I'm new and have questions


Before I fire away questions though, a brief of my current setup:

Full HD TV connected to both a PS3 and WDTV Live Media 1TB Hub Center using HDMI cables.

Internet is connected to broadband router (with 4 gigabit Ethernet and Wireless N availability).

Laptop and PS3 is wi-fi connected to router.

Hub is wired into broadband router.

All three devices can search/find media servers.

Laptop has 4-port USB Hub, connected to external drives (Almost 8TB worth of media).

1 of those external drives is a Vantec NexStar MX Dual-Bay with jbod switch as an option (but is set to dual drive instead of jbod), the other 3 slots are filled with 2TB drives in single enclosures.

Laptop is running PS3 Media Server which the PS3 and the HUB can both connect and browse just fine. (except for the #transcode# listings, but I think I can hide them in the media server settings).

Now, with the above stated; i have it set up this way atm, because I know the HUB doesn’t play nice with USB hubs (except for the 1 drive limitation, can also use the remaining ports of the USB hub to also connect keyboard and wifi). And, I _really_ don’t like this setup. As I have to keep my laptop plugged in and On all the time just to have “media on demand” with the HUB or PS3. I also plan on phasing out the PS3 for video content since I do love the fact that the HUB plays everything I’ve thrown at it, except for the odd .flvs

The Nexstar MX is set to dual drive instead of jbod, because for some reason, when used and formatted, it won’t allow me to fill a 4TB jbod (stalls at 2.3TB), so using it as a dual drive is my only option atm. Which also means, the HUB can’t see that second drive, only the first. And yes; I understand this was phased out of firmware for some reason or another.

Oh, and the HUB’s fw is the one just before this latest update. I’ve always used a USB keyring to update the fw, with never a glitch or loop to be seen. However, i have had to recompile my media info each freaking time which is okay, but not perfect because I lose which episodes have been marked as watched or not visual display. (haven’t used get info yet so I don’t know about that feature)

All of my media is set up as:

Drive 1:

-Theatre Folder


–Movie Title Folder



Drive 2:

-TV Folder


–Series Folder


—Season ## Folder



Drives 3 and 4:

-Anime Folder


–Alphabetical Folder


—Series Folder


----Season/tv/ova/movie Folder


So, questions at last; let’s see, where to start?

I’ll start with, what i hope is easy…

  1. Since the HUB can see and display JPG for folder thumbnails, no matter their names as long as it is in the folder itself, is it recommended or of any use to rename each JPG to match? If yes, please explain. My hunch is yes, but only if working with themes other than the default, in which case I might as well start renaming my anime JPGs before I even attempt to play with user generated themes. Am I correct in that line of thinking? If no, then it’ll save me a heck of a lot of time renaming the anime JPGs since all of the photos are grabbed from anidb.net and are all named as to their database series ID #.

  2. As I’ve not played around with themes other than the default, please point me to a step-by step process to learn this or various methods.

  3. I think I saw somewhere that there is a windows program that allows to create default themes for certain movies and/or tv series/seasons. Please point this out to me if it exists.

  4. If the above exists, is it possible to add anidb.net to a “get info” and generate/populate its information, as well as grab their corresponding JPGs automatically? (probably not lol but worth a try). I know anidb.net already has a program.exe that will scour your collection and give correct names to the episode files, including which fan-sub group did it, which source it was made from, its resolution/ dimensions and quality etc, while also adding it to your database “collection” as “has on HD” or some such. So I know it is possible to already find episode information perfile, based on their CRC.

  5. USB hub support: The Live Plus has it with an alternative fw, and its developer won’t touch the HUB fw because it’ll disable permanently the service features of the HUB. All well and good. So, part A) Is USB hub support around the corner (next few fw updates) or has it been blackballed or put on the back burner? Is it a problem with power-supply? Can’t WD make a disclaimer that says, Must use a USB hub that is powered (plugged in) or your HD will [Deleted] your data? And just allow us as a consumer to accept the risk because we’re smarter than homer Simpson and have our data backed up before we try this? Maybe even put in a quick accept this warning as an “i understand” once the hub detects a new drive has been connected, before it even fully connects?

  6. What is the best media server for the HUB? As i said i use PS3 media sever, since it doesn’ or hasn’t needed to trans-code much and its free. I think there’s one called tversity? Are there any others which are well matched with the HUB?

  7. Someone else wanted to know if they could remote control their HUB for their music, with their laptop. I want to know that too, but also for videos. And yes maybe even photos and slideshows too. I’ll look into playlist feature myself as well, as a quick search of my music collection in the mean time. Eventually I want all the media filled HDDs I have connected to the hub (however long that takes to happen is up to the DEVs), but once that happens, it’d be a nice feature to have the option to remote control the HUB over the network with pc based app; regardless of where the media files are located, be it network or internal or attached as an external HD to the HUB. So for now, is it possible atm?

