Media stubs

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Information: Contains information on how to add offline media (Physical Discs) to the XBMC library via media stubs

As of v11 (Eden), XBMC has support for offline media stub files. These are files that represent a media outside of the online digital infrastructure and allow XBMC's library to catalogue your "offline" media collection, as well as ask for the media when selected for playback.

1 Outline

The intended way for this to work is e.g. Two DVD's you want to add to your XBMC library, Finding Nemo, and Bug's Life. You would create two empty files where ever you store the rest of your digital media files called:

  • Finding Nemo (2003).dvd
  • Bug's Life (1998).dvd

2 Supported stub file types and default extensions

Stub file types Default extensions
DVD disc .dvd
BluRay disc .blu
HDDVD disc .hdd
VHS tape .vhs

Note: You can also add media source flags (if the skin you are using supports them) to indicate the type of media (DVD, BR, VHS, etc) in the GUI. For more info on this, see Media flags#Media source.

By default these files have a .disc extension (modifiable via advancedsettings.xml). In cooperation with Confluence Skin's (and possibly others) feature to search for words like DVD, Bluray, and HDDVD in the file name it is possible to create a disc stub file that will show correct media flags in the skin. For example, if you have Finding Nemo on DVD, you could create an empty file called: "Finding Nemo (2003).dvd.disc" and add it to your library. In the XBMC library this file will show up with the DVD media flag in the Confluence Skin and when selected you will be prompted to insert the Finding Nemo DVD.

3 Messages

Depending on which type of stub the user tries to play XBMC will present the user with corresponding feedback. For things like HDDVD, XBMC will simply tell the user that playback is not possible. For DVDs the XBMC will present a new Dialog introduced, called CGUIDialogPlayEjectCancel. It will prompt the user to insert the DVD and offer to play it right away (Play button only becomes available if/when the DVD is in the drive).

Note: You can also add a custom message to be displayed when attempting to play a Disc Stub file. This is accomplished by treating the disc stub file as an .xml file with the following layout:

<discstub>
  <message>Message to be displayed</message>
</discstub>

The message will be displayed on the second line of the dialog box that asks you to insert a disc when selecting a disc stub file for playback. This added feature allows users who use a numbered library for their disc media to also take advantage of this new Disc Stub file support in XBMC.

4 Notes

For more technical information on this new feature see here, here, and here.