From time to time, while browsing your XBMC library of files you may get the prompt, “Need to unpack a big file, continue?” This means XBMC has a large rar file it needs to open, so large that it may take a while/affect your system’s performance. Typically you can just answer yes and not have to worry about it again.

In my experience though you get this error when you have a corrupt or password protected rar. Answering yes gets you an endless loop of prompts, answering no will result in the prompt going away only to come back the next time you open your library.

What to do?

Via what ever method you have, go to your <xbmc_dir>/temp directory. In there will be the offending rar file, possibly in a directory called rartemp. Delete any rar files and any directory with rar in the name. Restart XBMC.

The next time you open your library you should be all good.

I use an SQL server for my library, sometimes I have to go an extra step and delete the file’s reference in my xbmc data. Look in myvideos->files and find the recent entry with rar:// in the strFilename column.

 

 

Here’s an XBMC problem I ran into; there is a show I watch and until a few days ago XBMC would add new episodes into my library as Sickbeard downloaded them. This arrangement has worked well for several years with no issue. For seemingly no reason XBMC stopped adding new episodes for this show only to the library. Sickbeard was still downloading them and moving/renaming them to the appropriate place, XBMC just wasn’t picking them up and putting them into the library.

I poked around a bit and saw this entry in my temp/xbmc.log file:

“ERROR: VideoInfoScanner: Asked to lookup episode SOMEVIDEOFILE.avi online, but we have no episode guide. Check your tvshow.nfo and make sure the <episodeguide> tag is in place.”

Googling the error didn’t help. Other people have had this problem but there wasn’t a solution posted anywhere I could find.

I looked at the tvshow.nfo for the show and sure enough, there wasn’t an <episodeguide> tag. I understand through some voodoo you can add the tag yourself, but I didn’t want to get into that. I already had a copy of Media Center Master, so I deleted the tvshow.nfo file, opened Media Center Master, and had it fetch all of the metadata for the show again. After that was done I had XBMC update the library. My missing episodes then appeared in the library as they should.

I have no clue what made it stop working in the first place, but I am happy that having Media Center Master rebuild the metadata solved the problem.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.

 

Here’s the setup on another XBMC problem that took me longer than it should have to figure out:

I’ve got a Sickbeard + Couch Potato + SABnzbd setup. The three programs are doing their job, downloading and placing the videos where I want them. XBMC is importing the videos into the library as it should. When I attempt to play the video on a remote XBMC, nothing happens. No error, no message, no screen flicker, nothing. The video does play just fine on my PC using VLC or Windows Media Player. It also plays fine using a Plex client.

The Solution:

Much like the problem I had with uTorrent, it comes down to permissions. In my setup SABnzbd writes the files to a temporary directory while downloading. Once downloaded the video is moved into another directory for permanent storage. The video and its files inherit its permissions from the temporary directory. All was well and good in my world until I updated SABnzbd, this apparently reset the permissions on my temporary directory. I added permissions for full control by Everyone and it fixed my problem.

Plex worked fine from the beginning because the Plex Server was running as administrator on the same PC as the video files.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.

 

I have an XMBC Live (XBMCbuntu) set up at home that includes a Denon 5.1 surround sound receiver. Out of the box XBMC will play the wrong sound channel out of the wrong speaker. Most noticeable is that the center channel will come out of the rear left speaker.

Finding a solution for this proved difficult, it’s not an XBMC problem so much as a problem with Alsa. The solution below has worked with XBMC 9, 10, and 11.

Here is what you do:

ssh into the XBMC box and create a /etc/asound.conf file. Cut and paste the text below into it.

pcm.!hdmi-remap {
  type asym
  playback.pcm {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "remap-surround71"
  }
}

pcm.!remap-surround71 {
  type route
  slave.pcm "hw:0,3"
  ttable {
    0.0= 1
    1.1= 1
    2.4= 1
    3.5= 1
    4.2= 1
    5.3= 1
    6.6= 1
    7.7= 1
  }
}

Then reboot.

Once XBMC comes back up, go to System->Audio and set the audio output to hdmi-remap. Then play a video with 5.1 sound, it should all work out.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.

Here’s the setup:

uTorrent is running on a Windows 7 machine. uTorrent keeps incomplete files in X:\torrent_scratch. It moves completed files to X:\SHARED. X:\SHARED is shared off to the network for everyone and has it’s permissions set to full control by everyone. XBMC on another PC has X:\SHARED mapped so it can play videos out of it.

Here’s the problem:

When you try to play a video from the share in XBMC, it asks for a password. Problem is, there is no password set  to use. The Windows 7 PC doesn’t have users with a password. The share is shared with ‘Everyone’, making the need for a password irrelevant anyway.

When you check the permissions on your shared folder, they are set correctly. The files/folders uTorrent is moving into the shared folder do not have the correct permissions.

The Solution:

Since uTorrent is moving the files into X:\SHARED you would assume the files would inherit the permission from that folder. Unfortunately it does not, it inherits permissions from the folder they were created in, X:\torrent_scratch.

The solution is to give X:\torrent_scratch the permission you want your files in X:\SHARED to have, in this case, full control by everyone.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.