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BluRay playlist support


sjpotter
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sjpotter

It makes sense why Emby doesn't support playing blurays in a normal bluray manner, but its still a format many people like to archive their content in (i.e. keep it 1:1). 

However, even without supporting blurays in a normal matter with menus and all, emby should be able to stream a bluray playlist as a single movie much like it streams and mkv or any other container format.

Now, blurays contain lots of playlists (and some contain obfuscated playlists), so it wouldn't be the best ui experience to just enumerate every playlist.  What would be nice is if one culd drop a metadata file into the dir containin gthe BDMV file structure or the iso that basically enumerates which playlist one wants emby to know about and simple metadata to enumerate what it is (i.e. movie name, extra name, tv episode).

I would say if this could be done, the next step would be to do the same for DVDs (though their playlist mechanism is less user friendly)

 

thoughts?

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I'm afraid, in the world of streaming/digitized media this is just not a format that is widely supported anymore.  Plus, there are copy-protection issues and multiple-playlist issues etc.  All the tools are moving away from these formats not towards them.

 

Our best advice is always to convert these to streaming-friendly file formats.

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Deathsquirrel

Just to add to EBR's suggestion, ripping your discs to MKV doesn't require sacrificing anything other than the menus.  All the video files can be kept as is, without and changes in the video or audio quality.  If you've already ripped the discs the conversion is also essentially as fast as a file copy.  There isn't any down side and you'll likely save space because while you can keep every track, you almost certainly won't.  the discs contain a lot of crap that you won't really want to watch.

 

On a separate point, playlists would be a bad angle to tackle blu-rays anyway.  Several vendors load their discs with fake playlists to make ripping a pain.  You'll end up browsing 300 'copies' of the same movie, all but one of which shuffle the scenes out of order.

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crusher11

Playlists would be helpful for movies that use seamless branching to include multiple cuts. Having to have the full movie on my server multiple times is a bit of a pain.

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Deathsquirrel

Playlists would be helpful for movies that use seamless branching to include multiple cuts. Having to have the full movie on my server multiple times is a bit of a pain.

Fair enough, but it's not likely to happen so I'd strongly recommend looking at converting the files to MKV.  All my media is ripped from disc, about 1800 movies with all but 90ish blu-ray.  I also used to store full disc rips in the did format.  It doesn't work well and support is declining rather than increasing.  Disc-based formats simply aren't the future of this hobby.  Don't sacrifice quality but do format shift.  It will work better and you'll be happier.

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crusher11

That's what I've been doing. It's just a pain having to have three copies of Aliens on my server, for example.

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sjpotter

I guess I disagree with the concept of "widely support formats".  It is probably the most widely supported video format for content people own legally that they can play with emby (as opposed to cotent from piracy sources). Currently, people need to convert it from that format to anothe format to make it play in emby.  As crusher11 shows above, this comes with a significant cost.

The fact is, that Emby already supports m2ts files and its very simple using libbluray to take a playlist and stream out an m2ts file (i.e. under 100 lines of C code!) https://code.videolan.org/videolan/libbluray/-/blob/master/src/examples/libbluray_test.c

All most of  us would want is the ability to specify metadata that says iso X has playst 100 whose title is "Aliens (Theatrical)" and playlist 101 title is "Aliens (Director's Cut)".  Honestly, if I had access to the code and some pointers on how to do it, I'd implement it myself.

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Spaceboy

I guess I disagree with the concept of "widely support formats". It is probably the most widely supported video format for content people own legally that they can play with emby (as opposed to cotent from piracy sources). Currently, people need to convert it from that format to anothe format to make it play in emby. As crusher11 shows above, this comes with a significant cost.

 

The fact is, that Emby already supports m2ts files and its very simple using libbluray to take a playlist and stream out an m2ts file (i.e. under 100 lines of C code!) https://code.videolan.org/videolan/libbluray/-/blob/master/src/examples/libbluray_test.c

 

All most of us would want is the ability to specify metadata that says iso X has playst 100 whose title is "Aliens (Theatrical)" and playlist 101 title is "Aliens (Director's Cut)". Honestly, if I had access to the code and some pointers on how to do it, I'd implement it myself.

you say most of you, this question comes up maybe 3 or 4 times a year. It’s a tiny percentage of users that are still using this format
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sjpotter

Because most users aren't ripping their own media (and if they are, by definition they are using this format at some point in the process).

