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Extending your horizons

Written by Kiwijunglist on .

MPExtended
MPExtended

Hi,

It's been over a year since I last tried MPExtended and in that time it has become an elegant solution to streaming media to non-Windows based devices.  This solution is not only for your home network, with the right ports open on your router you can send live TV, music and video to any internet connected device.

What is MPExtended?

MPExtended is a stand alone service that interacts with both the MediaPortal's TV-Server and a MediaPortal Client database.  It handles streaming of live tv, music and video to connected clients such as the WebMP Server, aMPdroid, MetroPortal, MPTVClient.

blog02

What is WebMP?

WebMP is service that runs alongside MPExtended.  It acts a web-portal allowing any device with a compatible web browser to download or stream music, video and live TV.

What devices are currently supported?

Any device with a web browser can connect to WebMP.
Android devices running the aMPdroid app.
Windows smartphones running the MPTVClient app
Windows smartphones running the MetroPortal app (Streaming not supported yet)

How much does all this cost?

Just like MediaPortal it's free! (excluding the blood, sweat and tears of our development team).  The only cost involved is the hardware and any data charges from streaming outside your home network.

How do I setup MPExtended & WebMP?

Now that both programs have matured setup is a breeze.  Most of the setup is handled automatically.  Head over to the forum thread where I quickly run through setup and installation of MPExtended and WebMP.

What else is on the horizon?

I am quite excited about the upcoming Eve client app for the iPad.  Eve uses the MPExtended Service and WifiRemote plugin to navigate/stream media from your server and control any MediaPortal clients.  Have a look at the promotional video showing the unreleased development version.  The developers tell us that they should be able to port Eve to android tablets as well.  All I can saw is WOW, the future looks great!

 

 

MediaPortal 2: What does it bring to the table?

Written by Team MediaPortal on .

MediaPortal 2 has progressed quite nicely, bringing exciting new features for every release! The rapid increase in features is a result of the clean code, structure and architecture that MediaPortal 2 is built upon. 

The main goal of MediaPortal 2 is to provide the best mediacenter software available when it comes to usability, flexibility and extensibility.

MediaPortal DirectShowFilters Restructuring

Written by Team MediaPortal on .

This is a request for all developers who are working on modifications of some of the DirectShowFilters or other native components within their own forks or local branches.

Please make a post within the linked thread (see end of the post) about your customization of any components from within the "DirectShowFilters" folder including a link where these are available.
We are currently investigating to move this code into a separated repository. To prevent and reduce any merge conflicts as much as possible, we would like to have an overview of the current work in progress.

Please reply your feedback within:  MediaPortal Forum: DirectShowFilters Restructuring

Thanks & Best Regards
Team MediaPortal

 

Concept to enhance presentation of pin protected folders

Written by infinite.loop on .

A great way to customize the way MediaPortal presents content inside the graphical user interface is to take use of folder.jpg files.When you place such a file inside a folder, then MediaPortal will automatically display that file instead of the default folder, CD/DVD, harddisk icon or the thumbnail it automatically creates based on the videos or pictures inside that folder.This proposal here will show you how pin protected folders are displayed currently inside MediaPortal, and how it can be improved.I am using the videos section of MediaPortal to describe the intended change, yet the functionality is meant to be introduced in the video, music and picture sections of MediaPortal.

The idea:

When you start using MediaPortal, you will most likely configure just one folder/source for each of the Music,Video and Picture areas.But there can be reasons to have more than just one folder/source. i.e. when using multiple hard disks, NAS devices or just a combination of both.Another reason for configuring multiple folders/sources can be that you just want to separate certain content in order to group it nicely, or restrict the access to some files.This example here is mainly focused on the idea of restricting access to certain files.

We will have two separate folders for the video section as sources. One that stores the videos the kids are allowed to see, and one that stores videos only the parents are allowed to have access to.

The Configuration: 

So lets go to MediaPortal Configuration, and enter the video section.
There we will now add two folders. Each one pointing to the folder that stores the media for the "kids" and the one for the "parents".

Config 001

Now when go to MediaPortal, and enter videos, we will get this.

MP GUI 001

So far so good!
Parents and Kids sections are selectable individually. But this does not look nice yet. So lets save a folder.jpg in the parents folder, and one in the kids folder, that helps to identify the purpose of each folder instantly, without reading the name of the folder inside the GUI.     

     thumb folderKids    thumb folderParents

When we enter MediaPortal now, we will get this. The used images might not be everyones taste, but you get the idea.

MP GUI 002

Now we have created folder.jpg's, and everything looks good. What is missing is the protection of the parents folder, that prevents the kids to access it.

Let's go back to the MediaPortal Configuration, and edit the parents folder inside the videos section to set a pin code (enter 4 numbers)

Config 003

And now we start MediaPortal again

The Problem:

MP GUI 003

So we placed our nice folder.jpg's in the kids and parents folders before. But now with setting the Pin Code, we no longer see that folder.jpg in the parents folder.

