End of OpenELEC

Posted: April 2, 2013 in Watching
Tags: ,

I love OpenELEC – it is in daily use as the main media player in the house for the past couple of years. It made my little Atom/Ion board fly, and turned mediocre hardware into something that was a joy to use.

Alas as of yesterday, it is no longer used. OK a bit dramatic I admit, but I finally had to drop the slim OpenELEC build of XBMC and return to the original in the form of XBMCBuntu.

And the reason… updates.

XBMC moved to a monthly update – that’s great, but not really of use to me as I NEED to have this player stable – both for WAF and the 2 kids! What it does mean is that the annual release is in position to be released in Dec/Jan and it works. It also means that I can do a simple apt-get update/apt-get upgrade and get the latest version without hassle. It will even update and migrate the MySQL central DB for me.

OpenELEC doesn’t. It is a beautifully crafted minimal distro that takes time to build and test after the official release of XBMC. It also requires (to date) manual updates in the form of copying across the new kernel and system files to the box and rebooting. So I did this with the update from v1 to v2 last year and it took time.. but I accepted this as the cost of using the software. I then did it again this weekend moving from v2 to v3 (actually v3.1, but hey). The update went fine, no issues at all. What’s not fine was the 72 hours it took to then re-import my media library before I can use the box. I know, I know, Atom 330 CPU isn’t going to be quick… but 72 hours… no. Even then when it did get restarted, it insisted on doing a library update and found more things that han’t been imported – and no – these weren’t new… if fact they were very old, watched and fully metadata’d up!

So assuming that my media collection continues to grow, the next update could take even longer and that’s not acceptable.


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