The question to me is why not?  Would it make maintenance that much harder?  (I can even semi buy this as an explanation, if it was linked into emby directly, but as I'll demonstrate with next point, I think that's not required)  Would it be overly difficult to implement?  (this I don't buy, as I demonstrated, it's less than 100 lines of C code).  I think (perhaps incorrectly), that emby already executes external programs to transcode.  This would simply be another transcoding program that can be delivered statically linked with emby.  Don't even need C# / C interoperability, just the ability to compile and execute the test code I linked above.

In fact, if emby would have a pluggable transcoding mechanism, i.e. the ability to register file types (so I could register my .bluray file type and include whatever metadata I want in it that defines a single playlist, probably just playlist=XYZ, file=ABC), I'd work with them to build it myself.  Supporting playlist based playback should be insanely simple.

 

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When we say "better supported" or "widely supported" we're talking about streaming video applications and none of the current tools in that world have full support for disc-based formats.  So, in terms of viewing these on the devices that people want to these days (phones, streaming boxes, smart TVs), it is not widely supported at all.

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sjpotter

my proposal would enable them to run on all those devices via emby.
 

The point isn't to stream the whole iso, the point isn't to make menu's available on the end user device, the point is to stream a pre-selected m2ts stream/playlist which all those devices have the capability to do.

If they can play an mkv remuxed version of a bluray, they can play what I'm proposing.  One could view it as, instead of transcoding on the fly, it is "remuxing" on the fly (which emby already does anyways).

I really think emby would benefit from having a pluggable mechanism for formats such as this.  Instead of always having to say "we don't support it", (and its not just in this case, there are lots of formats where it comes up) users could write their own support.  If emby would see reasonable demand for the plugins, it can become a first class citizen embeded in emby, if not, users still have options.

I've demonstrated how easy it would be for me to add bluray playlist support above i there was an interface to write to.

i.e. what would emby need to know.  It would need to be able to "query" the metadata of an "item" (i.e. time, resolution, output format (that emby supports, codecs (that emby supports).  it would need the ability to "play" an "item".  it would need to be able to "seek" within the "item".  Pehaps some more?  To me, this seems very doable.

and yes, it would have to be done in a way that can be streamed to emby's normal transcoders (ffmpeg shouldn't be a problem, just cat it to it's stdin) to enable it to work like any emby user would expect.

so is it as "simple" as a I made out.  not 100%, but its easily understandable.

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Deathsquirrel

Because most users aren't ripping their own media (and if they are, by definition they are using this format at some point in the process).

 

In part, sure, but it's also because most of us who DO own our media already got the message and accepted reality,

 

Behind me are binders and binders full of discs.  All ripped to Emby.  100% of that ripping was done through MakeMKV, which does the necessary conversion automatically.

 

Very, very few users still try to store there ripped discs as VOBs and M2TS files.  It doesn't work well.  It's not going to work well in the future.  You're welcome to keep banging your head into that closed door but I got a headache and quit ages ago.  Turns out, I'm better off now.  My server does vastly less transcoding, my client options are more plentiful, I saved space overall shedding some of the cluttered junk that lives in a disc image, and multiple disc movies are FAR easier to deal with now.

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sjpotter

As said above, its a waste for seamless branching content.  And yes, I use MakeMKV for some of my content (especially if there's nothing special about the disc), but as noted, mkv just isn't the best "container" for some content and the original structure is.  and when it comes to DVDs, there is no easier methods of backing up a DVD than dd'ing it to an ISO (really better to use ddrescue, due to bad sectors purposefully put on disc).

I'd note that when one says "got the message and accepted reality", I interpret it as saying the primary reason we switched is because this was the easiest solution to get out content to play with emby (or tools like it), not because it was the best.  One switched because one didn't have a good option to continue doing what they prefered.

IMHO, telling end users "you need to redo your library" is very hostile to them, some of us have built libraries of thousands of optical discs over decades of time, while conceptually we could load each iso into makemv and rerip, its not feasible due to time.  What I'm proposing is a simple solution that solved the above problem, doesn't cost existing emby users anything, and doesn't just solve this problem, but might solve every "niche" content/format problem (or at least enable end users to solve it for themselves).

