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The Transition from Media Browser to XBMC

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've been using Media Browser for almost 3 years now, and Mymovies for 4 years before that. I have thousands of movies neatly organized with full xml metadata, posters and backgrounds I tediously picked out. One of my favorite things to do is to personally pick out the movie posters for my collection. I also have tons of TV Shows that have been organized and named using Media Center Master, Media Scout, and MetaBrowser.

That being said, I'm trying to make the transition to XBMC and I'm finding it difficult.

First: After struggling to get XBMC to recognize my TV Shows, I realized my Tv show naming scheme is all wrong for XBMC. It turns out every episode needs to have the season and the episode number in the file name. Currently I have the episodes in a folder called Season 0X, with the name of each episode as the file name. And in Media Browser format, each season has a metadata folder. Well XBMC doesn't recognize this set up. With over 4TBs of television shows, I'm a bit apprehensive in renaming each episode and downloading all new metadata. Also, when I added the movies to XBMC it refused to use my existing metadata and instead downloaded it's own movie posters. Some were even foreign..grrrr. I would prefer to use my own metadata since I personally picked it out.

Second: The first thing I tried to do when I first installed XBMC was to recreate the Media Browser wall of posters look. In MB you're able to customize the size of the posters and spacing between posters. I loved this feature. Also, in MB you're able to click on a poster and read the info and decide if you want to play the movie or not. I can't figure out how to do this in XBMC. I messed around with some skins and got aggravated. The popular Aeon skin doesn't even allow me to use a mouse. I was able to get the wall of posters look with Aeon skin, but the posters were too small. I also couldn't figure out how to click for movie info. Some forums posts reiterated that some skins are meant to be used with a remote, but I prefer my DiNovo Edge.

Last: No live TV. The setups I've read about sound cumbersome. Is there a way to get a reliable working live television setup working on XBMC?

Advice or tips for a long-time HTPCer would be appreciated. If you've gone through the same transition I'd like to hear how you did it.

Thanks.
post #2 of 20
hmmm.. I switched from MB to XBMC and I didn't bother to rename any TV shows - it's still just \\TV Show\\Season ##\\## - Episode ## (without the season in the episode filename). XBMC recognised them all out of the box, which probably isn't much use to you admittedly.

If you're not getting on well with XBMC's internal scrapers, Media Center Master has an option to generate XBMC-compatible metadata which will be automatically picked up and used... there's a checkbox somewhere in the list of options, but I uninstalled MCM a while back and can't remember exactly where it is. It can also rename your files to an XBMC-friendly scheme if this should be necessary, as you probably know.

As for OTA TV, I wouldn't even touch that with XBMC at the present stage of development... W7MC mostly "just works", which is the main thing you want in a PVR if you're at all familiar with the "why can't we just have a normal TV?" refrain from your other half.

On a general note, coming from MB I did find XBMC confusing and counterintuitive at first, and the documentation (when you can find it) somewhat lacking, so you're not alone. I think it will do most if not all of what you want, you really just have to take plenty of time to explore the various views and their associated options, with frequent expletives along the way when the buttons/keys you press don't do what you expect.
post #3 of 20
There is very good documentation out there on how to use both xbmc and media browser.

Step by step and illustrated even.
post #4 of 20
When I first switched, I was just viewing my TV share as a favorite and disabling the TV Library. That way naming and metadata didn't matter and I didn't care about posters or synopsis's.
Then I discovered sickbeard, I dumped all my TV shows in a temp folder, told sickbeard what shows I watched and pointed it to that folder. It Renamed, copied them back to my TV share, downloaded the Metadata, and updated my XBMC Library to reflect. It really changed the way I handle TV episodes.
post #5 of 20
I am confused, if MediaBrowser works better with metadata and live tv then why switch to XBMC? What am I missing?
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrillho View Post

When I first switched, I was just viewing my TV share as a favorite and disabling the TV Library. That way naming and metadata didn't matter and I didn't care about posters or synopsis's.
Then I discovered sickbeard, I dumped all my TV shows in a temp folder, told sickbeard what shows I watched and pointed it to that folder. It Renamed, copied them back to my TV share, downloaded the Metadata, and updated my XBMC Library to reflect. It really changed the way I handle TV episodes.

