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Author Topic: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!  (Read 15553 times)

scott_r

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MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« on: February 26, 2006, 04:17:53 am »

Well, not quite, but I have finally managed to get Media Center 11.1.111 working under WINE on Ubuntu Linux 5.10. Here's a link to a description of how to get MC going for you. It's not perfect, but for audio playback it's great.

Screenshot

Note: MC under Linux does not work perfectly, and I'll bet you anything that JRiver won't support problems arising from running MC under Linux (and fair enough, too).

Have fun,

scott_r
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hit_ny

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 05:35:12 am »

Nice, until they make a change and you have to upgrade..

..isn't it risky, given that you could corrupt the library and not even know.
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scott_r

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 05:55:03 am »

Well, I originally installed MC11, and the auto-update feature updated me to 11.1 with no problems.. As for library corruption, I'm not entirely worried about that - it's something that could just as easily happen on a Windows box anyway.

I think most Linux users who want to run Windows apps using WINE know the possible risks and problems associated with it and are prepared to take extra precautions, and are aware that there may or may not be forward compatibility from release to release.

Either way, it works for me and I can finally get back to using a "real" media player :)
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hit_ny

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2006, 09:09:14 am »

.. As for library corruption, I'm not entirely worried about that - it's something that could just as easily happen on a Windows box anyway.
Yes it could, if MC was closed unexpectedly.

Thing is MC expects a windows OS and makes updates to the library with that expectation. A small bug(s) in WINE is more what i was getting at. I suppose MC could complain if it had problems updating the library.

This crossed by mind recently as some ppl posted they had probs with library corruption. It's happened to me at times but i usually backup religously so it has not been catastrophic yet for me. But i could tell there was a problem as one column would not display correctly or had been filled with garbage. It set me wondering about the fields that were not visible in the viewscheme. It appears that MC can load up a corrupted library without problems. I have at times had it complain that a library was not valid.

I guess to be more confident with this approach it might help if MC verified that the library it loaded up was either all correct or not.
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scott_r

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2006, 02:47:17 pm »

Yes, library corruption is a problem. However, as a user of MC, I'd hope that JRiver have designed their software in such a way as to be resilient to failures in the underlying OS. Transcationed db commits, etc, all come to mind.

I would hope that if MC tries to write to the db and something "underneath" fails, it will cope gracefully. Of course, there's always the case where something "underneath" fails but doesn't let the caller know about it.

Having said that, I remember a thread long, long ago, about people wanting concurrent db access, with multiple clients accessing the same library server and being able to update the library. I'm not sure if you're able to do this in current versions of MC, but back then  JRiver said it was too hard (or costly, or something) to implement multiple user write access to the library. So, maybe the library hasn't been designed in an overly great way, in terms of robustness. (I'm not having a go at JRiver or their software design practices here).

Anyway, was it verson 11 that the "new" database system came in? How big was that change? I seem to recall that the db became relational - e.g, multiple records could reference the same data. Did this bring in atomic, or transactioned commits?

I guess we're getting a bit OT. It would be nice to think, as a customer, that my library is safe. However, I know to back it up regularly. Users of free/open source software are used to the whole "no warranties" thing, and are usually fine with having to take responsibility for their data. I certainly don't guarantee that running MC under WINE won't destroy your library, but when it comes down to it, it's not the end of the world even if it does :)

Cheers
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Mastiff

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2006, 02:58:09 pm »

I haven't had a corrupt library in as long as I can remember, and I have MC on at least 10 computers in the housd. Some of them rarely has a regular shutdown (impatient kids...), and nothing has happened. Probably because I backup after each change to the library, and I have several gigabytes of old library backups. ;)
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glynor

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2006, 08:55:35 pm »

I haven't had a corrupt library in as long as I can remember, and I have MC on at least 10 computers in the housd. Some of them rarely has a regular shutdown (impatient kids...), and nothing has happened. Probably because I backup after each change to the library, and I have several gigabytes of old library backups. ;)

Same here Mastiff.  Of course, I only use MC on 3 computers in the house (and 1 at work).  I've never had a problem with Library Corruption at all.  I do take precautions, and my library is backed-up and archived once per month (I could actually pull a library from May of 2003 if I wanted, but I don't).  Never once had a problem.

I wonder often when I see those reports... What else is going on with the systems?  Of course, I have thoroughly clean, WinXP boxes, which are all nuke/paved on a regular schedule.  I also thoroughly test my hardware regularly to check for memory problems and CPU failure (and two of my machines use registered RAM).  I would guess your systems aren't junk-ware as well.

