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I just did a refresh of my Windows Home Server and now have a MySQL DB with the shared library. I also introduced profiles to keep the kid's content in one place. Everything is working well now between the two installs of XBMC that are paired with a TV and one install on my desktop computer where I set everything up. The only problem is of course the thumbnails.

Currently, I am scraping all my content either manually or through different services, and the .nfo files as well as relevant thumbs/images are stored locally with the media.

As I see it, this poses a problem when trying to set up a path substitution in advancedsettings.xml since I do not have a central place where all the thumbnails are stored.

I can't set up something like this -> PROTOCOL://YOUR_NETWORK_SHARE/xbmc/userdata/Thumbnails/Video/
because I'm not having XBMC do any scraping, all the thumbnails are already stored in a directory with the movie/TV show.

I think I'm going to have to do things differently and stop with the manual/automated scraping and use this approach:

Install XBMC on the WHS and leave it running to update the library, then use that install's thumbnail directory for path substitution.

Is there a better way to accomplish the thumbnail problem using my set up?

Thanks for any help.
XBMC still scrapes the images into the userdata/thumbnails folder, even if you have the images with all the media. Basically, XBMC copies those images to it's thumb folder upon scanning them into the library.
Hmm, so could I set it up using path substitution without having to install XBMC to the WHS? There still isn't a central place on the server where the images would be, so I'm not sure how to form the <to> line, it would look something like this:

<to>smb://xbmc:[email protected]/share/videos/Thumbs/Video</to>

Also, I changed the name of the master profile to Adults, so I'm assuming something like this:

<from>special://adultsprofile/Thumbnails/Video/</from>
Easier & faster to just mount a network folder from your WHS into the thumbnails directory of your clients

i.e. set up a share on your WHS and then use symbolic linking (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/com...-or-linux/ ) to make that share appear as the thumbnails directory on your clients.

That idea sounds good, what do I put in the share on the WHS? Just copy over the thumbnail directory from one of the XBMC installs on the client PCs?
Yeah that's how I did it if I recall correctly, it was a long time ago but I think that's the way to go.
And then from that point on the client can get the info from the server from the same directory as the media but then it would save it locally - but now the local thumbnail folder is really a shared dir on the server.

Is this the basic idea?
Basically XBMC will look at the files with your media when scanning, so movie.mkv + movie.jpg or whatever. XBMC creates cached thumbnails from these files....and sticks them in the thumbnails dir. I\This is then linked back to the server via symbolic link so all your clients i\are in effect looking at and creating thumbnails in the same spot.

Works well.
I put this in place for a Windows 7 computer, but I think it is going to work differently for my computer running XBMCBuntu. I'm not totally sure, but would the shared directory holding the Thumbnails on the server need to be mounted first?

I may try using path substitution on this computer and see how it goes.