Easily Sync Multiple XBMC Machines to 1 Library

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captaintater Offline
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Lightbulb  Easily Sync Multiple XBMC Machines to 1 Library
Post: #1
Dear Gods of XBMC Development,

For starters, I apologize if this is not a proper post. I am a newbie and doing by best to learn the etiquette of forum posts.

To the point though. I know there is a way to sync multiple machines to one XBMC library, but it is not easy. I have tried following the instructions on

http://lifehacker.com/#!5634515/how-to-s...-the-house

but have had difficulty getting Mysqol to work. I also here that even if I do get it to work, every machine has to use the same operating system. I am using 2 different OS's (Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, OS X Snow Leopard) and want to add a third to the mix (Apple TV2/iOS).

I have tried using Plex (http://www.plexapp.com) and was extremely impressed with how easily it synced between computers. There was no setup necessary, but it only works well on Macs (which only represents 1/3 of my household). It seems that there are no plans to change that. There is a windows solution, and I thank all the developers that made that possible, but that solution is a work around and are not quite as effective as Plex or XBMC.

So I simply ask (easier said then done right?) for this one feature. I dream of a feature that allows me to setup and maintain a library on 1 computer or server and easily link every XBMC machine in the house to that library over the wifi network.




Thank you to all of the developers for all of the hard work you have put into XBMC to make it what it is. I am jealous of your powers and wish I knew enough to contribute like you do.
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branlr Offline
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Post: #2
captaintater Wrote:Dear Gods of XBMC Development,

For starters, I apologize if this is not a proper post. I am a newbie and doing by best to learn the etiquette of forum posts.

To the point though. I know there is a way to sync multiple machines to one XBMC library, but it is not easy. I have tried following the instructions on

http://lifehacker.com/#!5634515/how-to-s...-the-house

but have had difficulty getting Mysqol to work. I also here that even if I do get it to work, every machine has to use the same operating system. I am using 2 different OS's (Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, OS X Snow Leopard) and want to add a third to the mix (Apple TV2/iOS).

I have tried using Plex (http://www.plexapp.com) and was extremely impressed with how easily it synced between computers. There was no setup necessary, but it only works well on Macs (which only represents 1/3 of my household). It seems that there are no plans to change that. There is a windows solution, and I thank all the developers that made that possible, but that solution is a work around and are not quite as effective as Plex or XBMC.

So I simply ask (easier said then done right?) for this one feature. I dream of a feature that allows me to setup and maintain a library on 1 computer or server and easily link every XBMC machine in the house to that library over the wifi network.




Thank you to all of the developers for all of the hard work you have put into XBMC to make it what it is. I am jealous of your powers and wish I knew enough to contribute like you do.


You are right, this would be a worthwhile endeavor if you ask me...

However, there are things you can do to achieve a similar effect. For example, you can export your video library (choosing "separate" files) and it will put all of the metadata and images in the directory of the video file, and then when you scrape on other systems, tell it not to refresh from the internet, and it will use the same metadata.

Also, there is now a plex media server plugin for xbmc to access plex media server (which doesn't require plex to run). I'm not sure if it looks as good, but it is a pretty "out of the box" solution that I believe is totally cross-platform

There are some techniques to get the resume feature working across your network involving symbolic linking some file, but I am not sure how well this work on different operating systems.

Ultimately, however, you should consider how important it is to have all instances running off of one database. If you periodically export your metadata, the libraries will then be synced---but in addition to that--really, the scraping is pretty good. I know there are a handful of things that I customize in my library but other than that most of the data is as it was when it got scraped, so you can really trust xbmc to just scrape the data for each machine separately and aside from the few things you need to customize that can be synced by storing metadata locally, you will still have a high degree of uniformity.

