The development around the plugin widely known as Video Browser is quietly taking a turn towards a more appropriate title – Media Browser.
I had noticed for a week or more that not a whole lot had been updated on the Video Browser SVN trunk and started to worry over it a bit. I realize the developers are volunteers, but it was storming forward with masses of new features and then really hit the brakes. After some digging, I came across the read-only developers forum and found a very interesting post. One of the developers had created a new SVN branch and pretty much had rewritten/reorganized the entire plugin. I was very excited and found a way to grab this branch and compile (I’m not a programmer, so figuring out how to grab that branch was big for me!).
Once I had compiled and installed the new Media Browser, I was floored. To think what I saw was a partially working beginning to a new browser plugin left me in a state of disbelief. I’m only going to give away a couple of teaser shots here since I want to wait for the developers to settle on a few things that change every few updates to the SVN. All screenshots were taken using r199 as reference.
Install indicates the new title (Media Browser).
Prompt for configuring Media Browser on first run.
First configuration page.
Full configuration page (accessible via the settings icon at top left)
My folder categories (notice the unwatched counter within the “star” overlay – it is scanning my folders, but has not run full course in this screen).
My “Movies” folder (notice that other organizational folders have the unwatched star with number of unwatched videos). Settings and sort options are on the top left.
“View” dropdown menu for changing the way titles are displayed (Poster, Detail, and Thumb Strip with optional banners, labels and poster resizing). You can also choose vertical scrolling instead of the native horizontal.
“Name” dropdown menu for sorting.
“None” dropdown menu for alternate sorting (will probably get renamed).
Full movie details screen. The actors and synopsis fields are selectable for scrolling.
My TV Shows folder in Thumb Strip view.
A series in Poster view (notice the fan art backdrop – this was downloaded automatically, to my surprise!)
A season in Thumb Strip view.
Aside from what I’ve shown, there is also some automated metadata fetching going on. Since my movie shares are not writable over the network, it has to be caching all of the metadata locally on the HTPC. This kind of sucks if you have multiple HTPCs since they’re all going to have to go out and grab their own metadata, but would speed up access after pulling it all. Like I said though, this is still early developmental SVN builds, so there’s a lot of work to be done and I know the Media Browser team will make it right.
Awesome work guys! Head on over the the Media Browser Forums and give them your support! They’re also currently working on a new website, so stay tuned for updates on that.