Category: xbmcbuntu

News & Updates – Openelec 3.0 & HDHomerun Firmware Updates

Openelec 3.0 came out this week.  This is great news for people who love the slightly more streamlined branch of XBMC.  Openelec 3.0 is on the same feature set as XBMC 12.1.  Here’s a snippet of the official release:

OpenELEC 3.0 is built to support XBMC Frodo 12.1 and almost every part of the core OS has been updated and improved since the 2.0 release. The project now supports a broader range of mediacentre hardware than ever before, including dedicated OS images for the budget friendly Arctic MC001 and ultra-low-cost Raspberry Pi systems.

To read the whole release notes, please head over to Openelec.tv

I am also very happy about the fact that Silicondust, the makers of the HDhomerun Prime have moved their beta firmware from the HDhomerun Prime that supported DLNA/Upnp streaming into general release.  This means you can not use XBMC’s “UPNP” file type to tune your HDhomerun prime.  Very cool.

There is however one small problem; When XBMC 12.1 came out, apparently something got added/changes/patched that broke the UPNP streaming for the HDhomerun.  See the bugreport posted here.  I was able to verify that the UPNP streaming does in fact work on XBMC 12, but is broken on 12.1.  We’ll have to wait and see if that gets fixed soon.

If you have an HDHomerun and haven’t upgraded your firmware to support UPNP streaming, do it now by downloading the latest software version at the Silicondust website: http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhomerun/downloads/

Stay tuned for my impressions video on the HDHomerun.  My camera has been giving me problems so I have not been able to get it completed yet.

Upgrading XBMCbuntu from 12.0 to 12.1 without reloading

UPDATE – My video guide is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TusVGE702rw

I just saw that XBMC 12.1 was released today.  While I do not necessarily use all the features they improved, I wanted to give the new Audio DB plugin a try so I decided to upgrade.

I went from 12.0 to 12.1 by upgrading over the Internet instead of doing a fresh install.  The guys at XBMC.org have posted a guide on their wiki, however, after following it, I got a Linux login screen instead of XBMC.  Turns out their wiki instructions are missing a command.

Here’s what you gotta do to upgrade:  If you are doing this remotely (via ssh) look up the IP address of the computer you are connecting to (you can do this under system -> hardware), or go to the a VTY by hitting CTRL+ALT+F1 on your keyboard.

Once you are at the command line I used these commands to upgrade:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc.bin
sudo reboot

You may be asked if you want to continue, or install/upgrade packages.  If you are asked, either hit enter to continue or Y to continue depending on the prompt.

Once you reboot, cross your fingers and your toes, and you should be able to get right back into XBMC.  If you got a login screen after following the steps on the official wiki article, go back to a command prompt and also run “sudo apt-get upgrade” then reboot.

I did a quick take, and 12.1 can work with 12.0 using the same MySQL backend, and the YouTube plugin works as well.  I did not have a chance to test much else!

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!

P.S. If you are interested in what 12.1 fixes, read the official brief here: http://xbmc.org/natethomas/2013/03/18/xbmc-12-1-now-even-better/

Upgrading XBMC from Eden to Frodo w/ Shared Database

I went ahead and upgraded my two XBMC players to Frodo over the course of the last few days and just wanted to share my thoughts with you.  I’ll give you the step by step I did.

Backup & Reload

  1. Back up my existing library using the Settings -> Video -> Export options, then I the backup off using WinSCP
  2. Backed up my ~/xbmc/userdata/advancedsettings.xml file
  3. Make a bootable USB stick with XBMCbuntu using Unetbootin and installed it on the first device
  4. Check to make sure the software works after installation and does not freeze
  5. Added sources to XBMC but did not scan anything to the library
  6. Copy advancedsettings.xml, and the backup files back to the first device

I rebooted and then tried to restore the library using Settings -> Video -> Import, but it was not working.  I had a weird issue where anything I set, including sources was not sticking.  I would configure a source, but then it disappeared afterward.

After some poking around I found errors in the XBMC log files in ~/.xbmc/temp/xbmc.log that referenced errors with my database.  At this point in time I decided I did not really mind starting over, since the import of the library should recover almost everything that was in my database anyways.

Removed the Old Eden Databases:

  1. On the Mysql server, I removed the “skip-name-resolve” option from the my.ini file, and restarted the mysql service
  2. Logged in with the root account and dropped all XBMC or music/movie databases using the “drop database <db name>;” command
  3. Added the “skip-name-resolve” back to the my.ini file and restarted the service again

Import the library:

  1. Rebooted XBMC to have it recreate the databases on the mysql server that was referenced in the advancedsettings.xml file
  2. Add sources to my NAS again using the Video -> Files menu
  3. Import the library again via the settings menu

At this point in time the library import actually started working and XBMC started parsing the backup I copied back over.  During the library import, you will actually get a progress bar and XBMC will tell you which items it is importing.  If you do not get this progress bar, the import is not working correctly.

Cleanup:

  1. Checked Movies and TV Shows to make sure everything was there, and updated the database one more time.
  2. Rebooted XBMC to make sure the settings stuck, which they did

Prepare Thumbnails for Sync:

I sync all my artwork and thumbnails via dropbox so that I do not get different artwork on one media player compared to the other.  I went ahead and deleted everything I had still in my dropbox folder and reinstalled dropbox on the first device using the Linux text based installer for dropbox (link here).  I then linked the Thumbnails folder into my dropbox folder (see my original article here), and let it sync.

Second Device:

On the second device I repeated much of this.  I reloaded the device, set up the sources (*IMPORTANT*) and copied the advancedsettings.xml file over.  It is important to have the sources configured, otherwise XBMC may start removing items from your library because it does not have the right usernames/passwords to the location where the files are stored, and it will remove them because it thinks the items are no longer available.  I then set up dropbox on the second device and waited for everything to sync, rebooting after just to make sure XBMC was still functioning.

Finalizing:

Finally I installed the new version of Aeon Nox on both units and configured the skin how I liked it.  I’ve done some more tweaking since then and I am excited to say that Frodo seems to run just as well as Eden did, and that I have not had any problems or crashes since upgrading.

If you have any questions, or problems with your upgrade, let me know and I’ll try to help!