Saturday, July 19, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5.2 & nessViewer 3.5.2 for Mac available

In this version we have internally overworked the MediaCenter completely: for all media center content (DLNA, Internet, Aperture, iPhoto, iTunes, Miro, pictures and movies folders and volumes), there is a separate class now that manages the access to its content.

Thus, the program code is not only clearer, but also easier to customize and extend: because Apple will apparently stop to support Aperture and iPhoto in the future, "Photo in the Cloud" will probably soon be added as new content. Our opinion on it should be known... but we will continue to support future technologies.

Another major internal change affects (currently only) the iTunes control (both the movie playlists and the music control): so far iTunes was controlled by AppleScript, which was now (for Intel computers) replaced by ScriptingBridge.
In addition to a better and faster control - among other things the start of purchased and rented movies and TV shows (DRM) - we primarily prepare ourselves so to further innovations that Apple might bring us with Mac OS X 10.10.

But we have worked on the user interface in this version too:
1) The search for DVD covers - if no cover and description is specified by "Movie Info" - is now executed in the background so that the scrolling is not delayed anymore.
2) Due to a new provider - FreeCovers - better and more appropriate DVD covers are now displayed. Even if we still prefer manually setup of covers and descriptions by "Movie Info".
3) For folders (e.g. picture and movie folder or volumes) a "combined" preview of the included media will be displayed. The creation of this preview is running in the background too.
4) The "combined" preview in iPhoto albums or iTunes movie playlists will also be running in the background.

In addition, the display duration of pictures in media presentations has been improved - not only for little slower computers, but also for NRW images (Nikon camera RAW format), which are a challenge with almost 30 MB, even with fast computers.

And once again very clearly: DVDs are DVDs and should be stored this way too (and not as movie files). And covers are only searched automatically for DVDs - in contrast to movie files, because their contents and especially filenames might be private. Privacy has absolute priority!

For movie files there is "Movie Info", which allows it to setup manually a cover and description for DVDs, (EyeTV) movies and media shows - without sharing their file names automatically with the global "world". Sadly true: privacy sometimes also has disadvantages - manual editing of covers is of course less "comfortable". But also safer ...

Many thanks to Erik not only for various bug reports in pre-releases, but also for the reference to NRW - unfortunately, this format  is only supported by Apple with 10.7 or newer.

Finally, a note on compatibility: with a heavy heart, from now on our applications are "only" compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or later for Intel computers - but we would recommend for these computers at least 10.6 anyway. For PowerPC (PPC), however, 10.4 is still supported.

And for those who like to use the latest, there are on request of course still the 64-bit versions which require Mac OS X 10.9 and are based on "AV Foundation" instead of QuickTime.

Friday, June 27, 2014

PowerPC (PPC) & Tiger support

In March we extended nessMediaCenter and nessViewer to wake up the computer by remote control - as reported this extension cost us some effort.
As now unfortunately shown, this system routine caused a computer crash on some PowerPC (PPC) computers, which makes then a computer restart necessary.
We therefore disabled the wake on this (very old) computers, and we apologize for this heavy error.

In addition, a test with one of these old computer has shown that the display duration (presentation duration) of images is not always optimal: sometimes it takes so much time to load a large image that the next image is shown immediately afterwards. We fixed this now too.

Only a small number of these old PowerPC computers will probably still be used, but we want to support these computers anyway as long as possible. However, we must also emphasize that we rarely have the opportunity to test it.

Friday, June 6, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5.1 & nessViewer 3.5.1 for Mac available

These versions are a aggregation of the last improvements and adaptions.

Oliver helped us to improve the remote control of EyeTV by our applications.

And we adapted some internet provider content like ARD-Mediathek and BBC (only for users in GB).

The 64 bit version of nessViewer, which is only available on request, makes it now very easy to convert incompatible videos: in a media show, these videos will be marked with a dot in the title. If these videos are exported, then they will be continuously converted to a compatible format.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

nessMediaCenter & EyeTV

Oliver has pointed out to us that one can not only integrate "Front Row" in the EyeTV "on-screen menu" and thereby invoke it, but also any other program. So, for example, nessMediaCenter...