So it's not exactly the same as someone's circa-1999 Win98se box which hasn't been spyware-scanned in a long time, running with sketchy no-name RAM, a VIA chipset, and a beta IDE driver they downloaded from some "driver search" web site because their cousin told them it would fix their problem with their 1,000,001 Casino Games CD-ROM disc.  You just have to take the variety of installation types into consideration (and then you're usually amazed that any software works at all).

Pertaining to the parent post...

Considers installing MC on his Kubuntu Breezy box... Great work Scott!!  I just might check it out next weekend while I'm setting up my new main PC.

 ;D
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hit_ny

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2006, 12:58:21 am »

I'd hope that JRiver have designed their software in such a way as to be resilient to failures in the underlying OS. Transcationed db commits, etc, all come to mind.

I would hope that if MC tries to write to the db and something "underneath" fails, it will cope gracefully. Of course, there's always the case where something "underneath" fails but doesn't let the caller know about it.

Anyway, was it verson 11 that the "new" database system came in? How big was that change? I seem to recall that the db became relational - e.g, multiple records could reference the same data. Did this bring in atomic, or transactioned commits?
The only change i recall in 11 is that it can handle bigger libraries. I doubt MC's dB is relational at all. Fact that only one user at a time can write to it makes me think its nothing but an optimised B-tree using file level protection provided by the OS.

So think of an app that writes to a file or files and uses the OS to read & save etc. Most library corruptions happen because it does not complete a write back to the dB. MC gets interrupted some way for whatever reason.

This means that if WINE can handle simple file transactions perfectly, there may not be the problem of library corruption i mentioned earlier.
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GHammer

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2006, 02:35:18 am »

I got a corrupt library a few times.
I don't run under linux.

I don't think it is just WINE that is the problem. MC 11.1 is a beta, things break from time to time then get fixed.
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bob

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2006, 12:42:49 pm »

I've the current MC11.1 installed and running under debian using Scotts instructions. It's pretty interesting. I'm wondering if the delay on initial running is because MC is trying to reach the default web page and failing? I notice though ie6 is installed by the procedure if I run ie6 it can't do anything useful. Seems like it might be a permission problem because the wine tools want to be run as a user, not root, and it could be why ie6 doesn't work.

Also, on my machine, it tries to play but fails buffering audio forever. I think this is probably a problem with a sound daemon running in the background...
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scott_r

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2006, 12:38:50 am »

DON'T run ANYTHING to do with wine as a root user. Especially not IE :)

wine-tools puts everything under the user's ~/.wine directory, which is where your "fake" c-drive is stored. As long as you're running wine as a user that can read and write to that dir (i.e. the user that ran wine-tools) then you'll be fine. Running either wine-tools or wine as root will just open you up to a whole lot of potential problems.

As for the startup delay, I assumed it was due to MC scanning the various busses for cd-rom drives, etc. I assume that some call to probe the hardware somewhere is blocking until a timeout - probably something that hasn't been implemented in wine. Also, I'm able to use IE6 fine, browse webpages, etc, as well as using the built-in browser in MC, so I guess that's probably not causing the big delay at startup.

And as for you not getting any sound out, bob, I'd assume it has something to do with ESD. Try running "winecfg" as your user and checking the Audio tab. I'm set up to just use ALSA OSS emulation. I think if you look at Gnome's sound properties you can disable the use of ESD. I do this and it makes many applications work better :)

Ciao,

scott_r
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finkeltron

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2006, 12:59:18 pm »

bad idea. i tried this 2 months ago. although it somewhat worked. it's very slow and sound quality is crap. but i think most people don't know quality since most of you use soundblaster (whatever cards). anyway my advice is not to bother with emulation if you care about sound quality.
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schmoose

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2006, 02:13:02 pm »

but i think most people don't know quality since most of you use soundblaster (whatever cards). anyway my advice is not to bother with emulation if you care about sound quality.

em...and what do you know  ?

well, you registered on this board on Dec 31 '05, so you definitely aren't a senior member (not that I am either).  Even if you had been browsing this board before then, you must've somehow missed that many people on this board use soundcards by M-Audio, Emu, RME, Audiotrak, and even Lynx.

