so what are you using as a front end now that meedio and xlobby are dead? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 82 Old 01-07-2008, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Apparrently xlobby went commercial and isn't available to the public (atleast not the good version anyway) and Meedio sold out to yahoo.

I was finally about to go back and learn to make xlobby work in my HTPC only to find out it was canned.

I guess there is no way to bypass the expiration, eh?

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post #2 of 82 Old 01-07-2008, 09:08 PM
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I believe the authors of XLobby and Meedio both found out that they put a ton of work in their products and they realized that people would pay for their results.

The comprehensive solutions are commercial as in the time it takes to make it comprehensive, most all of the companies have come to the same conclusion.

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post #3 of 82 Old 01-07-2008, 09:35 PM
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Can your HTPC Media Center / DVR Do this??

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post #4 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 05:31 AM
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Mediaportal, of course.
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post #5 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 05:42 AM
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I am glad you brought this up, since I have a similar question...

I have been using Meedio on my HTPC and I like it, but I am building a new computer and I plan to put Vista on it. Should I just go with the built-in Media Center that Vista has, or should I stick with Meedio? What do you guys prefer, and why?

Thanks
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post #6 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fivehead1 View Post

I am glad you brought this up, since I have a similar question...

I have been using Meedio on my HTPC and I like it, but I am building a new computer and I plan to put Vista on it. Should I just go with the built-in Media Center that Vista has, or should I stick with Meedio? What do you guys prefer, and why?

Thanks

I have been trying out a bunch of front ends including MediOS and Media Portal and I keep coming back to Vista's MCE with MyMovies. I wish the skins were customizable, but other than that it works great, and hopefully MyMovies 3.0 will be out soon and make it even better.
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post #7 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 06:09 AM
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What I have been using for a long time, since meedio (read: myHTPC) originally sold out. A good programmable remote, and Girder.

I use Sage for PVR, Zoomplayer or DVD and Itunes for music. I have yet to find a single program that really does all the media stuff well. Without having to click a million buttons. The idea of a fancy front end that was completely uniform (video interface looks the same as the audio interface, etc.) was a neat concept back in the day, and it impressed people that came over and (at the time) didn't even know a computer could play a DVD. However, that got old fast. And I realized that I have no need to look at the interface for longer than it takes to get to the next video. Therefore, I could care less how connected everything looks, as long as everything works reliably and with a minimum of button presses.

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post #8 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 07:10 AM
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I use XLobby version 2 (last free one). It can still be found and lots use it. Works good enough for me, but I don't do any PVR stuff with my HTPC. Just movies. It's much much faster than using MCE + mymovies and gives me more options / better look. I got rid of all the main menus, extra buttons, etc. I hit "Watch a Movie" on my remote, and all my movies popup. Simple. iTunes is used for music.
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post #9 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 07:24 AM
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J River Media Center. I love this program for organising all my media and playing it back well, as well as presenting a very slick front end. I'm not affiliated with J River at all, but sometimes feel like I am due to my satisfaction with the program.
One of its biggest advantages is the support forum and how often the software is updated. An example: I'm still a newb, but when I requested that users should be able to take a screenshot of DVD playback (just like you could with most other video formats), it was introduced into the newest release within a week.
It also plays back any format that Directshow or Quicktime is compatible with, and works with audio and photo files too. See the thread about front end screenshots for more.
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post #10 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The biggest problem that I am having is trying to get something to work with my ISOs that is clean and easy.

I am using XP pro at this point. I have it set up similar to xlobby in that I save a picture of the DVD with the ISO in a folder. I set the folder to display the DVD cover like 'my music' displays an album cover.

I liked xlobby because I could get it to automatically launch an ISO as long as their were no menus but I lost some funtionality on the DVD which is why I went back to windows xp and customized it. I tried mediaportal, but it seems so "jerky" compare to xlobby 2 (the newer version preview version). I was hoping that I could go back and tweak xlobby until I found out it got canned. There is no way I would have paid $200 for that software - way to high for a frontend.

The free Xlobby is really cripple compared to the 7th release of xlobby 2. I wish there was a way to disable the termination subroutine.

I watched the demo for MCE 2005 with its media center. Will this work with how I am looking to use ISOs or not really?

I think the eventual solution for me is to just keep tweaking windows. I could keep all the DVD cover thumbnails in one folder and have each individual folder holding an ISO display out of that one folder.