To do this, start the Terminal application (in the Utilities folder) and then enter the following command:
defaults write com.elgato.eyetv FrontRowReplacementAppPath -string "/Applications/"

Then it appears in the EyeTV "on-screen menu" under "More" a new menu item "Front Row", which starts nessMediaCenter. If you have specified "Open MediaCenter at startup" in the settings of nessMediaCenter, then the media center will also be displayed automatically.

However after the start of nessMediaCenter arise a few obstacles to the shared use of the Apple remote control, which Oliver has pointed out:
1.) EyeTV can not be activated again.
2.) EyeTV can be remotely controlled only limited because nessMediaCenter absorpts the Apple remote control commands in exclusive mode and passes only a few commands (forward & backward rewind, play & stop) to EyeTV when EyeTV is active.

Therefore, we have expanded a pre-release version of nessMediaCenter:
1.) If nessMediaCenter is specified as "FrontRowReplacementAppPath", then "Exit" in the MediaCenter activates EyeTV and opens the TV display. But of course only if in the nessMediaCenter settings "Shutdown computer after selection of exit" is not activated.
2.) The Apple remote control now also allows advanced control of EyeTV by nessMediaCenter when EyeTV is active. After some discussions & critic, we modified the control to match the standard of EyeTV.

Because MENU always activates the MediaCenter of nessMediaCenter (and continue to be so), MENU HOLD must be pressed instead of only MENU to show & hide the on-screen menu of EyeTV.

If the default behavior of EyeTV was modified by "apple remote menu button behavior", then the exclusive access to the Apple remote control can be deactivated in nessMediaCenter. Afterwards MENU activates the "on-screen menu" in EyeTV, but the media center can not be activated in other applications like iTunes (and there are fewer remote control commands in nessMediaCenter).

Addendum: now a pre-release version of nessViewer is also a available.

Friday, April 18, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5 & nessViewer 3.5 available

Until now, DLNA media server (like Serviio, Plex Media Server) were only available by the "DLNA Browser" of nessViewer.
Now we integrated the DLNA / UPnP access into the media center, so users of nessMediaCenter (and nessViewer) can access their media by DLNA too.
In the preferences you can (de) activate DLNA in the media center menu settings.
If DLNA is not displayed after activation, then EyeTV users should check if EyeTV is sharing its media library - in this case, the EyeTV sharing must be deactivated because it uses the same port.

In nessViewer the media show offers now a context menu for the selected media entry in the drawer: open media in the document window (for editing), and open the internet media browser or download the media.

In addition, a number of provider offer have been adjusted, including Austrian and Dutch television.

In March, we added some more new features like waking up the system by remote control, improved iTunes control handling and iTunes DRM playback.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.4.2 & nessViewer 3.4.2 for Mac available

Every now and then we learn through user feedback and can improve our applications. This time Michael has convinced us that iPhoto events should be accessible in addition to iPhoto albums in the media center.

iPhoto events are automatically generated for each media import. As long as media belonging together are imported in one step, events are a great feature - but if multiple new media are imported into an album then it is getting complicated. Although you can then connect events, in our view this was far more complicated than simply to use only albums.

In addition, events also offer fewer features: the content of an event can not be arranged manually and multiple events can not be grouped in a folder. If you work for a long time with iPhoto, then many events are generated which results in a long list in the MediaCenter.

However, Michael has convinced us: if you connect for example a camera, then you can simply import the new media - done. Perhaps the new event must be renamed, but using albums is more complicated: first you have to create a new album, then it must be renamed and then you can start to import. Albums are rather a collection of the best shots for Michael.

Two different approaches - both with advantages and disadvantages. Now you can decide which approache you prefer by (de)activating albums and events in the menu settings of the preferences.

Robert has informed us that iTunes playlists are not selectable if playlist folders exist. We fixed that bug.

Some provider adaptions were necessary as well.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.4.1 & nessViewer 3.4.1 for Mac available

FairerPlatform has written a review about nessMediaCenter with a hint that nessMediaCenter is not "multi-display" aware.

We have updated nessMediaCenter and nessViewer to make these applications "multi-display aware".

With Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) it is now possible to use the media center and media presentation on one screen and to use other applications on the second screen at the same time.