Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
sven
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NEW: SDesk 0.16 (popping them out like crazy :-)...

Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:40 am

Hi,

Ok... here is the 0.16 version of SDesk. There are just a few minor tweaks in this release:
- better file remove that can dealwith large movie files
- using mplay resume again
- fixed some glitches in the sonica support

Get it at http://www.ignoranceisbliss.com/sdesk.htm (you can see a screenshot there).

Let me know what you think about it.

Thanks,
Sven
 
dj7675
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Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:17 pm

Everything is working great here. Just trying to think of improvements, and am having trouble thinking of any more. :) These last few weeks your app has really taken major steps and is working great for me.
Have you had any thoughts on any other features or enhancements for upcoming releases? I am sure with enough thought I will think of somehting. :P
I did have one thought. Not sure if it can be done with your app or not but it never hurts to ask. The photo app on the roku is extremely basic and not very convenient to use when browsing large amounts of photos.

Would it be possible when SDesk scans photos that it could make virtual folders based on some key photo data like when the photo was taken (like month/year). Or when it scans could it scan meta data of photos like used in adobe elements or other photo tagging software?

Also, a convenient way to set up a slideshow. I think your "que" feature with videos might work as well. If you could browse and select a series of photos or an entire folder for a slideshow that would be very convenient.

Also, what about being able to have your screen saver be a photo slideshow?

I am sure there are other features in regards to photo viewing that would be nice to have, but those are just a few I was thinking of. Hopefully others will have more. Not sure if these are possible with your app or a directlion that was of interest to you, but it would sure be nice if there were more and better options to display photo's that it does so well.

Darin
 
sven
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Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:02 pm

Great, thanks for all the testing and suggesting. I agree... the app feels a lot more complete now.

As for new features.. at this point I don't have anything that comes to mind.

With respect to your photo related suggestions:

- The photo virtualization based upon date would certainly be possible.
- Using tags from proprietary apps like Adobe is a tad more tricky. I am not sure I want to/can reverse engineer/port those. Do you have anything more specific in mind?
- Yes... you should already be able to produce such slideshows. These are not roku art packs, but you can add music and pictures to the preexisting Slideshows folder (and add your own if you want to via the menu files).
- A screensaver should be fairly easy. I haven't thought about that so far... mainly because the roku clock screen saver works fine for me. But I agree... the ideal solution would be to select a particular slideshow (photos and possibly music) as the screen saver. Given that there is already a slideshow mode in SDesk the main question is triggering that slideshow and an easy way to exit it (and disabling the roku screensaver).

I will add this to my todo list... no promises though... with the upcoming holiday season I am sure to have less time for this. Good ideas though :-).

Thanks,
Sven
 
dj7675
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:33 am

Slideshows in SDesk sound interesting, but I am a bit lost on how to configure them to show up. If I understand correctly, you put the picutures and music you want in a folder. From there I am not sure how to have it show up under slideshow.

Thanks again for all of your work on this.

Darin
 
dgburns
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Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:41 am

sven wrote:
Given that there is already a slideshow mode in SDesk the main question is triggering that slideshow and an easy way to exit it (and disabling the roku screensaver).

How about if made some sort of sDesk module that becomes the default roku screensaver? So the roku screensaver then becomes "sDesk", and you can then further configure it's actions within SDesk? Dunno if this would work, but may have potential for avoiding conflict with the built-in?
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dj7675
Posts: 298
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Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:32 pm

Sven,

Been using SDesk regularly and is a great video front end. I could really use a of help. I really like the idea of dumping a couple of mp3's in a folder and a series of pictures and having it show up in "slideshows" in SDesk. I can't seem to get a handle on it for some reason.

Thanks again for your work on it.

Darin
 
dj7675
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Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:54 am

I have run into a strange problem and can no longer install SDesk. In one of my shares I had a recycle folder that caused SDesk to to complete scanning because there were so many deleted .my files (long story). I have since removed the problem folder. I have since put a fresh install of .16 on the cf card and ran it. After scanning for about 20 minutes, it comes up with a black Main Menu. I really need to get it reinstalled as I was using it every day on 3 Rokus .... Any idea what is going on?

Any help from Sven or anyone greatly appreciated.

Edit:
SDesk.cfg and SDesk.log are both empty, if that helps.
Also, could it be related somehow to having multiple roku's running sdesk? This really has be confused.

Darin
 
sven
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Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:52 pm

Sorry for not responding earlier... I was busy with other stuff... I will respond in detail tonight.

As for slideshows, these are actually virtual folders (.mnu files). The standard installation should have one example slideshow folder. By adding music and pictures to that, you can build the slideshow. Then go into that folder (it should either be in the toplevel menu under slideshows, or it might be under Pictures... not sure...I have to look at it). There you can choose to play it. I haven't used this in some time, so I need to see it in front of me to be sure...

