MediaPortal 1.6.0 Pre Release
Attached to this news you will find the Pre Release version of MediaPortal 1.6.0. Pre Releases are provided as a way for the community to test and give feedback on all the exciting things we have lined up for the next release. We allocate about one month for Pre Release testing. In that time we only do bug fixes... and then comes the final release!
Highlights of this release
Update to MySQL 5.6 to increase stability
Due to performance and stability improvements we decided to switch from MySQL 5.1 to MySQL 5.6 which comes with InnoDB as default database engine. It is more reliable than MyISAM which was the default database engine in MySQL 5.1 and the cause of many TV database crashes.
MySQL 5.6 gets only installed if you do a clean installation. If you perform an update, MySQL 5.1 will be kept. This is because users might still want to use MySQL 5.1 for other purposes than just MediaPortal.
Enhanced TV experience
There were quite some improvements like fix stuttering/dropped frame problems with H.264 video streams which use mixed field/frame (interlaced/progressive) encoding e.g. UK Freeview HDTV channels aswell as handle some NZ Freeview channels which were causing problems. Recognition of DolbyDigital+ streams was added and a deadlock was fixed which leads to TV Server crashes or can cause a BSOD quite frequently on some setups.
A lot of things have been fixed and worked on in the Music section since our last release. Below you find the most important enhancements. Hopefully you will enjoy them!
- Last.FM rework
Because Last.FM changed their API, the Last.fm Radio & scrobbling functions (last.fm account needed for both!) are rewritten. As a bonus an awesome new AutoDJ function is added, which will attempt to play music forever, and you don't even need a Last.fm account for it!
- Music Visualisations
Music Visualisations got fixed and are now correctly listening to the beat. Furthermore while on the NowPlaying screen, you can now switch to (fullscreen) visualisations by pressing X on your keyboard. PageUp/PageDown are used to cycle through the available visualisations.
- Allmusic.com scraper update
As you might have noticed, the Album/Artist scraping was broken in MediaPortal 1.5 because allmusic.com changed their layout. For your convenience, this has been fixed now.
- Gapless playback
Gapless playback is working now and can be enabled through MediaPortal configuration.
MyVideos scraper rework for better maintainability
Not only Album/Artist scraping was broken in MediaPortal 1.5 but also Fanart/Poster scraping in MyVideos because of the TMDB API change. This has been completely fixed and was improved in a way that the MyVideos scraper can now be updated outside the MediaPortal release cycle which means we are more flexible when it comes to fix scraper issues.
Other small improvements
Besides the switch to .NET4 we also modified our core to support plugins like the amazing Auto3D plugin or the great Atmolight plugin. Furthermore we fixed a DPI scaling issue for Win 8.1 users and RefreshRate changing on multi monitor setups was fixed too.
Full list of changes
You can review the complete change log for 1.6.0 Pre Release by using the link below:
Documentation of new features can be found at the following link:
Compiled Plugin related changes
Community Plugin Developers should have a look at the following page to find out about the changes which will effect their extensions.
Some of these changes are mandatory to become 1.6.0 compatible:
Installation, Upgrade, Download and Feedback
Since we switched to .NET4 you need to make sure you got .NET4 installed on your computer (not needed if you are on Windows 8 because it comes with .NET4). Otherwise you are not able to install MediaPortal and the installer just quits.
Download-Link: Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (Standalone Installer)
Aside from that when doing a clean installation of 1.6.0 Pre Release there is nothing else special to worry about.
Upgrading from 1.2.x, 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final, 1.4.0 or 1.5.0 to 1.6.0 Pre Release
All MediaPortal 1.2.x, 1.3.0 Alpha/Beta/RC/Final, 1.4.0 and 1.5.0 installations can be upgraded to 1.6.0 Pre Release, without losing your settings.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.5.0 or earlier, then it is possible that some of your previously installed plugins will be shown as incompatible after the upgrade to 1.6.0 Pre Release! Whether or not a plugin is incompatible depends on the MediaPortal subsystems the plugin uses.
Warning! Due to the new features and changes introduced in 1.4.0, none of the 1.3.x skins are compatible with 1.6.0 Pre Release!
Please contact the author of the skin you use for further information and updates.
The easiest way to upgrade your extensions is by launching the MediaPortal Extension Installer, and let it check for updated versions. However this only works for extensions that use our MPEI system. If the author of the extension releases it as a stand alone installer, you must contact them for an updated version.
Upgrading from 1.2.0 Alpha or earlier to 1.6.0 Pre Release
All MediaPortal installations starting with 1.1.0 RC1 can be upgraded to 1.6.0 Pre Release, without losing your settings.
If you are running MediaPortal 1.2.0 Alpha or earlier, then none of your extensions (plugins and skins) will work after the upgrade to 1.6.0 Pre Release! You must update your extensions after the upgrade!
So, please make sure that 1.6.0 Pre Release compatible versions of your extensions are available before you start the upgrade!
General note about Upgrades
Manually stop TV-Service!
On some systems our installer is not able to update the TV-Server installation because its files are locked or the service can not be stopped.
For upgrades to 1.6.0 Pre Release we recommend that you manually stop the TV-Service and make sure, via Windows Task Manager (enable the "all users" option), that the TvService.exe process is really gone before starting to upgrade.
Custom TV-Service properties
If you manually changed the properties of the TV-Service (like restart on error options), then you must redo these changes after the upgrade. The installer is not able to save and restore your custom service properties when it installs the new version of the TV-Service.
If you think you found a bug then please post a detailed report in our Bug Reports Forum.
Make sure your report includes all the required information. Incomplete reports will be removed to keep the forum clean.
Finally - the download. We hope that you took the time to read this release news entirely because it includes vital information about the major changes.
If you would like to support MediaPortal, we would be happy to receive a small donation!
The Team wishes you a lot of fun with this new release!