That's a really smart idea. theRenamer is another option to rename shows.

Btw, there is a PVR branch for XBMC, but it's not complete. I actually messed with it over the weekend, and it's definitely not ready for prime time. Very buggy. My understanding is that XBMC 12.0 is suppose to focus on the PVR branch, but who knows when that will come out. You don't quite appreciate the stability of WMC until you try something else!

There's also mediaportal, which has liveTV support and is based on XBMC (I think). I haven't tried it myself though.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sur View Post

I am confused, if MediaBrowser works better with metadata and live tv then why switch to XBMC? What am I missing?

I have nothing against MediaBrowser as such - the main reason I switched in the first place is that WMC's handling of a music library is rather... errr... basic, and MediaBrowser doesn't (yet) add anything useful in that department. Once I had XBMC installed for audio purposes, I had a fiddle with it and eventually decided I might as well use it for video as well (except OTA TV, which is handled by W7MC), making MediaBrowser redundant.

I wouldn't say MediaBrowser works better with metadata, I think it's really just a matter of getting things set up right in each case.

MediaPortal would have been another option, but I've never been able to get it working reliably with live/recorded TV (probably my fault, but I don't have the time, patience or inclination to investigate further), and without that capability it doesn't really have anything to offer over XBMC.
post #8 of 20
Thanks for the clarification. As I build my HTPC over the next week, this forum will prove invaluable!
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sur View Post

I am confused, if MediaBrowser works better with metadata and live tv then why switch to XBMC? What am I missing?

For me it's the way it integrates with the iPad. I was sold on XBMC when I watched a video showing someone browsing their entire movie collection on the iPad, with descriptions and folder art, and then just hit play when they found what they wanted to watch. Once the movie started they had full control on the iPad. It blew me away. I also like that it's a stand alone option. It starts up in seconds and has a clean look. If I can just learn how to properly customize it, I think I'd be happy.
post #10 of 20
The MyMovies app does that also, albeit, for a couple of $$.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucifer1977 View Post

The MyMovies app does that also, albeit, for a couple of $$.

Does it do this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yt8BLdAnp8
post #12 of 20
I came from Mediabrowser as well and loved it for Video but as stated the music handling was horrible, aside from the Library function (or lack thereof) WMC couldn't even handle playback of my Multichannel Flac DVD-A rips. Switched to XBMC and now music handling is great both in organization and playback quality. iPad integration is fantastic, skin support is amazing, and after rethinking the flat folder concept of media handling that I've been stuck on for years, I really see the appeal of metadata for everything and full library organization. Next up is syncing the library DB between my multiple PCs.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrillho View Post

I came from Mediabrowser as well and loved it for Video but as stated the music handling was horrible, aside from the Library function (or lack thereof) WMC couldn't even handle playback of my Multichannel Flac DVD-A rips. Switched to XBMC and now music handling is great both in organization and playback quality. iPad integration is fantastic, skin support is amazing, and after rethinking the flat folder concept of media handling that I've been stuck on for years, I really see the appeal of metadata for everything and full library organization. Next up is syncing the library DB between my multiple PCs.

How did you make the metadata transition from MediaBrowser to XBMC? Did you have to redownload all new metadata or rename all your television files? I'm struggling to find a solution on how to get it to recognize all my television files. Renaming every video file would ages.
post #14 of 20
I used MediaBrowser AND Media Center Master. I found MCM to be so much better at handling all of my meta-data. The only thing I had to do was tell MCM to create the XBMC files. It didn't re-download anything - it just used the existing data to create the nfo files and such. It took a day, tops.

I also use Sickbeard to organize my TV shows. Between MCM and Sickbeard - gathering meta-data for a variety of Media extenders/media extenders/media tanks is a breeze.

This is on my library of about 12TB of video media (a little over 6k tv episodes, around 5TB & another 6.5TB of movies - mixed HD & SD). I spent more time on my XBMC skin than I did converting any meta-data.

~Whip
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipdancer View Post

I used MediaBrowser AND Media Center Master. I found MCM to be so much better at handling all of my meta-data. The only thing I had to do was tell MCM to create the XBMC files. It didn't re-download anything - it just used the existing data to create the nfo files and such. It took a day, tops.