As for the question of using sdesk as a screensaver... I am not sure how this can tie in, and given the limited survivability of the ROku long term I am winding down my new feature development for SDesk. Sorry...

Hmmm... the black screen might be your screen saver... I have seen this kick in when scans take extrodinarily long. I have the clock screen saver enabled on my system, which allows me to see when this happens. If you run the scan with debugging enabled (look into the readme on how how to set that... it's something like adding "debug" to the SDeskScan.cfg file), do you see it still make progress (write output)?

I have never tried multiple SDesks... (I only have one Roku). The one issue I could see is that you may have concurrent/conflicting write access to the menu files while scanning. I would recommend to have three different directories for the three rokus with individual sdesk installs.

Thanks,
Sven
 
dj7675
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Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:59 pm

Sven,

Thanks for your reply. All 3 of the Rokus are running SDesk from the CF. I have one that was working fine but had to reinstall it. The problem is that it does not scan. After about 30 minutes, it simply comes up as if it is finished and SDesk says "Main Menu" at the top with nothing under it. The other two Roku's scan fine.
As as intermediate fix, I did a complete SDesk Scan from anoter roku and placed that CF card in the one that is not scanning properly. This has enabled me to use SDesk on this Roku but I still would like to figure out why this one Roku won't scan properly from a fresh install of SDesk.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again for getting back.

Darin
 
sven
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:32 am

That is very strange... can you add the option %debug to the SDeskScan.cfg file (or create such a file with that content). When you rescan, you will see log output written to the sdeskscanlog file in the SDesk directory. CHeck to see whether that makes any progress, and also what is the last command. If you don't see anything obvious. please mail the file to me (sven@ignoranceisbliss.com).

That's a clever workaround though. So you are already running it locally, which is great. THe only other question is whether this troubled Roku is a series A or a series B (there have been issues with series A models).

Thanks,
Sven
 
sven
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:43 am

As for slideshows... I believe there should be "Slideshows" menu item in the toplevel menu (or under the Pictures menu item).

- If you go to a picture or music file, and press the right arrow, you get into the submenu for that item.
- In there you should see a menu entry called "Add to SlideShow".
- Select that menu entry for all picture and music files you want to add.
- You can now go to the toplevel menu item ("SlideShows") and press play, you can also go into it and choose the "Play" menu item.
- It should start playing... however... when I just tried that, it played the music, but didn't show any pictures... I will look into that over the weekend (is that what you are seeing?).

You can add more slideshow folders by configuring your SDeskScan.cfg file or manually adding them to the correct .mnu file. To do this, I recommed reading the docs... (I hope that those are clear enough).

Please let me know how/whether this works for you...

Thanks,
Sven
 
dj7675
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:25 pm

Sven,

Thanks for the replies. I will give the debug option a try and let you know what it says. It is a series B unit and is working fine in all other regards. The only thing I did in between is install cinemasix and also theatre six and tried them out. I don't know if they could somehow cause a problem or not....

Also, thanks for the tips on the slideshows. That should be enough to get me going in the right direction.

The other question I had was in the send movie to a que. At night I send 2 or 3 non HD shows that are formated 4:3. When the first one begins playing I change the aspect ratio to the proper format, but when the second show begins playing it goes back to the default aspect ratio and I have to change the AR again. Is there a way to get around this or is it a limitation?

Darin
 
sven
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:33 pm

With regards to the aspect ratio... SDesk os just using mplay to queu up the movies, so this would probably be an mplay limitation. I would check with them, to see what might cause this... I suspect that they compute/reset thje aspect ration between movies...
 
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TheEndless
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:16 pm

dj7675 wrote:
The other question I had was in the send movie to a que. At night I send 2 or 3 non HD shows that are formated 4:3. When the first one begins playing I change the aspect ratio to the proper format, but when the second show begins playing it goes back to the default aspect ratio and I have to change the AR again. Is there a way to get around this or is it a limitation?

sven wrote:
With regards to the aspect ratio... SDesk os just using mplay to queu up the movies, so this would probably be an mplay limitation. I would check with them, to see what might cause this... I suspect that they compute/reset thje aspect ration between movies...

Correct. MPlay defaults to zoom mode 0 for videos that do not have a zoom mode specified in the associated .mplay file. If all of your 4:3 videos are in the same folder, you could specify a different default zoom mode in the folder.cfg file for that folder.

TheEndless
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dj7675
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Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:47 pm

TheEndless

Thanks for the explanation. Unfortunately the folder is a pvr directory of both SD and HD shows. Typically it is the same show over and over again. The file names for example all start with the name of the show, such as seinfeld-episodename.mpg. What about one .mplay file that would contain settings for all episodes with the same prefix, such as seinfieldxx.mplay. Then all episodes that started with seinfeld could be set as 4:3. It may not be possible, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway...

Thanks again for responding.

Darin

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