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[RELEASE] Multiroom Audio & Video Streaming Plugin (Syncronized)
#16
Ok, got it working! Thanks for the detailed instructions. So now my impressions. Firstly, awesome concept and fantastic work so far! I know this is early days for this plugin and some issues are to be expected. Some things that I have found so far:

1) there doesn't seem to be any way to control the audio once it is playing. My master xbmc seems to freeze while playing the stream.

2) It seems that only one song at a time can be played. Once the 1st song finishes, the next needs to be manually started

3) the audio seems to be over amplified to the point of distortion. This seems to be worse with more slaves running. I noticed that if I close xbmc on the master machine, that the audio keeps playing through that machine, but at a much lower level. Seems like there is some sort of feedback issue happening. I just now started a stream with out listening to it on the master machine and this issue is not present. - Edit: just restarted and this issue seems to have gone away. Will keep on eye on it and report if it returns.

4) It would be nice if there was some sort of user feed back on the screen of all machines showing what is playing and be able to control the music.

5) Playing video, I get a blank screen on all machines, although the audio plays.

6) Pass through works when playing video ac3 on my master machine, but not in the lounge room. The audio is played as stereo.

I'm sure some of these things simply haven't been implemented yet and will come with time. Others may be my operation!

Hope this helps. This has sooo much potential! It would be great to see this mature. It would definitely be something that I would use all the time.

Once again thanks for your excellent work.
Phil
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#17
pssturges Wrote:Ok, got it working! Thanks for the detailed instructions. So now my impressions. Firstly, awesome concept and fantastic work so far! I know this is early days for this plugin and some issues are to be expected. Some things that I have found so far:

1) there doesn't seem to be any way to control the audio once it is playing. My master xbmc seems to freeze while playing the stream.

2) It seems that only one song at a time can be played. Once the 1st song finishes, the next needs to be manually started

3) the audio seems to be over amplified to the point of distortion. This seems to be worse with more slaves running. I noticed that if I close xbmc on the master machine, that the audio keeps playing through that machine, but at a much lower level. Seems like there is some sort of feedback issue happening. I just now started a stream with out listening to it on the master machine and this issue is not present. - Edit: just restarted and this issue seems to have gone away. Will keep on eye on it and report if it returns.

4) It would be nice if there was some sort of user feed back on the screen of all machines showing what is playing and be able to control the music.

5) Playing video, I get a blank screen on all machines, although the audio plays.

6) Pass through works when playing video ac3 on my master machine, but not in the lounge room. The audio is played as stereo.

I'm sure some of these things simply haven't been implemented yet and will come with time. Others may be my operation!

Hope this helps. This has sooo much potential! It would be great to see this mature. It would definitely be something that I would use all the time.

Once again thanks for your excellent work.
Phil

Thanks for the feedback Phil. Much of this is covered in the readme of the next major milestone release v1.0.7.

Regarding the distorted audio you mentioned, this could be the result of 2 instances of VLC playing the same stream. The continuous play issue is only with Linux based systems and has been reported (XBMC Ticket#10106.

Regarding your audio channels, you can change the SOUT info in the addon settings, in your case just add a space and --sout-all and that should fix it.

Think I fixed the video issue that you were having. Got alot more work to do...Eek
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#18
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been waiting for this as well!

I have a master set up, but still need to get a slave set up to test. Will try to do so this weekend and provide feedback.
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#19
a_madman Wrote:Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been waiting for this as well!

I have a master set up, but still need to get a slave set up to test. Will try to do so this weekend and provide feedback.

Thanks!! Cool

I am "slaving" away at making it better but all of the input I can get the better!Wink
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#20
teshephe Wrote:No problem.. ;-)

Go ahead and uninstall via the addons section, but I have noticed that the uninstall functionality of the XBMC still needs a little work (like removing the app_data created by the previous plugin) ... so once you have unstalled via the addons section, close XBMC and via naut, browse to the ~/.xbmc/userdata/addon_data directory and remove plugin.program.mutiroomaudio.

Now, browse to ~/.xbmc/addons/packages and remove plugin.program.mutiroomaudio...zip

Now you have a clean system. Hopefully the addons Uninstall feature will get better...it's still pretty cool already.

Anyhow,

Now for the 2nd part of your question...

(We are going to use the Livingroom pc for this example)
On your master machine, after you reinstall the plugin, go ahead and setup the plugin via the context menu "addon settings". We are going to take the defaults for now, so go ahead and select OK so that the system generates the proper playercorefactory.xml file.

Now restart XBMC on the master.

