DVD Assist - VIDEO_TS playback for Front Row - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcegoat View Post

Okay, here is the workflow. As I mentioned before, you need Quicktime Pro for this to work.

This isn't perfect, but it's close. Hope this helps!

Thanks forcegoat, that was a big help to me. The only problem I had with this workflow is that the movie files linked to from my Movies-alias-folder had .mov on the end (I know - this is because they are Quicktime movies). So in my Frontrow menu I had something like "Men in Black.mov" instead of "Men in Black". Luckily it was easily fixed by running a simple automator script after your script that removed .mov and replaced it with blank text. But anyway that automator script saved me a big load of time so thanks.
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post #152 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 03:04 PM
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Pbryanw: What automator script did you run? I orginally tried removing the ".mov" during the renaming of the file but it was converting the format of the file (it was no longer a Quicktime movie file). I'll add the script to mine to make it even easier. Thanks!
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post #153 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 03:06 PM
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Hey Opfreak: Don't be put off by your amount of questions: we welcome all new-comers to the Mac platform. The only way you'll learn is by asking.
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post #154 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcegoat View Post

Hey Opfreak: Don't be put off by your amount of questions: we welcome all new-comers to the Mac platform. The only way you'll learn is by asking.

forcegoat,

With all due respect, why are you encouraging people to ask questions without reading the thread first? For forum members who've done a lot of work helping other folks out, it's insulting to see people asking questions that have already been answered. I could have gone back through this thread and linked up to posts that answered most of Opfreak's questions. Here's an easy example:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opfreak View Post

I know from reading this thread that hitting the menu button pushes you out to the main front row menu and not the dvd menu, but holding down menu puts you back to the dvd menu?

Here's what I posted on page three of this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcrash View Post

Hold down the Menu button instead of just clicking it (which leads to Front Row)...that should take you back to the DVD menu.

Simple question: Why does that answer need to be re-posted in the same thread?

There's a huge difference between having questions after doing the appropriate research and simply blasting away with anything you don't immediately comprehend. But you're making them sound as though they're one and the same.

Your statement that "The only way you'll learn is by asking" seems (in the context of this discussion) oblivious to all of the other poster's hard work.
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post #155 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcegoat View Post

Pbryanw: What automator script did you run? I orginally tried removing the ".mov" during the renaming of the file but it was converting the format of the file (it was no longer a Quicktime movie file). I'll add the script to mine to make it even easier. Thanks!

All I did, and it worked for me, was run this script after yours in my "Movies" folder (the root directory with the Video_ts files in it):

1. Get specified finder items
- Click the + button and select your root folder where your movies are stored

2. Get Folder Contents
- Make sure "Repeat for each subfolder found" is ticked
- Link it to the previous step

3. Rename Finder Items
- Click "Don't Add" in the dialog box that pops up
- Replace Text
- Find: Enter the word ".mov" (without speech quotes)
- Replace: Leave this box empty
- Link it to the previous step

All I did then was run this from Automator. Maybe the fact that I ran it after the conversion of the jpeg to Quicktime meant that it didn't convert the file. It's quite a simple workflow and the first time I've constructed my own (after learning the commands with yours). At least, thanks to this thread, I've glimpsed a small peek at Automator's potential and learnt to use it a bit - so thanks for that forcegoat.
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post #156 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 06:34 PM
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@opfreak

This might be useful to you in relation to the question 2.5) that you asked about using your PC to store your DVD's - I take it you mean over a network.

If you share your "Movies" folder on Windows (which contains your stored DVD's in video_ts format), then mount it on OS X, you can then use the same technique you use on a native mac directory to get DVD Assist to work. For more about PC to Mac sharing type joelshoemaker into google and look at the 2nd result down (I'm not allowed to link just yet )

So, for example, you can put a Quicktime movie of your artwork in your video_ts folder on your PC, then put an alias to it in your "Movies" folder on your Mac. The Mac will then see this alias in Frontrow, providing the PC folder is mounted, and you should then be able to play the movie using DVD Assist.

