XBMC 11.0 – July Cycle

Posted By: Team XBMC on Aug 14, 2012 in Site News

As mentioned previously, we have now moved into a monthly development cycle, in which we merge new features at the beginning of the month and then perform bug fixes through the rest of the month. This means, at the end of every month, developers, bug-reporters, and those willing to deal with potentially highly unstable builds can try a snapshot from the current development cycle, and the organization, in turn, will have a more stable and predictable development process. For those of you who would prefer a stable version of XBMC, we will always recommend the most recent stable release (XBMC 11.0), but for the brave, you are welcome to try the end of the month build. To give an idea of just how unstable/alpha these builds can be, there will almost certainly be months in which some platforms won’t actually have usable builds. As always, we recommend you backup your userdata folder before upgrading.

With that said, let’s review some of the more notable changes in the July Changelog.

Embedded Fixes

As is to be expected, now that AudioEngine has been rolled into XBMC proper, other developers are beginning to wrap their heads around how AE affects various components of the XBMC experience and are providing fixes to streamline the process. One of the first major fixes is Dirty Audio, which works quite a lot like Dirty Video. In the past, AE was “always on,” which resulted in the loss of many CPU cycles on embedded devices like the Apple TV and Android. Now, AE is a little smarter and stops doing its conversion work when no sound is output.

Additionally, up to now, XBMC has been running a huge number of SQL queries at startup. These queries haven’t been a big problem for powerful x86 processors, because the queries have not be overly intensive on CPU cycles. The same is not necessarily true on embedded systems. After an extensive round of SQL query optimization, the amount of queries at startup have been cut by 70%, which could have a powerful effect on iOS and Android boot times.

Google Summer of… Database Improvement – Tags

The work being done by devs JMarshall and Montellese as sponsored by GSoC has resulted in a stream of new updates and features this month. In particular, because scraped moviesets are intentionally limited to one per movie for clarity by TheMovieDb, movies (and potentially other media in the future) can now be tagged with additional info by the user with Tags. Think of Tags as personal moviesets that the user can create in the XBMC interface. At the moment, tags are limited to movies, but can be extended to tv shows and music videos in the future. Below is a quick video of how Tags work.

Audio Database Improvements

Newest team member night199uk has provided fixes to the music library that make it smarter at handling multiple artists and albums with the additional benefit of allowing XBMC to better scrape the MusicBrainz encyclopedia.

CEC updates

New fixes for the CEC Adapter have been introduced to the code that introduce wake over CEC and numerous other fixes and features. For a list of the changes, see here.

Conclusion

As always, this is merely a sample of the many changes this cycle. For a full list of all the July changes, feel free to take a look at our list of July milestones. Also, keep an eye out for the August Cycle. Or, if you are feeling a bit brave and a bit lucky, just start downloading.

  • Windows and OSX (64bit OSX will be available in the morning US time)
  • Apple TV and iOS installation instructions (also available in the morning US time).
  • Given the additional complexities of distribution, builds for Linux are not yet available at XBMC.org.
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Discussion - 45 Comments

  • explodedk Aug 14, 2012 

    will the tags also work like the group set? i mean in a list of movies, will it group up the movies in tags? or is it strickly for yet another menupoint in the library ?

  • explodedk Aug 14, 2012 

    @explodedk
    to answer my own question it is yet another menu point… so still a pain in the a** to group movies in sets if you don’t like tMDB’s way of doing it.

    would be awsome to have a menupoint in the movie information window that allow a user to edit/add a movie to a new/existing movieset…

  • bossanova808 Aug 14, 2012 

    You guys should implement some sort of progress dialog for the database update bit that occurs on first run of a new version….with, for example, a big music library, it hangs for several minutes … you can track it in a debug log if you have that turned on, but would be a lot friendlier if it popped up a ‘sit tight just doing some DB maintenance’ type of thing…(this is with MySQL, anyway)

  • David Aug 14, 2012 

    I like the tags. I will be nice to group movies in another way (like all snake movies be tagged as such.) Before I was creating customer genres for that, but tags seems like a much better ways of doing this

  • liquidskin76 Aug 14, 2012 

    Hi Nate. Do you know if the Dirty Audio changes to Windows AE will solve the issue of the audio device being locked out by wasapi when not in use, therefore causing problems with audio in external players? I’ll test however that won’t be until this evening so a good 8hrs away! Cheers

  • Tungmeister Aug 14, 2012 

    Seems pretty stable other than music playback via WASAPI is still borked.

