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Nefarious Trigger

[XBMC] Rethinking my XBMC infrastructure

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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?

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Have I posted this in the wrong place?

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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?

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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. 

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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.

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

 

With reference to artwork?

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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/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Sync_multiple_libraries/Sync_thumbails_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.

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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.

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

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Thanks for all the feedback so far.  I'm more than happy to lose my library and start again.

 

As for the HDMI over CAT6 - expensive?

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XBMC works good as a master server, with MySQL and the clients just need "advancedsettings.xml" properly configured to works. I have my desktop PC as the server, a laptop & iPad as clients. 

I also have Plex running, which it's super easy to configure, install Plex server, scan your media (audio, movies, tv shows, etc.) get the clients and play nothing to configure with plex, the only downside i find, is that somehow the covers, fanart & info takes an insane amount of space in my SSD. Used to work great with my AppleTV 2, but since i updated the FW i cannot install it anymore.

Also plex can let you play your iTunes music/video library and other like youtube, vimeo, etc. Works on iOS without Jailbreak (the app is like $5 bucks)

Another advantage of plex is that the server consumes little system resources while is running, in the other hand if you want to play videos with XBMC through DLNA, you need XBMC always running, consuming  a lot of CPU and memory.

So if you going to get more PCs & laptops, the best way is XBMC, the harder part is setup the MYSQL, after that is really easy.

But Plex is really easy to use. So it's up to You.

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Yes, I'm gonna go the MySQL route.  I will install XBMC on the server for cataloging and scraping.  My only non-understood points are:

 

Will this also sync fanart, thumbs, etc?

Will I need to move custom nodes (xml files) from one PC to another?

 

I guess symbolic links could help with the above

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Why wouldn't you just use Plex? Setting up sharing on XBMC is a pain in the ass and a bit hokey. Plex is built off XBMC and does exactly what you want including having clients for every phone or tablet you have. I was using XBMC for a little while since Plex didn't have a Linux client (just server), but now they have a client they are developing and it's out in the Plex Pass area (or a 5 second search for the ppa if you can't be bothered to donate at a couple of bucks for access to the PlexPass forums). As soon as I found the Linux client I dumped XBMC again and went back to Plex. So much less of a headache. You could have your server and all of your clients set up and good to go in 30 minutes. Plus you get web streaming as well in case you're away on another computer.

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Yes, I'm gonna go the MySQL route.  I will install XBMC on the server for cataloging and scraping.  My only non-understood points are:

 

Will this also sync fanart, thumbs, etc?

Will I need to move custom nodes (xml files) from one PC to another?

 

I guess symbolic links could help with the above

You can do that fine, just keep in mind on the server when indexing all your content to map the \\servername\sharename in XBMC and not C:\Videos for example, as obviously C:\Videos would not exist on your client devices.

In the latest version of XBMC the URL of the artwork is stored in the MySQL database, so when your client devices access it they simply download it on the fly from the same location on the web the server originally got it from when indexing.

Its all really easy to setup, the best thing to do is scrap your existing library and start over. It will save you a lot of haste in the long run.

As for the XML files i just copied the xbmc/userdata/sources.xml and advancedsettings.xml from the "main" Xbmc to all the client pc's, then simply told the clients not to update the library.

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You can do that fine, just keep in mind on the server when indexing all your content to map the \\servername\sharename in XBMC and not C:\Videos for example, as obviously C:\Videos would not exist on your client devices.

 

I was thinking... Say the server is "\\MediaSrv" and there was a share of "SharedMedia"...  On each computer, including the server, map "M:" to "\\MediaSrv\SharedMedia" - so on each computer "M:\" is the same place?

 

In the latest version of XBMC the URL of the artwork is stored in the MySQL database, so when your client devices access it they simply download it on the fly from the same location on the web the server originally got it from when indexing.

 

Handy to know!!!

 

As for the XML files i just copied the xbmc/userdata/sources.xml and advancedsettings.xml from the "main" Xbmc to all the client pc's, then simply told the clients not to update the library. 

 

That's a bingo!

 

As for "Why not Plex?"  A VERY valid question.  I am not a fan of the interface - the skin don't seem as complete/polished.  Moreover, it doesn't seem to have the smart playlist options of XBMC?

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