The reason for that is that MediaPortal automatically hides the present folder.jpg as soon as you set a Pin Code. This is done with good intentions, because if no folder.jpg is present, MediaPortal will automatically generate a folder.jpg from video and images inside a folder. And this could lead to having a folder image that shows content your kids should not see.

Yet we have placed a specific folder.jpg in that folder, and we want MP to display that. Also we do not see that this folder is pin protected, because it uses the default folder icon the skin provides.

The Solution:

Finally, lets get to the core of this proposal!

"locked" icon

Instead of displaying the default folder or hdd icon, allow the skin to provide a specific icon (i.e. something like a defaultLockedFolder.png) for locked folders.
This will allow the user to instantly understand the function of the displayed item.

MP GUI 004


overwrite hiding of folder.jpg

Ultimately, we want MediaPortal to display the folder.jpg which we manually created and placed inside the parents folder. To achieve that we need a config option that allows us to tell MediaPortal that we know what we are doing here and that it has to display the folder.jpg inside our configured source.

Config 002

The default option will be to not show a present folder.jpg and have MP display the defaultLockedFolder.png instead. So there is no risk that unsafe content is displayed as icon for a locked folder.

Your opinion counts!

So what do you think about it? Would you like to see these changes introduced in an upcoming release of MediaPortal?

Did you already know about the possibility to change the presentation of folders inside the MP GUI by using folder.jpg files?

Let me know!
Post your comments and vote in the thread I have created about this proposal in our forums. :)

Xmas Quiz: And the winner is...

Written by Spragleknas on .

winner iconA bit late (sorry!), but here are the answers and the winner of the MediaPortal Xmas Quiz 2012!

Answers - short version: B-A-B-A-B-B-B-A

What? Don't remember the questions? OK - here comes the long version:

Q1: Who is MediaPortal's "founding father"? (A) infinite.loop (B) Frodo (C) Spragleknas
Q2: What used to be infinite.loop's nick? (A) infinity loop (B) i-loop (C) loopy
Q3: Who is the author of MPTagThat? (A) Frodo (B) hwahrmann (C) jameson_uk
Q4: What skin was the first to use full HD resolution? (A) SpinSafe (B) Black and White (C) Maya
Q5: Who is the genius behind the MediaPortal web site and forum? (A) Dadeo (B) high (C) Low
Q6: What is the name of the character in the pic on the right? (A) frodo (B) MePo (C) mPortal
Q7: Who was the creator of the Moving Pictures plugin? (A) ZeFlash (B) fforde (C) inker
Q8: Who created the Monochrome/Indigo and ReVision/Replicant skins? (A) Psycho Reptile (B) Harley (C) mofux

Before I give up the winner, here comes some elaborations and fun-facts:

Q1: Other members did indeed have an essential role in the creation of MediaPortal. Infinite.loop has indeed been - and still is - a great contributor!

Q4: SpinSafe was a quite revolutionary skin created by mirk. Here is a nostalgic thread to read up on. Below is a screenshot of the home screen.

spinsafe

Q5: According to high, alternative A, Dadeo, is not too far off, although we consider high to be the correct answer

Q6: Created by GrassyNoel - used by several other applications as well. Was also used in GrassyNoel's MePo skins 

mepomyth mepo-green
Q7: Inker and ZeFlash were essential for the development of MP TV-series, which kinda led to MovingPictures. Although fforde is the creator of MovingPictures, many other plugin devs should be honoured as well.

Q8: ReVision / Replicant was inspired mofux's nonafo skin idea, and HDTVee from Meedio. These skins later evolved to the legendary Monochrome and Indigo skins. The linked skins are all worth a visit. Here is a little taste from the one of the first Indigo-releases.

indigo

Thanks for reading!

Oh, right... I promised to announce the winner... 

Congratulations goes to Samuel Chinellato!

A little something-something will be heading your way :).

 

 

 

WebSkin 2013: WebMP Skinning Contest (Win a Nexus 7 & More)

Written by Lyfesaver74 on .

WebSkin 2013

Welcome to MediaPortal's first skinning contest for WebMediaPortal.*

Lyfesaver74 (jQui) is challenging all MP users to dust off their old HTML/CSS skills and put them to the test for a chance to win a Google Nexus 7, customized MP gear and more. Even if you don't win, every completed** skin that gets submitted will earn a FREE Basic MediaPortal T-Shirt**.

asus nexus 7 32gb

Prize List:

1st Place - New Nexus 7 (Tablet PC/Android 4.1)

2nd Place - MP GearBox (Customized MP T-Shirt, MP Cap, MP 16GB USB3 Thumbdrive, MP Keychain & more)***

3rd Place - Customized MP Hoodie/Sweatshirt***

All skins submitted meeting the "completed" status will also receive a free basic MP T-Shirt.

back          cap          front

Project Details:

WebMP is a popular client for MP-Extended allowing users to browse, watch and download saved media plus record, schedule and watch live TV from almost any browser on any device. While the bulk of WebMP is your standard HTML/CSS, because MP-Extended is an ASP.NET/MVC project, skinners can utilize inline C# syntax (Razor) as well. Pair that with MP-Extended's ability to utilize custom DLLs to give the skinner total control.