  8. I have a feeling that NAS maybe the only way to get what I want done at the moment, but ffs I’m broke after buy the WD HUB and the HDDs and the Enclosures lol I’ll do my own googling soon enough on which NAS to buy sometime down the line. But for the moment, please throw some names at me. Also, I know about the compatible list on the WD site for the HUB, but that tells me a yes or no only. Not the features of said devices for what I’ll eventually end up doing down the line if I go NAS. The names I’d like thrown at me are NAS that not only have internal bays (singular or multiple) but are verified to allow USB hub connections. Like said product NAS Box has 1 or 2 USB ports to add external HDDs, can those ports be extended to 4 ports each with a USB HUB, for future addition of external USB HDD enclosures? And be accessed by the WD HUB? Anyone done that yet with a NAS product? I ask, because when I do go shopping, I want to do it once and get it right.

9-100. Will wait for another time

YEAH, you do!

Let’s see what I can manage to cover before the box goes End of Sale.  :)

  1.  In the absense of a file called “folder.jpg,” exactly, the hub will display the FIRST JPG present.   So it depends on how things are alphabetized.   I always recommend you explicitly name it “folder.jpg.”  This will be the jpg used to present a FOLDER image when browsing at the FOLDER level.

Then there are the “filename.jpg” thumbnails which represent the FILES when you are IN the folder.  The prefix of the jpg must match EXACTLY (and as far as I know, is also CASE SENSITIVE) the media file.

But for the blanket answer:   Whatever works best for you.  :)   If it’s not causing any naming conflicts, I’d probably leave it as-is.

  1. Best to ask that question in the THEME subforum.   There’s a good dozen experts over there that can answer much better than I.   

  2. Don’t confuse THEMES with METADATA.   THEMING controls the over-all look & feel of the USER INTERFACE.    Metadata controls the CONTENT that is displayed, primarily within the Hub’s “Gallery View.”  Metadata includes technical detail about the MEDIA ITSELF; the Name, The Plot, ratings, cast, director, runtime, etc.   Metadata and themes are both created using XML, but THEMES are a huge suite of XML libraries, whereas METADATA is one XML file per title of media.

There are lots of third-party applications to help generate XML Metadata for content, including movies, TV Shows, etc.

Look at the sticky posts at the top of this subforum for a few examples;  I wrote one specifically for TV Shows, others have written tools that do both, some are MAC-based, some are Windows-based, etc.  

  1. Don’t know.  Not with mine, but I can’t speak to the others’.

  2.   I’m GUESSING Hub support is on its way to the Live Hub.   It is an (undocumented) FEATURE of the NEW LIVE, and I would imagine the firmware of both devices will track.   Actually, it makes more sense to have that function on the HUB than the LIVE because the HUB is intended to be a SERVER; a CENTERPIECE.   But time will tell.   If we don’t see it by year’s end, then it becomes more doubtful.

That’s your Part A answer, I don’t see a Part B.   :slight_smile:

  1. That’s a toughy;  that’s like asking “what’s the best car?”  You’ll get dozens of opinions.   I’m opinionless because I don’t use DLNA media servers often at all.  I use Network Shares via SMB almost exclusively.

  2. There’s a number of ways to control the Hub (and the Live) via outboard hardware.   And DLNA CONTROLLER  (DMC by their terms) can control many functions of the Hub.  The iPod/iPad app called ZappoTV is really good at that.

You can also use the Web-based REMOTE CONTROL to interact with the Hub / Live;  it’s basically exactly like the handheld remote, just software based.   So you could use that if you’re listening to a playlist and want to skip a song; just pop-open the WebApp and press NEXT.  

Then there’s the PlayTo function of many DLNA apps like WIndows Media Player.

  1. QNAP, QNAP, and for a third choice, investigate QNAP.
1 Like

… thank you.

  1. To clarify. folder.jpg is only for folder thumbnails and are at folder levels and Episode thumbnails need to be same name/case as the file’s prefix. Very good to know! Same for the blanket answer. For the moment folder thumbnails all show up fine, so I’ll leave it as is. At least until I get the energy to generate episode thumbnails for every media file. Then, as you say, it’ll be alphabetical, for I’ll need to then start renaming folder level photos as folder.jpg. Now I just need to google for app that’ll randomly generate thumbnails from movies.
  1. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction :smiley:

  2. So if I understand correctly, the HUB uses a layering of XML libraries. One “set” for the over all visual “gallery-view” interfacing. And another, single XML per media content, which is layered atop the “visual interface” with meta-data and placements of said info (Director, Rating, Synopsis) And I am able to customize the meta-data with the information that I want to see displayed, say perhaps 720p/1080i, fan-sub group, actors, directors, but whatever I don’t want to see, just don’t put it in, correct? and I can create a template to use first, and then use it and customize it per, what? per season, series, episode? all of the above? I’ll look in the theming section here as you suggest for an in-depth answer, but have I got the gist of it?.  

