How to Organize Your Music, Movies and ROMS With XBMC

18

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

razorpetti37

I've been using the MyMovies plugin for Windows Media Center and I love it. I have quite a large library of DVD's on my harddrive, ripped into VIDEO_TS folders, the MyMovies software constantly monitors my drives, adds movies, and downloads their descriptions and cover art based on my folder names. It is a great program for organizing a large library and also has the ability to integrate a media server.

avatar

Brian Dowding

Are you leaving these rips as VOB files?

avatar

razorpetti37

Yes, I left them as VOB files. I compress them a bit with DVD Shrink, then save them as VOB files. My reasoning for this is that if I want to burn any of these movies to a DVD and bring it on a trip or let someone borrow it, the only time consumed is actually burning the disk. I guess I could save them as ISO images, but it really doesn't matter to me considering MyMovies recognizes both. It also has a great online catalog of title covers, descriptions, and actor listings. Overall it creates a slick looking interface that blends very well with WMC.

avatar

CloudRider

Good to know a NAS box can be used for media storing.  Can XBMC run on a netbook or nettop?

avatar

Brian Dowding

Yes, it can.  The only caveat is that the CPU/GPU acceleration may be weak on these machines (because of the hardware within them being so cutting edge in terms of performance - if it were 2004).

To make a story short, as far as movies go, you may be limited to old-school 700MB to 1.4GB sized DIVX and XVID rips.  There is a possibility that these machines are just to weak to render higher quality x264 HD and Blu-Ray rips. 

I've seen Pentium 4 machines (without a dedicated video card to assist) suffer the same scenario.  Blu-Ray rips looked like a slow slide show.

From what I've read so far on AMD's fusion - I'm guessing that these platforms will not have this limitation.

avatar

highsidednb

I had high hopes for XBMC but maybe I'm missing something.  The interface for video playback is virtually useless without a slider to allow you to jump from different parts of a video.  The fast-forward interface feels like it's 1985 again and I'm fast forwarding VHS tape.  Not being able to skip to certain part of movie or a song is a pain.

avatar

Brian Dowding

Agreed.  While I like the timeline being able to interact with mouse-clicks (as is the case with virtually every other program but XBMC), XBMC is definitely lacking here.

You don't have to use the fast forward buttons, though.  It is substantially better using the mouse-wheel for navigating the timeline.  Then again, I have a Logitech Revolution mouse - so maybe the weighted free-spinning wheel is uniquely suited to lessening the burden here.  A regular mouse wheel may still be a bit of a pain.

Regardless, I'd still say it is better than using the buttons a la VCR.

avatar

Sediket

I was excited when I saw this how-to, having tried out previous maximum pc how-tos, but was kinda disappointed with this one.  For example one major MAJOR functionality that was skipped was how to set-up a remote, controller, or gamepad.  Talks about setting up emulators but doesn't cover how difficult it is to setup a gamepad with XBMC, or just controlling the menus with a controller,  I'm sure not everyone plans on using a keyboard to control their T.V.

Also controlling multiple monitors, this is suppose to be for a T.V. not just your computer, and I would suggest doing the article for linux, an OS that doesn't require purchase, like Mint 10.

Also after setting this up some movies were unwatchable because they were so jittery and slow, the same videos would play fine in VLC or media player on the same machine.

I know some of these questions I might be able to troubleshoot through the XBMC community but I enjoy doing maximum pc how-tos because usually they have worked out all the issues into a finished project, and anything extra I can research myself.  But just getting things up and running took me hours scouring the community of XBMC, and I could have done that anyways what’s the point of following the how-to at this point?

avatar

Brian Dowding

I have an old Logitech Wireless Rumblepad (original, not 2) and was able to map mouse and keyboard functions to it at will using a program called XPADDER:

http://www.xpadder.com/

It works automatically on startup and I can unplug the Rumblepad's sensor and plug it back in at anytime and it automatically resumes working once again within seconds.

I basically have the Rumblepad set so that it functioned almost exactly as XBMC had on the original XBOX using their gamepads.

avatar

CAAS

I've actually never had a problem with iTunes. I'm surprised to read that many people have had issues. I used to use Windows Media Player and I constantly experienced problems. Your solution must be dramatically better than Windows. CAAS

avatar

Brian Dowding

Any chance this article could be re-worked, or get a second edition??  There is a new version of XBMC out now and basically much of what was covered in this article regarding programs and scripts no longer applies.

Version 10 is out (priviously the Dharma BETA) and it has some significant changes in trhe under-pinnings, though the media handling is essentially the same from a users standpoint.

Thanks

avatar

Baer

On a PC I have had nore issues on P.C.'s using iTunes than I can tell you. They all seem to be connected with the Apple Bonjour Service which Apple requires to sync to an ipod or pad. Bounjour seems to not like P C's, (sounds like the MAc vs PC ads does it not?)The issues stem from lock ups to slow net page loading. In every single case when I removed Boujour service the problem was fixed. If you need iTunes because you are locked to an ipad then you can remove Bonjour but you will have to load it back to sync your ipod. Also, if you remove Bounjour be sure to also remove the Apple updater or it will add bounjour back again.

avatar

md123

I stopped using itunes because of the bonjour service.  Actually, the last straw was when my itunes account was hacked and the paypal account tied to it had thousands charged to it.  I was not held responsible for the charges, and didn't even remember opening the itunes account in the first place otherwise I would have deleted it long ago.  Anyhow, I digress, I now use media monkey (free version) to sync my ipod to my library.  It provides bit-perfect audio playback, a boatload of useful tools, and does everything i need itunes to do except allow you to purchase from the itunes store.

avatar

Brian Dowding

A collegue of mine once worked Apple Support and had been trained to expect about 15% of iTunes installs on PC's to inexplicably erase the local music collection it is pointed at in settings.  I may have the context of that percentage off - like was it 15% of all installs, or 15% of all PC installs calling for Apple Support - I'm not sure - it has been about 3 years.  I've stayed away from it for other reasons, however.

avatar

md123

Boxee (the free software for your pc, mac, whatever os - not just the boxee box) is based on xbmc (literally uses xbmc code I believe), provides an interface for accessing your media, but has many more apps built in such as hulu, netflix, vudu, pandora, the list is exhaustive.  Some of the apps are buggy, but this seems to get better as versions are released.  For my money (they're both free) Boxee has a lot more features, and has a lot more potential for future features.  Plus images are automatically applied to your music, video, and tv show files.  Much more polished and feature rich.  I also tried some iriver software that came with my remote, and it was nice, but in the same category as xbmc: good for basic media browsing.

avatar

Brian Dowding

Can it be put on XBOX, Linux, Apple, and PC??  I guess XBMC version 9.11 is the end of the line for original XBOX compatibility, though.

avatar

md123

Apparently boxee can be installed on an xbox, but dont think it is officially supported.  Apple TV, Ubuntu, Mac, and Win are officially supported though.

avatar

Brian Dowding

Thanks for the tip - I'll check it out.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.