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The issue is that it is actually nowhere near as simple as you think it is and we are fighting most of the other tools we use because they have no desire to go down this path.  Could it potentially be done?  Maybe, but the cost would far outweigh the benefit at this point in time.

 

This is not just us - it is the entire streaming media space that is not interested in this format as a source (because no phones or streaming boxes have a place to insert a disc :)).  We are just trying to be fully transparent in the fact that implementing this the way you would like to have it is not likely to be able to be prioritized any time soon because we have limited resources that we have to apply judiciously.

 

Thanks.

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crusher11

What does the rest of the media streaming space have to do with anything? Most media streaming isn't using disc-sourced files, for starters.

 

It needn't be possible to play a disc image in order to play an MPLS file, either.

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Deathsquirrel

I'd note that when one says "got the message and accepted reality", I interpret it as saying the primary reason we switched is because this was the easiest solution to get out content to play with emby (or tools like it), not because it was the best.  One switched because one didn't have a good option to continue doing what they prefered.

I'd argue with this characterization.  The point of me ripping my discs IS to play them back through Emby so whatever ripping process produces the best result there is the best process.  Whatever format is best support is the best format.  So yes, I'm using MKV because it's the best combination of feature and function.

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sjpotter

The way I imagine emby server in an idealized version in my head is that its simply a proxy for getting media in whatever form its stored to whatever devices a user has available to them.  the capabilities of the end user devices and format the media is stored are irrelevant as long as emby server can take the data and get it into a format the device can play

for example: emby allows me to play an hevc mkv on my phone even if my phone doesn't support hevc.  It does the transcoding (which might be very expensive on the server without hardware assist but again that's part of the point of emby in the idealized version in my head).  i.e. saying we will only support formats that make sense (my interpretation of the words, I'll admit to taking some liberty with my interpretation), would mean to me that only "direct play" should work.  There's a reason "direct stream" exists, and that's what I feel should be supported for bluray playlists (and possibly even DVD titles or whatever DVD calls them, just that bluray playlists are a much simpler implementation).

I get that Emby developers aren't motivated to implement this, but I also think it would be valuable to enough users, and I am motivated to try to do this.

 

I'd argue with this characterization.  The point of me ripping my discs IS to play them back through Emby so whatever ripping process produces the best result there is the best process.  Whatever format is best support is the best format.  So yes, I'm using MKV because it's the best combination of feature and function.

My question is: if Emby supported assigning metadata to BluRay playlists, would you have been happier with that (in the past)?  I can imagine it wouldn't work for all people (ex: they want to play media outside of emby with players that don't support bluray playlists, just mkv or the like and hence this wouldn't work for them), but I don't see that a reason for Emby not to support it, if its a standard format and can be played via emby server across all Emby supported deices that should be all that's needed (per my idealized description above).  It doesn't force end users to store their blurays as ISO, they can make mkvs if they want, it just provides options.

I've been investigating the plugin interface.  I wonder (thinking out lout), imagine I made a local http server that did the libbluray test application above and made a plugin that could talk to said http server, enumerate its contents and read the provided m2ts file from said test app, could that conceivably work?

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Spaceboy

Makemkv plus one of the tools to batch it up automatically. Start now. You’ll have finished the conversion before this progresses anywhere. Hostile or not, we’ve all been where you are. No-one has won yet

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Deathsquirrel

My question is: if Emby supported assigning metadata to BluRay playlists, would you have been happier with that (in the past)?  I can imagine it wouldn't work for all people (ex: they want to play media outside of emby with players that don't support bluray playlists, just mkv or the like and hence this wouldn't work for them), but I don't see that a reason for Emby not to support it, if its a standard format and can be played via emby server across all Emby supported deices that should be all that's needed (per my idealized description above).  It doesn't force end users to store their blurays as ISO, they can make mkvs if they want, it just provides options.

 

The answer is no, I wouldn't have been because the experimental support for playback of these formats doesn't work remotely as well as the same video in an MKV.  I suppose it's possible I might not have known that the problems were caused by my choice of video container.