Still, you are right--- I would like the ability to sync libraries, resume playback, and even play in unison to be available through xbmc with no plugins or hack-iness necessary. To me, this would make xbmc way more "out of the box" than it is right now.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-12 19:29 by branlr.)
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Harley Hooligan Offline
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Post: #3
Plexbmc does allow for resuming thanks to hippojay, and watched bs unwatched status. This seems to be the solution for you. I would also recommend the frontseat skin which will automatically add your pms shares to your home screen, when used with the plexbmc script.
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philmedia Offline
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Post: #4
Hi,
First of all, thanks to all that contribute to the success of XBMC and the incredible work achieved by the community so far. I'm still amazed by all what XBMC delivers in terms of performance and features.

I would like to subscribe also to the suggestion expressed by captaintater. I believe it is not unusual to have multiple systems at home and ensuring that the medialibrary remains consistent across all systems is not a straightforward operation.

If I take my case, I have one XBMC set up in the living room and three others in the bedrooms. Ideally, I would like to be able to manage my medialibrary from the "master" system (living room) and have automatically the three other systems "in sync". The master system would have "read/write" permission to the DB, the three others (slaves or secondary systems) would only have "read" permission to the medialibrary.

I'm not technical enough to estimate if possible or not or to give more in depth technical suggestions, apologies for that Blush
Just expressing some thoughts on making my life easier.Wink
Thanks to all again,
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sho Offline
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Post: #5
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Goo..._Code_2011

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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Harley Hooligan Offline
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Post: #6
So does that mean xbmc will have a client / server architecture or that it is proposed that xbmc have a client server architecture?
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captaintater Offline
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Post: #7
branlr Wrote:You are right, this would be a worthwhile endeavor if you ask me...

However, there are things you can do to achieve a similar effect. For example, you can export your video library (choosing "separate" files) and it will put all of the metadata and images in the directory of the video file, and then when you scrape on other systems, tell it not to refresh from the internet, and it will use the same metadata.

Also, there is now a plex media server plugin for xbmc to access plex media server (which doesn't require plex to run). I'm not sure if it looks as good, but it is a pretty "out of the box" solution that I believe is totally cross-platform

There are some techniques to get the resume feature working across your network involving symbolic linking some file, but I am not sure how well this work on different operating systems.

Ultimately, however, you should consider how important it is to have all instances running off of one database. If you periodically export your metadata, the libraries will then be synced---but in addition to that--really, the scraping is pretty good. I know there are a handful of things that I customize in my library but other than that most of the data is as it was when it got scraped, so you can really trust xbmc to just scrape the data for each machine separately and aside from the few things you need to customize that can be synced by storing metadata locally, you will still have a high degree of uniformity.

Still, you are right--- I would like the ability to sync libraries, resume playback, and even play in unison to be available through xbmc with no plugins or hack-iness necessary. To me, this would make xbmc way more "out of the box" than it is right now.

Thank you for your input. Built in is always better, but in the mean time many of these solutions sound intriguing. What Plex plugin are you talking about and how can I find it? I have taken a quick look and have had no success on my own.
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captaintater Offline
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Post: #8
Harley Hooligan Wrote:So does that mean xbmc will have a client / server architecture or that it is proposed that xbmc have a client server architecture?

Proposed. I have put this forth as a suggested feature in hope that the gods of XBMC development may answer my prayers.
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captaintater Offline
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Post: #9
Harley Hooligan Wrote:Plexbmc does allow for resuming thanks to hippojay, and watched bs unwatched status. This seems to be the solution for you. I would also recommend the frontseat skin which will automatically add your pms shares to your home screen, when used with the plexbmc script.

How can I find out more about Plexbmc? I am not finding anything on it.
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captaintater Offline
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Post: #10
philmedia Wrote:Hi,
First of all, thanks to all that contribute to the success of XBMC and the incredible work achieved by the community so far. I'm still amazed by all what XBMC delivers in terms of performance and features.

I would like to subscribe also to the suggestion expressed by captaintater. I believe it is not unusual to have multiple systems at home and ensuring that the medialibrary remains consistent across all systems is not a straightforward operation.

