Archive for March, 2011
- FIX: As issue when scanning a lot of new content (especially TV shows), where the Media Server could become unresponsive. We are now downloading media at the time of the scan (to make access faster in clients), and there was a bug that could cause an excessive amount of simultaneous downloads to, um, mess things up.
Some fixes specifically for Windows users:
- FIX: [Win] The issue with season/episode posters not appearing has finally been fixed.
- FIX: [Win] An issue where Plex Media Server refused to start when the user directory had an apostrophe in it. Many thanks to mrrwbrown and nyez1 on the forums for helping us track it down, we really appreciate it!
And a few subtitle fixes:
- FIX: Subtitles weren’t being automatically enabled when there was just one embedded subtitle in a file and the preference was set to subtitles being “always enabled”.
- FIX: As if that wasn’t bad enough, if a subtitle wasn’t enabled automatically when a file was played on Plex for Mac, it was disabled rather forcefully, so that it wouldn’t (won’t) appear again even if your preferences changed.
So to summarize, every video you played with the last version which did NOT choose to display subtitles automatically now has them disabled unless you manually enable them. This is likely not a big deal, because if you wanted them enabled you would have likely done so at the time! And the bug is now fixed.
We are going to be making more subtitle improvements, including fixing IDX/SUB subtitles, adding support for MicroDVD (on mobile clients as well!) and making the whole process of adding subtitles to your media easier and quicker. Don’t worry, we’re just getting started!
Next up, a few improvements for music fans:
- NEW: Support for scanning FLAC! So I recently upgraded my desk stereo a bit, and as a result, I got into an argument with a friend about MP3 VBR vs FLAC. He insisted that there was a huge difference in imaging and dynamics (words that audiophiles like to throw around, along with “coherence” and “coloration”, as they mark their CDs with green pens and purchase three-hundred dollar HDMI cables in hopes that the zeros and ones are, I don’t know, transmitted in Helvetica?). Anyway, having purchased quite a few CDs in the past, and having ripped them to VBR MP3, I was hoping that he was wrong, because, after all, re-ripping 400+ discs didn’t sound like much fun. To make a long story short, he uploaded three tracks for me in MP3 and FLAC format, and I A/B’d between then (blindly, of course). The result? They both sounded great, and I couldn’t tell the difference to save my life.
- NEW: The Local Media agent has been updated to pull album art out of tags for MP3 and FLAC files. And there was much rejoicing.
Just like subtitles, the music support is a work in progress, and we have awesome things planned…
Finally, for all of you who access your media server remotely, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve added authentication to the web manager. OK, seriously, is that a sexy looking dialog or what?
This, believe it or not, is a crabby-looking young Barkley pup. Taken when we lived in Fullerton, CA, he always had this look on his face that said a) I’m annoyed and b) when I get bigger I am going to eat you.
Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice, men and software engineers.
The last release contained a stupid database bug which caused the following issues in certain cases (mostly from-scratch scans):
- Scans wouldn’t bring in new content.
- Deleting the trash would crash the media server.
We apologize profusely for this issue, and we will strive to do better in the future. For starters, we’ll be sure to push major new releases as incrementals/betas before we push via Sparkle. We’ll also consider either administering beatings or reducing the beer rations as negative incentives for those guilty of the bugs.
(A known issue with this release – the last few, actually – is IDX/SUB subtitles. We’ll be working on it.)
Barkley raised his per-photo licensing rates, so we’re going to have to skip this release.55 comments
No matter how much testing you do, software always has bugs. It’s the curse of our profession. I guess you could say the same about any product or profession (say, that Beatles song with the guitars ever so slightly out of tune, or the house with the floors that are not quite level). But with those things, the imperfections can add to the final product, add to its character, whereas with software, flaws are just undesirable warts. Such is the binary nature of our profession.
I read a paper years ago that described the curve of bugs left over time for a piece of software, assuming new bugs are never added, and while the number asymptotically approached zero, the curve went out for ten thousand years before reaching anywhere close to it. This was both eye-opening and depressing at the same time.
Anyway, enough digression, and on with the release, which fixes a number of issues. First and foremost, let’s talk subtitles. We had a number of people comment that they liked seeing english subtitles with english audio, so of course, we listened. We listened because we care deeply about our users, and the happier they are, the happier we are! So let’s look at the new preferences:
If you pick the “Manually Selected” option, we’ll never show subtitles by default, unless you manually enable them. With the second option, we will attempt to automatically show subtitles when the audio is foreign (e.g. if you’re portuguese, we’ll try to show you portuguese subtitles for a libyan movie).
The third option is new, and with it we’ll try very hard to display subtitles, using the following heuristics:
- If we find a subtitle matching your requested language, we’ll show it (even if the audio language matches). This solves the “english on english” case.
- If there is a “sidecar” subtitle (i.e. a subtitle file next to the video file) we’ll pick that even if the language didn’t match, because most of the time when people have a subtitle file sitting there, they want to display it.
- If there is a single subtitle embedded in the file, we’ll use that even if the language didn’t match.
Hopefully that should be a step in the right direction. Please always bear in mind that if the automatic heuristics get it wrong, you can simply make a manual choice, and this will be remembered. On all clients.
The other slightly tricky thing about subtitles in the last release was that if you already had your media scanned into Plex, you had to do a forced refresh to find and process the subtitles. This is obviously just a transitional issue (since any new media scanned in will get the subtitles right away). Let me just explain quickly what you need to do in order to get your subtitles into the library:
First, make sure that the Local Media Assets agent is enabled for movies (Freebase) and TV Shows (TheTVDB). This will be the case on new installs, but if you’ve been with us for a while, it’s possible you don’t have them turned on:
Next, you can try with a single piece of media by right clicking and selecting “Refresh Metadata”. This will pull in subtitles for a single show or a movie.
Finally, you can load all subtitles for all your media by shift-clicking on the refresh button. This will not overwrite your locked metadata or change any posters you’ve selected.
Here is a full list of bugs this release fixes. The Mac downloads have been made live on the main page and via Sparkle, and the Windows builds will be made live tomorrow after we do some final testing. Thanks for your patience and for all your great feedback on the last release.
- FIX: The Media Server would crash on start if you had certain plug-ins installed with bogus XML.
- FIX: In certain cases, a scan would result in multiple movies showing the same name/poster.
- FIX: A few fixes for soft deletion, including merged movies not showing the /!\ icon.
- FIX: Changing the view type in Unwatched Shows would change the view type for episodes.
- FIX: Possible fix for an OS X Lion crash (Plex is still unsupported on Lion).
- FIX: Plex should now pick DTS/AC3 tracks over stereo when connected to a receiver.
- FIX: When you play a video via iOS application, screen saver is turned off on Plex.
- FIX: [Win] Issue with the transcoder, many videos wouldn’t play.
- FIX: [Win] Posters for seasons/episodes not displaying.
- FIX: [Win] Customization of application support directory wasn’t working.
This release, as always, brought to you by Barkley, looking a bit fang-ful.