Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:38 am

Hi,

I am searching an other media center than XBMC : it is a powerfull tool, does lot of stuff but maybe too much... My main complains:
*Too big : Not really designed to be embbeded in small projects like rPi (CPU/RAM/HDD)
*No USB sound card support : I want to have spdif output to use my amplifier's DAC

Lot of functions like scraper's usage are great, but not mandatory...

So, is there a lightweight media center (maybe based on vlc or omxplayer) other than xbmc ? Because when I google it I can't have another answer...


Thank you !

PiNoob
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:36 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:47 pm

Have you tried OpenELEC? Apparently that's less bloated. Then there's XBian, which is still in beta.

What do you want it to do exactly? Play stored videos? Music? Videos? Play DVD's? Photos? Stream things from the internet or a TV tuner?

I believe a lot of those things if not all of them are possible from Raspbian, and it is in fact something I am working on now, though I am many months from having it done. I'm writing a blog charting my journey here http://benjaminalexander.co.uk/rpinoob/.

masterluke
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:26 pm

Xbian and Openelec have much the same perceived limitations as those you have stated. Depends upon your definition of media centre and (as above) exactly what you want to achieve.

Edit.. all these media centres are based upon omxplayer to get the hardware video decode. There IS an xwindows GUI for omxplayer which may be what you are after, but its very basic ( I can't remember the name of it though!)

gkreidl
Posts: 6220
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:06 pm

I've created something like that, a media player / server that I have been using instead of my Popcornhour compatible player for months now. It is based on Minimal Kiosk Browser and my streaming media server Edna++ (not published yet). I use it with a lightweight window manager without booting to the desktop. Omxplayer is used for all kinds of audio & video including youtube.

But there is no usb sound card support, as omxplayer does not support it. Only way to get SPDIF output is via HDMI (audio splitter).

It's less fancy than XMBC but much faster and gives me everything I need including reading Ebooks (PDF). I also use it for watching TV, but the TV server is running on another computer (sat and dvb-t). I already tested it on my RPi and got it to work.

You can run all kind of additional programs, as Minimal Kiosk Browser can be used to start other programs (via special links or from the URL entry line). And you have full access to the internet.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:55 pm

PiNoob : Openelec, Xbian and Raspmc are based on XBMC ;)

So I want to use the "media center" for video (from HDD), music (HDD and internet), and maybe use an I2C fm radio chip I have.
I want to control it with a smartphone (app or webapp) and, in the future, with an IR remote.

VLC can do that but the default webserver is everything but friendly

In fact I use the rPi for a lot of other things
* Webserver
* Weather logging & forecast
* Internet radio player (could be integrated in the media center)
* Database for my home automation
* Plan to port my home automation from a µC, and maybe voice recognition

I never connected the video out of the rPi (used by ssh) but I just bought a new TV with HDMI so I am searching how to use it without disturbing all my other projects.

gkreidl : I will take a look at your solution but I am wondering do it myself too ;). For omxplayer I need to check because I thought I used it for my TTS scripts but it maybe be another software.

gkreidl
Posts: 6220
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:18 pm

omxplayer is the only chance to play video (uses the GPU). VLC can be used for audio playback, but will need 3 times as much processor power as omxplayer; that's why I prefer it for music, too.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:27 pm

So there is no way to use GPU+SPDIF without additionnal hardware component ? Sounds weird :lol:

masterluke
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:47 pm

The only digital audio output is over HDMI. USB sound cards can give you more digital outputs, but they are unsupported by the only player which supports GPU video decode. Even if USB sound cards were supported by omxplayer there would probably be lipsync issues.

PiNoob
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:36 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:06 pm

Sorry for my nooby post (hence my name) I read XMBC in the first post as RaspBMC...

Setting the RPi up a a DLNA renderer and using BubbleuPnP on your Android device will accomplish some of what you want (playing from HDD - assuming you set that up as a DLNA server too). There's plenty of guides around to set it up, I mean to write up my experience of it too but haven't got around to it.

I *think* you can stream from the internet via that too though you may need another program (MPD?).

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:21 pm

The only digital audio output is over HDMI
Thank you, I just checked HDMI splitter price... It is cheaper to by a dedicated media center HDD...

I saw that some people are searching with pulseaudio but I don't think that I have enough knowledge for such way :oops:

By the way if somebody knows a media center even with analogical audio :)

PiNoob : Don't worry, my HDD is connected to the rPi via USB, but setting up a DLNA server could be an idea, but maybe complicated for random music playlists. And I will not use only Android devices ;)

masterluke
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:54 pm

Pulse audio may well be an option in the future, but is not supported by omxplayer at the moment so no hardware video decode. Its fine if you just want audio however.

The other possibility is hardware video decode in mplayer or vlc or similar, but I don't think this is coming anytime soon.

surfatwork
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:26 am

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:10 pm

You could setup
1. Gmediarender as a uPnP renderer
2. Mpd as an audio player (local/network)
3. shairport for AirPlay
4. rygel to stream over the network (when you cant stream over uPnP). I use it, for example, to stream what I am listening to on my laptop to my Pi, which is connected to my powered speakers. Of course, rygel runs on my laptop, not on the Pi.

