NFMC - No-Frills Media Center for the Raspberry Pi
This is yet another free media center for the Raspberry Pi. So, why another media center??
My Raspberry Pi has been running a lot of things for a long time now, but when I tried
using it as a media center with XBMC it started hanging every once in a while.
This meant I had to use a second Raspberry Pi just for playing videos, and
although I did have an extra one lying around I didn't like the solution.
For some time I used XBMC on a second Raspberry Pi, but, while the response
time was adequate most of the time, sometimes it took more than a minute to
respond (be it start a new video, list videos in a source, etc.). I don't
understand why it gets so slow at times, since that Pi was
doing nothing more than running XBMC. I turned on debug mode and noticed
that many times the CPU usage info would not update while in this "low
responsivness state". Also, sometimes the audio started but the screen would be black for
as long as 30 seconds, which can be very annoying.
Truth be told, the files were all comming from the first Pi through SSHFS,
but this never caused any slow responses in other computers that access
the same files also through SSHFS. So this led me to conclude that the
slowness was all due to excessive cuteness of XBMC, with all its transparencies
and cover art, and whatnot.
I decided to write my own media center, one that would try hard to not be as
ugly as a dead rat, but that would also try its very best to respond quickly.
And so the NFMC - No-Frills Media Center was born.
How does it work?
The NFMC is, essentially, a web server. You set it up through a web browser (defining
its sources, ports, and the like) and to command it to start or
stop playing videos.
The playing itself is done by omxplayer.
The NFMC calls it to start playing, and detects when it finishes to move on
to the next video. This makes NFMC a very simple application, which helps
bring development costs down and make it available to you for free! :-)
You can control playback with a browser, so you can use a PC or a smart phone.
Is NFMC truly amazing??
Well, I wouldn't go that far, but it does get the job done and provides for 90% of my
media center needs. It is blazing fast, scanning 10000 local files in less than 5 seconds,
and omxplayer is very quick to start a video.
You may notice that it is not very pretty to look at, but there is a reason for it:
the HTML generation framework is designed to be interpreted by an Android
smartphone App, which will make the NFMC controllable by an Android phone without
using the browser but (often) without requiring the application to be upgraded on the
phone as the server goes through upgrades.
The following is a list of features to be added to NFMC in the near future (in
order of importance):
The hard work is all in items 1 and 3. All the others will rely on external players
to do the heavy lifting, so I don't expect them to be troublesome.
- Implementation of direct controls (volume, play next, prev, ...)
- Android application
- Make more things configurable, remember selections, ...
- Ability to play music (mp3)
- Ability to display pictures
- Ability to play karaoke
WARNING: This is not a nice application,
it is rude and ill-mannered. It doesn't need to be installed,
you can just copy it to any location and execute it.
This application cannot be uninstalled, and the best way
to get rid of it is simply to delete it.
The author is not liable for any damages that could result of the improper or
proper use of this application. If you are unsure of whether it is risky or not
for you to use this application I recommend you get yourself one of the many
others out there and never look back.
Installation: Just download, and decompress
to a folder you might consider definitive. I assume you already know how to do
this, to copy files I use WinSCP, and to get to a shell I use PuTTY. After you
get the decompressed file on the Pi make the application executable to everyone:
sudo chmod 777 NFMC_RPI_CON.exe
Then install omxplayer:
sudo apt-get -y install omxplayer
Then run the application:
After displaying a few lines of information it will start the web server.
The default port is 8994 and you cannot change it (in this version). At
this point you can start your browser and type the address:
The 192.168.1.50 will have to be replaced with your actual Pi's IP address.
And the browser must be able to access it, so be sure you are not trying to
access your home network through your mobile phone's 3G connection or anything
like that, unless you have already configured your home router. The simplest
way to access the Pi is using a PC connected to your LAN, or a mobile phone
through WiFi (usually it will also be connected to your LAN).
From this point on I think it will be easy to use. You add sources (which
are locations that contain video files) and then select them to get them
NFMC v1.00 2013-09-19 (Raspberry Pi)
- Initial version. No bugs have been found yet, probably none exist whatsoever.
NFMC v1.00 2013-11-07 (Raspberry Pi)
- Second version, but I forgot to change the version number to 1.01. It has many new features, but I don't remember which exactly because it has been upgraded in November 2013 but I forgot to make it available for download and it is now Apr 2014. Still no bugs found, their existence even more unlikely.
Any comments or suggestions?
Please feel free to send me an e-mail about it to email@example.com.
Rilhas Home Page (firstname.lastname@example.org) running on a Raspberry Pi.
Page "NFMC.html", modified 2 years 10 months ago
Page issued on 2017-03-26 08:21:14.610
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