Author Topic: Showing video by multiple categories  (Read 3044 times)

Offline David Honey

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Showing video by multiple categories
« on: May 09, 2011, 08:39:50 am »
I saw a posting where someone wanted to be able to set a video wall to browse videos by multiple categories. For example, a film might fall into both "action" and "sci-fi". I have found a way to do this through features of my Thecus NAS that stores the data. This relies on using standard *nix symbolic links on the embedded Linux of your NAS box.

In order for this to work, the mede8er must have a video wall shortcut set using NFS rather than SMB. Some implementations of SMB support symbolic links properly and others do not. Unfortunately, the implementation in mede8er is one of the latter. So although you can browse to a folder that contains the symbolic link, you cannot browse into that folder. Unfortunately, most *nix implementations do not support hard links for directories. So the only way round that for SMB usage would be to create a folder structure that mirrored the real folder and create a hard link on your NAS for each file.

On my Thecus N7700+ (which runs an embedded Linux), I installed two modules
1) SYSUSER that creates an account for a user named "sys" with root priveleges.
2) SSHD that provides an SSH daemon.

This enables me to use PuTTY to SSH into the NAS as the "sys" user. That means that I can create symbolic links on the NAS *nix file system (ext4 in my case).

I also enabled NFS so that the mede8er could mount the exported directory. In order for this to work reliably, since you have to specify an IP address for the NAS, it's better to assign a static IP address for your NAS rather than used one leased from your DHCP server (typically your router).

On my NAS, I have a top-level folder named "media" under which I have a folder named "video". Under that video folder I have a folder named "all" that has a folder for each movie. Under that same "video" folder I created two folders, one named "by_genre" and one by "by_letter".

Under the "by_genre" folder, I created folders for each genre such as "action", "sci-fi" and so on. Then using a PuTTY session as setup above:
1) cd into the directory such as video/by_genre/action
2) create a symbolic link using a RELATIVE path to the directory that contains the movie.
Repeat both steps for each genre.

Now in mede8er, since it's mounting the exported NFS drive, under the by_genre folder it will show the icons for genres. When you navigate into them, it will show the icons for each of the symbolic links and you can select one and see the about.jpg and then press OK to play it.

Hope this is of use to any of you using a NAS box or PC to store your files.