The only difference with this method, to the Mac method, is that I was unable to remove the ".mov" filetype on the PC folder. If I did, the file would become an unknown file type and if I linked to it in my "Movies" folder on my Mac it would not show up in Frontrow. Perhaps someone knows a workaround or solution for this?

I've tried this PC to Mac DVD sharing on my own setup and it works fine on a 10Mb home network. You might have difficulties if you're using wireless. On my wireless setup I have difficulties playing Video_TS movies smoothly from PC to Mac. That's on a G network, with Mimo, and my PC and Mac only a metre away. On Mac to Mac sharing though, even at longer distances, I have no problems with stuttering video. So it might depend on your PC setup then.

As for creating .mov files on your PC, again, I'd think that you'd have to use Quicktime Pro for Windows.

HTH

Bryan
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post #157 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 08:16 PM
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My home network consists entirely of WinXP pro machines (no screaming please) with a wired network. One of the machines has a 2TB RAID 5 array that I store DVDs in VIDEO_TS folders (IFO/VOB). I've have tried several different media players' for playback of these archives on my home theater. They have all had significant shortcomings. I've considered a Windows media center PC, but it seems potentially glitchy although very versatile. Now I'm considering a Mac mini. I stumbled across this thread and I'm intrigued. The DVD Assist website states any volume accessible from the Finder with adequate throughput'. I also understand that OS X can act as a NFS client. If that is the case, what else would I need to do to make this work? I already have an NFS server running on Windows. It can't be that easy. The final solution must be wife friendly, thus my reluctance to use a windows based machine. Basically, I will only use the mini to play media. I would prefer that it not even have a mouse/keyboard (after initial setup). Is this possible? These questions may seem basic, but my only Apple experience is iTunes and iPod. Thanks.
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post #158 of 499 Old 09-19-2006, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj01 View Post

Now I'm considering a Mac mini. I stumbled across this thread and I'm intrigued. The DVD Assist website states any volume accessible from the Finder with adequate throughput'. I also understand that OS X can act as a NFS client. If that is the case, what else would I need to do to make this work? I already have an NFS server running on Windows. It can't be that easy. The final solution must be wife friendly, thus my reluctance to use a windows based machine. Basically, I will only use the mini to play media. I would prefer that it not even have a mouse/keyboard (after initial setup). Is this possible? These questions may seem basic, but my only Apple experience is iTunes and iPod. Thanks.

First up, the disclaimer:
DVD Assist is essentially a work-around. I don't recommend that anyone base a purchase decision on it. Apple could change the way Front Row works and disable DVD Assist (in someways, the latest version of Front Row has introduced complications .)

That said, a Mini can swing both ways as far as OS goes, and can talk smb as well as nfs.
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post #159 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squished Squirre View Post

First up, the disclaimer:
DVD Assist is essentially a work-around. I don't recommend that anyone base a purchase decision on it. Apple could change the way Front Row works and disable DVD Assist (in someways, the latest version of Front Row has introduced complications .)

That said, a Mini can swing both ways as far as OS goes, and can talk smb as well as nfs.

No worries about the disclaimer. We all know the risks on the bleeding edge. Would the Mini be able to boot, load DVD Assist, and go directly to Front Row and stay there sans mouse and keyboard or other user intervention? In otherwords, a glorified DVD play.
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post #160 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj01 View Post

No worries about the disclaimer. We all know the risks on the bleeding edge. Would the Mini be able to boot, load DVD Assist, and go directly to Front Row and stay there sans mouse and keyboard or other user intervention? In otherwords, a glorified DVD play.

Yes, it can. The remote can always trigger Front Row, no matter what program is currently running. To make it a little more set-top boxish, you could put a simple script in the login items to have front row trigger on startup.