  3. I’ll look into it in the theme section as you suggested before. With yours though, as I’ll look into that as well since yours does TV shows, I have to ask… you say it can’t add anidb.net to it, don’t get me wrong I’m not putting in a request for you to do it… what i’d like to know is, is your program opensource and available for tinkering with?

5a)   Okay, I really hope so too! And you’re right, that’s the main reason I bought the HUB, as a centerpiece AND server. And I’ll go that route and wait til the years end. If not by x-mas, then Boxing-Day sales are when I’ll look for an affordable QNAP. I’ll just use the time now to read up on them :smiley:

5bcdef…) ha! Decided not to be long-fingered (errr winded) and kept it simple, but forgot to delete that.

  1. The best car? Oh tht’s easy, its the Sazuki, right? or its gotta be the F16. Oh wait, found out the *hardway* those aren’t cars, should have googled and tried before i buyed lol Joking aside, I see your point.

Maybe instead of “best” I should just stick to “what’s available that’s been consumer proven to work with the HUB”.

  1. Okay, so DMC is what I need to read up on, for pc and/or handheld devices. ZappoTV is already on my reading list. Web-based remote control, might be easier for me, since firefox has app tabs, could just stick it on that for quick access. Great :smiley: PlayTo function apps… Sounds even better to me, though not WMP. I’ll look for an alternative, but I can use your reference point as a base to gather information on these app like features available. Hmm… maybe MPC-HC will eventually get this feature. I hope so, but I digress lol

  2. QNAP, QNAP, and for a third choice, investigate QNAP.— !!! So to clarify, I should check out QNAP? … riiiiight? :wink:

I really appreciate your time and effort into answering my questions and pointing me in the right direction, again…

thank you.

  1.  The THEME controls the LAYOUT and PLACEMENT of information, colors, objects, etc.   The METADATA is then read by the Hub and displayed.   You cannot add additional content beyond what the Hub already supports, which is:




Backdrop lists



Plot / Overview

So you can’t display other things like Resolution / Audio format …   If information is NOT included, the Hub will display “N/A” in its place.  

1 Like

Please tell me how I can view or transfer PDF files from my Passport to my laptop.  Also, need to know how I can view those same PDF files from my Passport.  Thanks so much.  Very frustrated.

CLAUDIA wrote:

Please tell me how I can view or transfer PDF files from my Passport to my laptop.  Also, need to know how I can view those same PDF files from my Passport.  Thanks so much.  Very frustrated.

1>  Plug the drive in, and open its location.

2>  Double click the PDF file.

Thanks for your help …  when I first sign on, and choose “community”,  for instance, there is NO prompt given for “new messages”  or any place where I can go to get that  . . . I posted this message through the “reply” button on your reply message to  me.Regarding my second question, about PDF files from my passport, when I double click on that file, I get a message that says “cannot open this file”.  Doesn’t let me change file types, either.  In order to get to this WD board to post message, I had to go through multiple steps, much of it gessing, because the “post messge” didn’t show up anywhere.  I am frustrated because I am new, but I’m really NOT a stooooopid person!!  Honest!!


You likely are not  “stooooopid” as you say because you have found your way back to this forum, but beleive me, you definitely are loooost on this WD bulletin board.  Your questions need to be asked in the proper location – in the forums for WD drives.  So, I will help you get un-lost. 

See the heading at the top of these pages:   Western Digital Community  You can click on it at the top or on this link I put here that is underlined.  This will take you to the very beginning of these forums.  Then, look down the list to find the forums for WD External Drives.  Go into that area and you will find discussions for both Mac and PC drives.  This is where you select again until you find a forum heading that is appropriate to your product’s question.

Also at the top left for each forum beginning, there is a white box titled New Message.-- click it to start a new message.

Now, as for opening a PDF file on either your computer drive, your Passport drive or even in an email, it all works the same;  you click (or double-click) the file name.  OK, you did that and got a message that it was unable to open the file.  Most likely this is because you do not have the free program for opening PDF files called Adobe Reader, or if you do have it, it is somehow damaged.

So, go here to get the program installed and you should be ready to go.  http://get.adobe.com/reader/ 

Hi, Mike . . .

Hurray!!  You are my hero!!  Thanks for helping me get unstoooopid!!  And for helping me find my way around.