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Windows Media Center Recording Storage Pooler

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Windows Media Center Recording Storage Pooler

I've created a new utility I'm calling, for lack of something more creative, WMC Recording Storage Pooler.

Download WMC Recording Storage Pooler

WMC Recording Storage Pooler creates a drive pool out of multiple storage drives to use for Recorded TV in Windows Media Center.

What is does

Based on a time interval you decide, the software checks a list of drives you provide and sets the drive with the most available free space to be the Recording Storage location. Any new recordings will be saved to the new drive location, while any current recordings will finish at the old location. When another drive has more available free space, it will become the new Recording Storage drive.

WMC Recording Storage Pooler will create a storage pool from any number of drives, and can change the Recording Storage location at any frequency of 1 or more minutes.

I'm rather new to WMC, but it seems there hasn't been an easy way to create a drive pool out of several storage drives for use as the Recording Storage for WMC's Recorded TV.

If I'm missing something about drive pooling with WMC, please let me know.
post #2 of 17
Kudos for effort, but if you have that many drives that you need to worry about "pooling", it may be better to actually use a proper pooling solution, like WHS. With PP3 it has enhanced processing for TV recordings and will sweep your WMC and move the recordings to the server automatically. And the server uses a drive pool.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the heads up - I'm aware of the WHS functionality, but I wasn't interested in setting up another server for WHS, when my WMC HTPC is supposed to be my media server.

And it's not that I have that many drives, I just have more than one. Coming up with a solution to balance the Recorded TV across different drives over time was a lot easier than buying, building, and configuring a whole other system to move and manage recordings.
post #4 of 17
Either that or use iSCSI and record directly over the network.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Certainly if you want to record off to another storage location over the network, iSCSI seems like a good solution.

I was looking for something to balance recordings on local storage, not set up a separate storage rig.

I'm a software developer, so when I want to solve a problem, I tend to develop software. That's often the quickest solution for me. That's the top tool in my toolbox.

When you hold a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
post #6 of 17
oh, nothing wrong with your solution. Its actually pretty cool.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDeus View Post


I'm a software developer, so when I want to solve a problem, I tend to develop software. That's often the quickest solution for me. That's the top tool in my toolbox.

don't you have a problem with remote guide scheduling and recording?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

don't you have a problem with remote guide scheduling and recording?

I've been satisfied with Remote Potato thus far.
post #9 of 17
Digging up an ancient thread here...

So if I use Windows Media Center Recording Storage Pooler and only point it to a network location, it will record only to one location... That location being on the network?
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
^ That's correct, though I haven't tested the scenario of using a single network drive specifically.

Just make sure you can read/write to the network share, so it requires read/write/delete for Everyone, or follow the instructions on my site to set up the user account correctly.

Also keep in mind that a single broadcast stream can be up to 19.2Mbps. So with two tuners, you're potentially near 40Mbps, plus the overhead of the Ethernet, TCP/IP, SMB protocols, etc. So you're going to want Gigabit Ethernet at some number of tuners from 2-4. With the use of GigE, you can also use jumbo frames (9k per GigE payload vs. 1.5k for 100mb/10mb) which will be more efficient for large file transfers like writing broadcast streams.
post #11 of 17
Yeah it'll be gigabit. I'll look into jumbo frames as well. I know its OT, but since it sounds like you have experience with it, do you know if that's an Ethernet adapter thing, an OS thing, a router thing, or some combination of these?

Network location is a samba share on ubuntu... It's currently configured so that anyone on my network can connect to it, read, and write, so that shouldn't be a problem.

My backup plan is to set aside one of the drives that makes up that network storage for iscsi. Hopefully it doesn't come to that though... Would hate to have to spend days moving files around to make sure just one drive is empty.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERamseth View Post

Yeah it'll be gigabit. I'll look into jumbo frames as well. I know its OT, but since it sounds like you have experience with it, do you know if that's an Ethernet adapter thing, an OS thing, a router thing, or some combination of these?

All of the above.

Since Jumbo Frames increase the Message Transfer Unit (MTU --- the payload size per Ethernet frame), each network device needs to support Jumbo Frames to work over that link.

So, look for an MTU setting in your router, look at the drivers for your network adapter in Windows, and change the interface config for your Ubuntu box.

In Windows Device Manager, if you view the Properties dialog for your network adapter, the Advanced tab should have a setting to enable Jumbo Frames or set the MTU to ~9000 bytes, if your adapter and driver supports them.

In Ubuntu, you should be able to enable them then restart the network interface.

To enable it for the eth0 network interface:
Code:
# sudo ifconfig eth0 mtu 9000
To make the change stick on reboot, edit the interfaces file:
Code:
# sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
Add the line:
Code:
MTU 9000
Write and quit in vi, then restart the interface:
Code:
# sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
Check the route to your router for "mtu 9000":
Code:
# ip route get 192.168.1.1

192.168.1.1 dev eth0  src 192.168.1.100
    cache  mtu 9000 advmss 1460 hoplimit 64
post #13 of 17
Wow you rock. Will give this a shot for sure.
post #14 of 17
Hi

Ive been to your webpage and am also trying to record to a single mapped networked drive. Its not working for me. Ive also seen another forum where your solution is being discussed and some problems being discussed.

I realize this was a solution for yourself and your dont want to spend lots of time troubleshooting, but any help would be great.

Heres what Ive tried to no avail:

1) Ive given myself privilidges to the mapped drive
2) Ive pointed your program to that drive
3) Ive taken ownership of the two services, yours and WNC
4) In regedit, Ive edited the WMC record location to be the same as in your program (the mapped drive/Recorded TV)
5) Ive also tried without mapping, giving the direct path to the server storage location
6) Ive also tried including a local drive plus the remote drives in your program and setting srorage location in WMC as the local drive (hoping your program would make WMC use the larger remote drive, but giving WMC a local drive as its default.)

None othe above are working.

Here is the link to the other orum discussing your solution...

http://superuser.com/questions/11123...s-media-center

Thhask very much!!
post #15 of 17
I have also tried getting WMC to record to a network drive to reliably work to no avail. Closest I got was using the symlink method described in this thread, check it out

The method is first described in this post: ewalker ยป Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:19 am

It would work sometimes, then others I would get a "no available tuners" error. I gave up and am currently using the robocopy method and it is reliable so far.

Please let me know if you have any luck!
post #16 of 17
First off, thanks a lot for sharing this app. It's a great solution for my HTPC with three HDDs (two for recording).

My question is about the assigned recording capacity in WMC. I just added a new 3 TB drive, and your app immediately assigned it recording duties. One thing I noticed when going to add all the drives to the list of "watched" folders was that only 2000 GB were assigned to the new drive for recording. I bumped that up to 2500, but that got me thinking about what might happen when the 2 TB drive becomes the recording drive (admittedly, WAY in the future). Will WMC remember the previously set capacity, or is that something I'll need to adjust again?

I suppose I could test that by moving everything on the 2 TB to the 3 TB, thus forcing the switch (I think there are enough recordings to effect the switch), but that seems more trouble than it's worth.

Thanks again :-)
post #17 of 17
Hopefully you're still monitoring this thread :-)

Long-time Beyond TV User who's finally switching away from it ... and going to WMC with a couple of Ceton 4-tuner cards. Your app looks perfect for using 3 or 4 large drives as a storage pool without the need for a RAID controller.

Two questions:

(1) Does WMC still "see" all of the recordings once the storage location is switched to another drive?

(2) Does your app work with Windows 8 with the Media Center Pak? [I'm probably going to use Win7 SP1, but MAY try Windows 8]
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