I run all of the above (except rygel) on Arch, headless with alsa. i dont use pulseaudio on the Pi.
If you wanted video as well, you could quite easily use an LXDE or XFCE desktop outputting to your TV over hdmi.
There is a topic in the arch forum on correctly installing omxplayer to run under Arch with alsa.

NoiseAgent
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:45 am

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:13 am

RasPlex is an option. I mean technically its a re-working of XBMC and you have to use the Plex media server on you regular PC and then the RasPlex looks at that for the video listings and updates. The folder listening is much better that RaspMC or OpenElec.

I guess you could just load the Plex client on raspian and access the html interface, though I haven't tested it so I am not sure about it's performance.

Though I have found Xbian to be the smoothest and requires the least amount of over clocking. Though with any media center I have used(all of them as far as I can tell) the GPU split is more important that the CPU overclock.

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:17 am

masterluke wrote:The other possibility is hardware video decode in mplayer or vlc or similar, but I don't think this is coming anytime soon.
I saw some work to use OpenMAX with vlc, maybe I'll take a look but I think it is overskill for me... After some search, an other way could to use Gstreamer...
I am really surprised that so many people are happy to use XBMC with the analogical audio :roll:

surfatwork : I forgot to mention that I already use Shairport, works great :) . uPnP il an idea but seems not to be the right solution for me : The rPi render and server, so there is again the problem of harware decoding...
By the way it is great to know that omxplayer can work with alsa under Archlinux :D

NoiseAgent : The aim is to avoid to have a computer running 24/24 ;)

Thank you all for yours advices

masterluke
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:49 pm

Oliv' wrote:
masterluke wrote:I saw some work to use OpenMAX with vlc, maybe I'll take a look but I think it is overskill for me... After some search, an other way could to use Gstreamer...
I am really surprised that so many people are happy to use XBMC with the analogical audio :roll:
Would be very interested to hear if anyone has got a working solution for hardware decode under vlc or gstreamer. Got any links?

I think most people use hdmi audio one way or another, be it through the tv's speakers, an av amp, or an hdmi splitter. It does seem a bit bonkers to have high quality 1080p video and (worse that normal) analogue audio.

gkreidl
Posts: 6220
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:33 pm

masterluke wrote: I think most people use hdmi audio one way or another, be it through the tv's speakers, an av amp, or an hdmi splitter. It does seem a bit bonkers to have high quality 1080p video and (worse that normal) analogue audio.
Another possibility: HDMI Monitor with built-in speakers, which are crappy of course, but you can use the audio output instead and connect them to good analog speakers.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:42 pm

masterluke wrote:Would be very interested to hear if anyone has got a working solution for hardware decode under vlc or gstreamer. Got any links?
This one, the guy has an error :

Code: Select all

[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug:   COMPARISON: OMX.broadcom.write_still == OMX.broadcom.video_decode (25)
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug:   - no roles for the component!
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: found 1 matching components for role OMX.broadcom.video_decode
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: - OMX.broadcom.video_decode
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: loaded component OMX.broadcom.video_decode
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: couldn't find an input and output port
[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: no component could be initialised
I think he focuses on "[0x444004d8] omxil decoder debug: couldn't find an input and output port " but if we look at VLC code :

Code: Select all

omx_error = OMX_ComponentRoleEnum(omx_handle, psz_role, 0);
    [b]if(omx_error == OMX_ErrorNone)
        msg_Dbg(p_dec, "loaded component %s of role %s", psz_component, psz_role);
    else
        msg_Dbg(p_dec, "loaded component %s", psz_component);
    PrintOmx(p_dec, omx_handle, OMX_ALL);[/b]

    /* Set component role */
    OMX_INIT_STRUCTURE(role);
    strcpy((char*)role.cRole,
           GetOmxRole(p_sys->b_enc ? p_dec->fmt_out.i_codec : p_dec->fmt_in.i_codec,
                      p_dec->fmt_in.i_cat, p_sys->b_enc));

    omx_error = OMX_SetParameter(omx_handle, OMX_IndexParamStandardComponentRole,
                                 &role);
    omx_error = OMX_GetParameter(omx_handle, OMX_IndexParamStandardComponentRole,
                                 &role);
    if(omx_error == OMX_ErrorNone)
        msg_Dbg(p_dec, "component standard role set to %s", role.cRole);

    /* Find the input / output ports */
    OMX_INIT_STRUCTURE(param);
    OMX_INIT_STRUCTURE(definition);
    omx_error = OMX_GetParameter(omx_handle, p_dec->fmt_in.i_cat == VIDEO_ES ?
                                 OMX_IndexParamVideoInit : OMX_IndexParamAudioInit, &param);
    if(omx_error != OMX_ErrorNone) param.nPorts = 0;

    for(i = 0; i < param.nPorts; i++)
    {
        OmxPort *p_port;