The great news is that you don't need to know C# or ASP.NET/MVC to create an awesome skin, as Oxan has already included almost everything the skinner would need.

That's it. it's just that simple. HTML/CSS or go a completely new direction with custom C# code. it's all up to you!

cup2

keychain

pen

 

To enter the contest, read the contest details or ask a few questions, follow this link to the contest forum thread.

 

*While MediaPortal is hosting the contest, all rules, prize choices and prize distribution is all under Lyfesaver74's control.

**See contest details in the forum link above.

***Prizes are subject to change (most notably, the graphics). All prizes will be "new" and it will be up to the winner to handle any returns/exchanges.

 

My Films 6 released!

Written by Dadeo on .

Use your favorite movie catalog app in MediaPortal on your big screen TV!

Are you a film buff?  Do you have a movie catalog? Did you know you can use it in MediaPortal to watch, browse and search your movies in a myriad of ways on your big screen TV, all while lying back and using a remote?

The My Films plugin combines the superb media center features of MediaPortal with the powerful features of movie catalog software, such as advanced searching, updating by field, sorting by any field, grouping and viewing your movies however you wish.

  • MF6 CatLogos3

  • Views Menu Titan
  • CategoryViews
  • ViewByField
  • IndexedViewTitan
  • ViewOptons
  • ReversePersonsName
  • Updates
  • ActorsInfo
  • DW 130B Details Actors
  • DetailsAV
  • Detailsnew
  • SearchRelatedPersons
  • CoverManager Filmstripimg alt=
  • AddToBoxSet
  • BigListView
  • Films
  • DW 130B UpdateOptions
  • MultiUserInfo
  • MyFilmsFanart
  • The all new Views Menu displays your favorite views. Nine 'common' views are preset for you.
    new Titan skin for 1.3.0

  • Modify the Views Menu within My Films - reorder, rename, disable, even add or remove views 'on the fly'.
    StreamedMP skin by ltfearme, trevor

  • View your movies by any field - you only need to add those you use most often to the Views Menu.
    Frames skin by Lbr_Lion

  • Enable or disable an 'index' for any view. No need to create complex views or hierarchies in Setup.
    new Titan skin for 1.3.0

  • 'View' options also let you display empty values or 'don't split values' for any view.
    Frames skin by Lbr_Lion

  • Reverse persons names in any 'persons' view, like Actors, Directors, Producers, Writers, etc.
    Purevision HD 1080 by catavolt

  • Update Persons info and images automatically, or add/update the info within My Films via the Updates menu.
    new Titan skin for 1.3.0

  • Persons info displays in any persons view.
    aMPed skin by Dadeo

  • Actors Images, of the top billed actors, also display in the Details window > Actors virtual view.
    New DefaultWide skin for 1.3.0 by catavolt

  • The Details window displays multiple 'virtual' views including audio visual and technical info.
    aMPed skin by Dadeo

  • Use Display Options to select the fields you wish to display - 5 in the main window, 6 in Details window.
    Purevision HD 1080 by catavolt

  • Six Advanced Search methods include: related films by person, by role, by any field, or via search history.
    new Titan skin for 1.3.0

  • Download, filter and select the cover you prefer via the new Cover Manager.
    StreamedMP skin by ltfearme, trevor

  • Auto group movies during import, or Create Box Sets or Groups and add or remove movies within My Films.
    new Titan skin for 1.3.0

  • Display Groups with a group cover and movie cover, and even select a different layout and sort for Groups.
    Xtreme skin by marduk65

  • Auto detect Editions from media files and add your own rules, even using 'expressions' like Regex.
    Frames skin by Lbr_Lion

  • Update only the fields you wish in your AMC/XML database, even select and update multiple fields at once.
    New DefaultWide skin for 1.3.0 by catavolt

  • Multi-user info displays the current user, watched status, date last seen, user ratings and favorites per user.
    aMPed skin by Dadeo

  • Browse and even play your movies using Full Fanart View accessed via the right arrow in the Details window.
    Default wide skin files by ysmp and Dadeo

Eight different movie catalog apps are supported out of the box

(see Supported Catalogs for specific setup and details). 

No need to re-scan your data, you can start using your existing movie catalog in MediaPortal within minutes, and continue to use it with My Films.

My Films 6 adds support for NFO files, so any movie catalog app, or even other media center plugin, that supports NFO files can also be be used with My Films.

If you don't already have a movie catalog, as of version 6.0 you can create one using My Films (in AMC/XML format), which you can use with Ant Movie Catalog software, and take advantage of the many advanced features My Films offers for updating your database.

If you are new to MediaPortal - see the MediaPortal Setup guide in the My Films wiki to learn how to set up MediaPortal for use with My Films and your movie catalog.

Download via the MediaPortal Extension Installer (MPEI) or My Films in the Extensions section of the MediaPortal website.

My Films 6 supports MediaPortal 1.2.x as well as 1.3.0 alpha/beta


Once you've used your movie catalog with My Films, you'll never want to use anything but MediaPortal!

Running the latest version?

V1.7.0 FINAL - released April 2014
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