This post was originally posted on the Handmade network.
It’s been a year of intense (part-time) coding and I’m happy to announce that MotionBox 1.3.0 has been released !
Here is what it brings to the table:
1. Torrent streaming
MotionBox supports streaming for both torrent files and magnets. It works for video and audio files and the video browsing design completely applies to it. It’s built with a cache system that lets you switch from one torrent to another almost instantly.
The DuckDuckGo integrated search engine lets you access and browse torrents directly. That means you can start from your text query all the way to playing a specific file inside a torrent. Honestly, I’m not aware of any other software that can do that.
Regarding downsides, the initial loading speed tends to be a tad longer with libtorrent than a node based torrent streaming (!). I’m not exactly sure why since libtorrent is a low level, performance centric library that should deliver on that aspect. Maybe it’s related to the way it handles connections, or maybe I’m missing a configuration trick on the libtorrent side. But once the libtorrent session is warmed up it gets quite smooth to switch from one torrent to the other.
Practical notes: The libVLC library works surprisingly well with libtorrent because it handles weird streaming cases. It streams partial video files quite well thanks to the VLC “I’ll see what I can do with these bytes” approach. libVLC and peer to peer are a good combination and VLC is often used alongside a torrent client. Merging them feels quite natural and I feel it’s a significant progress for the end user.
Philosophical notes: When it comes to video playback I feel that embracing “what’s already there” is a superior proposition than “disruption”. In general I like the idea of writing software that respects what came before it and carries it further. I also think that the silicon valley “disruption model” trend is flawed from a philosophical standpoint.
2. Dynamic cover
To me, Video Browsing is also about getting the best visual information before playback. So I’ve added support for “The Movie Database” and “Last fm” backends. I’m doing a few tricks to translate the file and folder names into a proper cover. It works surprisingly well for movie files since they often provide a title and a year. It also works for audio files by matching the torrent and file titles. Heck, it even works for TV shows and retrieves a specific cover for each episode. Dynamic cover should apply for local, http and torrent files.
3. Updated full screen
Full screen used to feel like a maximized window. Now I’m introducing a better behavior that lets you switch from the browsing interface to full screen faster. MotionBox actually expands the view when switching to full screen and restores view panels when restoring the window. I’ve also added a timer that lets you click and switch between player modes in a more consistent way.
4. macOS support
MotionBox runs and Windows, Linux and the macOS port is on the way thanks to rayman22201. The current master branch should be able to build and runs on macOS, but we need help with the packaging of the macOS packaged application. Let me know if you are interested in contributing on that aspect and helping us with the port. Maybe rayman22201 will jump on the subject in the comments of the post !
Here is the full changelog: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/changes/1.3.0.html
MotionBox is a Free Software (as in free speech) dedicated to its user.
It does not track you and serves your best interest at all time.
This kind of software gets fairly rare these day.
Get MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/get
Support MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/support