Note that the computer's desktop will come up now and then as new fingers learn to use the remote, but Front Row is just one click away.

I'd recommend a wireless keyboard and mouse and to suggest to your wife that she can also use the Mini as a "I KNOW I have seen this actor in another movie, gimme the keyboard so I can look on IMDB" device. (Or "that eBay auction is closing in an hour" device, or a "Lemme see the weather radar" device.)
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post #161 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 08:46 AM
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jwcrash: I wasn't trying to minimalize the usage of the forums or everyone's hard work - I was merely encouraging Opfreaks interest in the Mac platform. Chances are he is a new comer to these forums (the Mac ones) and I was not trying to scare him away by trying to act like a pompous Mac-head (I'm not saying you were, I'm just saying that if I were visiting a website for the first time and posted a question only to be shot down and told to go "look it up", chances are I would not return). This is a community forum so we should try to help each other out as much as possible. Agreed, we should encourage viewers to do their research but a little bit of geniality can go a long way.
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post #162 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 08:52 AM
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Thanks, PBryanw. I've added that step to my automator workflow and it worked.

Automator is an amazing piece of software not too many people know about. It is like "Applescript for Dummies." You can write full Applications with it. In fact, I wrote a podcasting Automator App I sold to a University recently so you can turn the hobby into a pay day.

Also, I don't think I've said it yet, but THANK YOU Squished Squirrel for taking the time to create DVD Assist. This functionality has sorely been missing from Front Row and your workaround is the best I've seen.
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post #163 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcegoat View Post

Thanks, PBryanw. I've added that step to my automator workflow and it worked.

Automator is an amazing piece of software not too many people know about. It is like "Applescript for Dummies." You can write full Applications with it. In fact, I wrote a podcasting Automator App I sold to a University recently so you can turn the hobby into a pay day.

Also, I don't think I've said it yet, but THANK YOU Squished Squirrel for taking the time to create DVD Assist. This functionality has sorely been missing from Front Row and your workaround is the best I've seen.


Thank SS via PAYPAL!!!!

Rem facias, rem
si possis, recte, si non, quocumque modo, rem.
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post #164 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forcegoat View Post

I wasn't trying to minimalize the usage of the forums or everyone's hard work - I was merely encouraging Opfreaks interest in the Mac platform ...agreed, we should encourage viewers to do their research but a little bit of geniality can go a long way.

Forcegoat,

We're just on VERY different pages about how to respect others people's time and effort. I can't explain why I was offended by your attitude any more succinctly than I already have.

And since my original frustration came from having to repeat things already clearly stated, I'll just agree to disagree and not bring it up again.

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post #165 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pbryanw View Post

@opfreak
The only difference with this method, to the Mac method, is that I was unable to remove the ".mov" filetype on the PC folder. If I did, the file would become an unknown file type and if I linked to it in my "Movies" folder on my Mac it would not show up in Frontrow. Perhaps someone knows a workaround or solution for this?

Bryan

Yep, the Mac won't see unsuffixed files as movies without the .mov on the end on some volume types (SMB, NFS, etc.). You might be able to get around that by going to the Mac, and using a Filetyper utility to set the type to "MooV" and the creator to "TVOD". OSX is moving away from the type and creator metaphor, but it still honors them.

That should create a hidden file on the SMB volume to hold the type and creator info, and Front Row might honor it (I have not tested that.) So, for this to work, the Mac must have write privs to the smb volume.

Finally got a Mini at the office, and Leopard is installing on it now.
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post #166 of 499 Old 09-20-2006, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opfreak View Post

I honestly did read the entire thread before I posted. and read a few other Mac threads before I did. I'm not a fan of just posting.

I'll read the thread again. one thing I tired but couldn't, was the creater said the instructions are part of the download. The download is a zip, but the zip has .dmg files. Which I can only assume are Mac 'zip' files, or something like that, that on the pc I cannot decode, and get the instructions out of.

but i'll read the thread again...

