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korvgryta

Support for media in rar-archives

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Maddogg

I've been a long time XBMC user, and before that I used VLC for streaming and/or accessing my media to play on the tele.  They both have the ability to play rar'd files just fine so I never worried about unpacking.  I haven't noticed any strain on my system(s), and with the continued development of XBMC/Kodi, I have no reason to to look elsewhere or have had any reason to change what I'm doing.    My collection is about 50/50 rar'd and unrared.  Every new streaming device I get or look at must run XBMC, which by default means the ability to play/scrape/recognize rar'd files.  This may be a burden in the future, but it is where I'm at.  XBMC is what I'm familiar with, and it is easy for me to troubleshoot.  

 

I know at some point all this might have to change, but until then I will continue to keep them as is.  It is no secret, for the most part, as to why or how things are rar'd, and why keeping them packed up is necessary.

 

I'm always looking to tweak things with my limited time, and if this feature was implemented I could continue with tweaking cross-device library mgmt and hopefully contribute in some way, shape, or form to MB.  I know I have other options for this, but the talk over at XBMC and integration into skins has me intrigued to say the least.  If it is not implemented, I completely understand and will respect that decision.  

Edited by Maddogg

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Vidman

...so still no real answer

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Beardyname

...so still no real answer

 

quite the opposite :)

Because thats how his library looks like!

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ebr

...so still no real answer

 

Actually, he did in a round about way.  He said they need to be rar'd for the reason everyone assumes they do.  But, that's him, not the OP to whom the question was directed.

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im85288

I understand that a lot/all downloaded content is packaged up in zip/rar files.

I am confused by this, the bit about "and why keeping then packed is necessary."

 

Why is it necessary to KEEP them packed?

 

Only 2 guesses I can have..

 

  1. Limited drive space

  2. Seeding ratio

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Beardyname

I dont think they are using compression so if anything the archives would probably be larger than the original due to packing and padding.

 

Yeah this might be it, they are still seeding the rars after download and want to play them in place.

 

Well storing them twice will not help with the hdd space ;)

 

the first and 2nd option together is probably the most logical ones. Although not all content has to do with seeding. (Usenet for one (If they still store content in archives? I don't really know))

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speechles

It needs to remain in that format to match the original release. Hence the OP statement of "this is how they come". Some people adhere to scene rules. They want scene release format "only" and collect as such. Without naming sources from which these files come from. To then rename or extract anything creates a redundant duplicate. There is no aruging with these types. They want what they want, and original releases come this way. I get where this is going and why people want this type of support. It is easy to tell how this topic got here. There is no need to really debate the container and what it is used for really. The bigger debate really is over nothing other than convenience.

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Beardyname

And that is what I am trying to get to the bottom of, for what reason does the media NEED to stay in its original packaged rar/zip

 

Yes Usenet uses rars, usually an upper cuts up the download into many smaller rars and then creates parity files to help will missing messages and parts, the parity files can fill in the missing bits.

 

Well it does not need to, but why create the hassle of unpacking if you don't have to? (again i don't do it just speculate).

 

Anyway we are a bit off-topic now so i will leave the thread up to ppl who wants to discuss the implementation! :)

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korvgryta

I'm just curious for a little more information. Just for context, I am not asking these questions as a Media Browser developer because we would never try to tell you how to use the software. instead the software should adapt to you and if enough people want this then we'll look at it.

 

But as a fellow media enthusiast I have to ask why you think this would be a good idea to store your media this way. You limit your options right off the bat to applications that have added custom support for them. You lose the ability to do something simple like quickly test a file in Vlc or other media players that haven't added support for them. And you add additional cpu requirements to your server because it has to be able to unpack on the fly. If you decide you want to try new media software, you have to go and convince the developers to support it if they haven't already.

 

All of that is easily solved just by unpacking them to begin with, so I'm wondering why you're not doing that. Is there a requirement that is forcing you to keep them zipped?

 

You are thinking of it backwards :)

 

If there were not any players that could play straight out of rar-archives, then of course I would extract the files. Now that there is, I don't have to do that extra step. If Media Browser could do this, it would be a great way for me to access my media remotely.

 

Today I use ssh or vpn to access my media remotely.

 

 

...so still no real answer

 

I'll say it again: for convenience. And again: it's how they come.

 

 

No that is not what was said, the statement was it NEEDS to REMAIN in rar format.

I am just trying to work out why it needs to stay in rar format.

If there is a real need for this then so be it but I think we require what that need is first before considering any further options.

 

If the need is that the user just does not want to have to unrar then fine but if it is an actual technical requirement then it would be good to understand that need.

