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MythFace: An alternative interface to MythTV

My housemates and I have used MythTV for most of our TV access for somewhere around 2 years now. During that period of time, MythTV presented us with an extremely large number of failures. We used to experience a really horrible bug where the video would freeze (this correlated well with poor DVB signal strength), and so we configured “Ctrl-Alt-x” to kill the frontend process and start it again. This got used frequently. However, more recently we had an even more painful bug, where the frontend would always quit after playing less than a minute of video. This made it impossible to watch anything.

So, I sat down one evening a few weeks ago and bodged together “MythFace”, a MythTV client designed to do one thing: let you watch MythTV’s recordings.

Screenshot of MythFace

As you can see, the interface is the pinnacle of usability and fits in well with many GNOME applications that have no configuration options. When you click “play”, the selected recording is played using mplayer. MythFace relies on the MythTV recordings directory being mounted at /mnt/video (we use an NFS export), and uses the GMyth library to grab the listings.

We’ve been using this interface since I wrote it and I don’t think we’ve had any issues with it. I think a major bonus of MythFace over MythTV is that it’s much faster to interact with due to the absence of a skinned interface.

Source is available on Gitorious:

git clone git://gitorious.org/mythface/mainline.git

Posted at 12:14 am on Saturday 14th June 2008

8 responses to “MythFace: An alternative interface to MythTV”

  1. Jeff says:

    This is exactly the kind of software I enjoy. It loads instantly, has a great interface and, crucially, doesn’t suck. It is superior to mythfrontend in every regard.

  2. […] MythTV frontend is too much of a beast to start, when all you want to do is watch a show, then MythFace might be for […]

  3. Sascha says:

    Your frontend alternative is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thank you!!

  4. rob says:

    Hi Sascha. I’m glad it’s useful. We’re still using it now, and I haven’t had to modify it once! Did setup go OK?

  5. Sascha says:

    Setup went smoothly under Ubuntu 9.10 after installing the missing dependencies libglade2-dev and libgmyth-dev. I’m pleased that MythFace stills runs without any problems after updating the backend to 0.22.

  6. stow says:

    Thanks for this – exactly what I wanted. I wanted something small and quick, and something I could make use of smplayer/kaffeine to watch the videos (rather than mythfrontend), and not having to remember which files I had watched (when using independent players) etc. I made some quick small dirty mods to suit me more, to read parameters from a file and to add a delete button to expire watched recordings, and to group recordings by title/date. But the essence is still the basic prog. Thanks.

  7. Mark Adams says:

    This looks like a lean and handy program. Unfortunately, I’m not smart enough to get it to run. That is to say that it compiles and runs under Mandriva 2010.0, but it can’t access the mythbackend so it doesn’t populate the window. This also might have something to do with the fact that I have several partitions working under mythtv to hold my media and none of them are mounted as /mnt/video.

    If you have any spare clues to toss my way, I’d appreciate it. I really miss having a useful pvr front end. At this point, it’s all Dolphin and VLC.

  8. rob says:

    @Mark: If you haven’t already, then you’ll need to edit the server, username, and password that are handed to gmyth_backend_info_new_full() in main.c. Yea… they’re compiled in ;) It’s a feature. Honest.

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