I also use Sickbeard to organize my TV shows. Between MCM and Sickbeard - gathering meta-data for a variety of Media extenders/media extenders/media tanks is a breeze.

This is on my library of about 12TB of video media (a little over 6k tv episodes, around 5TB & another 6.5TB of movies - mixed HD & SD). I spent more time on my XBMC skin than I did converting any meta-data.

~Whip

Thanks for the reply. I also have around 12TB of video media. My television shows make up around 4TB and I have close to 8TB of movies DVD & HD. I have very well organized existing metadata for everything in my collection, with hand selected poster art and backgrounds. So I think we're on the same boat here.

I also use MCM, but when I asked it to create XBMC files it went through the entire list of movies and said "skipped". And it wouldn't even try with the television shows. Any tips?
post #16 of 20
Hi doesn't have time right now but I can elaborate more on this later if you need it...
It shouldn't be too difficult to pick up your existing posters/fanarts and make xbmc recognize your existing naming scheme.
Take a look at:
wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Userdata/advancedsettings.xml

- 3.19
- 3.35 (posters)
- 3.36 (fanarts)

The second option is to rename your existing fanart as fanart.jpg and posters as folder.jpg. XBMC should automatically pick them up when scanning/downloading for metadata.

For easy renaming you can give a try to filebot:
filebot.sourceforge.net

What is your structure/naming scheme?

Sorry, I'm not yet allowed to post urls
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipdancer View Post

I used MediaBrowser AND Media Center Master. I found MCM to be so much better at handling all of my meta-data. The only thing I had to do was tell MCM to create the XBMC files. It didn't re-download anything - it just used the existing data to create the nfo files and such. It took a day, tops.

I also use Sickbeard to organize my TV shows. Between MCM and Sickbeard - gathering meta-data for a variety of Media extenders/media extenders/media tanks is a breeze.

This is on my library of about 12TB of video media (a little over 6k tv episodes, around 5TB & another 6.5TB of movies - mixed HD & SD). I spent more time on my XBMC skin than I did converting any meta-data.

~Whip

So wait, you use Sickbeard to monitor the Recorded TV folder, where it renamed them and sticks it back into the same folder? You then point XBMC to it, use the TV Show and it has all the metadata from thetvdb?

I have TV Archive automatically move some Recorded TV files to the server's Recorded TV folder.

I think I'm going to do a fresh install of Windows since I am now having problems with the XBMC You Tube add-on of repeating what I just watched and all my subscriptions not showing up...

I moved to XBMC to consolidate streaming and possible solidify console emulation, along with eye candy for TV Series and Movies.

At this point its about 50% where I want it. If you asked me a week ago, it was closer to 80% with only ESPN3 script error unsolved, ROM Browser not configured and You Tube add-on working just the way I wanted. But that started to unravel this past weekend....

I am hoping a fresh install of everything will solve most of these problems, though the ESPN3 is a constant one for some reason.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulogne75 View Post

Hi doesn't have time right now but I can elaborate more on this later if you need it...
It shouldn't be too difficult to pick up your existing posters/fanarts and make xbmc recognize your existing naming scheme.
Take a look at:
wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Userdata/advancedsettings.xml

- 3.19
- 3.35 (posters)
- 3.36 (fanarts)

The second option is to rename your existing fanart as fanart.jpg and posters as folder.jpg. XBMC should automatically pick them up when scanning/downloading for metadata.

For easy renaming you can give a try to filebot:
filebot.sourceforge.net

What is your structure/naming scheme?

Sorry, I'm not yet allowed to post urls

I use TheRenamer as its directly linked to thetvdb.com and moviedb.com. It will also fetch information from IMDB if needed.

How is filebot easy when its not linked to any database for which to correctly name files as seen by the database, not some structure you saw on Media Browser/XBMC forums?
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by James_stewart View Post

How did you make the metadata transition from MediaBrowser to XBMC? Did you have to redownload all new metadata or rename all your television files? I'm struggling to find a solution on how to get it to recognize all my television files. Renaming every video file would ages.

If you use Media Center Master; click on Themes, Choose XBMC.
post #20 of 20
You could maybe have a look at JRiver Media Center too. The 10' interface is getting better. It handles just about any audio format out there, does live/recorded TV as well.

I came from a WMC/MB build for years and switched to Media Center last fall.
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