Video Library

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MythVideo allows for cataloging and playback of a variety of video file formats. It can perform automatic meta data look ups on IMDB as well as retrieve poster artwork.

It features three different "views" on your collection:

  • Browse view - Which shows a single video on screen at once with it's meta data.
  • Tree view - Which presents your videos in a view similar to the watch recordings screen. This view can be configured to show file/subdirectories.
  • Gallery - Which presents you with numerous titles at once laid out in a view similiar to MythGallery.

MythVideo uses external players, such as Xine or mplayer, to play back the video files. It can be configured to use MythTV's internal playback engine by specifying "Internal" as the player. Please note that if you use MythVideo to launch external players, you *must* have a window manager configured and running so that window focus can change from MythFrontend to the media player. Compatible window managers include those built into KDE and Gnome, Ratpoison, Flux Box, and I imagine many more.

External Player Configuration

In order to change from using mPlayer to Xine etc., you will need to delve into your MythVideo setup.

At the main screen, scroll down to Setup, then Video Settings, then Player Settings. Here you'll see a box which contains the command line MythFrontend will launch your video file with. %s is a variable which corresponds to the file path and name of the file you're going to play. All you need to do is edit this command line to run whatever player you like.

mPlayer Configuration

The default configuration uses mplayer

 mplayer -fs -zoom -quiet -vo xv %s

Xine Configuration

Xine is my favourite media player under Linux, so I chose to use it as my default video playback app. Since I had already chosen to use Xine for MythDVD and had already configured Xine to work with my remote control, setup was fairly painless.

Running man xine from the terminal will get you an exhaustive list of the many options Xine can be run with, but the following is a good default:

 xine -pfhq --no-splash

I use this option and have never had to do any major tweaks. -p specifies "autoplay", f starts in fullscreen mode, h hides the GUI (if you've installed xine-ui) and q means that xine will exit after the video finishes playing, returning you to MythVideo. --no-splash disables the splash screen that Xine usually starts with.

Further Xine Configuration

It seems that xine has a rather annoying habit of reverting back to the default keys even after configuring them, and that several functions overlap each other (the prev/next mrl function and the prev/next chapter buttons are an example). The easiest way to solve this problem is to edit the keymap file ($HOME/.xine/keymap usually) or just use the keymap editor in xine_gui if you have it installed, and set up the keys how you'd like, in my case one for watching vids and another for watching dvds. Then copy the keymap file to something similar to and/or keymap.dvd. Then enter this as your default player (using the above configuration as a base).

xine -pfhq --no-splash --keymap=file:/path/to/.xine/ %s

This tells xine to load the keymap from the specified file. After doing this xine decided to behave and has been working nicely for sometime.

Per-file Configuration

You can also run specified files with a non-standard command. Under the MythVideo Video Manager, if you hit enter on a specific file, you are presented with the settings for that file. The categories here are fairly self explanatory, but in the Unique Player Command box at the bottom you can specify different parameters to launch the file with.

If your movie comes in two or more parts, you can specify the file you always want to play next under, er, File to Always Play Next. For example, if I'm editing "A Film Too Long CD1", I can shift left and right until I find "A Film Too Long CD2" and so on. This will give you seamless playback of your chosen flick.

Metadata Lookup

MythVideo comes bundled with some cute scripts to look up details about your film over the internet. When you're in the Video Manager, hit i to bring up the info screen. Here you'll see an option to Search IMDB. Hit enter, and the script will tootle along over to the Internet Movie Database and retrieve details about the film as well as a poster of it.

Please note that the IMDB script relies on you having accurate filenames; if your film is named "@ f1lm 2 l0ng", the script isn't going to work. In this case, you should rename the file or enter the IMDB reference number manually. You can get this number by looking up your film on the IMDB website, and noting the number in the URL that follows the tt. For instance, Akira has an IMDB number of 0094625. If you type this into the Manually Enter IMDB # input, the IMDB grabber script will shoot off and grab the data for you.

In case the IMDB grabber script gets confused - sometimes different films have very similar names - the results are returned in order of popularity, as well as having their year of release shown in brackets. This should be enough for you to work out which is the correct entry.