Via the Master (livingroom) pc we are going to define a slave via the MultiroomAudio plugin. Upon starting the plugin...
1) Select "Slave (Stream Receiver)
2) Add an index # of 1 and select done
3) The next dialogue that pops up, select done as nothing should go into this
4) In the Source URL dialogue enter the following: udp://@224.1.1.152:1152
select done (BTW...This is the default that the Master will stream from)
5) For the title enter the name of Localhost and select done


Now for the clients (we will use your "lounge room" pc as an example)

Ok... on the lounge room pc (assuming that you already followed the process to re-install)

Go to the Multiroom plugin and let define a new client to the master you configure above by:

1) Select "Slave (Stream Receiver)
2) Add an index # of 2 (the number 1 should be reserved) and select done
3) The next dialogue that pops up, select done as nothing should go into this
4) In the Source URL dialogue enter the following: udp://@224.1.1.152:1152
select done (BTW...This is the default that the Master will stream from)
5) For the title enter the name of the master (in this case) Livingroom and select done

Repeat this for the other client(s) ... e.g. Bedroom

Ok.. now lets start a stream

1) Via the Master pc (Livingroom) MultiroomAudio plugin - select the Localhost slave you created earlier (this is optional so that you will be to listen to what is being streamed on the master (livingroom) pc.

2) Still on the master pc and within XBMC goto Music and browse to a song and via
the context menu select "Play using" and select "MR_Audio_Stream

3) Go to the lounge pc and via MultiroomAudio plugin - select the Livingroom slave you
created earlier.

Now you should be listening to the "syncronized" audio in both rooms.

Let me know if you have questions.

Hello there,
Did the setup instructions change for version 1.07? I dont see the index# you refer to and the interface options are different than described.

Also, I'm having trouble getting my head around how this works too. Using the above scenario, why is the udp address the 224.1.1.152? Wouldnt it need to be the IP address of the master - 192.168.0.4? And then, wouldnt each slave unit need to refer to that IP?

Are there other VLC configurations that need to be made, or firewall / port forwarding settings that have to be set up as well?

Following you instructions, I dont get the master/slave to link up - in fact, XBMC drops out and I get a command window that says it cant find VLC.EXE, although I did make sure the path was set right.
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#21
Sno Crash Wrote:Hello there,
Did the setup instructions change for version 1.07? I dont see the index# you refer to and the interface options are different than described.

Also, I'm having trouble getting my head around how this works too. Using the above scenario, why is the udp address the 224.1.1.152? Wouldnt it need to be the IP address of the master - 192.168.0.4? And then, wouldnt each slave unit need to refer to that IP?

Are there other VLC configurations that need to be made, or firewall / port forwarding settings that have to be set up as well?

Following you instructions, I dont get the master/slave to link up - in fact, XBMC drops out and I get a command window that says it cant find VLC.EXE, although I did make sure the path was set right.

Yes, the Index# is no longer required. As for your other question. Although, the master's actual host IP is 192.168.0.4 in your case, the stream it will generate by default (Multicast in this case) is udp://@224.1.1.152:1152 so this is what you would put in on the clients when defining a client/slave.
Code:
(Livingroom)
                   Master                                         Slave
     sending  224.1.1.152:1152  ------------------------------->| Study | configured to listen to
Multicast(UDP)                                |                                     udp://@224.1.1.152:1152
                                              |
                                              --------------------->| Bdrm1 |  "same as above"
                                              |
                                              --------------------->| Ktchn |  "and so on..."
With regards to your VLC.EXE issue, have you installed VLC and configured the location of it in the Addon Settings of the plugin?

The plugin requires VLC to be installed.
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#22
teshephe Wrote:Yes, the Index# is no longer required. As for your other question. Although, the master's actual host IP is 192.168.0.4 in your case, the stream it will generate by default (Multicast in this case) is udp://@224.1.1.152:1152 so this is what you would put in on the clients when defining a client/slave.
Code:
(Livingroom)
                   Master                                         Slave
     sending  224.1.1.152:1152  ------------------------------->| Study | configured to listen to
Multicast(UDP)                                |                                     udp://@224.1.1.152:1152
                                              |
                                              --------------------->| Bdrm1 |  "same as above"
                                              |
                                              --------------------->| Ktchn |  "and so on..."
With regards to your VLC.EXE issue, have you installed VLC and configured the location of it in the Addon Settings of the plugin?

The plugin requires VLC to be installed.

Ok the first part makes sense now. I incorrectly entered some info the first time and it mangled up my playercorefactory.xml file. So I had to replace / restart it and get it set.

I have the configuration set correctly now, with a master and a slave. My playercorefactory.xml files are clean, and they look the same for each machine.

