files.
    Note: If the pictures are switching too fast, you can press pause and to read the details without any pressure.
    You also can adjust the time each picture is displayed in the settings.
    pictures-03-current1.png pictures-04-current2.png pictures-05-current3.png


    Here you have view the contents of the playlist and set play and repeat mode. Same like for videos (series) in previous example.
    pictures-06-view-playlist.png pictures-07-shuffle.png pictures-08-repeat.png


    You can edit, save and also reload the picture playlist.
    pictures-09-edit.png pictures-10-edit2.png pictures-11-save.png pictures-12-saved.png pictures-13-home.png pictures-14-saved.png


    Feel free to try it out yourself using the MP2 WinterRelease. It can be installed side by side with MediaPortal 1 without interrupting anything.
     
    Last edited: April 9, 2013
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  7. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    Initially, within the next (this) post I wanted to post a link to a wiki page with a usage guide / description about the playlist feature from previous post. Together with a list of improvement suggestions for the current implementation. But due to limited time currently I was not able to finish this, yet.

    Nevertheless we still have something for you:
    MediaPortal 2 supports the Microsoft MCE remote out of the box (incl. green button).
    Currently this available as a plugin and can be used with MP2 Alpha 1 WinterRelease and latest development builds (if you compile on your own).​
    It should be included within the next MediaPortal 2 release: Alpha 2 :)

    So for using MP2 with your remote, IRSS is not a requirement anymore, but it is still supported.
     
    Last edited: April 18, 2013
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  8. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    Did you have ever an issue when installing MediaPortal? A file was places wrong or not at all, something got renamed, removed or the installer threw an error message which did not make any sense?
    Maybe you are only interested what's going on while installing MediaPortal 2?

    Because MP2 is using the Windows Installer you create very useful and informative log files of the installation process.
    Sure this might not be something that a user has to take of, but it will help investigating and understanding problems of the installation process. Not that we plan to introduce any ;)

    Just start MP2-Setup using the following command or download the attached file, copy it to the same folder like the MP2-Setup.msi, remove the ".txt" file extension (rename it) and start it.
    Code (Text):
    1. msiexec /i MP2-Setup.msi /l MP2-Setup.log

    In case you are wondering why there have not been any posts lately. We are working the Alpha 2, but there are lot of things being done which will massively improve the development process in future, which hopefully results in more efficiency and agility, so that besides the devs there also is some benefit for the end user :) Just to giving you two keywords: JIRA & NuGet
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 16, 2013
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  9. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    I guess you all have noticed the release of MP2 Alpha 2? No? Oh boy, go read the release news. ;)

    Besides that we restructured the wiki a lot. It did not get so much new content, but the new structure make the existing content a lot more attractive.
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/1_Getting_Started
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/2_Setup_Guides (some tutorials in sub pages are prepared, but require step-by-step instructions)

    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/8_Contribute
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/8_Contribute/Development
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/8_Contribute/Localization

    The concepts section, which describes new ideas or missing features, also has been restructured:
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/8_Contribute/z_MissingFeatures
    Feel free to add more.

    We also received some question how to build MP2 and which order to execute the build scripts. For better understanding this is being described on the following new page (not finished, yet):
    http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/index.php?title=2_MEDIAPORTAL_2/8_Contribute/Development/Building_&_Compiling/1_Build_Process

    Note: We are aware of the fact that the MP2 documentation is still lacking a lot of information. We will continue improving and adding new stuff.
    Nevertheless we are always looking for people who would like to support us. No matter if it is development or documentation.

    So in case you already had a problem with MP2, which you were able to solve, please document your experiences within the wiki.
    If you are already using MP2 and understood the concepts, or noticed a feature which you like a lot, check if it is documented in wiki. If not, create a new page and describe it. Or record a video. Whatever you think is the easiest for you.
    For more infos see: Which kind of documentation are possible?
     
    Last edited: June 20, 2013
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  10. chefkoch
    • Team MediaPortal

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    What has been done in first part of this summer?

    20130713_031909.png

    Documentation
    • There have been great improvements on documentation by a new overview about media shares. You don't know what it is? Go and check it out. Additionally there is now also a detailed step-by-step guide available for setting up global shares on a server. Huge thanks for that to MJGraf
    • Dadeo our documentation lead is focusing more on MP2 now. We have strong hopes and expectations ;) :)
      In case anybody wants to support him, don't hesitate to contact him.
    Development
    • Wifi Configuration plugin: In case you want to check your wifi connection, disconnect or (re)connect your wifi that's exactly what you are looking for. Thanks offbyone
      The plugin's source code is available at github. A release for testing might be available soon, either standalone as zip-archive or included in a MP2 intermediate test build, or feel free to compile on your own :) (MP2-352)
    • Many external 3rd party binaries have been removed from MP2 git repository and will be distributed to the developer's machines through our own NuGet feed from now on. (MP2-292)
    • We never mentioned the 3D video support in this thread, did we? 3D video support within MP2 is already implemented in Alpha 2, see the related thread for more information.
    • Initial work has been started to add support for resuming media playback. Thanks morpheus_xx (MP2-348)
    Development Talks
    • Extension Management: There have been new talks about managing extensions. What's the best way to distribute, install, uninstall and updated plugins and skin. See MPEM Development Info & Testversion and Extension Management powered by NuGet engine for more infos.
      If you have any experience with plugin/extension management in general and/or NuGet or ASP.NET (for NuGetGallery setup and customizations) feel free to get in contact with us.
    • MP2 Webinterface: Configuring all your clients and server, editing metadata, maybe also updating extensions from within your browser of your tablet, smartphone or another PC? MP2 already has an inbuilt HttpServer, but is there is no WebInterface, yet. A discussion has been started within MP2 WebServer - Configure MP2, Browse, Edit & Play MediaLibrary, ... (read only for public)
    • Most of you might have noticed already that we switched from Mantis to JIRA. For more infos see the news on homepage or browse JIRA (https://issues.team-mediaportal.com/) directly for latest changes and known issues.
      You have not much more possibilities to customize your RSS-Feed subscriptions of our issue tracker, see first post of this thread.
    As always we appreciate any contribution, be it reporting bugs and feature requests, supporting other users or help with documentation, development or even sharing knowledge.
     
    Last edited: July 13, 2013
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  11. morpheus_xx
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    Show System Specs
    More features are coming...

    Support for audio album covers
    Until now, MediaPortal 2 did not support album covers when browsing the MediaLibrary. The reason is, that the "album" itself is not stored as own table, but only as simple attribute on each audio track. And the "browse by album" view does only select all distinct titles. This is also the reason, why "folder.jpg" images were never considered (as this view does not depend on folders).

    So I thought it would be time to add covers to audio section of MP2. The few changes were done here https://github.com/MediaPortal/MediaPortal-2/commits/FEAT_AlbumCovers_MP2-358.
    01_AlbumCovers.jpg

    It's easy to add new categories of image source to the existing "FanArtService", which deals with posters, fan art images, covers, TV channel logos and all those things. New categories can be added by plugins, you know: the MP2 way :)

    This new feature was added within less one day after brought up (again) in this thread https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/...-umsteiger-von-mp1.119711/page-5#post-1012472 (German). It will be more fine tuned for performance, but in principle the feature is ready for use :)

    So please don't hesitate to give more suggestions and feature request, we will read them and think about implementations...
     
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