Next level of error analysis for MediaPortal 2

Geschrieben von Morpheus_xx am .

Improving error reporting and analysis using the OneTrueError service

As long as there is software development, there are errors. To give support to our users we have our forum and a bug tracker. In the forum, users can post bug reports where the testers and developers are doing their best to investigate these issues.

This process requires much work, both for users and for devs: an user needs to collect logfiles; try to explain what has happened and when; and create a forum thread. Developers need to: read those threads; analyse huge logfiles; and often try to find the needle in the haystack.

Luckily we got in contact with the maker of the new https://onetrueerror.com/ service, who kindly offered us free access to it. After a discussion about the technology and the best way for integration, a first working plugin was developed within a few hours! And because it is for MediaPortal 2, it is a plugin you can optionally install.

What does it do?

This small plugin catches all logged exceptions and sends error reports to the OneTrueError web service. Along with the exception error, the following required information is added: Operation System version, Assembly version of MediaPortal 2 and loaded plugins and some statistics (like free and used memory). There is no information that relates to the user or their identity. This was one of our most important points: protecting our user's privacy.

What are the logged errors used for?

The purpose of this service is to collect all errors from different installations and provide a comparative feature to find out similarities between different reports. These tools are great helpers to find the "needle in the haystack".

Who has access to this service?

Access to this service is restricted to the developers of Team MediaPortal. So nobody else can access the user's error reports.

What does it look like?

dashboard

Download and installation

Please visit our download section: OneTrueError plugin, extract the "1TrueError" plugin and copy it to both:

  • \ProgramFiles\Team MediaPortal\MP2-Client\Plugins
  • \ProgramFiles\Team MediaPortal\MP2-Server\Plugins

Please see the download page for details.

Summary

Using this plugin for error reporting is optional for users. But we kindly ask that you help us develop MediaPortal 2 in the best possible way, and this service will provide us with a consistent method of collating and analysing support information. If you would like to help us, please install this plugin.

Discuss this in our forum...

Extending your horizons

Geschrieben von Kiwijunglist am .

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?

Geschrieben von Team MediaPortal am .

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

Geschrieben von Team MediaPortal am .

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

Geschrieben von infinite.loop am .

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...

Geschrieben von Spragleknas am .

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)

Geschrieben von Lyfesaver74 am .

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.

 

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