Remote Cocoa Plex Media manager and remote control

other-dev

#1

Hi guys,

I have been working on a project for the past week and a half or so and it is at a point where I would like to share it. Plex and PMS are great applications and I use them every day. I run PMS on a headless Mac Server and when I have to do any management I normally use the PMS web interface. Wile the web interface is very useful I find it slow and clunky. I also find that it is missing options that the native cocoa media manager has. I was originally going to create a post asking if we could make the cocoa media manager work remotely but then I began to wonder if instead I could just build one, and instead of making it purely for managing the media, I could make it into a versatile remote system for laptop users. Below are some screen shots of my work, there is still allot that I want to add but surprisingly allot of the core functionality is already working. Please leave any feedback.



So below we have the main view for the Manager/Remote

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8437/7804070178_8fe645197a_b.jpg







The colored bars below the posters represent there ratings and are fully editable.



If you click on a poster you get a popover view with more information and the ability to play the movie on a plex client.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7115/7804069738_2f3fd58b11_b.jpg







A close up view of the popover below,

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7262/7804069118_eaa95af7c1_b.jpg







The text field for the summary is fully scrollable.



If you want to get to other libraries on the PMS server click the menu button in the top right corner and the screen slides to reveal your options

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8426/7804068890_29b49234db_b.jpg







Your PMS server name is displayed at the top of the list and all available libraries are below it. You can change servers using the settings menu which is accessible in the usual place as well as with the settings icon at the bottom left of the application. A closer shot is below.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8426/7804068566_201962e843_b.jpg







The manager caches all images to the local disk making it fast to load large libraries after the first time. Of course if an image changes or you do a media refresh on PMS the manager will also pick up the change.



Sometimes you will want to control the plex client on your tv directly rather then just by selecting the media from the managers browser. To help facilitate that for those with laptops and mac mini/ mac pro clients/ pc clients I have built in remote.


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8423/7804068276_59b39985e8_z.jpg







Simply select your client from the list of available clients and go. All of the buttons should be very self explanatory accept one, the one that looks like at tv. Below is an image that tries to capture what it does.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8300/7804067698_95ea31529a_b.jpg







The tv like button opens up a window that will take a screen shot of your plex client after each button press to show you your current window. I use plex to play music and I like to keep my tv off when I am doing that, this view makes it easy to still control plex remotely from the other room and see what I am doing. It has also proven helpful for when I am just listening to the tv but working in the other room and the episode I was listening to has ended. Below is a cleaner view of the remote with its remote view.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7125/7804067030_98e99a5fb8_b.jpg









So thats the application I have been working on for the past week. Its coming along very nicely and over the next few days I hope to finish implementing support for TV, Channels, Music, and Photos and then finish up the editing capabilities of the manager. Unless I get permission use them, I also plan to create new images for each media section type.



Anyway please leave comments and suggestions. I am hoping to release this by mid september at the latest.


#2

Wow, that's super cool! It's makes us very happy to see people using the API to do creative things :)



You're welcome to use those images in your client.


#3

[quote name='elan' timestamp='1345238701' post='287414']


Wow, that's super cool! It's makes us very happy to see people using the API to do creative things :)



You're welcome to use those images in your client.

[/quote]




Thank you Elan,

I do have a question for you about the HTTP API. One thing plex users like myself give up is the ability to surf channels to find new content. One feature I want to add to this application is the equivalent of a TV guide, where I generate tv channels and a channel lineup based on users tv libraries and there preferences (organizing the channels by genera, network, and so on) and my goal was to make it function just like real tv where when the show you are watching is over it automatically starts the next one. At first I thought this would be easy because on the clients you can click an episode of tv and click add to queue, and when the client is done with one episode it will play the next in the queue and so forth. However it would appear that the same functionality is not accessible from the HTTP API, is this true (maybe i missed it) and if it is, is there a way to make what I want to do work using PMS and the clients web interfaces or probably not.



Thank you again for taking the time to look.


#4

I've invited you into our private third party client chat room so we can chat in real time :)


#5

This is great. Please, please make it open source and put it on github or something so we can all help improve it and maintain it in the future.



If I could fix the web manager I would. There are definitely lots of JS tricks you can do to fix the clunkiness of the UI with large libraries.


#6

[quote name='GonkSnazzle' timestamp='1345259574' post='287475']


This is great. Please, please make it open source and put it on github or something so we can all help improve it and maintain it in the future.



If I could fix the web manager I would. There are definitely lots of JS tricks you can do to fix the clunkiness of the UI with large libraries.

[/quote]




If I was to stop maintaining it I would open source it and put it on Github. While I am maintaining it though I do plan to keep it closed source. Nothing against open source I am just putting allot of time into it, but again if I was to stop maintaining it I would put it on git hub for all to use. Thank you for your interest.