I am currently using intervideo for DVD playback via WMP. WMP works really well with remotes. I have my ISOs set up to automount with Nero Imagedrive when they are doubleclick and autoplay starts the movie automatically. I also use itunes for MP3s (I like their visualizer and browser).

I just use IE for web surfing on my couch. I also have shortcuts on my desktop for mame, sega, nintendo, psx and pc games.

I rotate my background. just like a normal desktop.

I like xlobby before because it was easier to read using my 480p display, but I no longer have that problem now that I have a 720p dlp FP.

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post #11 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

J River Media Center. I love this program for organising all my media and playing it back well, as well as presenting a very slick front end. I'm not affiliated with J River at all, but sometimes feel like I am due to my satisfaction with the program.
One of its biggest advantages is the support forum and how often the software is updated. An example: I'm still a newb, but when I requested that users should be able to take a screenshot of DVD playback (just like you could with most other video formats), it was introduced into the newest release within a week.
It also plays back any format that Directshow or Quicktime is compatible with, and works with audio and photo files too. See the thread about front end screenshots for more.

I will have to check that one out.

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post #12 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 08:56 AM
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MCE2005 + MyMovies + DaemonTools = Automatic mounting of ISOs, library management of your movies, and full integration with MCE.

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post #13 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 08:57 AM
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VMC + My Movies
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post #14 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 09:05 AM
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I have been using GBPVR for the past couple of years and have had no real problems with it
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post #15 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 09:08 AM
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I've come to enjoy MediaPortal. It's a bit querky and the skins are often slow -- you can't RUSH its performance by pressing additional buttons or it will confuse the application and most likely crash/hang. But, once you know this it works great. It uses DaemonTools to load .iso files and has a nice EPG plug-in for SchedulesDirect (SD has a $20/year fee) for your TV scheduling & program information. You can't switch between window-mode and full-screen with an active VRM9 display (it will most likely hang) but CAN if it's just a plain overlay. OR you can simply configure it to run in Full-screen mode and never know this. Remember where I said quirky?

All in all it's a really good front-end once you take time know how it works. It's OpenSource and free!
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post #16 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 09:18 AM
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I have discovered I need to split my solution across two front ends, but with minimal switching since most of my TV watching is well after the program originally aired.

MediaPortal (with the absolutely necessary MyFilms and MyTVSeries plugins):
ripped DVDs (movies and TV series)
Music
Pictures
Prerecorded TV

GBPVR (with the Community skin so that it looks like MP [which looks like MCE of course]):
Live TV
TV currently being recorded

I don't use MP for playback at all: just a front end. For me, it is MUCH more stable this way. MPC handles playback. The only reason I use GBPVR is that I want to watch/record QAM from my HVR1600. MP can't do this. Plus GBPVR can get free EPG data from CT listings.
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post #17 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

I liked xlobby because I could get it to automatically launch an ISO as long as their were no menus but I lost some funtionality on the DVD which is why I went back to windows xp and customized it.

I'm curious as to why you couldn't navigate a DVD menu with that setup. I don't use ISO's (I use video_ts files), but I can navigate a dvd menu. I use zoomplayer for dvd playback and girder to handle all the xlobby-zoomplayer-remote communication. Has worked flawlessly for quite some time now. I also use DVD Profiler to get all the profiles and cover art. That gets exported into xlobby.
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post #18 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post

I'm curious as to why you couldn't navigate a DVD menu with that setup. I don't use ISO's (I use video_ts files), but I can navigate a dvd menu. I use zoomplayer for dvd playback and girder to handle all the xlobby-zoomplayer-remote communication. Has worked flawlessly for quite some time now. I also use DVD Profiler to get all the profiles and cover art. That gets exported into xlobby.

Just about every DVD player program that I have used has hickups when when directly playing an ISO with menus without first mounting it.

As I said, I really like the later versions of Xlobby, but they keep expiring after about 10 minutes as they are not available anymore.

I am capable of programming these and am very savy, but I am also much busier than I used to be. I am just looking for a solution that I will not have to spend days and weeks tweaking.

If MCE 2005 will do what I am looking for, I would spend the money for it but it isn't like MS will refund me if it doesn't work as I wanted it too.

In Xlobby, I was able to set up the ISOs to show under my movies with the DVD cover art. You would click on the cover and the ISO would load. I went back hoping that I could figure out a way to get it to mount and then load with one click which I am sure would not be that hard.

I was basically trying to get it to work the same way that does for divx files.