Oh, and the newest Creative Audigy X-Fi Plat is a very well-respected card as well.  ;)
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hit_ny

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2006, 02:20:06 pm »

This is something i wondered myself, would i be better off with a $200 sound card that all the experts said was good.

or just use onboard audio which seems to render my mp3s pretty well. Since i'm using lossy already...Its all digital afterall right ?

...i'm sure the DAC's on the more expensive cards are better for sure, i just wonder whether it was worth paying the extra bucks to have them.
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Krazykanuck

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2006, 03:11:12 pm »

I think it depends on whether or not you can hear the difference and what else you may do with your system.
If you can't hear the difference then no it's probably not worth it. This applies to most of the people in my house. So I have a system with an old soundblaster card and one with a hercules sound card.
In my case I have also been converting vinyl to CD so I wanted a high quality card to capture at the highest settings possible before cleanup and conversion. My system has a higher end terratec card. Playing mp3's through this card you can't really tell the difference depending on the bitrate the mp3's are encoded at.
For my listening pleasure I playback through my yamaha/paradigm setup so use ape and I like to think I can tell the difference between ape and mp3.
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hit_ny

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2006, 03:43:11 pm »

I had done a test once using my old rio cd mp3 player and a portable technics audio cd player. My mp3s are ripped usually at 192cbr or lame aps. The sound was defnitely better from the technics player and it was playing the wav i got from the same mp3.

The reason the good ppl at hydrogen audio told me was the superior DACs used in the technics.

Thing with a better sound card is it's harder to do a blind test with it, i'm open to the idea but picking the right card that would make a noticeable difference ?

With lossless sky's the limit, you would probably want to get a high end card if for anything to be able to hear the difference.
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schmoose

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2006, 09:51:47 pm »

i also agree that it depends on whether you can notice the difference and how much you spend on your gear.  if you have a $10K amp, then you obviously would be happier with a high-end SC.  i always seek the best value, and am thus happy with my M-Audio Revo, which I picked up for $70 or so.

the problem with most onboard soundcards and cheap add-on cards is that they will resample the audio to 48Khz.  Audigy's also do this. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but most of them use crummy algorithms which noticeably distort the sound.  The new Audigy X-Fi also resamples to 48Khz, but it does so with amazing accuracy, and apparently noone can hear the difference.  The DACs are also of great quality.

even though you only play mp3s, I would still try to get a card that doesn't internally resample.  You're already losing a little quality listening to mp3s.  if you're also introducing low quality resampling into the equation, then you are degrading the audio a second time.  Of course, if your mp3s are only 128K, I'm not sure if you'd hear a difference either way.  Although, I usually use APE, 192K mp3s sound pretty good also.
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bob

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Re: MC + Linux = World Domination!!!
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2006, 11:35:23 am »

DON'T run ANYTHING to do with wine as a root user. Especially not IE :)

wine-tools puts everything under the user's ~/.wine directory, which is where your "fake" c-drive is stored. As long as you're running wine as a user that can read and write to that dir (i.e. the user that ran wine-tools) then you'll be fine. Running either wine-tools or wine as root will just open you up to a whole lot of potential problems.
I am running it as a user, not root.
Quote
As for the startup delay, I assumed it was due to MC scanning the various busses for cd-rom drives, etc. I assume that some call to probe the hardware somewhere is blocking until a timeout - probably something that hasn't been implemented in wine. Also, I'm able to use IE6 fine, browse webpages, etc, as well as using the built-in browser in MC, so I guess that's probably not causing the big delay at startup.
Interesting, my ie6 doesn't work at all. It comes up but I can't use any of the pulldowns or type into the url box.
Quote
And as for you not getting any sound out, bob, I'd assume it has something to do with ESD. Try running "winecfg" as your user and checking the Audio tab. I'm set up to just use ALSA OSS emulation. I think if you look at Gnome's sound properties you can disable the use of ESD. I do this and it makes many applications work better :)

Ciao,

scott_r

I'm getting:
err:wave:DSDB_MapBuffer Could not map sound device for direct access (Input/output error)
err:wave:DSDB_MapBuffer Please run winecfg, open "Audio" page and set
"Hardware Acceleration" to "Emulation".
err:ntdll:RtlpWaitForCriticalSection section 0x7bcd6094 "?" wait timed out in thread 0017, blocked by 0000, retrying (60 sec)

And the ONLY thing I can't run in winecfg is the audio setup page. When I click on that tab, winecfg crashes and I get:

Creating link /home/bob/.kde/socket-exp.
can't create mcop directory

I'm running KDE instead of GNOME. Probably where the problem resides :(
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