#7

I don't really get that. You'd still be in control of the project, and whenever you have a bug other people can submit a patch and save you the time. There are too many projects like this that languish buried in forum threads and the OP ends up not having time to deal with it and it just dies off. It's not like you're going to make any money from it. Either way, it's your project and you can do what you want! You've done a really good job so far so I am very hopeful.


#8

Wow, this sounds and looks awesome. I guess (hope...) this should also work with PMS running on an unRAID (linux) box? I'm now running the web interface with Fluid, and that is OK'ish. This on the other hand looks just great! There is one thing that would be really helpful in my (and maybe others) case: I cannot see if my subtitle agent has downloaded subtitles. The srt file (when downloaded) gets "hidden" in a bundle somewhere. No idea whether this is possible and not a big deal, but a subtitle flag in the UI would be just great.



Would love to give this a (test) spin!


#9

[quote name='smoldersonline' timestamp='1345278818' post='287496']


Wow, this sounds and looks awesome. I guess (hope...) this should also work with PMS running on an unRAID (linux) box? I'm now running the web interface with Fluid, and that is OK'ish. This on the other hand looks just great! There is one thing that would be really helpful in my (and maybe others) case: I cannot see if my subtitle agent has downloaded subtitles. The srt file (when downloaded) gets "hidden" in a bundle somewhere. No idea whether this is possible and not a big deal, but a subtitle flag in the UI would be just great.



Would love to give this a (test) spin!

[/quote]




While I have not tested it on a non Mac build of PMS it should work fine for all PMS platforms, obviously the computer you run my software on must be a Mac running 10.7 or higher. I will look into seeing if I can make your request work, it may not be in the first release but if I can figure it out I'll push it in an update


#10

This looks really cool. I'd miss to see at least a title under the poster ( and remove the ratings bar ). Sometimes posters are not that good plus home movies, recordedTV dont have any


[quote name='me262' timestamp='1345303523' post='287543']


While I have not tested it on a non Mac build of PMS it should work fine for all PMS platforms, obviously the computer you run my software on must be a Mac running 10.7 or higher. I will look into seeing if I can make your request work, it may not be in the first release but if I can figure it out I'll push it in an update

[/quote]


#11

[quote name='wally007' timestamp='1345400387' post='287729']


This looks really cool. I'd miss to see at least a title under the poster ( and remove the ratings bar ). Sometimes posters are not that good plus home movies, recordedTV dont have any




[/quote]




Not a bad Idea, I will experiment with the look and see if I like it.


#12

I agree with smoldersonline, and I get very hopeful when I read your comment me262. Finally being able to see if subtitles are present will make this media manager really popular. Well done so far!


#13

[quote name='me262' timestamp='1345303523' post='287543']


While I have not tested it on a non Mac build of PMS it should work fine for all PMS platforms, obviously the computer you run my software on must be a Mac running 10.7 or higher. I will look into seeing if I can make your request work, it may not be in the first release but if I can figure it out I'll push it in an update

[/quote]




Won't it work in Snow Leopard? A lot of mac users don't like Lions... A pity :(


#14

[quote name='jfcg' timestamp='1345822630' post='288903']


Won't it work in Snow Leopard? A lot of mac users don't like Lions... A pity :(

[/quote]




It may, I will try and build it for snow leopard but I think the collection view changed slightly between snow leopard and lion. I will see though, if I can make it work on snow leopard I will.


#15

[quote name='me262' timestamp='1346126118' post='289583']


It may, I will try and build it for snow leopard but I think the collection view changed slightly between snow leopard and lion. I will see though, if I can make it work on snow leopard I will.

[/quote]




That would be great! Thank you so much!


#16

This looks great! :-)



Next best thing to having a Media Manager tab in the iPad/iPhone Plex client ;)



Will we be able to modify everything that the "local" Media Manager does now?



Also, it would be cool to be able to (batch) set watched/unwatched status.



Thanks again,

/Martin


#17

[quote name='Martin' timestamp='1346153598' post='289626']


This looks great! :-)



Next best thing to having a Media Manager tab in the iPad/iPhone Plex client ;)



Will we be able to modify everything that the "local" Media Manager does now?



Also, it would be cool to be able to (batch) set watched/unwatched status.



Thanks again,

/Martin

[/quote]




That would be the goal, I would like to eventually port this to an ipad, we will see though. I think by the time I am finished though you will have the ability to do everything the mac manager can do and maybe more.


#18

Just wanted to give an update, This project is continuing to move along smoothly. Im hoping to be able to have it in peoples hands possibly as soon as october 15th, and hopefully a few testers sooner then that. Updates will hopefully come soon as well.


#19

Thanks for the update. Happy to test this with PMS running from an unRAID box.


#20

loooking forward to trying this! :)