I know I get put off by large threads and don't always read them all the way through, and I don't typically get frustrated by answering the same questions, so don't hesitate to fire away.

.dmg is the Apple disk image format... essentially the same as an .ISO. It is common for Mac apps to be distributed in the .dmg format just to add another layer of verification to the download. I had to zip the file because the server I am using doesn't recognize .dmg as a binary filetype, and would otherwize just spew it out as an HTML page.

I'd host this on my home server, but for various reasons (bandwidth isn't one of them ), I went this route.
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post #167 of 499 Old 09-21-2006, 06:51 PM
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"forcegoat"--- great name. It seems to fit your personality??? It would be good if a GREAT tool like this could keep this thread focused and moderated by the Author. If someone has another variant or add-on to DVD Assist you should start your own thread and refrence this one.

As of now this thread seems to be changing tools and Authors, thus making it hard to follow. I seem to recall SS asking 1 other member to help out and do some other tasking for him (jwcrash). And that members extra work and comments have still been "on topic".

We've now got more comments on a new tool and more questions answered about the new tool than we have on the original tool???
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post #168 of 499 Old 09-22-2006, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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There is a new version of DVD Assist on my site. Not much functional change, but this one uses more C code than the previous version. It should always quit out of DVD player if it was the one that launched it. (For EyeTV users.)

The office got me a Mac Mini and a MacBook Pro, so this has been tested (if only for a little while) on a Powerbook Aluminum 1.5Ghz, Intel Mac Mini Dual Core, and Dual G5. Haven't finished setting up the MacBook Pro yet though. It appears to work with Front Row 1.3, although 1.3 does some odd things if you don't keep all your placeholder movie aliases in a subfolder of your Movies folder as described in the docs. It even behaves with Leopard developer preview... even with ISO's.
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post #169 of 499 Old 09-22-2006, 12:53 PM
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Great work! If Apple would just update their crappy DVD player I might pick up a Mini. You listening Apple?

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post #170 of 499 Old 09-22-2006, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htpc'd View Post

"forcegoat"--- great name. It seems to fit your personality???

Wow. How original. Glad to see you yourself are keeping this thread on topic by throwing around insults. Any of the comments/contributions I have made pertain to DVD Assist and improving the user interface (The workflow was listed at the request of several posters including SS). The links to photos were to show how the interface looks.
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post #171 of 499 Old 09-22-2006, 03:33 PM
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This has gotta stop.

Let's just try and stay on topic. It's gotten really hot around some posters lately and I think the best way to alleviate bad feelings is by sticking to the thread's subject. Sarcasm, snide comments, and nasty nicknames don't get new readers any closer to having DVD Assist up and running. And they ultimately serve no one.

THAT SAID...everyone go launch your favorite backed-up movie in Front Row. Because (now) we can!!!

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post #172 of 499 Old 09-22-2006, 03:59 PM
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Ok, guys, please keep the thread focused and on topic. Let's also keep the personal attacks and snide comments out of the conversation. We are all here to learn and to share knowledge, so it would be a real shame for me to close this thread down because a few people can't play nicely, as most of this thread appears to have some very useful information.

Thanks for understanding.
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post #173 of 499 Old 09-25-2006, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmmm...... Has anyone played around much with iTunes and movies? I don't know how long iTunes has had this, but if you add a .m4v movie to iTunes, you can assign it cover art, and flip through it with the nifty iTunes cover art animation.

I think in the next version of DVD Assist, I might switch to using an .m4v placeholder movie, and allow triggering VIDEO_TS playback from iTunes as well.

Something tells me that if we ever do see a Front Row 2.0, the interface is going to be berry berry similar to that iTunes cover animation.... and will most likely use the cover art that iTunes does right now.
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post #174 of 499 Old 09-25-2006, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squished Squirre View Post

Something tells me that if we ever do see a Front Row 2.0, the interface is going to be berry berry similar to that iTunes cover animation.... and will most likely use the cover art that iTunes does right now.

