Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Raspberry Pi & RetroPie

So what do you do with a Raspberry Pi?  Well to start with I built a case out of lego, never too old!!

Got loads of ideas like the next version of my birdcam but lack of time hasn't been on my side to progress, I tried a build of XBMC but was to sluggish for my liking on my 256Mb Pi.

Finally I settled on an RetroPie install from an image and plodded my way through the setup instructions, not too bad as most are already setup but not being from the linux world where sudo is the kill command it was a case on slowly going through the instructions.  One area to setup is the fanart, there's a ES Script that does much of the work but does miss some or picks the wrong details for you.  So being from the world of Windows - groan I hear ;) I wrote a crude visual basic app to help fill in the gaps, which you can see a screenshot below.

You can download my 'less crude' app from my Google Drive - Retropie Metadata Manager v2

Update: New version at link above designed to work with the new RetroPie v2.X directory structures as well as ReproPie v1.X, also added a few more sources to search for FanArt - Original version available here - Retropie Metadata Manager v1

Basic Steps
  • Run RetroPie.exe
  • Follow instructions on Settings Tab to get setup in copying files from your Pi
  • Go to Main Tab and select an emulator
  • Select game from next list, details should appear on right side, which you can update a save via [Update] button
  • If you don't have the fan art, type a search term and press one of the three buttons to manual find what you want
  • The rest you'll need to figure out :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

UK Public Radio Browser hits Beta

Come a long way but finally the latest version has moved to Beta and is now feature complete, I've cut down what needs to be downloaded to just the executable and logo pack and the first time it's run it'll create the directories and xml's needed to manage the application - just copy the contents of the zip file to an empty directory and launch the exe - there isn't an installer so if you want to remove just delete all files in the folder/sub folders where the exe resides.

Following are some screenshots to help you out a tad figuring your way around the application 

requires Windows with minimum .Net Framework 4.0 installed

First tab you're see when you launch the application, click on the AZ the first time and it'll download all the metadata, once complete click again to see programmes currently available or soon available

Double click on a programme that interests you to be taken to the next tab to see available episodes, from this tab you can add the programme to your favourites and schedules

Example of programme in your favourites list, I use this to keep track of programmes I don't listen to regularly but want on keep a eye on to see if the odd episode interests me.

Example of programme added to the schedule list, this I use to keep track of programmes that I want to be notified of being available.  Note that the application it's self doesn't do this notification but instead executes an external command (ie batch script).  I've developed like this to keep it flexible and it's an area where one size won't fit all and could easily become a drain on development time.

An example is included which shows metadata being passed to an external command as shown in the screenshot - the application can't control the external command but can read return codes to indicate within application how the command have performed.  At bottom of post is an example for passing a parameter to get_iplayer.

Return Code Translation
Success 0
Failed 1 or greater
Unprocessed -1

Details of schedule run, if a episode is marked as success then it won't be picked up on the next schedule run.  Currently there is no option to process just the latest addition on the first run, as seen below where many episodes are available which you may not be interested in

Final tab, you can switch on the scheduler rather than manually running it.  Be mindful as to how often the metadata is polled, for most using the application once or twice a day then 8 - 12 hours would be a suitable period, currently I've got it set so if a local version of the metadata is less than 4 hours old than that version will be presents instead of the online version, so no point in setting any lower than 4.

Finally is the details for calling the batch file and the parameters that can be passed from the metadata

Script example of calling get_iplayer
create get_iplayer.bat (create in root folder) with following:-

SET iplayer_path="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer"
SET ffmpeg_path="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\FFmpeg\ffmpeg-shared\bin\ffmpeg.exe"
SET Lame="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\LAME\lame.exe"
SET RTMPDump_path="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\RTMPDump\rtmpdump.exe"
SET Meta_Path="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\AtomicParsley\AtomicParsley\AtomicParsley.exe"
SET MPlayer="C:\Program Files (x86)\get_iplayer\MPlayer\mplayer-svn-36348\mplayer.exe"

%iplayer_path%\ --type=radio --pid=%1 --modes default --rtmpdump %RTMPDump_path% --ffmpeg %ffmpeg_path% --atomicparsley %Meta_Path% --mplayer %Mplayer% --lame %Lame% --tag-podcast --file-prefix="-" --force > .\log\%1.log


Modify setupCMD.xml in folder root/setup to following:-

name = Get_iplayer
    command = get_iplayer.bat
    argument = PID

Sunday, July 14, 2013

UK Public Radio Browser - v003 now available

New release available, still alpha, no instructions so you'll need to figure your way around - isn't that what everyone does?  or you can watch the quick video shown below to get the picture ;)

Monday, July 08, 2013

New Release

Change Log
Prerequisites reduced to minimum .Net Framework 4.0
Schedule section updated, not currently usable but any programmes can be added
Installer removed, extract contents of zip including directories anywhere on your local harddisk and run UK Public Radio Browser.exe to start the app

UK Public Radio Browser - Alpha

To download, select on menu [File] then [Download] to get the zip

This release has been tested on the following systems
Windows 7 with .Net Framework 4.5 - 20sec delay on initial call to internet, ok after
XP with .Net Framework 4.0 - no delay noted

Sunday, July 07, 2013

UK Public Radio Browser - Alpha

A couple of weeks back the excellent Radio Downloader application became no more due to the author being asked by the BBC to remove the application from his site, reasons are unknown but guessing it could be due to the BBC planning to offer next year radio programmes for download on a 30 day availability basis.

Excluding the download feature this applications had alot of useful features to help keep track of radio programmes the BBC has broadcast so I didn't missing the start of a new radio series.  When these features now unavailable and not finding an alternative I've attempt to build my first app using Visual Basic 2012 Express.  Today I'm releasing a very early alpha release and what I've coded over the past few days.

It's been tested on Window 7 with .Net 4.5 framework installed, it won't install on my XP PC with checks pointing to the Visual Studio Express 2012 installer not being compatible with XP, so think minimum is Vista or above.

Go to the link below, on the file menu is a download option to get the zip file, extract to a temp directory and run setup.exe

UK Public Radio Browser
See recent post for latest version

Currently Features
A - Z of all currently programmes
Find programme from A - Z list
Open Favourite in web browser
Send to external command (example provided on notify details in dos prompt)

Add A - Z to web browser
See if the install can be improved, currently the install is hidden in the depths of the user data
Alter sections that are currently double click to select (A-Z programme list, Favourite programme list)