  • BradVido88 Aug 14, 2012 

    +1 explodedk. We need a way to group movies into sets/folders/tags/whateveryourwanttocallthem thru the GUI. This is a good step, but forcing the user to go into the overall movie menu and select a subsection is a pain. I personally never use that menu.

  • necrosis Aug 14, 2012 

    Here is to hoping that the massive FLAC problem gets fixed soon. Sick of switching my output settings back to 2.0 in order to play anything that has FLAC 5.1 encoded audion.

  • Fire69 Aug 14, 2012 

    Would it be possible in some way to indicate the db-version for new builds somewhere?
    I have XBMC on many devices (6 at least… ), they all connect through MySQL.
    When I update 1 device and then notice it has a higher version for the db, sometimes there is no update available yet for some other devices (e.g. atv2), so I’m stuck which is annoying for resuming and watched status and such…

  • Basje Aug 14, 2012 

    I just downloaded XBMC 12 July for ATV2 and I cannot download it. It gives a dependency error on xbmc-iconpack. But I noticed that it showed “org.xbmc.xbmc-ios depends on org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack; however: Package org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack is not installed.”. So it appears that that ATV2 version is actually the iOS version? Looking at the filesize 52 MB (from 38 MB) is about the same as the iOS version?

  • theColonel26 Aug 14, 2012 

    So maybe in a bout 2 years I will finally be able to separate my anime from my TV shows… Excellent work guys /sarcasm

  • indiix2 Aug 14, 2012 

    2 Questions:

    1) Where are the nightlys going to be located? I don’t see them in the aforementioned http://mirrors.xbmc.org/snapshots/win32/ folder. Those are just Frodo builds. I’m trying to find the July monthly for 11 (Eden).

    2) If i install this monthly over the current 11 install will it erase, reset my settings? I was told from someone who is testing Frodo that each alpha resets his settings. I really don’t want to do that, however i’m running release Eden and would like to be testing out the monthlies.

  • rdsu Aug 14, 2012 

    When tried to install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2_12.0-0~a4_iphone.deb, the file wants to install org.xbmc.xbmc-ios and not org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2…

  • natethomas Aug 14, 2012 

    theColonel26 :

    So maybe in a bout 2 years I will finally be able to separate my anime from my TV shows… Excellent work guys /sarcasm

    Thanks for the comment! Our sincere apologies that all these guys working for free and the few students getting paid internship wages couldn’t move fast enough to meet the exacting standards you’ve set on this open source software project. I guess we should all just give up now and let you finish the project the way you think is best.

  • natethomas Aug 14, 2012 

    indiix2 :

    2 Questions:

    1) Where are the nightlys going to be located? I don’t see them in the aforementioned http://mirrors.xbmc.org/snapshots/win32/ folder. Those are just Frodo builds. I’m trying to find the July monthly for 11 (Eden).

    2) If i install this monthly over the current 11 install will it erase, reset my settings? I was told from someone who is testing Frodo that each alpha resets his settings. I really don’t want to do that, however i’m running release Eden and would like to be testing out the monthlies.

    1. Nightlies can be found in a link in the regular XBMC.org/download section.

    2. Installing a pre-frodo alpha should not mess with your settings unless you’ve been doing some crazy stuff with the SQL database.

  • natethomas Aug 14, 2012 

    @indiix2
    Oh, I may have misunderstood your question. These monthly releases are not stable releases based on Eden. They are extreme alpha releases made in preparation for Frodo.

