HTPC Windows Media Center

“Firestorm” Media Browser release ushers in faster media browsing

g1 Most people know that I’ve been using Media Browser to manage my collection for a long time now.  I’ve always enjoyed the Media Center plugin, but there were always things that frustrated me to no end.  The biggest one was speed!  May other media cataloging apps out there use an SQLite install to speed the metadata fetching process.  MB has always steered away from this to keep things as simple as possible and has suffered lag because of it.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, at least at this point.  This morning I upgraded to the new ‘Firestorm’ release of Media Browser.  All I can say so far is wow.  Things are much, much faster!  I’ve been able to turn on my backdrops, something I was never able to do reliably before.  Also, the installer will now automatically change your folder permissions for you.  This was something that was annoying in the past and they’ve eliminated the problem.

Of course, I need to run the latest release for a few days to see if it can maintain the speed that’s been built in.  Expect to read more here and for me to talk about it on the next Entertainment 2.0.

Check out the updates and fixes that have been made in the latest release:

 

  • Performance: Firestorm is faster, much faster. Startup is faster, navigating around the home screen is faster, threading is much more constrained and we even ship with experimental sqlite support which is really fast.
  • Stability: Firestorm is generally more stable, we fixed issues around video playback in windows 7 and quite a few other areas. We also made it much easier to set up security for extenders.
  • Extensibility: With the Firestorm release, thanks to ebrs hard work, we now support UI plugins. This means themes can ship as plugins, in fact Vanilla is no longer shipped with the base Media Browser installer, instead you download it from throgs site. This allow UI plugin developers to ship upgrades to their plugins without having to update the core media browser product. We also support extensible “Item Actions” which means a developer can add additional behavior that can be applied to items in the collection. An example is ebrs find similar movies plugin.

A short list of the changes with more than 1 wish

  • Fixed external playback.
  • Fixed playback for ripped tv episodes in ISO or VOB format.
  • New Images By Name supports common sub folders
  • Fixed Error message – “We can not maximise the window for some reason! object…”
  • Fixed Extensible Config Page doesn’t work
  • New Extensible Item Menu
  • Fixed Media Browser Hangs in Full Screen when the clock is enabled
  • New display media info icon for 4:3 movies
  • Fixed View by Year – Years are not in correct order

You can keep up to date on the latest MB news on the community tracker site.

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About the author

Adam Thursby

Adam Thursby is the founder and creator of The Digital Media Zone.