XBMC Commander - Yet another unofficial third-party XBMC remote for iPad

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james_stewart Offline
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Post: #1426
Amazing app. It single handily made me want to transition to XBMC. There are a couple of features that I would love though. One simple one would be the option to add home menu options. I separate my movies into categories like comedy, kids, horror, etc (I prefer to do it this way because I don't like the wide array of genre descriptions). It would be cool to be able to add these categories on the Commander menus.

Another feature that would make Commander even more amazing would be the ability to play the media files on the iPad itself. A marriage between the AirVideo app and Commander would be so cool. Air Video is great, but being able to browse my library the way Commander allows, and streaming to the iPad would be the perfect combination.
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ixian Offline
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Post: #1427
(2012-04-27 23:08)james_stewart Wrote:  Another feature that would make Commander even more amazing would be the ability to play the media files on the iPad itself. A marriage between the AirVideo app and Commander would be so cool. Air Video is great, but being able to browse my library the way Commander allows, and streaming to the iPad would be the perfect combination.

This question comes up a lot. The short answer is, it involves a whole lot more than XBMC and this app. For one, unless all your media files are already in an ipad-compatible format and you're on a local network with plenty of bandwidth, you'll need some sort of transcoding solution, which XBMC does not provide. The app itself can't do this for you - that is, transcode (on the fly) your media in to a format that both works with the built in quicktime player in iOS and manages differing bandwidth speeds. That is a lot of work/processing power.

As it happens, Plex, which forked off XBMC 4 years ago, has already done this work - it's a major feature of the Plex Media Server. Plex has their own iOS and Android apps as well. Since the Plex Media Server and the Plex Media Client are two completely separate programs there's nothing stopping you from installing the Media Server in stand-alone mode and using it just to power mobile/remote streaming. Yes, it's not integrated in to the Constellation app - it's a separate app (that is also $5). And yes, it means you'll need to install Plex Media server on to a PC and scan your library in to it, since it won't use XBMC's library and vice versa.

To which I say, so what? While I am not a fan of the Plex client, their media server is actually quite slick, and very easy to add/scrape media to it - it has a very nice web interface, can grab stuff automatically, etc etc. And it does exactly what you want it to - streams media from your master PC to your iOS or Android devices, in or outside your house. You're only limited by the power of the PC running the server (for 1080p transcoding you'll want a 2ghz dual-core cpu at a minimum) and your upstream bandwidth out of your house if you choose to stream outside it. It actually works very, very well and a lot of us use it for this express purpose. Plex even has a MyPlex service that allows you to share (and revoke) access to some or all of your media library to friends and family.

How well does it work? My brother in law is on business overseas; he downloaded the iOS Plex app, I shared my server with his email, he logged in, and he can watch my media collection 3,000 miles away in 720p on his iPad. I have it running on a fairly decent server, and have a 5mb upload, so your mileage may vary.

Yes, yes, it would be great if this was all built in to the XBMC Constellation app, but it isn't, and isn't likely to be any time soon, because as outlined above there's a lot more to it then the app. Trust me, once you use it you will cease to care Smile
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james_stewart Offline
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Post: #1428
(2012-04-28 01:46)ixian Wrote:  
(2012-04-27 23:08)james_stewart Wrote:  Another feature that would make Commander even more amazing would be the ability to play the media files on the iPad itself. A marriage between the AirVideo app and Commander would be so cool. Air Video is great, but being able to browse my library the way Commander allows, and streaming to the iPad would be the perfect combination.

This question comes up a lot. The short answer is, it involves a whole lot more than XBMC and this app. For one, unless all your media files are already in an ipad-compatible format and you're on a local network with plenty of bandwidth, you'll need some sort of transcoding solution, which XBMC does not provide. The app itself can't do this for you - that is, transcode (on the fly) your media in to a format that both works with the built in quicktime player in iOS and manages differing bandwidth speeds. That is a lot of work/processing power.

As it happens, Plex, which forked off XBMC 4 years ago, has already done this work - it's a major feature of the Plex Media Server. Plex has their own iOS and Android apps as well. Since the Plex Media Server and the Plex Media Client are two completely separate programs there's nothing stopping you from installing the Media Server in stand-alone mode and using it just to power mobile/remote streaming. Yes, it's not integrated in to the Constellation app - it's a separate app (that is also $5). And yes, it means you'll need to install Plex Media server on to a PC and scan your library in to it, since it won't use XBMC's library and vice versa.

To which I say, so what? While I am not a fan of the Plex client, their media server is actually quite slick, and very easy to add/scrape media to it - it has a very nice web interface, can grab stuff automatically, etc etc. And it does exactly what you want it to - streams media from your master PC to your iOS or Android devices, in or outside your house. You're only limited by the power of the PC running the server (for 1080p transcoding you'll want a 2ghz dual-core cpu at a minimum) and your upstream bandwidth out of your house if you choose to stream outside it. It actually works very, very well and a lot of us use it for this express purpose. Plex even has a MyPlex service that allows you to share (and revoke) access to some or all of your media library to friends and family.

How well does it work? My brother in law is on business overseas; he downloaded the iOS Plex app, I shared my server with his email, he logged in, and he can watch my media collection 3,000 miles away in 720p on his iPad. I have it running on a fairly decent server, and have a 5mb upload, so your mileage may vary.

