Mark a XBMC as master - enable autodiscovery of shares and content

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texaco Offline
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Post: #1
Hi, ill try to explain a idea i got after setting up the fourth xbmc installation in this house (dont ask how but i somenhow became a house lord for friends)

Backstory:

But anyway, the setup is based around one computer in the livingroom with all the content (tvshows and movies distributed across 3 harddrives) .this machine acts as a full xbmc but also as the central storage.
The other three installations reads the content from the livingroom over sambashares and all four scrape individually (which is not a problem).

BUT

Each time my buddies want to upgrade their XBMC they have to setup and point to each share and select what content they contain (they usually just shout out my name).

Suggestion:

I want to mark 1 XBMC installation (the one in the livingroom) as a master and enable a way for the other three installations to autodiscover shares and type of content(movies/tvshows). This also enables me in the future to add a new harddrive to the main computer and create a share which the other computers automatically pick up.

All computers still scrape individually but will follow blindly what shares the master has tagged for usage in a "Homesharing" like feature

If someone is interested in developing this i can assist with detailed user stories and further examples Smile
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-12 22:38 by texaco.)
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #2
Just use UPnP.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.


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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #3
UPnP - Easy

MySQL - not so easy, but I like it. Just don't tell jmarshall.

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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texaco Offline
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Post: #4
MySQL is not an option until it is offically supported in stable builds.

UPnP does not deliver the same experience as a manual setup, the user loose library mode and the user still have to point to a folder (movies or tvshows) and define what content the folder found on UPnP contains.

let me write up a scenario for the wanted feature:

Administration:
1.Admin sets up a XBMC and manually add each share and what they contain (tvshows/movies/music etc)
2.Admin enables a option called "Make content available to other XBMC on the network, this machine is now tagged as a Master
-----------------------

User experience, client side
1.User installs XBMC (client) on the same network and at first startup XBMC displays that it has found a "Master" and the user have to make a choice to inherit the shares from this or not.
2.Yes = Master sends the following info (and only) to the User XBMC:
-Shares and what content they are tagged with.
example 1: "smb://server/d/videos/tvshows" and the tag "tvshows"
example 2: "smb://server/d/videos/movies" and the tag "movies"
example 3: "smb://server/f/videos/tvshows" and the tag "movies"
3. The client XBMC then adds these shares the same way as if a user had manually added them (but without the user interaction)
4. The client XBMC is set up and will function like the user had manually added each share. Scraping is handled as normal

Maintanence:
1.Each time the client XBMC starts up it will try to contact the Master and ask if the shares have changed (added or deleted)
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-13 19:53 by texaco.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #5
MySQL has been in stable builds since XBMC v10

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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texaco Offline
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Post: #6
i would not call it a supported feature if the advancedsettings has to be created and edited. The point is to have a simple "just works" solution for multiple xbmc within the same network.
This is a general wish but it would be great if xbmc could lift itself out of the configuration/settings focus and have wizards that are more user friendly.

I dont want to go ranting and go off topic but the user is presented with way to many options just to add a folder so it can be scraped. How many user do you think manually scrape their library because they have not gone into settings and enabled "scrape library on startup". Its highly customizable (which i love) but XBMC have to expose features and customization through simple wizard/gui elements.

Like when you started up XBMC for the first time and it just sat there while you wondered how to add shares and get into library mode to see all the great fanart you had seen on the forum and on the webpage.


I think a general first-run wizard which guided you through setting up content, defining settings, setup audio etc would help XBMC reach more people. User dont want to read manuals and forums, they want to..use.



Dont get me wrong, im higly technical and design collaboration systems for a living. But there is a fine line between feature rich and user friendly
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pko66 Offline
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Post: #7
Texaco, I think the MySQL solution (that is working *RIGHT NOW*, nothing to develop or change) is better than what you're proposing except for the need to make the entry in advancedsettings.xml (that could be automated by, for example, an addon or an installation script that simply grabs the advancedsettings file from the server).

When the user of the "slave" XBMC uses the mysql db, *everything* is there, there is no need to create ANY sources or tell what those sources contain or even scrape them, everything is already there. Also, the "slaves" cannot mess anything (well, they can force rescrapes and delete things, of course) because they have no sources to mess with. There are a couple of caveats, though:
- the server must do all the library updates, the other installations will not "see" the new items until they are scraped, so someone must do that and, since the slaves do not have any shares to search, it must be done from a XBMC instance with the shares. There are some "headless" options being working on from some people that can automate all that.
- the "watched" information is shared among all users. There is no workaround for that nor anything in the works, I'm afraid. In fact, it is considered a feature, and for many users it is so.
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texaco Offline
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Post: #8
Okei, then ill change my suggestion to expose and automate the setup for the use of mysql database and to enable automatic discovery of shared database among xbmc installations on the same network.

This is exactly the same as the original request apart from the technical bit about the backend.. It is the autodiscovery part im interested in when the user runs xbmc after the inital installation.

It would be like how airplay works, you press a button and a menu with the detected receivers show up and you select it. No xml files. No configuring. Happy user Smile

Edit:
To sum it up, i dont want to distribute content through xbmc but i want to distribute the configuration.

In my setup i would only need to distribute 6 paths tagged with information necessary to start to scrape them (tvshow/movies). This would be a heck lot of easier way to distribute among several xbmc instead of building a new database
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-14 22:18 by texaco.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #9
Good feedback either way. Just so everyone knows, a better system for library sharing (that will replace the complicated MySQL) is on the radar. That is, there is a strong desire for it from the devs. I don't know if any work has been started, let alone an ETA, but just know that we want this too :D


You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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