Archive for November, 2008
I’ve got my brother and his wife in town for the next week, so I’m afraid that I won’t have much time for Plex, but I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here on the Plex team (for those of you who celebrate it). We appreciate all your kind words and support, and we hope you’re spending some quality time with your families and eating lots of good food! (If anything, think of us when you’re stuffed with dinner, have some wine in your belly, and sit down in front of the TV to watch a movie with Plex.)
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it! What’s better than a free-range organic turkey? A new Plex/Seven release!
We really appreciate all the feedback on the first in the Plex/Seven series. We have new features in the works, new ideas, and a great deal of enthusiasm and energy for this new series. So much so, in fact, that we’ve postponed the Plex/Six stable series release briefly to bring new a new installment in the Plex/Seven series. The good news is that hopefully we’ve fixed many of the issues keeping people away from Plex/Seven.
- NEW: Aperture support. James and I had a bet on who could finish first, I took Lightroom and he took Aperture. I’m sure you can guess who won. Same killer features as iPhoto and iTunes, including automatic reloading of databases, and access across the network.
- NEW: Ryan greatly enhanced the CoreAudio driver, cutting out lots of old crufty code in the process. Not only does this fix the problem with fuzzy audio at low volumes and incorrect playback speed, but it also add some features that audiophiles will appreciate. The legacy XBMC code was performing a bunch of useless format conversions, whereas his new code converts from source format directly to 32 floating point, which is the CoreAudio native format. This means you can now play back 24-bit 96KHz media, at full fidelity. Ryan explains more in his blog post.
- NEW: James enhanced the Programs area of Plex. Workflows can be added to the root-level menu, folders can be added as sources, workflows can be selected by navigating into folders. (Plex quits when starting workflows, releasing control of the Apple remote). Additionally, you can run Applescript scripts from the Scripts menu, or by mapping them directly to keys in the keymap files. This opens up lots of possibilities!
- NEW: The Plex Media Server generates thumbs for artists, per request (picks an album thumb).
- FIX: Lots of people had been asking for volume control via Apple Remote. While there’s nothing we can do about encoded digital audio volume (AC3/DTS) there are plenty of people who listen to music and videos in stereo. Hence, we’ve remapped some of the keys in an attempt to improve matters (and fixed a related bug in the process). The new mapping is as follows: up and down control volume in full-screen. Since the buttons are quite limited on the Apple Remote, we removed FF and REW and replaced them with big skip forward and back when holding left/right keys. This makes some logical sense, as hitting right takes a small skip forward, while *holding* right takes a larger step (and similar with the left button). Try it out, let us know what you think.
- FIX: Really slow stream buffering of some Shoutcast streams.
- FIX: Lots of Plex Media Server bugs fixed, including crash on Apple Lossless files, glitchy sound on start of track, incorrect play speed, crash at end of video podcast, and crash with no iPhoto libraries.
- FIX: We now disable UPnP client by default, because it causes crashes (e.g. when waking from sleep). You can also now go into network settings and disable it.
- FIX: Disable PlexHelper when launching EyeTV client (James).
- FIX: Crash when in TV shows and theme music enabled (James).
- FIX: Playing DRM tracks from Plex library now works (James).
- FIX: Crash when skipping to the next track when playing a DRM music track with an iTunes visualizer enabled.
- FIX: James fixed setting a source to be the default. For example, you can set the iTunes Plex Media Server source to be the default, and you’ll go directly there from the main menu.
- FIX: Volume no longer affects visualizations.
- FIX: A ton of iTunes visualizers fixes, including not showing new track information, crash when scanning for visualizers, support for new Disco iTunes visualizer, and iTunes visualizers not being offset/sized correctly for calibrated screens.
- FIX: Some fixes for keyboard layout switching (thanks to Roman) and updates to KinoPoisk.Ru scraper.
The latest scrapers and some XBMC fixes have also been included.
Here’s Barkley doing his “kangaroo” trick.
I feel like I cheated you all, because we promised a release today and it’s taken us until now to fix some last minute issues and package everything up. Technically, it’s still Nov 16th, but I do realize that it will be Nov 17th for almost everyone else on the planet! My sincere apologies.
Without further ado, then, we’d like to present to you the first release of the Plex/Seven series. You know what’s in it, come take it for a spin. A few notes:
- Delete or move aside your old Application Support/Plex folder. Too many settings and other things have changed. Yes, you’ll have to rescan everything, but look on the bright side, you’ll get TV Theme music and the latest Fan Art. I recommend renaming the folder so that you can easily jump back to Plex/Five if you need to.
- There are bugs. This is the first release of a new development series. Some things that used to work are quite likely broken. Remember, the Plex/Five series (soon to be bug-fixed into the Plex/Six stable series) underwent 22 releases to reach the level of stability it’s currently at.
- Come join the forums. From the number of hits we’re getting to the Sparkle AppCast, we think we have quite a few users who aren’t forum members. We’d like to invite you to join, either for friendly support or simply for the great Pet Photos.
Last, but not least, I personally want to thank the entire Plex Team and community. The developers (Enrique, Isaac (yes, he’s coding!), James, Ryan and myself) are congealing into a seriously productive tight-knit team; it’s awesome working with you guys. The Plex testers (Miguel, Shaun, Mark M, Phunky, Mark D, Danny, and all the others) have worked hard to get the kinks out, and we really appreciate all the help. Alexis has been improving the Plex icon, tweaking the DMG art, improving the wiki look and feel, designing merchandise, and we’re very lucky to have someone so talented on the team. Jay has been working incredibly hard writing documentation to be ready for the release (an open source project with documentation???). Ben, Scott, Mike B, it’s awesome having you guys always around and willing to lend a hand. The community is brilliant, thank you all for being so friendly and supportive to our new and existing users.
And of course a special thanks to Cayce for providing the funding, bandwidth, and server to allow us to host all of the different Plex web locations.
This is Barkley at dusk with his friend Manu.