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post #19 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

J River Media Center. I love this program for organising all my media and playing it back well, as well as presenting a very slick front end. I'm not affiliated with J River at all, but sometimes feel like I am due to my satisfaction with the program.
One of its biggest advantages is the support forum and how often the software is updated. An example: I'm still a newb, but when I requested that users should be able to take a screenshot of DVD playback (just like you could with most other video formats), it was introduced into the newest release within a week.
It also plays back any format that Directshow or Quicktime is compatible with, and works with audio and photo files too. See the thread about front end screenshots for more.


You're missing the point of this thread, ie xlobby and meedios both went commericial which is what J River Media Center is...

Edit: OP is looking for either commerical or non commericial frontends...
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post #20 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncertainty View Post

You're missing the point of this thread, ie xlobby and meedios both when commericial which is what J River Media Center is...

Ummmm... I am the OP.

I am just trying to figure out what to use now that Xlobby and meedios are out.

I will definitely try meedios. But it seems XPs Media center "front end" looks viable as well.

I have no problem with commercial products.. but you cannot buy xlobby 3. It is only available to companies. And Meedios sold out to yahoo and is no longer available as well. It does not have to be free. I have no problem paying.. a reasonable amount.

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post #21 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncertainty View Post

You're missing the point of this thread, ie xlobby and meedios both when commericial which is what J River Media Center is...

I am not following your logic?
Meedio was commercial, got bought out by yahoo and discontinued, Pablo then released Meedio's code to the Meedio community, and it became Meedios, Meedios is still free last I heard...
XLobby was free, but then decided to go commercial...
JRiver has always been commercial, at least from what I remember... they may of given out beta's for free when they were starting out or something like that, but I think the plan was always to be commercial...

what point did he miss? and did Meedios really die?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #22 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost View Post

I am not following your logic?
Meedio was commercial, got bought out by yahoo and discontinued, Pablo then released Meedio's code to the Meedio community, and it became Meedios, Meedios is still free last I heard...
XLobby was free, but then decided to go commercial...
JRiver has always been commercial, at least from what I remember... they may of given out beta's for free when they were starting out or something like that, but I think the plan was always to be commercial...

what point did he miss? and did Meedios really die?


I didn't realize meedios was released outside later... I would guess it is like the "free" version of xlobby 2... crippled. I will give it a try. I have no problem with commercial products as long as they dont run $100s of dollars. It seemed like half the people on here used xlobby. I am just seeing what everyone is using now.

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post #23 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncertainty View Post

You're missing the point of this thread, ie xlobby and meedios both when commericial which is what J River Media Center is...

It did cross my mind when i posted my recommendation. The OP later confirmed that it was okay.
The 30 day trial was free and allowed downloading the newest version at any time. I too didn't want to pay for my organiser, btu after the trial I was hooked. It takes some time to learn some of the features, and I still know less than 50% of it!
It's good value at $40. One of the features I love is the combining playlists. I can make playlists of movies from several different drives and just combine them into one "All Movies" list. Or I can create any type of field I want and label accordingly, even use these labels to rename the files on the hard drive too.

Now all my movie files appear as [Movie name] [resolution] [source] [video codec] [audio codec] [number of channels].

e.g. G:\\Movies\\The Chronicles of Riddick 1080p HD-DVD h264 AC3 5.1.mkv

In the future should I lose my settings I can just use the "fill in properties from filename command" for all my media after I define how I name my files.

One problem with the software is that it doesn't play ISO files without mounting them first, which is somethign a lot of people want to see in the next major release. It does a great job with video_ts folders though.
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post #24 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! I downloaded the trial version of j river on my laptop. The theater mode is alot like xlobby... but alot more refined. I don't have any ISOs on here now. Will it play those or no?

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post #25 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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No, j river doesn't seem to support direct iso playback either.

It is ashame. It is a nice frontend as well. Maybe I will send them a request asking if it is possible.

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post #26 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I went back and looked over the older versions of xlobby. It is a little more archaic than the newer releases but it seems to do the same thing.. just without the scrolling icons like media portal has now.

I am going to sound like an idiot, but I didn't realize you bring up the setup by pressing [F2]. the version that I used in the summer had a tab for setup.

It will still be nice to enable the newer versions.

What I like about xlobby 2 is the ability to put an iso and jpg of the cover in a folder and have xlobby just show the cover. Then the click opens the iso. I am sure I can tweak it to get it to auto mount.