 

We are not off topic, these questions and answers are very relevant to the original ask of adding rar container playback.

Without the full scenario how can you begin to try to solve the problem/ask

 

Not sure if you are referring to anything I said here or someone else. My media does not need to remain in any format. This is just for convenience.

 

edit: spelling

Edited by korvgryta

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Luke

You are thinking of it backwards :)

 

If there were not any players that could play straight out of rar-archives, then of course I would extract the files. Now that there is, I don't have to do that extra step. If Media Browser could do this, it would be a great way for me to access my media remotely.

 

Today I use ssh or vpn to access my media remotely.

 

 

 

I'll say it again: for convenience. And again: it's how they come.

 

 

 

Not sure if you are referring to anything I said here or someone else. My media does not need to remain in any format. This is just for convenience.

 

edit: spelling

 

well that's exactly my point. every time you want to adopt a new media player, you have to go and convince those developers to support it. so really this is just about shifting the burden of work. and then people wonder why things don't just work out of the box. too many ways of doing the same thing. we use libMediaInfo and ffmpeg. since they don't natively support it, should we in turn shift the burden to them, and wait until/if they ever decide to?

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korvgryta

well that's exactly my point. every time you want to adopt a new media player, you have to go and convince those developers to support it. so really this is just about shifting the burden of work. and then people wonder why things don't just work out of the box. too many ways of doing the same thing. we use libMediaInfo and ffmpeg. since they don't natively support it, should we in turn shift the burden to them, and wait until/if they ever decide to?

 

Yes, I would. And many major media players such as VLC does support reading the contents of rar archives and playing directly from them because lots of people have "gone to convince those developers to support it".

 

Some (if not all?) of these players/media centers uses ffmpeg and does this. I think you are being a little bit silly suggesting support by ffmpeg as it is not a file browser or media player. It's just a media decoder and you know that. Of course it wouldn't ever support browsing zip/rar/whatever archives.

 

There's no need to make such a huge deal out of this. Either put it on the feature request list as a possible future feature - everyone happy. Or don't - everyone still happy because I will use another player and still be able to access my media using other methods. However if you want to increase your userbase I think this is a good feature.

 

Keep up the good work.

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ebr

I think you are being a little bit silly suggesting support by ffmpeg as it is not a file browser or media player. It's just a media decoder and you know that. Of course it wouldn't ever support browsing zip/rar/whatever archives.

 

 

He's not being silly.  He's pointing out that we use these other tools (including ffmpeg) to scan and transcode content so, the only way we could support rar files would be if they also could read them.  Our entire system won't work without this.

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korvgryta

He's not being silly.  He's pointing out that we use these other tools (including ffmpeg) to scan and transcode content so, the only way we could support rar files would be if they also could read them.  Our entire system won't work without this.

 

Well that can't be 100% true, as other players using ffmpeg supports playing from rar/zip etc.

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ebr

Well that can't be 100% true, as other players using ffmpeg supports playing from rar/zip etc.

 

I think this is where we are having a disconnect.  We are not a "player".  We are a full-featured media server with a transcode engine and metadata probing.  Other "players" are not providing these functions.

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Luke

Yes, I would. And many major media players such as VLC does support reading the contents of rar archives and playing directly from them because lots of people have "gone to convince those developers to support it".

 

Some (if not all?) of these players/media centers uses ffmpeg and does this. I think you are being a little bit silly suggesting support by ffmpeg as it is not a file browser or media player. It's just a media decoder and you know that. Of course it wouldn't ever support browsing zip/rar/whatever archives.

 

There's no need to make such a huge deal out of this. Either put it on the feature request list as a possible future feature - everyone happy. Or don't - everyone still happy because I will use another player and still be able to access my media using other methods. However if you want to increase your userbase I think this is a good feature.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

 

See my earlier post where I said as a developer, we will do it if we see enough demand. And i stand by that.

 

But I'm a fellow user just like you and it's on that level that I'm questioning. I just can't see why anyone would think it's a good idea to store their media that way because you limit your flexibility. Another reason just came to mind, that if you ever want to bring the media to another device, you have to either unpack it or make sure that device has the right software available.  So it just doesn't seem practical.

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korvgryta

I think this is where we are having a disconnect.  We are not a "player".  We are a full-featured media server with a transcode engine and metadata probing.  Other "players" are not providing these functions.

 

Fair enough. Implementing this would make you stand out among the different "full-featured media server with a transcode engine" software solutions.

 

See my earlier post where I said as a developer, we will do it if we see enough demand. And i stand by that.