  • Zebraitis Aug 14, 2012 

    So… will “tags” (once created and movies selected) then be found under Genres, or will that be a movie set?

    If you tell me “Genres”, then I will be very happy,as that will simplify Genres “Zombie” and “Post Apocalyptic”

    Thx!

  • Zebraitis Aug 14, 2012 

    Zebraitis :So… will “tags” (once created and movies selected) then be found under Genres, or will that be a movie set?
    If you tell me “Genres”, then I will be very happy,as that will simplify Genres “Zombie” and “Post Apocalyptic”
    Thx!

    Damn… To answer my own question: Neither.

    Now we have Genres… Sets… and now Tags.

    And, to get to tags, it is not as simple as getting to Genres or sets. (You have to select movies and then go up-level to get to the menu that has tags)

    This makes life easier… how?

    Why not just make Tags be a simle way to define a Genres and make it fit the current menu formatting?

    ???

  • Anonymous Aug 14, 2012 

    @explodedk

    You can do this with the MovieSet addon but yes, eventually I, too, would prefer to see something baked directly into XBMC.

  • indiix2 Aug 14, 2012 

    Thanks! That makes much more sense.@natethomas

  • nedscott Aug 14, 2012 

    theColonel26 :

    So maybe in a bout 2 years I will finally be able to separate my anime from my TV shows… Excellent work guys /sarcasm

    There have been several ways to separate such content:

    *Separate profiles which allows for multiple libraries on the same XBMC box
    *Smart playlists (combined it with a skin that supports custom home items, and you have a home-level entry for whatever content you want)
    *As of XBMC v11, Library content via File View allows all library features (covers, summaries, etc) to be viewable in library mode, allowing the library to be organized in folders (thus taking the best of both modes)
    *In a previous Alpha/monthly cycle (for v12, that is) Custom video nodes have been added, and will allow everyone to finally have more than just “TV shows” and “Movies”.
    *And now tags (which are kind of like using keywords in other programs) (at least for movies. TV shows should be coming shortly)

    Since before v11 you’ve had the top two options, since v11 you’ve had the top three options, today you have four options for TV shows, and will likely have all five options before v12 is released.

  • Anonymous Aug 14, 2012 

    @explodedk
    There is a program called ‘movie sets’ that does allow you to create your own sets or add movies to current sets that are not normally there it works really well

  • jmarshall Aug 15, 2012 

    @Zebraitis
    The skin just hasn’t caught up is all. You can have an option for them on the home page if that’s what you want easily enough – I’m sure that by the time Frodo rolls around the homepage will include this option. ***

    The idea with tags is simple: They’re for tagging movies using anything you like. They work like Genres but are more free-form. They are also createable from the UI.

    *** Hopefully, if I get time, it’ll be completely customisable, just like the existing Video library is. Don’t like Genres and want to use Tags instead? You can do this already. The only bit that’s missing is the links from Home->Video library which are currently the domain of the skin.

  • Zebraitis Aug 15, 2012 

    @jmarshall

    First, thanks for the response. Lots of respect for the work that you all are doing.

    I guess I am saying / asking: Keep it simple (for the n00b or spouse factor).

    If XBMC is to have TAGS, then allow me to decide where I want them: If it is to be another subheading off the main menu OR if I want my TAGS to show up in Genres.

    With a very large collection, I do not wish to tag a movie if I can get XBMC to pull it for me from a scraper. As such, I like Genres.

    However, If I want to modify a .nfo to include a ZOMBIE movie Genres (or, as the fellow mentioned above, ANIME), well it’s a PITA to do it to a large number of films manually no matter which tool you choose to use. (….and before someone says “ember” it does not like .ISO files, etc.)

    So TAGS seems to do this and do it quickly. I very much like the approach.

    I think the option to drop TAGS into Genres would make sense. (…and please tell me if it doesn’t. I can handle it.)