Does the open source meedios do this as well or does it work differently.

I tried using media portal, but alot of the stuff it installed tried to overright what I had on my system. I had to remove it to make it work correctly again.

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post #27 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

I tried using media portal, but alot of the stuff it installed tried to overright what I had on my system. I had to remove it to make it work correctly again.

Just out of curiosity, did you get it from the official site. I know they have had problems with others adding things to it like spyware (since it's open source) and then distributing the modified version. This is what caused the "MEDIAPORTAL HAS SPYWARE!!!!" scare of a while back.

I'm not saying that this was what your bad experience was though...it's just an idea.
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post #28 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

No, j river doesn't seem to support direct iso playback either.

It is ashame. It is a nice frontend as well. Maybe I will send them a request asking if it is possible.

It is possible, but you have to learn a bit about JRMC. Here's one person's walkthrough. Once you do that, you can see ISOs in Theater View, assign cover art and play them (actually it's first automounting and then playing the image). It's been requested that JRMC 13 automatically hande this and import ISOs like it does DVD files (IFO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by from JRiver Wiki View Post

ISO file
It is slightly more work to playback ISO files in MC.

Download and install Virtual clone Drive software - it is free.
Enable shell integration feature of virtual clone drive.
Open the folder that contains the .iso file in Windows Explorer. Make sure that when you double-click on .iso file it is mounted on your virtual drive. If shell integration is enabled in virtual clone drive then the file should mount on virtual drive upon double clicking it in windows explorer.
Drag and drop the .iso file or the folder that contains .iso files to MC window. Or, right click on the folder containing .iso file and click on Media Center -> Import (assuming that the shell integration feature of MC is enabled). MC will import all the .iso files in its library.
These .iso files are visible under Documents in MC. Double click on the .iso file inside MC. This should mount the file on the virtual drive. You can set-up MC to start playing DVD automatically in full-screen mode (Display View) when DVD is inserted. If you have setup MC this way, DVD should also start playing in full-screen mode when you double click the .iso file inside MC.
The .iso files can also show up under Video in Theater View. To do this, change the Video view scheme to include both Video and Documents data type. In Standard View, there are three Audio, Images and Video buttons on the left. Right click on Video button and select "Edit View Scheme". This will pop up a dialog box where you can select Media Type under Step 4 (at the bottom of the window). By default it would have Media Type: Video. Click on Video there and select "Edit (with wizard)". This would show a Media Type window. In that select both Data and Video and click OK. Now, the View Scheme window should show Media Type: Data, Video. Click OK. Now, when you click on Video in theater view you should see all documents in it too. If you have other documents than .iso files in your documents tree (such as .txt etc. files) then you should get rid of them if you don't want them to be seen in theater view.

Since recent MC12 versions (12.0.251 and later), it is now possible to assign cover art to .ISO files as well. In order to do this, edit the "Media Type" tag of the .ISO file to Video. Now, assign cover art to .ISO file as you would normally do. Now, change the "Media Type" tag of the .ISO File to Data. You will have cover art assigned to the .ISO file now and you should be able to play the .ISO file as well.

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post #29 of 82 Old 01-08-2008, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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It is possible, but you have to learn a bit about JRMC. Here's one person's walkthrough. Once you do that, you can see ISOs in Theater View, assign cover art and play them (actually it's first automounting and then playing the image). It's been requested that JRMC 13 automatically hande this and import ISOs like it does DVD files (IFO).

Interesting. I will have to give this a go. Maybe this is what I have been looking for. $40 really isn't that bad either for a frontend. I remember reading that xlobby 3 would cost you $200 and you had to get it within a 2 week window. $40 is not bad at all.

As I said, the way it works is really neat looking and is very professional looking.

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Interesting. I will have to give this a go. Maybe this is what I have been looking for. $40 really isn't that bad either for a frontend. I remember reading that xlobby 3 would cost you $200 and you had to get it within a 2 week window. $40 is not bad at all.

As I said, the way it works is really neat looking and is very professional looking.

If you have any other specific questions about JRMC, ask them here:
Interact forum. Some amazing people who help out a lot (like glynor) frequent the forum.

Great FAQ explaining more features, including iPod integration

glynor wrote this directshow guide that first got me into JRMC. It was the first time I understood the codecs, filters etc. It can be read by anyone and isn't really specific to JRMC.


Also, a getting started guide.
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