andykelp
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 am

rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:19 am

Hi. I'd dearly like a media player that behaves in the same way as my old WDTV Live Hub (no longer in production). The WDTV ran a version of Linux and had a Search button on the remote that would find your files no matter which folder or subfolder they were in.

Current media boxes - either Android or some form of Linux - all want you to 'scrape' your files first and heaven help you if your filenames don't match some online database. My files are not just movies and TV shows so scraping is out of the question.

Kodi also requires you to scrape hence the title of this thread. Can I use the pi to play videos using a player such as VLC, MPC etc? And could I have a File Manager that would seach my files?

Thank you.

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topguy
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Location: Trondheim, Norway

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:10 pm

You don't HAVE to scrape with Kodi, that is optional when you define the folders for Video or Music. And its not unlikely that there exists a plugin for searching the library or filestructures.

OmxPlayer is the videoplayer that has all the optimizations for hw accelerated video decoding on Pi. VLC also might work for your needs.

johndavies
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:00 pm

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:50 pm

The Minimal Kiosk Browser (Google it to find the download site) might be the answer to your request. It has a very useful, well-documented and highly adaptable browser. I use my version for showing sites where I can find radio station urls and play vintage radio programmes. The Minimal Kiosk Browser package also includes omxplayergui. This needs Minimal Kiosk Browser to be added to the programs on the SD card but it works independently of it. omxplyergui can be used to play your media files. Mine is set up to play music, recorded radio programmes, radio stations, TV music documentaries, recorded TV, web videos and web audio. The BBC iPlayer site is a wonderful source for audio and video for us UK licence payers. The music playback has a random play feature which is very useful for background music. I find the mpc/mpd system of audio playback quite difficult to set up. It usually takes me a day or so to get it working and I am never quite sure how I managed to get it to work. Lists of radio stations can be created on the Terminal and saved as .pls files e.g. bbcnational.pls or NYrock.pls etc. They are entered in pairs e.g. File=http;//rest of first radio station URL and the second line contains the title e.g. Title=any meaningful title. When all the pairs have been entered the file can be saved as a .pls file. Different list of radio stations can be accessed through the omxplayergui Web menu. A media menu can be set up using the "Settings" option. If you have saved your media in fairly well.defined directories e.g. TV you can temporarily create a more meaningful title e.g
"Television Programmes=/media/pi/usb1/TV" and this shows itself among the choices displayed for omxplayergui to play wherever the files are stored when it is opened. The settings list for the Browser and omxplayergui can be easily saved in a text file and used when creating menus for the program on another SD card . VLC displays music directories and tracks very clearly. Radio stations and different types of video could be stored inside m3u files e.g. "NewYorkRockRadio.m3u". These files can be entered in a textfile beginning #EXTM3U followed by pairs of #EXTINF:1,"A meaningful title" and on the next line the url of the media to be played or the path to the file to be played.

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default_user8
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 am

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:09 pm

Plex media server
Two heads are better than one, unless one's a goat head.

andykelp
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 am

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:13 pm

Thank you all. I did some googling of Plex and it seems similar to kodi. On one thread where a poster was asking how to simply search by filename the answer was a blunt 'No - you can’t use Plex to search for file names'.

If anyone here is using a pi to play movies and is able to search their own library (unscraped) I'd be pleased to know how it's done.

DarrenHill
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:25 pm

Kodi can do it - as noted above scraping is not mandatory (although it is certainly designed to run that way).

If you don't scrape you won't get the libraries and all the metadata displays etc, but if you use the video entry on the menu you can simply browse the file structure and play whatever you want directly, listed by filename.

Or alternatively you can add NFO files to your structure containing the metadata and Kodi will happily scrape those. That's the simplest way to add stuff which isn't in a scraper database (e.g. home movies) to Kodi libraries. There did also used to be a filename based scraper, but I don't think that's been maintained for a while (it was a 3rd party add-on).

Alternatively as others have mentioned, there are a number of simple players like OMXPlayer or VLC which can be run under Raspbian, although you won't have anything fancy.

andykelp
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 am

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:51 am

Thanks, Darren, I'll look into that.

When playing videos on a pi, are usual functions - play, FF, RWD etc - available on a remote control?

DarrenHill
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:05 am

On Kodi yes, for the others I don't know as I don't run them.

It also depends a bit on which way you are running the remote. If it's via the TV's HDMI connection and CEC or if it's via an IR receiver diode onto the GPIO pins. I know Kodi can handle both, but I've never tried it on another app in Raspbian as Kodi does what I want it to. The Pi has a built-in capability for CEC, so I would expect it to be passed through but I can't confirm outside Kodi.

For the details on the NFO files I mentioned before, look at the link below:

https://kodi.wiki/view/NFO_files

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default_user8
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 am

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:30 pm

andykelp wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:13 pm
Thank you all. I did some googling of Plex and it seems similar to kodi. On one thread where a poster was asking how to simply search by filename the answer was a blunt 'No - you can’t use Plex to search for file names'.

If anyone here is using a pi to play movies and is able to search their own library (unscraped) I'd be pleased to know how it's done.
This is exactly what i'm using plex media server for, Samsung smart tv's have a plex app that connects to my plex server. IMO plex is similar to kodi, but kodi is much more flexible in regards to what types of video's it will play. I find plex to be finicky with vido formats.
Two heads are better than one, unless one's a goat head.

karlandtanya
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:09 pm

Re: rpi as a media player WITHOUT kodi

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:04 pm

DarrenHill wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:25 pm
Or alternatively you can add NFO files to your structure containing the metadata and Kodi will happily scrape those. That's the simplest way to add stuff which isn't in a scraper database (e.g. home movies) to Kodi libraries. There did also used to be a filename based scraper, but I don't think that's been maintained for a while (it was a 3rd party add-on).
The .nfo method works very well for me, but I was also frustrated that the filename scraper wasn't updated.
Here's a python script (it's hokey but it works) to generate .nfo files using the filename as the title, parent folder as movie set and parent-of-parent folder as genre:

https://paste.kodi.tv/exexavalaw

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