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sjpotter

Makemkv plus one of the tools to batch it up automatically. Start now. You’ll have finished the conversion before this progresses anywhere. Hostile or not, we’ve all been where you are. No-one has won yet

I have way too many iso images I've made over the past 20 years (we're talking on the order of 10K.  The idea that you can just batch and convert is not really true.  Doesn't work for any screenpass protected releases, won't work well for any release with seamless branching in general.  

 

The answer is no, I wouldn't have been because the experimental support for playback of these formats doesn't work remotely as well as the same video in an MKV.  I suppose it's possible I might not have known that the problems were caused by my choice of video container.

I personally can't imagine any reason why correct playback of a bluray playlist would be any worse than playback of an mkv.  In fact, I'd strongly argue that one is more likely to have bugs due to mkv conversion than for playing the original media (i.e. MakeMKV has had multiple bugs in the past that ripped MKVs incorrectly.  They've had issues with constructing MKVs with atmos audio in corner cases. these have all been fixed over time, but it goes to show that there's a value in not having to convert.  Heck, its easy just to have user error in the conversion (I know i've messed up in the past).  It's much harder to have user error if one is simply doing a full disc backup.

 

as a simple case: would you expect vlc to have any issues playing a bluray playlist vs an remuxed mkv?  I'd be shocked if it had any issue playing a bluray playlist over the remuxed mkv.

 

I'm not arguing against the fact that emby today supports MKV better than bluray playlists (that's obvious, the bluray playback doesn't even exist as I described), I was talking about in an idealized world.  Off the top of my head I can only imagine 2 good reasons for wanting mkv on emby server vs an iso (possibly others, but these are what pop out at me)

 

1) you want to use the content outside of emby

2) you want to save space by not storing the extra content (be they video files, language tracks... that one doesn't want)

 

i think both are legit reasons for using mkv over an iso, but that doesn't discount the value that some of us place in storing as an ISO.  We understand why you prefer MKV, we just find storing as an ISO to be better for our needs.

 

At the end of the day, there seems to be a very legit reason to want to store as an ISO, "seamless branching".  that should be reason enough to be willing to support bluray playlist playback.  And I agree with an above replier, it wouldn't be a good UI for Emby to enumerate every single playlist.  It should ignore all ISOs unless the user provides the metadata to map playlist to a name and only then enumerate those mapped playlists.

 

whenever I see responses that are basically "you should be using MKV" it basically makes me think of Apple's "You're holding it wrong".  which is what I meant by a user hostile response.

 

As a total aside, it would have been interesting if people would have made a DVD/BRDB (ala CDDB) that would map the titles / playlists (perhaps even chapters) to a textual description, but that was never created, but would have then removed the need for user intervention (+ would make users of MakeMKV's lives much easier)

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crusher11

Even without ISO playback, just the ability to point an MPLS playlist file at the various M2TS video files and have it seamlessly branch would be massively helpful.

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sjpotter

Even without ISO playback, just the ability to point an MPLS playlist file at the various M2TS video files and have it seamlessly branch would be massively helpful.

that's what I'm saying, when I say "ISO playback" I don't mean playing with any sort of menu, I mean being able to define which mpls files from the ISO emby should enumerate and be able to play.   emby should be able to play specified mpls playlists.

 

i.e. something like

 

movie.iso

    lots_of_binary_data

movie.iso.playlists  (playlists aren't meant to be accurate)

    800=Aliens (Theatrical) (1986)

    801=Aliens (Director's Cut) (1986)

 

in this example, emby would only enumerate 2 playlists out of however many are on the disc.

 

 

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crusher11

Even that still requires having the image file and Emby digging through it. Simply having the video and playlist files on the server would be a significantly easier implementation.

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Deathsquirrel

Guys, I'm posting my last in this thread.  The answer is clearly no.  The answer has been no for a long time.  No harm in asking but I don't see this being a case like the resurgence of Vinyl records.  Maybe I'm wrong, but barring a major surge interest in storing movie files in formats designed for disc-based media, this isn't going to happen no matter how easy you're sure it would be.

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Spaceboy

You’d be 3 hours in now. I must admit you’ve given it more of a go than most but it’s the same end result. Cheers

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