[pipresents-next] V1.2.3c – more reliable video playing

Recently there have been an increasing number of reports of unreliable video playing. I have identified a number of problems with omxplayer and hopefully added workarounds for them in Pi Presents.

If you run this version of Pi Presents from a terminal window you will see reports of the workarounds in action, even if debugging is turned off. omxplayer probably goes wrong one in a few hundred plays of a track on average and always at the end of a track.

I hope I have caught all the problems. I would be interested in any other undetected crashes of Pi Presents when playing videos as I may not have  discovered all the failure conditions.

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11 Responses to [pipresents-next] V1.2.3c – more reliable video playing

  1. Glen says:

    Hi Ken:
    I hve been using version 1.1 with absolutely no problems for some time now. I tried upgrading to version 1.2.3 mainly to be able to use the keyboard reassignment feature. After the upgrade,
    pausing any video would cause Pipresents to become unresponsive to any input. I have gone back to 1.1 for the moment. Since I am able to reassign keys using XMOD map there is no compelling reason to upgrade.. I was wondering, though whether an upgrade to the latest OMX Playerwould be a possible solution?

    Glen

    • KenT says:

      Glen
      I don’t test PP with old version of omxplayer, it would be worth you updating. If I remember correctly the version of omxplayer I am using can be got by sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade.

      I will check out 1.2.3 to make sure a bug has not crept into PP but nobody else has reported problems. The check will be with a fairly recent version of omxplayer.

      • KenT says:

        Just been looking at the RPi forum. The new browser introduced a couple of days ago seems to have introduced a lot of new bugs into the Foundations Raspbian image. Might be better to do the upgrades on a throwaway copy of the image, at least ensure you have a remote copy of any important files.

        Would be interested to know how people get on with upgrading and its effects on PP.

      • Glen S says:

        Hi Ken:
        I took your advise and installed the latest version of OMXPlayer. That solved the video playing problem so I can now upgrade pipresents to ver.1.2.3. Thanks so much
        for your help and your excellent program!
        – Glen

  2. Paul H says:

    I did have trouble with omxplayer when I updated to the latest version. It turns out that it was hanging at the end of the video, waiting for a keyboard input. This would happen every hundred videos or so.

    By using the –no-keys option in the omx player other options, I was able to solve the problem (all be it this causes me some other issues so it’s not ideal).

  3. James Firth says:

    is there any way to have it play streaming audio?
    i know mplayer can can play *.m3u streams using the -playlist switch
    e.g. mplayer -playlist http://kuscstream.org/mp3/kusc128.m3u
    but i see no way to add such in pi presents

  4. tdawg says:

    Hi Ken. This is a great tool that you have created here. I have a project that requires seamless looping for a video art installation and was wondering if this has been implemented with the latest revisions to omxplayer?

    • KenT says:

      The latest mainstream omxplayer does not have seamless looping. If you look at the omxplayer github and hueckes original you will see that it is a difficult problem to solve and not a priority for Dom. There is a bitcoin bounty being offered for a solution I believe. There does seem to be some forks of omxplayer e.g. one by Pasky that do seamless looping.

      The problem seems easier if you do not want audio as well as video.

      If somebody can identify a well supported implementation of either of these which can be easily installed then I will look at adding it to Pi Presents. I am also going to have a look at this idea which should reduce the gap between videos a bit.

      A couple of ideas for lessening the effect of the gap:
      1. Use a background colour other than black and use a windowed video rather than fullscreen
      2.Fade the beginning and end of the video to the background colour.
      3 Use a background image which is a still of the last frame of the video.

      • tdawg says:

        Thanks Ken. I’m going to give pyomxplayer a go using the techniques detailed by http://www.sundh.com/blog/2013/10/loop-videos-seamlessly-omxplayer/ (which I think you may already be aware of. Again, great job with PiPresents!

        • KenT says:

          Coincidentally I have been doing the same. I have a nearly working gapless videoplayer system with a test harness that loops around a list of video tracks. My main problem has been dealing with omxplayer crashes at the same time as pre-loading tracks and pausing at beginning and end.

          It will eventually go into Pi Presents but that is some weeks away. If you want my code as is then I can email to to you. I habe your email address from the blog.

          • tdawg says:

            Ken. Sorry for the late response. Your in-progress version would be great – it might help me to better understand the machinations of how to address seamless loops.

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