    Now, I ask: should I be discussing this here / forum, OR should I be taking this request over to the Confluence forum to try to influence their skin design.

    Thanks

    ps: Has thas the work on MYSQL for audio been completed?

  • explodedk Aug 15, 2012 

    @theColonel26
    why not just use a smart playlist to seperate the two?

  • explodedk Aug 15, 2012 

    @Anonymous

    where can i find this ? don’t see it under programs, nor video addons… is it a passion addon ?

  • Vidkun Aug 15, 2012 

    @Zebraitis The majority of my collection is in .ISO and ember works just fine with them. Who told you it didn’t like them?

  • Ego Aug 15, 2012 

    @explodedk Agreed. The current movie set set up is GARBAGE. Sorry for the harsh words, but it is. I set up all my movies with NFOs, and some series into sets per the XBMC Wiki, and now XBMC wants to mangle them, or create sets for movies I don’t want in sets with silly names… “The Snake Plissken Chronicles”!? My dad doesn’t remember Snake Plissken, he remembers “Escape From…”

    In my opinion, internal sets (via NFOs) should be on by default, or at the very least a separate option from external (via scrapper) sets. External and internal sets shouldn’t be the same option. Hopefully that’ll happen sometime, until then I’ve got to remember to install the IMDb scrapper which doesn’t put everything into weird sets on its own

    /harshrantoff

  • Savell Martin Aug 15, 2012 

    I must say, that having a dedicated Anime option, like Movies, or TV Shows would be awesome.
    I know you guys put a lot of effort into XBMC and im not taking away from that.

    Just saying that a lot of people have massive Anime collections, and we have scrapers for them, but it goes into TV Shows.
    Which is a bit annoying, well really annoying.

    Keep it up tho, love the improvements.

  • texasfrank Aug 15, 2012 

    Basje :
    I just downloaded XBMC 12 July for ATV2 and I cannot download it. It gives a dependency error on xbmc-iconpack. But I noticed that it showed “org.xbmc.xbmc-ios depends on org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack; however: Package org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack is not installed.”. So it appears that that ATV2 version is actually the iOS version? Looking at the filesize 52 MB (from 38 MB) is about the same as the iOS version?

    Same here. Cant resolve iconpack dependency NOR install the iconpack. What gives?
    How shall ATV2-Owners proceed?

  • gabbott Aug 15, 2012 

    @Ego, why don’t you use the universal scraper? That will allow you to customize your scraper on what items are scraped from where as well as you can turn off the option to grab set info from tmdb. When scraping it still will grab set info from NFO files.

  • nedscott Aug 15, 2012 

    texasfrank :

    Basje :
    I just downloaded XBMC 12 July for ATV2 and I cannot download it. It gives a dependency error on xbmc-iconpack. But I noticed that it showed “org.xbmc.xbmc-ios depends on org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack; however: Package org.xbmc.xbmc-iconpack is not installed.”. So it appears that that ATV2 version is actually the iOS version? Looking at the filesize 52 MB (from 38 MB) is about the same as the iOS version?

    Same here. Cant resolve iconpack dependency NOR install the iconpack. What gives?
    How shall ATV2-Owners proceed?

    Post this to the XBMC help forums in the iOS sub-forum. It’s too hard to troubleshoot via WordPress comments.

  • nedscott Aug 15, 2012 

    @Savell Martin
    This is what custom video nodes will do for us. Think of “TV shows” and “Movies” as nodes. We’ve always just had the two, and only those two. In XBMC v12 it will be possible to make as many as you want. The nodes can be populated by various methods using the same rules as smart playlists, and can even work with tags if you want to use tags to populate the node. Nodes can also exclude content too, so you don’t have anime creeping into your general “TV shows” node.

