Archive for December, 2010
We just wanted to take a moment and wish you and your families a happy holidays! Thanks for spending this exciting year with us, thanks for your feedback, your encouragement, your enthusiasm, your kind words, and even for your constructive criticism. We’ve come a long way in the last year, and we have some amazing plans for 2011!
We’d also like to drop a little something in the stockings of our development community out there, in the form of a development key for the transcoder embedded in the Plex Media Server. Even though we’ve handed quite a few out to people who have asked, there has never been a public key available, which would be useful for building an HTML5 browser for the Plex Media Server, or any other number of other interesting things.
Without further ado, here is the key:
API Key: KQMIY6GATPC63AIMC4R2
Secret Key: k3U6GLkZOoNIoSgjDshPErvqMIFdE0xMTx8kgsrhnC0=
The only limitation on this key is that it may not be used for any commercial application, including any application (whether free or not) in any app store, without discussing it with us first.
I should point out in relation to this key, and community development around Plex in general, that two full-time employees of Plex came to our attention because of really cool contributions they made to the project. We’re going to be looking to grow the company in the coming year, so if you’re a kick-ass developer who would like to work on an amazingly fun project, build something with all the tools at your disposal, and blow us away.
But for now, eat, drink, be merry, and spend some time with the people you love!
As you might have noticed, we finished up on a round of incremental releases and made v0.9.1.9 an official release, updating the main download page and pushing it via Sparkle update. We want to take a moment and thank you all for trying out the incremental releases along the way, and giving us great feedback on them. We also hope the more adventurous among you enjoyed playing around with new features and fixes before they were officially released!
Without further ado, I’m happy to introduce you to a new incremental chock full of bug-fixes:
- FIX: Media thumbnailing functionality was broken. Totally my fault, we’ve been making builds of Plex Media Server for other platforms (*hint hint wink wink*) and I accidentally left it disabled in the OS X build. Whoops.
- FIX: Minor fixes for Plex ffmpeg (MPEG-TS memory leak, fix for Blu Ray subtitles).
- FIX: There was an issue starting some MP4 streams in plug-ins (e.g. Earth Touch and MSNBC). Thanks to Sander for helping us diagnose the issue and test the fix!
- FIX: Unmatching an item wasn’t resetting posters and other graphics correctly.
- FIX: Second level movie sections weren’t showing custom backgrounds.
- FIX: On occasion, secondary lists of sections would show up without a background (thanks, Scott!)
You can try out the incremental by downloading it here.
Also, as noted on Twitter, we pushed some enhancements to the scanners and the local media agent for MP4 files, and I’d like to take a bit of time to explain them, because it’s a great example of the power of our new library and how quickly we can add major enhancements, and give them to you, without even needed to make a new release.
You might have a file sitting on your disk named “30 Rock/Sun Tea.mov” which an episode from the popular (although I don’t think much of it, to be honest) show. In order to scan into a TV library section, Plex needs to know the episode and season number, which it usually gleans from the filename (e.g. “S03E04″). Happily, we just pushed an enhancement to the scanner which allows it to parse MP4 files and determine this information through looking at the information in the file.
So now that it’s in the library, what about episode title, summary (or for a movie, plot, genres, actors, etc.)? This data is handled by metadata agents, and we have one specific one, the “Local Media Assets” agent. While most agents scurry all over the Internet looking for data, this one looks only on your hard drive, for things like poster files, fanart files, and now, in this latest push, metadata embedded in MP4 files.
The awesome thing is when you look at your metadata agent settings, and realize that you can *prefer* local metadata, but fall back to data from the Internet (seen in the screenshot below, where I’ve made Local Media Assets the most important agent).
This is really, really cool, and in my opinion, really brings your media to life and gives you the choice of deciding exactly how you want to imbue it with metadata.
You can download this latest incremental right here.
So a mere six days after at least some of us stuffed ourselves silly with turkey, and indeed perhaps invigorated from all those calories, we’re back with another incremental release. Shiny new features! Many bugs crushed! New levels, pigs, and a new bird! (Whoops, wrong program.) Seriously though, I think James has slept about 5 hours in the last six days, and has entered an advanced state of mind meld with Cocoa.
So let’s get to the exciting part! Here is what’s new and shiny. (Note that this is another incremental, which means it’s a work in progress, and you should only download it if you want to be on the bleeding edge.)
- NEW: We’ve fleshed out the Plex Media Manager to allow browsing into seasons and episodes, albums and tracks. It’s here, it’s pretty, and finally you can do things you’ve wanted to do for ages like edit season thumbs. Please note, even though it’s functional, it’s not finished by any means, and things like selection states and keyboard navigation are missing.
- NEW: Separate buttons for refreshing and agent settings.
- NEW: Keyboard shortcuts for Edit Metadata, Refresh, and Fix Incorrect Match.
- NEW: Typing letter scrolls to the first item which starts with that letter in the browser.
- NEW: Show Media Manager when dock icon is clicked.
- NEW: Include the WebManager.bundle in the package. This web-based media manager is really quite awesome. Built using the advanced Cappuccino framework by our one and only Brian D, it gives you a way to access and organize your media via any web browser (even on your iPad) and leaves you wondering “was that really a web app??” Try it yourself by hitting http://x.x.x.x:32400/manage – if you have an older version, delete the WebManager.bundle and let PMS refresh it for you on start (it’ll autoupdate shortly).
We also fixed a large number of bugs:
- FIX: Delete collection instead section when clicking the [-] button (sorry!)
- FIX: Only allow dropping onto same-section collections.
- FIX: The Fix Incorrect Match button wasn’t working in the details view.
- FIX: We remember selection and scroll location when navigating back.
- FIX: Broken forward navigation, forward swiping in browse view.
- FIX: Missing last character in path bar in media manager.
- FIX: Plex Media Server issue which could result in hang or missing sections/plug-ins.
- FIX: Long beachball adding/removing sections.
- FIX: Rescan whacks collections, they weren’t locked correctly if you created them by dragging and dropping or context menu.
- FIX: Abort on start with Aperture XML file with weird permission/location.
- FIX: Don’t perform Bonjour resolves during video playback, fixes an every-ten-minute or so stutter.
- FIX: Rare crash in Plex when left idle.
- FIX: Continue scanning if we run into permissions issues.
- FIX: Dock icon weirdness when disabling and attempting an immediate restart.
- FIX: We’ve reverted the transcoder to use the older quality settings, which will reduce CPU usage.
You can download this latest incremental right here. Please let us know in this thread how it is working for you!