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Full Version: Media stubs behavior when there is no optical drive
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It seems between Eden and Frodo a change was made to fix a situation with the ATV2 and media stubs (wiki). Basically, media stubs didn't work on the ATV2 (no message was displayed, http://trac.xbmc.org/ticket/12875 ) and so PR1038 was made to fix this by adding a new message that said "you need an optical drive, dummy" (paraphrasing).

(remember, the media stub message can be totally customized, so it can even be something like: Select library entry for Star Wars and it says "go to the hall closet and get the DVD out of the 5th box from the bottom", if someone had such an organization method.)

Two things:

1, this seems like an odd "fix". If it were me, whether or not my HTPC had an optical drive, I would rather just see the media stub message than a message that says "you don't have an optical drive".

2, It appears that only the ATV2 had this issue. Other HTPCs, including the Raspberry Pi, had no issues showing the media stub message, even if no optical drive was there. (see http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=156657 )

Users from the second point say that the media stub feature, which has now basically been removed for them in v12, was still useful because they would use the media stub message to keep track of things and actual playback was simply handled by another device (an actual DVD or Bluray player, etc) on another TV input.

A real fix would be to simply make the ATV2 display the media stub message, like it does for other devices, even if they don't have an optical drive. Saying "you don't have an optical drive" is a bit silly, because the person watching that TV likely already knows their HTPC doesn't have one.

Since I don't think PR1038 actually "fixed" anything at all, and instead has just disabled the feature for other people, I propose reverting PR1038, and including that reversion in the 12.2 bug fix release.
It's not as simple as reverting. Instead, the check for whether a dvd drive exists or not (one presumes RPi et. al. just ignore it completely - i.e. they set HAS_DVD_DRIVE regardless. It doesn't make sense to not set it on most boxes as it shouldn't be a compile-time setting anyway) should just be moved down to where actual playback occurs.

Wouldn't it not matter at that point, since playback can only start when one closes the DVD tray, which wouldn't exist on those devices? Then the check wouldn't happen at all. Checking for an optical drive at all seems pointless.
The code attempts to play the file directly. This obviously won't work if no dvd drive is present. So yes, we're saying basically the same thing.
Any takers on this? I'm not sure I understand why the original change can't just be undone. Now that I no longer have a connected optical drive on my laptop, this check is now preventing me from even testing .disc features, let alone using it for other types of removable media.
Semi-related to this, it also seems we don't support the remote drive feature of OS X, which allows a Mac without an optical drive to borrow the optical drive of any network connected Windows or Mac computer. When used, the disc mounts in OS X as if it were a local optical drive, for installation, etc, but does not trigger the "play disc" options in XBMC. It can be played via files, where it auto mounts.

This behavior is seen in XBMC v11, so not really related to the check that went in for v12, but something to think about for anyone who might want to find a better long-term solution to this over-all issue.