  • Ego Aug 15, 2012 

    @gabbott Thanks, because apparently I spoke too soon. Just did an uninstall (deleted profile), re-install, and set it up with IMDb scrapping, but it still wants to grab those silly set names. View Askewniverse? No one in the house, besides me, that uses our living room XBMC would think to look in there for one of those movies

    I started over again, this time using Universal Scrapper (with the THDb sets option turned off) and now everything looks kosher. Thanks for the suggestion again, gabbott. Now my XBMC is as organized as it was a few versions ago!.. Haha

  • explodedk Aug 16, 2012 

    @Savell Martin

    i really can’t see the big problem here… i got lots of movies, and lots of cartoons for the kid… i seperate them by smart playlist :

    path starts with > cartoons | path starts with > movies .

    then i use a skin that support custom homemenu’s and make my own firstlevel entries to those two… (aeon nox)

    But as nedscott put it, all this is ancient when xbmc 12 is landing:)

  • nedscott Aug 16, 2012 

    ATV2 and iOS iDevice users: Looks like the builds got mixed up, so hold off on trying to install XBMC for your devices for now.

  • Savell Martin Aug 16, 2012 

    Im already running Frodo how would I setup a separate node?
    And @explodedk its only mainly for Anime, as if you use Anime scraper under TV Shows, they get scraped into the TV Shows node.
    Also the issue with Anime is it uses a different numbering compared to TV Shows.

    For things like you say, if I have a load of Movies and want to separate out a bunch for the kids then ye I get that as they are Movies.
    As in both Movies run by the same scraper. Ye you will need to separate them out then.
    But for Anime it should be a separate node as @nedscott says. (thanks for that :) )

  • explodedk Aug 16, 2012 

    @Savell Martin

    i still can’t see the difference tbh.. have your anime in one folder, and tv shows in another, add two sources. which each of there own scrapers, and then split em up afterwood with a smart playlist..

  • explodedk Aug 16, 2012 

    @nedscott

    also running frodo, and can’t seem to see where you could separate the node… care to elaborate nedscott :) ?

  • nedscott Aug 16, 2012 

    explodedk :

    @nedscott

    also running frodo, and can’t seem to see where you could separate the node… care to elaborate nedscott :) ?

    It hasn’t really been worked into the GUI yet, but the core of the feature is there: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Custom_video_nodes

    Making this work well within the GUI will be a big part of making the feature successful, so keep an eye out on future updates for when we have better integration with the default skin.

  • SadMac Aug 17, 2012 

    I’m very skeptical about the “additional complexities of distribution”. Building some debs and pushing to a PPA is not hard at all. Please sort out monthly releases for Linux users.

    I really think it’s going to hurt your core XBMCbuntu releases if users aren’t going to be upgrading monthly – there will be so many undiscovered bugs on the platform. Nightlies are simply too unstable, in my experience, to bother with on Linux.

  • JustinSane Aug 18, 2012 

    I’ll take a look, It would be nice for AAC to be fixed (audio discontinuity errors, video judders makes stuff un watchable). I think we will be waiting a LONG while for that though.

    All the other audio formats are fine though, it’s just AAC that’s not working too well. The main dev that was helping in the AE thread seems to have disappeared; hope he is doing ok. Be cool if other devs would take a look at the AAC issue, the only answer I have gotton over this is “oh but it doesn’t happen for me!” which from one of the xbmc team, is not too good of a response. Yes it’s not an issue everyone is having, but if it’s happening even to a small group, it is something broken and needs fixing.

    Thank you to all the team all the same though, top notch media software, and it’s nice to see an android version for those that use those android set top boxes (not really sure what use a home theater package has on a tablet, I still wonder why there is an ios version).

  • BDP Aug 19, 2012 

    If we’ve been installing the Frodo-based nightly builds and are okay with the bumps and crashes, those still represent newer/fresher code than the monthly cycle builds labeled Frodo alpha, linked in this article, correct?

  • JustinSane Aug 19, 2012 

    Nope, AAC issues still not fixed.

  • necrosis Aug 20, 2012 

    @JustinSane
    Yeah I am having AAC issues now too. Add that to the list of my before mentioned FLAC 5.1 problems.

About XBMC

XBMC is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. XBMC is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.