It will be interesting to see whether that happens or whether it's made to match iTV...
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post #175 of 499 Old 09-30-2006, 11:18 PM
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Is there any way to make this a forum sticky?

This is definitely deserving of that positioning and it has been very helpful. I've d/l it and messed around with it and really enjoy it. Thanks SS. As soon as I get to the office I'll be helping towards that iMac.

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post #176 of 499 Old 10-02-2006, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd heard a couple reports of DVD Assist not kicking in when it should, and I encountered it recently on a G5. Front Row refused to quit, and DVD player fired up behind it.

Anyone else encounter this? I worked around it, just don't know if it is worth another release for that if nobody else has encountered it lately.
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post #177 of 499 Old 10-04-2006, 01:42 AM
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SS, your application is fantastic. i've been playing with it for a few versions, but i'm just a beginner with scripts. i'm very close to making front row, eyetv, and DVD's on hard drives work nicely together. i'm using a dual core mac mini. here's what i'm seeing:

with 1.43, if you use subfolders within the movies folder, and the links in those subfolders are to quicktime-compatible files (not related to DVD/VOB), then the QT movie will start, and about 5 seconds later DVD player will kick in, take over, and cause mayhem. it appears that Front Row also quits when DVD player starts, so when you stop DVD player, you end up in Finder. the aliases i've used are for both itunes video content and converted files from eyetv. interestingly, if you put the same file in the main movie folder, the problem does NOT occur. also, if you put the full file (rather than an alias) in the subfolder, DVD Player also starts up and makes a mess.

i could not duplicate the problem in v1.31, but here, DVD player would not quit when i tried to exit out while playing a normal DVD file. only tried once or twice before i gave up.

i looked in the main script for both but could not figure out where the problem was happening - saw a place where i thought it MIGHT, but looked like the code would have ignored these files and not kicked in DVD player and exited Front Row. but i'm not good at scripting, so i really don't know.
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post #178 of 499 Old 10-05-2006, 04:04 AM
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Hi,
Since I upgraded in 10.4.8 (MacMini G4), DVD Assist did not work: it plays the placeholder movie, then return to ForntRow. Did someone experiment this ?
Thank you
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post #179 of 499 Old 10-05-2006, 06:35 AM
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I'm seeing something similar to but different from my last post the other day. i upgraded to 10.4.8 like MrSpock. right now, if i have subfolders in the movies portion of front row, the folders appear at the very end (of a long list of movies), but this is a minor annoyance, i assume from front row. however, if you select a movie from the subfolder, i'm finding that, instead, a relatively random movie will kick in. i noticed that the "randowm" movie that kicks in seems to be a movie that gets briefly previewed in the original parent list while scrolling on the way to the bottom to the subfolders. movies in the main folder appear to work just fine.
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post #180 of 499 Old 10-05-2006, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamont94 View Post

I'm seeing something similar to but different from my last post the other day. i upgraded to 10.4.8 like MrSpock. right now, if i have subfolders in the movies portion of front row, the folders appear at the very end (of a long list of movies), but this is a minor annoyance, i assume from front row. however, if you select a movie from the subfolder, i'm finding that, instead, a relatively random movie will kick in. i noticed that the "randowm" movie that kicks in seems to be a movie that gets briefly previewed in the original parent list while scrolling on the way to the bottom to the subfolders. movies in the main folder appear to work just fine.

Yep, I've seen this. This started happening with Front Row 1.3 (Or at least, that is when I first encountered it.)

If you have ANY placeholder movies at the main level of your movies folder, this can happen. The placeholder movies need to be in a subfolder to avoid the problem.

Basically what happens is that Front row doesn't always close the movies it previews under some odd circumstances. So far, putting all the dvd placeholders in a subfolder of the movies folder seems to work.
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