 

But I'm a fellow user just like you and it's on that level that I'm questioning. I just can't see why anyone would think it's a good idea to store their media that way because you limit your flexibility. Another reason just came to mind, that if you ever want to bring the media to another device, you have to either unpack it or make sure that device has the right software available.  So it just doesn't seem practical.

 

I don't know about the demand, but I know it's a dealbreaker for me and at least one more person in this thread. When plex removed the rar-support there was a HUGE thread about it on their forums, so there's clearly some demand for it.

 

No, it's not a good idea to store your media that way. I've never said that it is. I say it's for convinience to not have to unpack it. KODI (XBMC) is available on "all" platforms so it's not a problem.

 

Some people uses torrents to download their media, some people break copy-right protections and rip their private DVD/Blu-rays, some people use Usenet, some people use FTP, some people use scene-releases from all of the above sources. I can see lots of impractical things with all of the above methods of retrieving your media for media browser. However I can understand why everyone uses their method. I use mine, and I will continue to do so - impractical to your or not  :)

 

I feel like I'm repeating myself. Either put it on the feature request list, or don't, it's not the end of the world for me  B)

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xayide

I would say Archive-streaming support is the only thing holding me off from using this software. The web interface is by far the best I've seen, but going back to unrar all my torrent auto downloads is not an option. Support for Archives would make me live without XBMC and use this fine web interface instead. Would make life a lot easier for distance watching and also for tablet use (like ipad which needs JB to use XBMC). I would pay for rad-archive support in MBS without a doubt.

 

I just saw yesterday that I can browser and start play rad-archives but there is only sound no picture. Although somehow it ca stream the sound directly from the RAR-archives. Seems halfway there ;)

Edited by xayide

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jani

Ah, so this is why I'm I get black screen or audio only when trying to play some contents. I was a bit surprised why there was no error of any kind. Anyway, one vote from here as you seem to be counting them :)

 

The biggest selling point for rars is authenticity in my opinion. For "rare" stuff, I like to keep the originals.

 

Some libraries to consider:

- 5 years ago RARFileSource used to work fine and it shouldn't be too hard to integrate into Theater seeing it's DirectShow based (mpc-hc uses this too and has made some additional fixes).

- Kodi works fine as long as you wrap the path into their virtual file system scheme (rar://encodedpathhere/myvideo.mkv).

- The Server part requires work. I suppose there should be a file system abstraction anyway. (VLC's rar access implementation isn't very complex, btw).

- The upcoming sync feature makes me wonder should the native players support rars too.. Or would transcoding be more like an extract job.

 

Took a quick peek into the sources and I must say you all have done superb job! It's very readable and neatly organized.

Edited by jani

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Luke

i already have an idea of how it could be done which is to pipe the input into ffmpeg over stdin. the part i don't get is, since this will all have to be done on the fly, you're never going to get any direct streaming to mobile clients. so you're going to pay a price in cpu transcoding just for the convenience you're getting here.

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jani

i already have an idea of how it could be done which is to pipe the input into ffmpeg over stdin.

Yeah, that's probably the right way. People (used to?) do this even with their PS3s, for example this rar2mpeg script: http://mediatomb.cc/dokuwiki/transcoding:transcoding#rar_archive_support

 

so you're going to pay a price in cpu transcoding just for the convenience you're getting here.

Forgive me for being ignorant, but as long as the vcodec can be copied, it shouldn't be too expensive on modern hardware? Assuming the rars are uncompressed.

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Luke

yes of course, it's still not as efficient as plain static files though. so basically instead of paying a one time cost of unzipping you're going to pay a little everytime you want to play something.

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jani

Yeah, that's true. On the other hand, back in the day I used to download a lot of stuff (on my personal scale anyway) and never watch anything, so during that time it would have made more sense not to extract the archives at all and only extract them lazily if they were ever played.

 

Happy to see you're willing to implement and support features you don't personally use!

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nekosaur

So count me in as someone who would greatly appreciate the support for playback/transcoding of media in RAR archives.

 

But I have a related question, if this is the right place for it. I was under the impression that if I'm running XBMB3C in Kodi, and have set up my MB3 server with path substitution to NFS paths, that Kodi will simply grab the file at the NFS folder and play it back natively? Which means that any RAR archived videos should play just fine, since Kodi has support for it. But whenever I try, I only get choppy audio, no video. Unrared video files play just fine, and if I browse to the NFS path using the file manager inside Kodi and try to play the RAR file, it works.

 

Thanks!

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Luke

In theory that sounds right, but the reality you're up against is that demand for rar playback is very low. So that means likely nobody has tested it before. so if you want to see that fixed, best thing to do is get to the bottom of it then report your findings to the kodi addon group

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