        /* Get port definition */
        definition.nPortIndex = param.nStartPortNumber + i;
        omx_error = OMX_GetParameter(omx_handle, OMX_IndexParamPortDefinition,
                                     &definition);
        if(omx_error != OMX_ErrorNone) continue;

        if(definition.eDir == OMX_DirInput) p_port = &p_sys->in;
        else  p_port = &p_sys->out;

        p_port->b_valid = true;
        p_port->i_port_index = definition.nPortIndex;
        p_port->definition = definition;
        p_port->omx_handle = omx_handle;
    }

    if(!p_sys->in.b_valid || !p_sys->out.b_valid)
    {
        omx_error = OMX_ErrorInvalidComponent;
        CHECK_ERROR(omx_error, "couldn't find an input and output port");
    }
there is an error earlier because the debbug log is "omxil decoder debug: loaded component OMX.broadcom.video_decode", and this is generated by the first part of the code. So the return of "omx_error = OMX_ComponentRoleEnum(omx_handle, psz_role, 0);" has an error, we need to find which. More over, there is no debbug for "component standard role set to %s", so component role is not set too. I think I will not have the time to test it today, maybe tomorrow.
masterluke wrote:I think most people use hdmi audio one way or another, be it through the tv's speakers, an av amp, or an hdmi splitter. It does seem a bit bonkers to have high quality 1080p video and (worse that normal) analogue audio.
Oh, av amp has HDMI know... I feel dumb, I forgot this case !

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:44 pm

gkreidl wrote:Another possibility: HDMI Monitor with built-in speakers, which are crappy of course, but you can use the audio output instead and connect them to good analog speakers.
Yes but monitor's DAC is usually not so good too ;)

masterluke
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:29 pm

I actually bought a new av amp (Onkyo TX-SR313 ) to get decent quality sound. I could have a splitter for 60euro or a new amp for 200 which does so much more. My 25dollar pi is working out expensive :)
I was thinking about upgrading my old non-hdmi amp anyway but this was a good excuse.

A monitor's DAC would likely be a lot better than the onboard audio.

Good detective work there Oliv. I'm sure there would be a lot of interested people if you were able to get pi openmax working on vlc.

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:15 pm

masterluke wrote:I'm sure there would be a lot of interested people if you were able to get pi openmax working on vlc.
Yes, they would be but it is more complicated than I taught…

It took me a lot of time to be able to compile vlc with OpenMAX support and add some ugly tweaks to have same level than in the thread I mentioned before…

So here I am, the error is "OMX_ErrorNoMore", " /** No more indicies can be enumerated */", which seems to be generated by OMX_ComponentNameEnum() from Broadcom's library.

I am far away from my skills so I will have a look at how it really works between vlc and Broadcom's library but it will take time…

Edit : 5 minutes after…I found the prototype in OpenMAX IL documentation:

Code: Select all

OMX_ERRORTYPE (*ComponentRoleEnum)( OMX_IN OMX_HANDLETYPE hComponent,
OMX_OUT OMX_STRING cRole, OMX_IN U32 nIndex);
The index VLC use is 0, but it is out of range :shock: . I still think that it is possible, but it will require lot of work ;)

macey
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:52 am

gkreidl wrote:...........You can run all kind of additional programs, as Minimal Kiosk Browser can be used to start other programs (via special links or from the URL entry line). And you have full access to the internet.
Are you saying that you use "Minimal Kiosk Browser" to access omxplayer?
If so, does it allow omxplayer to use playlists?

gkreidl
Posts: 6220
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:03 am

macey wrote: Are you saying that you use "Minimal Kiosk Browser" to access omxplayer?
If so, does it allow omxplayer to use playlists?
Yes, but only m3u for now (not pls).

In the forthcoming version 1.1 there are some more option which will also allow to play m3u files containing only audio in a separate process without blanking the screen with omxplayer or optionally with VLC.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

Oliv'
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:11 am

Hi !

When I was searching for an other issue to use VLC with the rPi I found out that somebody already did the job, and ways beautiful more than me...

By the way it should be included in VLC 2.1 which should be released soon :D :D

macey
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:22 am

gkreidl wrote:
macey wrote: Are you saying that you use "Minimal Kiosk Browser" to access omxplayer?
If so, does it allow omxplayer to use playlists?
Yes, but only m3u for now (not pls).

In the forthcoming version 1.1 there are some more option which will also allow to play m3u files containing only audio in a separate process without blanking the screen with omxplayer or optionally with VLC.
I run a headless media centre (no X running).
Could I run "MKB" in this mode or do I need to run an X session?

gkreidl
Posts: 6220
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:07 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Other media center than XBMC

Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01 am

You'll need an X-session and a (small) window manager. I use matchbox-window-manager and start X with a kiosk file like this
xinit ./kiosk

where kiosk is something like this:
#!/bin/sh
matchbox-window-manager &
kweb -options

where options is a list of chars for configurattion, like 'k' for kiosk mode, kexboard control chars etc.

When you close the browser, X-session is terminated.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

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