MediaTomb News

Transcoding Feature Now Available 2008-03-01

As always – it’s been way too long since the last release, but finally it is out. A new version with numerous fixes and the “main event” feature – transcoding.

We decided to implement transcoding via external processes, meaning that you can use any application to convert the data. You have the choice if you want to use vlc, ffmpeg, mencoder or anything else – it’s really up to you. It’s so flexible, that you can even setup transcoding profiles to listen to your text files using a text 2 speech application, stream content that is available via mms or rtsp even if your player does not support it, or plug in a script that will create thumbnails for your movies and more. We provide some examples, but you will probably have to finetune the transcoding options to achieve best results with your player.

Please read the ChangeLog for a full list of changes.

The 0.10.0 version is now available in Debian sid which means that it should also appear in Ubuntu. Packages of the new 0.11.0 version will follow shortly.

So what’s next? We’ll lift the mystery later, for now – enjoy the new release and stay tuned for more.

RSS News Feed Now Available 2008-02-08

Usually we do not have much time to work on the web page, luckily we receive some help now and then.

An RSS News Feed for our site is now available, hopefully this will make it easier for you to stay up to date. Thanks a lot to solmumaha for making this possible.

Of course everyone is asking us about the upcoming release and the good news is: it’s about to happen :) We are confident that we can finally make it this month.

MediaTomb Is Now In Fedora 2008-01-17

From now on MediaTomb packages are available directly from the Fedora repositories. That means that you can simply run yum install mediatomb and do not have to bother with dependency resolution, custom yum mirrors or anything alike.

The Fedora rpm’s are based on the 0.10.0 version with some minor bug fixes on top of it.

And of course – a big thank you goes out to Marc Wiriadisastra who cleaned up the spec file, adapted the package to match Fedora guidelines and did all the work on the package submission process.

Some info for our PS3 users: Sony released a firmware version with DivX support, as always they put extra effort into introducing some new incompatibilities and invented a new mimetype. So, if you have a PS3 add the following line to the <extension-mimetype> section of your config.xml file before importing your divx movies:

<map from="avi" to="video/divx"/>

Also, have a look at the following thread for more information on this topic.

What else? We lost quite some time investigating an issue regarding Ubuntu and the SpiderMonkey library. We did some in depth debugging and received great support from the libjs developers, it turned out that the .deb that is provided along with Ubuntu 7.10 is somehow broken. I wonder why the .deb is based on some branched version and not on an released js tarball – in the end it does not matter: the only solution I can think of is to provide a custom js package for Ubuntu along with MediaTomb until the issue is resolved.

Oh yes… and then there was all this talk about the upcoming release. Guess what? We are late again :) The good news is that all blockers are now finally resolved, we’re fixing some minor issues and are very close to finally getting it out.

Working Towards The Release 2007-12-02

I wish things would move faster, although transcoding already works with the SVN code there are still some missing bits, pieces and fixes that are required before we can release. We did not have much time lately, but we are working on it.

So what’s new?

You will find more packages of the last released version in the Download section – for SuSE, WD MyBook and Maxtor Shared Storage.

And we have something for our Japanese users – Noriomi Imanishi offered to translate our docs, so we now have a MediaTomb documentation in Japanese. Thanks!

That’s it for now, we will try to bring out the new release this year, let’s see if we can make it :)

CE Linux Forum Open Source DLNA Summit 2007-10-06

We got some information about an interesting event that will take place not so far away from us – in Linz.
Some of you may have heard about DLNA, some of you may have seen a DLNA logo on your device – what is it good for? Main idea of DLNA is to provide a specification, aiming at maximum interoperability between devices. The spec is not freely available, so open source projects did not have a chance to support it. However, there are several parties interested in open source implementations of the DLNA specification – this event will bring those parties together.

CE Linux Forum Open Source DLNA Summit:

Location: Linz, Austria

Date: November 4 (Sunday), 2007

Time: 10 am to 5 pm

Venue: Johannes Kepler University

Price: Free

For Agenda and updated information:

Now, some news on MediaTomb: we did not have much time during the last month, nevertheless things are moving towards a new release. Despite some limitations the external transcoding feature is working well and the “surprise” feature is also almost done. Stay tuned.

Iomega Releases Firmware With MediaTomb 2007-09-02

Recently Iomega released a new firmware version for their StorCenter Wireless Network Hard Drive 1TB (4HD x 250GB) units and it comes with a preinstalled version of MediaTomb. Those of you who own this unit and wish to upgrade will find the firmware here.

