Updates to the jflicks Media System

It’s been a real long time since we’ve updated everyone on what we have been working on with the jflicks Media System, so I wanted to take a few minutes to do just that task.

Work has steadily progressed on the system as a whole. Much has been accomplished and the system is tested daily here at the jflicks labs. Not in any particular order here are some updates:

  • We have created our own commercial detection service. When a program (at least here in the USA) returns from a commercial the broadcaster displays a “rating symbol” in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Our new service called “ComRat” looks for these symbols. We have found that it works great on “cable” networks like USA and Syfy. This service compliments our Comskip service nicely because Comskip does very well on the “regular” networks like NBC and Fox.
  • Artwork for TV recordings and video files is now automatically downloaded. We originally only supplied a desktop application called the Video Manager so the user could download artwork as a side task. The auto download saves time. We originally didn’t make this service because we found that other software that did often was wrong – and you found weird art being associated at times. Our service can get it wrong too – but we found if we keep the auto download to TV recordings and video files deemed as Movies or TV there are little errors. For example “Home Video” will just be skipped as it is logical not to even exist.
  • We now recommend the use of mplayer2 as the video player. This fork has REALLY improved seeking. Now commercial skipping is as good as any other HTPC software out there – in our humble opinion.
  • We have added another desktop application called “EZ Configuration”. The idea being that we wanted to give the end user a simple application to configure the most common configuration properties. This just makes installing and configuration so much easier when most properties don’t need to be changed. We still have our original configuration application – this is now seen as an “advanced” tool where any property can be customized. However we see most users not needing to use it.
  • We are working on a jflicks Media System server distribution. The idea is to make setting up a server as pain free as possible. We have extended a Turnkey Linux Core into what is needed to have everything for a jflicks Media System server run time.
  • We have made a Roku channel that essentially turns that little box into a whole home DVR. So instead of having an expensive server and an expensive HTPC at the TV, just get a $59 Roku and watch your own TV recordings and video files from the jflicks Media System server. Matter of fact get one for each of your TVs and watch your stuff everywhere in the house. It’s pretty slick.

There is probably more and they are not coming to mind right now. We hope to have new installation programs and our distro based upon Turnkey Linux available soon.

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