But, onto the bigger issue. On either machine, as soon as I select the slave unit that I have defined, XBMC drops me back to the desktop where I get a CMD popup window that says

ERROR: The process "vlc.exe" not found.

This message is so brief I can barely see it flicker across. Meanwhile, XBMC "deactivates" the plugin.

VLC is definitely installed and I can confirm operation, and the playercorefactory.xml correctly lists the executable path. This is the latest VLC download 1.1.4 by the way.

I'm missing something here - probably something obvious.

This is tested on Win7, as well as XP - both machines give that same error.

---

One more thing that might be relevant. When defining the slaves, as soon as I hit done, I do see a series of popup CMD windows that appear (4 or 5 of them) and they flash across the screen. I unfortunately cant catch these since they dont stay open. The last one did have a "path or file not found" message that I could see.

As a suggestion or a way to help troubleshoot - is there a way to debug what is happening, or perhaps you could detail what the results should be and I can dig thru my files to see what it did or didnt do?
Reply
#23
Sno Crash Wrote:Ok the first part makes sense now. I incorrectly entered some info the first time and it mangled up my playercorefactory.xml file. So I had to replace / restart it and get it set.

I have the configuration set correctly now, with a master and a slave. My playercorefactory.xml files are clean, and they look the same for each machine.

But, onto the bigger issue. On either machine, as soon as I select the slave unit that I have defined, XBMC drops me back to the desktop where I get a CMD popup window that says

ERROR: The process "vlc.exe" not found.

This message is so brief I can barely see it flicker across. Meanwhile, XBMC "deactivates" the plugin.

VLC is definitely installed and I can confirm operation, and the playercorefactory.xml correctly lists the executable path. This is the latest VLC download 1.1.4 by the way.

I'm missing something here - probably something obvious.

This is tested on Win7, as well as XP - both machines give that same error.

---

One more thing that might be relevant. When defining the slaves, as soon as I hit done, I do see a series of popup CMD windows that appear (4 or 5 of them) and they flash across the screen. I unfortunately cant catch these since they dont stay open. The last one did have a "path or file not found" message that I could see.

As a suggestion or a way to help troubleshoot - is there a way to debug what is happening, or perhaps you could detail what the results should be and I can dig thru my files to see what it did or didnt do?


Fyi.. the plugin generates the playercorefactory.xml automatically. Did you set the path to vlc.exe ?

The windows that flash by, are the plugin generating the pls and script files for your system (will eventually supress them).

To troubleshoot, you can manually open a cmd prompt and look for the file mavwin.bat and execute it from the cmd prompt... BTW... for windows the scripts require MS powershell (this is for now. I will be replacing with an vb.exe eventually) Big Grin

Let me know what you get and include the relevant info as don't have a Win7 to test on but it shouldn't matter. Big Grin
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#24
teshephe Wrote:Fyi.. the plugin generates the playercorefactory.xml automatically. Did you set the path to vlc.exe ?

The windows that flash by, are the plugin generating the pls and script files for your system (will eventually supress them).

To troubleshoot, you can manually open a cmd prompt and look for the file mavwin.bat and execute it from the cmd prompt... BTW... for windows the scripts require MS powershell (this is for now. I will be replacing with an vb.exe eventually) Big Grin

Let me know what you get and include the relevant info as don't have a Win7 to test on but it shouldn't matter. Big Grin

i set the vlc path - its totally correct.

there is no such BAT file on my system. where would mavwin.bat be located? Windows 7 Pro has Powershell built in so I know thats not an issue.
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#25
Sno Crash Wrote:i set the vlc path - its totally correct.

there is no such BAT file on my system. where would mavwin.bat be located? Windows 7 Pro has Powershell built in so I know thats not an issue.

Do this... addon settings --> Main Setup and tick the Dedicated Streaming Server Option,

and Since this is a windows machine... Blush

Change Default Video Player to MR-Video_Stream
(DO NOT CHANGE THE DEFAULT AUDIO) you can play with that later...Big Grin

Now tick the Play Local (Loopback)

Hit OK to save

and on the safe side to force the system to regenerate... select a source and choose "Rename", now just hit Enter or DONE to for the plugin to regen the files.

Now restart XBMC and check for the file we discussed earlier. This is good info so please let me know...Big Grin

BTW... as a note, whenever you change a setting for the Master Server setup... you need to regen to be safe and restart XBMC. These settings change the generated playercorefactory.xml in your userdata directory.

