Xlobby xStreamed Manual

Intro

Welcome to the xSteamed skin online manual.  This manual will cover the topics of installing, setting up, and running the xStreamed skin within the Xlobby enviroment.

Fist thanks go out to Steven Hanna, the developer of such a great program, Calrad for allowing us to continually use Xlobby.  Also would like to thank all the skinners and plugin developers for your visions and innovations.  It all helped in the development of xStreamed.  I'd like to also thank Team Razorfish for their MediaStream and StreamedMP skins, which are masterpieces of their own, and without their vision, this skin would never have been developed.  There are many others to which I owe thanks to, and if you are not mentioned here, I apologize, but I am ever appreciative for whatever you have done, which helped influence and nurture the development of xStreamed...Thank you.

Now, on with the manual...

xStreamed 

xStreamed is a pure 10' GUI type of skin for use with Xlobby.  For those that don't know, Xlobby is a foremost media management tool used for managing movies, music and other media types.  The newer Xlobby is capable of managing/controlling much more as well.  Xlobby is also more unique than other management tools in that it is very customizable for the end user.  It is also easier to customize the interface for ones own use and vision.  The other thing about the older free version of Xlobby was that it was the visual 'tap' to the media, and it interfaced with third party software to control playback of the different media.

xStreamed is a widescreen skin optimized for 1920x1080 screens, but can be configured to be visually stunning on any wide screen resolution.  The skin utilizes many different plug-ins and third party applications to achieve all that it can do.  For plug-ins, xStreamed uses:
xAnt, xConvert, xFade, xHideTaskbar, xMoveWindow, xPowerPlugin, xRemote, xWeather, xTVDB, xTopPicks, xRecieve, xmptv (if using MediaPortal for TV use), xHideMouse, xGetPhotos, xScriptNG, xLToolKit, xStats, xEvent, an experimental version of xFade, and xWOL.

All plugins are included with xStreamed and have been verified to work under the last free version of Xlobby running on a WinXP Pro SP3 system. 

Further applications that xStreamed has been setup to use:
xChangeSkin, sendfocus, poweroff, HD-Trailers.Net Downloader, Netflix TX Viewer, Milkdrop visual effect, Rom2Xlobby

Third party media that is used with xStreamed are:
Winamp v2.95 - music playback
Zoom Player 4.03 - DVD video playback
Media Player Classic - Home Cinema - all types of HD and general video media file playback
PowerDVD 10 - Blue Ray playback
Girder - remote control software

These applications are not set in stone and the end user can virtually use any media playback software of their choice.  What will limit this is the ability to setup Xlobby to control the particular media software.

xStreamed has been setup to be controlled via remote control that interfaces with Girder.  A basic Girder .gml file has been included as reference with the installer. 

Installation

To successfully install the basics of xStreamed is to perform the following steps.

1. Download xStreamed from here.
2. Once downloaded, run the executable, and install to the xlobby/skins directory
3. Once complete, proceed to the xlobby/skins/xStreamed directory, and copy the contents of the plugins directory over to xlobby/plugins, copy the contents of the applications directory over to xlobby/applications, and either copy the contents of the xlobby_root directory to the xlobby root directory, or edit the contents of the types.xml, mediatypes.xml, xlobby.xml directly in a text editor.




The file types.xml define the locations and configurations for running third party software on certain file extensions.  An example of this, exerted from the types.xml file is as follows:

  <filetype>
    <program>C:\Program Files\Zoom Player\zplayer.exe</program>
    <extentions>ts,ifo</extentions>
    <switches>/DVD /PLAY %playlist%</switches>
    <category>movies</category>
    <enabled>True</enabled>
  </filetype>

This defines to start Zoom Player in DVD mode, play on start, when the file has a .ts or .ifo extension.  This file is defined in the movies category.

The mediatypes.xml file difines what to do if a CD or DVD player is inserted in the CD/DVD drive.  This is also defined if you go into Xlobby's setup screen under the "Misc" tab.  Below is the entries:

<mediatypes>
 <mediatype>
  <name>audio cd</name>
  <extentions>cda</extentions>
 </mediatype>
 <mediatype>
  <name>dvd</name>
  <extentions>video_ts</extentions>
  <event>global:show overlay</event>
 </mediatype>
</mediatypes>

The xlobby.xml file contains all the basic information that xlobby requires to load.  The main things to change here are to make sure the skin variable is set to xStreamed, the startUpScreen variable is set to startup and the customresolution variable is set to 1920x1080, or to whatever widescreen resolution the user's monitor/TV is capable of, as shown below:

<skin>xStreamed</skin>

<startUpScreen>startup</startUpScreen>

<customresolution>1920x1080</customresolution>

xStreamed has been verified to work at resolutions of 1024x576 all the way upto 1920x1080.