If I take my case, I have one XBMC set up in the living room and three others in the bedrooms. Ideally, I would like to be able to manage my medialibrary from the "master" system (living room) and have automatically the three other systems "in sync". The master system would have "read/write" permission to the DB, the three others (slaves or secondary systems) would only have "read" permission to the medialibrary.

I'm not technical enough to estimate if possible or not or to give more in depth technical suggestions, apologies for that Blush
Just expressing some thoughts on making my life easier.Wink
Thanks to all again,

Yes. + 1 (not sure if I am saying that right). This is what I am looking to do, one unified DB across many slave machines, no matter what OS they use, all built in.
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darkscout Offline
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Post: #11
Mysql works perfect.

If you can't get mysql working, it's a PEBKAC problem.

[Image: aeKO.jpeg]
Code:
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `xbmc_%`.* TO 'xbmc'@'%';
IF you have a mysql problem, find one of the 4 dozen threads already open.
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Harley Hooligan Offline
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Post: #12
captaintater Wrote:How can I find out more about Plexbmc? I am not finding anything on it.

search for threads started by me.
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branlr Offline
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Post: #13
darkscout Wrote:Mysql works perfect.

If you can't get mysql working, it's a PEBKAC problem.


Sure... sort of.

Mysql works perfectly as long as you use samba shares on even the host machine, are savvy enough to setup mysql, don't mind exporting your library and then repopulating it from the local files, know how to operate your router well enough to ensure that LAN IP's don't change, are familiar with the concept of an .xml file, etc...

That's not the question... the question is, should every person using xbmc (media enthusiasts, presumably--not necessarily computer enthusiasts) be expected to do this in a day and age of plug-n-play networking.

Point is, he tried the mysql solution, and something went wrong, and truthfully it could be any number of things on a fairly long list of mistakes even relatively knowledgeable people would make.

I think that this feature will demand attention increasingly in the future, and therefore the request is very reasonable. I remember people requesting this type of thing a few years ago and it was met with some sentiments that it wasn't necessary, but I think the general opinion has changed significantly. People are now much more expectant thing their digital life be accessible everywhere.

To be honest, I think that at some point there needs to be away to transcode/stream the whole damn library over web interface. It's just the direction that people are moving in...

Using third party software to do stuff like this makes it feel... hacky.. both in a fun geeky way, and in an intimidating way to non-computer people.
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topfs2 Offline
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Post: #14
Harley Hooligan Wrote:So does that mean xbmc will have a client / server architecture or that it is proposed that xbmc have a client server architecture?

I put up that GSoC 2011 proposition and it does not mean move to a client server architecture, we will never do that. The proposition is regarding to add the possibility to do it if you wish to. This is, if picked, a first step of many to allow a more distributed nature of the libraries in XBMC. Each client have a library it can fill with files but it can also gather data from libraries around it, this is partly what uPnP is about really.

As said in the proposition though the project is more geared towards creating a good base, its not about creating an extremely finished product as that will take quite some time, and it will require quite a lot of love in XBMC core aswell. The hope I have however is that further down the road we will allow to be more distributed, i.e. each node in the network can be server and / or client. XBMC as is will obviously be both if wished but the media server will most likely only be the server. So hopefully it may be possible in the future to install this on your server (your laptop, desktop or server) and any XBMC client in the house will pick it up and it will feel exactly like if you had shared over samba and scanned it to the local library, but we have a long road ahead of until this may be a reality.

Also a side note, the proposition is far from finished, which is why its not linked to anywhere in the wiki yet Wink (bad sho! Tongue) We have not been picked by google and we might not be. And that proposition might not be picked by us if we get picked by google, so don't get your hopes up just yet.

Cheers,
Tobias

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Harley Hooligan Offline
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Post: #15
thanks for the clarification. i obviously think its a good idea.
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