Rygel ogg transcoding and the Playstation 3

Zeeshan was rather angry at me for putting so much effort into Mediatomb (and rightfully so), so I figure’d I would make him happy and try out Rygel.

Short Summary: Some things work REALLY well (MUCH better than Mediatomb), some things not so well yet. (afterall, Rygel is under much more active development than Mediatomb so any of my gripes could likely be fixed in the near future)

The first problem was getting an up to date version of Rygel. Gstreamer inside jhbuild decided it wasn’t interested in loading any of its plugins. Rygel, outside of jhbuild, decided that none of its dependencies would build properly.

It took me 1.5 hours just to get a working version of Rygel compiled. Lame. This, however, would be mitigated by a recent Rygel release and just installing from .deb. So no real marks against Rygel for that.

I then configured Rygel with 2 “Media Exports”. My music folder and my movies folder. It then proceeded to spent 15 minutes at 100% CPU scanning my movies.

And it forgot my music :(.

After the initial 15 minutes Rygel crashed because I was missing some gstreamer plugin (shouldn’t configure have found that?). Fixed that and rygel finally shows up on the network.

I re-added my music directory without a symlink and this time Rygel loaded it all fine. *shrug*.

I ran over to the PS3 once Rygel had the music categorized and found that, indeed, the PS3 could browse Rygel’s collection (to a certain extent… it got an error loading past the 30th item in the list or so. Still trying to find that bug). Anyway, the major point: transcoding worked out of the box for music. No mess, no fuss. Seeking in transcoded streams also worked out of the box. SWEET!

Movies, however, were a different story. I couldn’t get any movies to play at all off of Rygel on the PS3. They did, however, work locally when manipulated by my gupnp-python control point.

The one other issue I have is that Rygel doesn’t auto-generate folders for meta-browsing like media tomb did. Media tomb would scan all my music and generate some folders such as “Albums” and “Artists” and “All Music” (good for a random playlist) which I could browse on the PS3. No such feature in Rygel yet. (Although the devs say they are open to adding it. Apparently it also works if I use the Tracker plugin. Sadly, however, I don’t use tracker on my server).

Overall, the Rygel guys get an A+ for awesome transcoding support for music. The movies issue could also just be a recent bug, as with the showing all items in a large list bug. (Zeeshan says these things should work, so it could just be a regression. I am using git HEAD after all.) I’ll also chalk the lack of the meta-folder feature to Rygel still being relatively new software.

Overall very promising. If Rygel didn’t have those few bugs mentioned above it would have already replaced Mediatomb and made me a very happy camper. I suspect that these bugs will be fixed shortly and I expect to switch soon 🙂

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