Once this is done, Xlobby can be started, and the user should be presented with the splash screen shown above.

Configuration

After Xlobby has loaded, the user should be presented with a screen similar to this:

At this point the user can perform some basic configuration by opening setup (F2).  The user will be presented with this sort of window:
The "General" settings will allow the user to configure the location of Winamp, trailers location for building a database, location of Daemon Tools (if using), and Interface speed settings.

The "Basic" setting will show the next view:
Which defines the location of the music, picture and movie paths.  Since xStreamed uses the Ant Movie Catalog for creating the movies database, the movie path can be left blank.

The "Misc" setting will present what is shown in the image below.
It allows for the continuation of setting up Xlobby to behave in certain ways.  The interesting section to look at is the AutoPlay.  This is what the mediatypes.xml affects.

The next setting is the "Skins" setting.  In this setting the user can select the skin to use (but why, if already using xStreamed), and the resolution.  If a skin has extra themes, the user can select that here to.

The "Database" setting is a major one in xStreamed.  All menu listings are based on category/databases.  Below is what that screen looks like.
I will explain the actual database later, and at that time I will get more in depth on how to use this setting.

The next setting, "IR Plugin" doesn't really pertain to the standard setup of xStreamed.  It interfaces with the USB-UIRT plugin, and the user can define IR keypads presses.  This works the opposite to the xRemote plugin, which I will discuss further.

The "File Types" listing allows the user to define what players to use for what extensions, and how the player should behave on start.  The user can also define what player to use for each category.  The setting defined here make up the types.xml file that can be found in the xlobby root directory.


The "Events" tab is one of the more important settings in Xlobby, even beyond the xStreamed skin.  This is where the user can define events and commands to perform all the different functions in xlobby.  Events are broken down to event groups/events/commands.  There are two areas where events are saved.  If the event is to affect all skins, then it is saved to .xml files in the xlobby/eventgroups directory.  If an event group is only to affect a single skin, then it is saved to the skin/eventgroups directory.

The image below is unique for xSteamed, as it show the event group under startup.  More importantly it show the default start settings of xStreamed.  This is where you will want to change the default views of all the other screens that are multi-view enabled.  Most of the screen in xStreamed have 4 different selectable views.
These 4 views are:
_list

_large (for large icons)

_small (for small icons)

_flow (coverflow)

So in the example above, by changing movies_list to movies_large, movies_small, or movies_flow, will change the default view for the movies listing.  The same goes for TV series, video, games, internet (trailers and webcams), pictures, and music (eventually).

The "Plugins" selection will allow the user to view all the plugins installed and being utilized by Xlobby.  It will also allow the user to configure/setup the plugin to behave a certain way...if the plugin is setup to do that.  xWeather, xWOL, xRemote, xPowerEvents, xEvent, xGetPhotos, xTopPicks are all examples of plugins that can be configured.  At the start, the one that the user will want to configure will be the xWeather plugin, so the user can get the most recent weather updates for their area.  Most plugins have either additional documentation or online discussions at the xlobby.com website and the user can mostly figure out how to use them from reading the tutorials on them.


The last three tabs - "Download", "XNet", and "About" really have no relevance to how xStreamed works and will not be discussed. 

Operation

So once Xlobby is started, the user will be presented with the splash screen:

The goto screen that Xlobby first displays is the startup screen, which is exactly the same as the splash screen and in all respect to the user, it will appear that Xlobby is still loading.  It is during this screen, that xStreamed configures the default settings on start as defined in the event group "startup".xml, it then will automatically go to the main menu screen after a few seconds.


From here if the users navigates up or down, this will rotate the menu selections.

TV Series



Movies






Weather


Music


Pictures


Settings


Internet



At any point in the main menu the user navigates right, the exit screen will appear which will allow the user to exit Xlobby, restart Xlobby, or select the shutdown menu.  Selecting the shutdown menu will open an overlay to suspend the computer, shutdown the computer, or hibernate the computer.  The "X" with the circle around it will close the overlay back to the exit screen.  If the user pre-selected to exit Xlobby by mistake, or pre-selects the shutdown menu and navigates either left or right respectively, they will return to the main menu.

Shutdown Overlay