Also... the winmav files are generated to your XBMC/userdata/addon_data/program.plugin.multiroomaudio directory

Keep me informed!Big Grin
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#26
teshephe Wrote:Do this... addon settings --> Main Setup and tick the Dedicated Streaming Server Option,

and Since this is a windows machine... Blush

Change Default Video Player to MR-Video_Stream
(DO NOT CHANGE THE DEFAULT AUDIO) you can play with that later...Big Grin

Now tick the Play Local (Loopback)

Hit OK to save

and on the safe side to force the system to regenerate... select a source and choose "Rename", now just hit Enter or DONE to for the plugin to regen the files.

Now restart XBMC and check for the file we discussed earlier. This is good info so please let me know...Big Grin

BTW... as a note, whenever you change a setting for the Master Server setup... you need to regen to be safe and restart XBMC. These settings change the generated playercorefactory.xml in your userdata directory.

Also... the winmav files are generated to your XBMC/userdata/addon_data/program.plugin.multiroomaudio directory

Keep me informed!Big Grin

Ok, I made good progress - we are almost there.

From my Master HTPC which will send audio stream:
(1) I had to change HideConsole to "true" for all entries in the playercorefactory.xml. Otherwise, it kept kicking me back to the desktop when a stream was started.
(2) I did the new settings and restarted XBMC, then launched a stream. It launches with the new stream playback device.
(3) Using another machine, I used VLC on its own to attach to this UDP stream to confirm the broadcast on 224.1.1.152. Success!! I picked up the broadcast. One important note - VLC needed to be added as a Windows Firewall exception - which you are prompted for with this test. All machines on network can see the broadcast - so we know the Master is working ok
(4) Local loopback playback does not work on the Master, nor does attaching itself as a slave. That still gives me the error about the missing process.

From a Slave machine:
(1) I set up the plugin, set up the slave device, restarted, confirmed playercorefactory settings.
(2) Does the slave machine need Dedicated Stream Server option enabled? I left it off.
(3) Activating the slave source still drops me to the desktop with the error message about VLC process not found.

We are real close here - it seems the slave has an issue somewhere. I'm still tinkering though - any thoughts?
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#27
That's good news. Checkout my responses below in blue Big Grin

From a Slave machine:
(1) I set up the plugin, set up the slave device, restarted, confirmed playercorefactory settings.

(2) Does the slave machine need Dedicated Stream Server option enabled? I left it off.

For Windows based xbmc's it should be ticked (on) on all.

(3) Activating the slave source still drops me to the desktop with the error message about VLC process not found.

Make sure that you have powershell scripts execution enabled:
checkout:
http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2513/powe...t_support/
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#28
teshephe Wrote:That's good news. Checkout my responses below in blue Big Grin

From a Slave machine:
(1) I set up the plugin, set up the slave device, restarted, confirmed playercorefactory settings.

(2) Does the slave machine need Dedicated Stream Server option enabled? I left it off.

For Windows based xbmc's it should be ticked (on) on all.

(3) Activating the slave source still drops me to the desktop with the error message about VLC process not found.

Make sure that you have powershell scripts execution enabled:
checkout:
http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2513/powe...t_support/

Still no luck on this end.

I have a suggestion - tell me what you think:
Since you have the master set up to play back a video/audio stream over a defined protocol with VLC - why not use a protocol that XBMC will directly understand and playback? Is it possible to start up a stream with the master, then just define a network stream on each client to play back? Rather than the complexity of the plugin? But I noticed XBMC doesnt let you define a UDP protocol stream.

Just curious how that would work.
Reply
#29
Sno Crash Wrote:Still no luck on this end.

I have a suggestion - tell me what you think:
Since you have the master set up to play back a video/audio stream over a defined protocol with VLC - why not use a protocol that XBMC will directly understand and playback? Is it possible to start up a stream with the master, then just define a network stream on each client to play back? Rather than the complexity of the plugin? But I noticed XBMC doesnt let you define a UDP protocol stream.

Just curious how that would work.

That would defeat the purpose as XBMC won't keep sync with it. Wink

Where are we...
Is the master working?

verify on a client, fire up VLC and tune in?

What is happening on the client... are you still getting that "no vlc.exe" found?
get me the sceen messages from what you see when you manually run the winmav.bat
on the client.

I have it running right out of the box on a couple of Windows test boxes here without issue so it is something simple. Big Grin Hang in there.Huh
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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#30
Did you leave the master at the default of 224.1.1.152:1152?

and on the client the source url to listen on should be udp://@224.1.1.152.1152 Big Grin

Make sure that you don't have any typos on the client side.... this has even bitten me a few times during testing.

Also, what version of powershell is installed? Huh
Enjoy OpenSource! :nod:
MY SETUP: XBMC 12 Frodo RC3, Multiple Asus EB1501's throughout the Home for XBMC based STB's
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