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Author Topic: Steam Deck and JRiver  (Read 888 times)

Doc4

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Steam Deck and JRiver
« on: August 09, 2023, 09:41:12 pm »

Hi, I use my MC master license on several machines and am pretty happy with it. One of the devices I use it on is a steam deck, which doesn't by default support any existing distribution of media center since there is no flatpak, and since regular OS updates wipe any changes to the immutable system partition since the last update (breaking programs like media center if you disable read only to install them) make the AUR install script unfeasible, I've opted to install it via a program available on github called distrobox. It's a program that uses podman to install other linux distributions like debian in a sandbox, and install apps inside those distributions which you can run mostly seamlessly from the host desktop.

With all this DIY solution junk out of the way, it works fairly well once configured correctly, and makes steam deck a very effective portable media center. Even theater mode displays correctly, which is a problem I had on many other linux distros normally. My problem is today is the second time I've seen the program randomly become unlicensed despite no major system changes or reconfigurations. I'd rather not keep burning restore uses over an unpredictable technical issue that causes no further problems.

Anyone have any ideas on what if anything might have made it deactivate, and what I might be able to do about this? IIRC JRiver has said they have no plans to release a flatpak version, and while I think it's quite technically possible and that the sandboxing in flatpak doesn't make it unfeasible, it would be simpler to fix the currently mostly working use case. Thanks for reading.
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BryanC

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2023, 10:04:13 pm »

Why not just run a normal (non-immutable) Linux distro on the Deck? And if you don't want to do that, have you tried using podman directly in conjunction with max096's container? https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,136004.0.html

You've got several layers of abstraction going on, my guess is that when distrobox pulls a new OS image, from MC's perspective it's basically a new machine. I'm not familiar enough with that piece of software to know if there are workarounds or if it supports persistence in any form.

Also, JRiver will provide more restores if you ask, so don't worry about that.
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bob

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2023, 09:33:50 am »

Disable MAC address randomization if it's enabled.
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Doc4

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2023, 07:55:25 am »

Thank you both for your input, I looked into MAC address randomization and whether or not it was being used on either the OS or the guest OS, couldn't find any evidence that it was. IIRC, MAC randomization is more frequent than every few months, so I'd expect this problem to happen more if it were enabled, but I might be wrong about that.

I'd prefer not using another distro, as it would then forego the benefits of somewhat low level hardware control in an easy to use interface, and several other features of which no other distros I'm aware of have. The closest I know of is ChimeraOS. Disabling readonly on the system partition would cause far more problems than it would solve, and certainly result in having to reinstall MC every time a major system update installs, a slightly worse version of the existing problem. I generally hold off on updating the container itself or any packages, so there should be no major modifications to the system environment there.

As for why I don't use the docker container, I'm not super familiar with using podman manually, but would that result in a usable GUI? I'd considered using the docker image for a central headless server on a different machine, not also as a client. I'd also be worried about missing dependencies, as steamOS does have several packages it doesn't ship with. Said packages would also be needed to use the AUR script, which then means I'm stuck back at the host system package manager being off limits problem. Was tricky to devise a solution that even let me get this far ;D
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2023, 08:47:15 am »

I have a feeling this may be unavoidable, I think Bryan's right, it pulls a new OS image, and then registration is lost because it's a 'new' system. Ultimately you may be better off temporarily enabling write support, then build a MC package and install it, then disable write support. From there once you get everything setup, I'd close MC and make a backup of the .jriver folder somewhere if/when the OS updates wipes everything, you can restore your settings. It's a bit of a pain, yeah, but it's probably going to be better than it is now.
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I don't work for JRiver... I help keep the forums safe from Viagra and other sources of sketchy pharmaceuticals.

Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 32GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
JRiver Media Center 32 (Windows + Linux) | iFi ZEN DAC 3 | JBL 306P MkII Studio Monitors | Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

Doc4

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2023, 04:04:15 am »

I'll try that in the event that it happens again, it's only happened twice within 6 or so months but I was hoping to get some idea of how the system works so I might find and fix the culprit. When it does become unlicensed, it maintains the settings and database until I run it in cli with a new license file, so it's more of a nuisance than a total disaster.

SteamOS 3 seems to be stripped arch, people run into many issues with incompatible packages if important ones are changed or "updated" since the system packages aren't all the same versions from the arch repo, and writing over them is required to get quite a few  standard linux things working, like the AUR or locale-gen for example.

