Media Browser 2.5 (Hydra) Released

by Damian on September 27, 2011 · 6 comments

in News

Just a few short hours ago the next version of Media Browser (codename Hydra) was just released into the wild. Some of the significant changes/fixes are highlighted below:


  • The biggest change in Hydra is something that should be completely transparent to the user but should yield performance improvements and provides us with some great capabilities going forward. It is that we now use a SQL database for our cache. This means the old “ExperimentalSQLite” option in the config is now defunct as all systems will use SQL.
  • Several other internal improvements have been made that should mean MB is more responsive and reliable for everyone.
  • MB can now recover from your network shares not being available without causing all your metadata to “disappear”. It is still basically designed to operate on available media but you should no longer have the issue of your whole library being deleted and re-added just because you brought it up when your server was not available.
  • The context menu system can now support sub-menus. This will allow plug-ins to better organize their options within the context menu.
  • MB now has screen saver functionality. There is a built-in default saver and more can be added via plug-ins.
  • The recent added/watched lists now “roll-up” TV episodes into series groupings so, if you add 30 episodes from a single series at once, it won’t take over the whole list.
  • Showing the splash screen before an external player has been split as a separate option from the minimize one. Also, you can define your own splash by putting the appropriate image in the IBN/General folder as “splash.png” (only png supported).
  • A number of issues with backdrops not being properly inherited for TV on the recent lists and in index views have been addressed.
  • The imagecache should shrink in size as we have changed how we are handling it as well.

In particular the first three items are what interest me the most. Any time you can improve performance (without hopefully sacrificing stability), I always welcome that. If you look at the third point, this issue in particular is something that has plagued me with Media Browser and hurt the all important WAF. The full changelog can be seen here.

You can download the latest release here, and if you do give a whirl feel free  to post back here with your initial thoughts. And yes, I know I have been saying that I will be putting together another big writeup on Media Browser every time a new release comes out. For this release I won’t say that, but don’t be surprised if you do see a writeup in the coming weeks ;)

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Alex Kuretz September 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Nice, just the other day I was thinking it had been awhile since we’d seen a Media Browser release. I’ve been using the ExperimentalSqlLite and am glad to see it is now the default. I’ll be trying it out ASAP!

Damian September 28, 2011 at 4:13 am

Yeah, I am a bit behind on MB releases (probably a good 2-3 versions behind). Don’t use my HTPCs as much as I used to

steelman1991 September 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi Damian

Decided to give this a test drive, been some while since I used it. Quite snappy, but only if your prepared to use a 3rd party scraper and maintain your data locally.

Letting MB scrape metadata, and then browsing just gives a whole clunky, cumbersome feel.

Damian September 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have a 3rd party scraper running so I have the Media Browser scraper shut off. However, I am not surprised at what you are saying about letting MB scrape. I always preferred the way XBMC handled.

Alex Kuretz October 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

I’ve been meaning to follow up, I’ve not used it extensively but so far I’m enjoying this new version of MediaBrowser, it’s working really well for me. Performance is improved, artwork doesn’t go missing, love the grouping of new TV episodes.

Damian October 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

Great to hear, and you obviously know how annoying those issues you mentioned can be.

SP1 is due out on the 15th, so I am going to wait until that release to load up and then do a writeup about.

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