Yes, yes, it would be great if this was all built in to the XBMC Constellation app, but it isn't, and isn't likely to be any time soon, because as outlined above there's a lot more to it then the app. Trust me, once you use it you will cease to care Smile

Cool post, thanks. I understand that there has to be an encoding component to be able to stream media. Which is why I mentioned the Air Video application. Perhaps a plugin that integrates this app to XBMC would be able to bring these features together. I will certainly look into Plex per your recommendation.
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dutchflea Offline
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Post: #1429
(2011-12-08 00:43)dutchflea Wrote:  Apart from my other remarks about the general navigation and the "now playing" features, I really hope that in the next iPhone/iPod version the "Party" button in the Playlist window will be back. In version 1.3.5 it was still there.

Hi! I wrote this some months ago. I use this great app a lot but still miss the party button. Is there any chance it will be back somehow, some day?
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xbmc17 Offline
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Post: #1430
(2012-04-29 11:09)dutchflea Wrote:  
(2011-12-08 00:43)dutchflea Wrote:  Apart from my other remarks about the general navigation and the "now playing" features, I really hope that in the next iPhone/iPod version the "Party" button in the Playlist window will be back. In version 1.3.5 it was still there.

Hi! I wrote this some months ago. I use this great app a lot but still miss the party button. Is there any chance it will be back somehow, some day?

What did this button do? Would it fix the problem where someone can click "play" and erase an entire playlist by mistake? Unfortunately because of this issue it makes it impossible to let others add to a playlist at a party, someone always ends up erasing everything!
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waltermalter Offline
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Post: #1431
(2012-04-21 22:46)xbmc17 Wrote:  Love the update!!

Is there a trick to getting the search bar to appear at the top when in the music library? I can get it sometimes if I use a 3-finger swipe but it takes a few tries and sometimes I get the IPad notifications bar instead. Thanks!

Hi XBMC17
do a 2-finger swipe instead of a 3-finger one and you'll always succeed :-)

Cheers,
Walter
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grywnn Offline
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Post: #1432
@xbmc17:
The party button toggles part mode, which is some kind of auto-playlist XBMC features. Very handy in my opinion, use this a lot myself.
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Mus...Party_Mode

@dutchflea:
The party mode button on the iPhone was dropped in favor of the edit button, which IMO is more important to have.
With the latest version (finally) featuring editable menu items on the remote control, you can add your own party button:
Use the generic http command, and enter:
Code:
http://a.b.c.d:8080/xbmcCmds/xbmcHttp?command=ExecBuiltIn(PlayerControl(Partymode(music)))
...replace a.b.c.d with your XBMCs IP and 8080 with the correct port.
This will use XBMCs old http api, which will be dropped in one of the next XBMC versions - but should work for now.

@james_stewart:
Direct integration of one app into another (or parts / plugins whatever) isn't possible on iOS.
I've thought about a "marriage" with airvideo before. Even posted in their dev forum about a year ago about an url scheme - which would allow me to deep link into the airvideo app and thus switch to airvideo and have it jump right into the movies directory - but the guys at airvideo won't add this due to security implications (there are indeed some)

@all you guys out there with sorting issues:
the next release will respect the sorttitle, that should fix it.
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meridius Offline
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Post: #1433
Thanks can not wait to try it out
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meridius Offline
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Post: #1434
Hi all just woundering if anything is happening to the app.

Cheers
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grywnn Offline
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Post: #1435
Yep.
Been playing around with a new layout, and collecting more bugs.
Next version should be ready soon.
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mukati Offline
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Post: #1436
(2012-05-10 09:55)grywnn Wrote:  Yep.
Been playing around with a new layout, and collecting more bugs.
Next version should be ready soon.

Any screenshots on the new stuff!! Big GrinBig Grin
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grywnn Offline
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Post: #1437
(2012-05-10 10:36)mukati Wrote:  
(2012-05-10 09:55)grywnn Wrote:  Yep.
Been playing around with a new layout, and collecting more bugs.
Next version should be ready soon.

Any screenshots on the new stuff!! Big GrinBig Grin

*sigh*
OK here you go:
[Image: coverflow.jpg]

Jep, you're seing right: I'm working on a coverflow layout for movies.
Still in an early testing stage, but running pretty smooth so far.
I think i'll introduce this for movies only for now, since coverflowing tv show banners looks like crap, and browsing a large music collection with coverflow isn't much fun either.
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-10 11:17 by grywnn.)
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Nacmacfeegle Offline
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Post: #1438
Nice work!
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mukati Offline
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Post: #1439
Quote:*sigh*
OK here you go:

*link removed by memphiz - no need to clutter this page*

Jep, you're seing right: I'm working on a coverflow layout for movies.
Still in an early testing stage, but running pretty smooth so far.
I think i'll introduce this for movies only for now, since coverflowing tv show banners looks like crap, and browsing a large music collection with coverflow isn't much fun either.

Thanks!.. will this come for iPhone as well or only iPad?
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-10 15:22 by Memphiz.)
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grywnn Offline
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Post: #1440
Testing it for iPad atm, but should work on iPhone too (without the fanart though)
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