I'll consider trying to use the build script to build it on another machine and then installing it on this one if it continues to have issues. Thanks for the information and suggestions :)
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2023, 04:18:11 am »

I just tested and was able to momentarily enable write, grab the AUR PKGBUILD for jriver-media-center and modify it for MC31 (renamed it jriver-media-center31 since each major version is its own self-contained release), then built and installed MC using makepkg -si, then disabled write. It installs and runs fine for the most part, though after setting up MC and getting it connected to my Orange Pi server as a client, I made a backup of the .jriver folder and put it in a folder on the SD card. At least when the inevitable OS update wipes everything happens, I can easily restore MC to a working state quickly.

The downside being, there's no front: or hw: audio outputs on the Steam Deck, which is unfortunate if you wanted to playback bit-perfect audio without going through the system mixer (Pulse, PipeWire, etc. all will go through the system mixer).
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I don't work for JRiver... I help keep the forums safe from Viagra and other sources of sketchy pharmaceuticals.

Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 32GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
JRiver Media Center 32 (Windows + Linux) | iFi ZEN DAC 3 | JBL 306P MkII Studio Monitors | Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

bob

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2023, 08:35:52 am »

I just tested and was able to momentarily enable write, grab the AUR PKGBUILD for jriver-media-center and modify it for MC31 (renamed it jriver-media-center31 since each major version is its own self-contained release), then built and installed MC using makepkg -si, then disabled write. It installs and runs fine for the most part, though after setting up MC and getting it connected to my Orange Pi server as a client, I made a backup of the .jriver folder and put it in a folder on the SD card. At least when the inevitable OS update wipes everything happens, I can easily restore MC to a working state quickly.

The downside being, there's no front: or hw: audio outputs on the Steam Deck, which is unfortunate if you wanted to playback bit-perfect audio without going through the system mixer (Pulse, PipeWire, etc. all will go through the system mixer).
Maybe crank the default pulse sample rate up to the highest the device supports if the user has mixed material, otherwise if it's all the same sample rate material set it to the one the material has?
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2023, 11:22:33 am »

That may work, didn't have time to mess with it. Realistically though, I doubt I'll listen to much music on the Steam Deck (my phone and tablet can do it with JRemote2) and if I was, I'd use Panel in a web browser. Panel is perfect for devices like the Steam Deck, assuming you have your library server on another device (e.g. a Pi). In fact, I installed Chromium via Flatpak and set it up to automatically go into full screen and has Panel as the start page, so I can start it from the main Deck UI and it looks/works great. Exiting cleanly is a bit of a gotcha, but I got a controller combo down to close the app cleanly. Works very well. :D
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I don't work for JRiver... I help keep the forums safe from Viagra and other sources of sketchy pharmaceuticals.

Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 32GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
JRiver Media Center 32 (Windows + Linux) | iFi ZEN DAC 3 | JBL 306P MkII Studio Monitors | Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones

Doc4

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Re: Program randomly becomes unlicensed in uncommon use case
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2023, 02:06:04 pm »

That may work, didn't have time to mess with it. Realistically though, I doubt I'll listen to much music on the Steam Deck (my phone and tablet can do it with JRemote2) and if I was, I'd use Panel in a web browser. Panel is perfect for devices like the Steam Deck, assuming you have your library server on another device (e.g. a Pi). In fact, I installed Chromium via Flatpak and set it up to automatically go into full screen and has Panel as the start page, so I can start it from the main Deck UI and it looks/works great. Exiting cleanly is a bit of a gotcha, but I got a controller combo down to close the app cleanly. Works very well. :D
Glad to hear your test went well, I assume you use the stock OS? I'd used panel for a while, actually. The primary issue I had with that is I'd be using media center more for remote video playback moreso than music on this computer, and half my library has subtitles which as far as I've been able to tell with what I've tested, can't be enabled from panel even if they're set as the default playback option. Running a full client also gives me access to downloading among other things. I have it playback through the pulse audio server for now. Bit perfect audio would be nice, but I have an external audio interface at home for that, I'm happy it works at all on this tiny thing!  :)
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Steam Deck and JRiver
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2023, 04:20:20 pm »

Yes, I use the stock SteamOS.
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I don't work for JRiver... I help keep the forums safe from Viagra and other sources of sketchy pharmaceuticals.

Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 32GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
JRiver Media Center 32 (Windows + Linux) | iFi ZEN DAC 3 | JBL 306P MkII Studio Monitors | Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones
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