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[XBMC] Rethinking my XBMC infrastructure


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#1 +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:11

As it stands, I have a server (WHS - but I use none of it's features as I found them just awkward) sat in my office.  On this server I store all my media (music, movies, photos, etc).

 

This is all shared over a standard windows share (Samba?).

 

In my lounge I have a slimline PC that connects to the server (wired network).  This PC runs XBMC and scans the content of the server into a local library.  The library/database itself lives on the client PC.

 

I am toying with the idea of re-doing the entire setup...

 

My idea is as follows:

 

1) Wipe the server (data is on other drives) and reinstall a very bare setup.

 

2) Run XBMC on the SERVER.  Have it scan my movies, etc, and host the database itself.

 

3) Wipe the client and reinstall a very bare setup.

 

4) Run XBMC on the CLIENT but have it connect to the server for its library.

 

WHY?

 

Well, I am getting more clients in the future, in other rooms and also my cellphones/tablets.  This seems a better way of having one source of information/data/library.

 

Any thoughts?




#2 OP +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:03

Have I posted this in the wrong place?



#3 +patseguin

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:14

I have XBMC and I use a Synology NAS to store all my media. I used WHS for a while too but figured a NAS might be a better option for me. XBMC doesn't run on the server. It runs on the client and only scans (scrapes) your media for thumbnails and movie info. The actual files are not being copied over, or at least they shouldn't be. What you describe is in fact the way XBMC works so I don't know how you have it set up now. Only your media is on the server and the clients run XBMC and scrape the media for information. I have my NAS and 3 clients connecting to it. XBMC does support mySQL but I've found it very troublesome and choose not use it. I hope this all makes sense.

 

What you might want to look at is PLEX, which is really just the XMBC source code modified. It does run on the server and the clients just "see" the media and access it. I wish XBMC had more of a server/client setup like Plex but they don't seem to have any plans to. Anyways, something to look into. Just Google Plex.



#4 OP +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:25

Thank you.

 

I know the files are not copied from the server to the client, am aware of my infrastructure ;)  I am wondering, are you aware that you can run XBMC on a server and have it share your library via UPNP - that's what I'm suggesting :)

 

Will look at Plex :)



#5 Gabureiru

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:31

You don't need to install XBMC on the server, as patseguin states, with a simple NAS you can skip the whole WHS. XBMC only needs a file share to access the content and play it.

 

So, you can store all your media on WHS (since you already have it), and just install XBMC on a PC (or Raspberry Pi as I do), and setup the file locations so they can point to your WHS.



#6 OP +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:41

Yes, please - as I've said.  I understand that.

 

But that setup is all well and good for 1 client having access to the FILES.

 

I'm talking about many clients having access to the LIBRARY (files, meta, thumbnails, watched counts, etc)

 

To this end I believe you CAN install it on the server, and on the client - and have the client pull said meta across.  So if I add a film to the library on the server, all the clients instantly know and get the meta info from the server rather than each individually scraping.



#7 Aasum

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:44

Here is what you wish to do ;)



#8 DomZ

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:45

What you should be doing, for a multi client setup, is have the database stored in MySQL, and have all the clients connect to that

 

Then whenever new media is added, once one of your clients has scanned and updated the library, it's available to all of them. 



#9 OP +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:51

Yes, that is one way of doing it indeed, and actually seems to have some benefits (continue from last watched in another room).

 

Does it also mean no more scraping on each client.  Do it once on a client, and the artworks, etc are synchronised?



#10 HawkMan

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 18:59

As it stands, I have a server (WHS - but I use none of it's features as I found them just awkward) sat in my office.  On this server I store all my media (music, movies, photos, etc).

 

This is all shared over a standard windows share (Samba?).

 

In my lounge I have a slimline PC that connects to the server (wired network).  This PC runs XBMC and scans the content of the server into a local library.  The library/database itself lives on the client PC.

 

I am toying with the idea of re-doing the entire setup...

 

My idea is as follows:

 

1) Wipe the server (data is on other drives) and reinstall a very bare setup.

 

2) Run XBMC on the SERVER.  Have it scan my movies, etc, and host the database itself.

 

3) Wipe the client and reinstall a very bare setup.

 

4) Run XBMC on the CLIENT but have it connect to the server for its library.

 

WHY?

 

Well, I am getting more clients in the future, in other rooms and also my cellphones/tablets.  This seems a better way of having one source of information/data/library.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Does XBMC actually support a client/server setup with the database ?

 

personally I use MediaPortal(which I started using because I used a DVB-C tuner card before I moved and now would need a satellite card instead, and XBMC didn't support tv tuners). MP was in it's very early stage based off of XBMC. it however operates on a client/server structure so any MP client computer can connect to the MP server and play the content in it's database and media data is of course also stored int he db so info what is viewed and such is there. 

 

As a bonus, if you use a TV tuner, the client/server works with that too, you put the tuner on the server and any client can watch live tv and change channels or start a recording. 

 

plex works on the same principles, but while plex looks good, I've for various reason never become friends with it, partly because it doesn't offer the advanced options I'm used to. and it only offer a database view not a folder view. 

 

 

on a simpler term, you could just use the built in windows library feature. any windows 7/8 computer can connect to another computers libraries. 



#11 Aergan

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 19:01

Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 19:51, said:Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 19:51, said:

Yes, that is one way of doing it indeed, and actually seems to have some benefits (continue from last watched in another room).

 

Does it also mean no more scraping on each client.  Do it once on a client, and the artworks, etc are synchronised?

 

Master scans (read/write to database), client (read) receives is how it worked when I had it set up like that. I had scraping turned off on the client as it did not have the local resources.



#12 OP +Nik L

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 19:03

Master scans, client receives is how it worked when I had it set up like that.

 

With reference to artwork?



#13 Aergan

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 19:16

Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 20:03, said:Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 20:03, said:Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 20:03, said:Nik Louch, on 23 Aug 2013 - 20:03, said:

With reference to artwork?

 

Artwork was stored on the master, client XBMC was configured (edit config XML file) substitute access via share IIRC.

 

http://wiki.xbmc.org...ails_and_fanart

 

 

Word of advice, I started from scratch when I set it up with Eden (11.0) as I managed to **** up my existing 10 database previously.

 

I don't bother with MySQL & XBMC anymore though - I purchased a HDMI over CAT5E/CAT6 extender and with 2X29M Outdoor grade CAT5E cable, I'm much happier.



#14 georgevella

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 19:18

Your setup is just like mine.  Back in the day when I was setting everything up I had tried FreeNAS on my server but after observing obscene network speeds I switched to WHS.  I don't use half the features it has but network transfer nearly doubled (60/70 mb/s on FreeNAS to 120+ mb/s).  I would stay away from any Linux or BSD solutions that use samba.  As for the master/client setup, my friend has two xmbc setups, one on his personal machine (where his media is all stored) the other on a mini pc connected to the network running solely xbmc.  It gets it's data via MySQL and a network share that hosts the imagery. 

 

There are some pretty good guides about this, I will check with my friend and have him give me a link or two for you.



#15 +MikeChipshop

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 19:26

Following this thread as i'm thinking of setting up my home ent better. Just took delivery of a won RPi.