So, there are now two manufacturers who are shipping their NAS products with a preinstalled version of MediaTomb – Excito and Iomega

More news – MediaTomb packages are now available in the official Mandriva repositories. The latest version, 0.10.0, can be found in /contrib/release for the development distro (Cooker) and /contrib/backports for the latest stable release (2007 Spring). Instructions on using the /backports repositories are here.

Now, an update on the upcoming release – testing of the transcoding feature is in progress and we already received success reports. We are sorting out remaining problems but overall it is looking good. One thing where you could support us – if you know command line options for ffmpeg or mencoder that work well for your hardware – please tell us. We would like to offer transcoding presets for various devices and only you know what works best with your player.

Last but not least, there will be a surprise feature which I will not reveal just yet. Those of you who looked in SVN should know what I am talking about ;)

Transcoding Is On The Way 2007-08-09

So… 0.10.0 is out and we promised to focus on transcoding for the next release. We plan to have two releases with different types of transcoding support, first we will introduce the “external” transcoding feature, after that we will offer “native” transcoding.
The difference?

External transcoding allows to plug in any application that will accept a filename as input and write the transcoded stream to a given output. Obviously, the advantage of external transcoding is the fact that there are no limitations on the type of media that can be transcoded, you could even have your documents read by plugging in a text to speech application. The downside is little control about the transcoding process and a somewhat more difficult setup: if you mess up the command line it will be up to you to figure out what is going wrong – we simply launch the transcoding application that you specify with the command line that you give us and we have no possibility to figure out why it failed, should that be the case.

Native transcoding will use libraries like ffmpeg and alike, the advantage here is full control over the media which should hopefully allow us to provide trick mode support.

Currently we almost finished implementing the external transcoding feature and are testing it. It would be good if we had more people who are willing to try it before the release – we need to see how good it works in the field. So if you are comfortable compiling and are willing to test – please drop by in our IRC channel or write us a mail.

Version 0.10.0 released! 2007-07-11

It’s been a while since the last posting and actually quite a few things have happened.

First, we have a surprise feature for you – inotify based autoscan support. Here is the story:
we were contacted by Iomega, they told us that they plan to use MediaTomb on their NAS devices and asked for a feature – they wanted to have inotify autoscan support and they offered us some sponsorship for implementing it.

We will post more information on those NAS units once the firmware update containing MediaTomb becomes available.

So say thank you to Iomega and enjoy this new cool feature!

Next, we finally added playlist support. Quite some users have been pestering us about that for a long time and they did so with success :) Playlists are implemented via scripting, so you need to have a working SpiderMonkey js library to use this feature. As always, we tried to make it very flexible and configurable: you can write your own playlist parsers in JavaScript, you should be able to parse any ASCII based playlist format. M3U and PLS formats are implemented in the default distribution, read the scripting documentation to find out how to add parsing for even more formats.

Apart from those big features there are some small fixes and improvements like support for album art or hiding the PC Directory and a workaround for PS3 users who were suffering from the “disconnect” problem. Take a look at the ChangeLog for a full list.

By the way, there were some changes in the configuration file related to scripting; if you use a custom import script make sure to adapt your config.xml to the new structure.

Enjoy this release, and by the way – transcoding is next on our list!

MediaTomb Fedora 0.9.1 rpm package now available 2007-06-06

Today we created an rpm package for the newly released Fedora 7 distribution, the yum repository has also been updated.

We have also made progress on the socket issue that some Playstation 3 users reported. It seems that it may be related to the hardware that you are using, take a look at this post in the forums.

MediaTomb for Mac OS X 2007-05-31

Finally there is an easy way to install MediaTomb on Mac OS X - a package is now available via Fink. Thanks to the Fink developers for creating the package!

You will find the MediaTomb Fink package here.

In the meantime we have been continuing to test Playstation 3 compatibility and discovered an issue. Some users reported, that browsing becomes impossible after a short amount of time. It seems that only a few people have this problem, please let us know if you are one of them.

In those particular cases, we could see that the Playstation keeps the sockets open but does not allow writing any data. We could also reproduce this behaviour with other dedicated servers, so it is not something that would be specific to MediaTomb. However, we rely on correct client behaviour and do not handle this error situation well.

We have successfully tested a workaround which will appear in the next release.

Again, please report if you have this problem, we would like to know how many users are affected so we can decide if a quick follow up with a fixed package is necessary.

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