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Windows 7: Is Libraries Useful; a Debilitating Crutch--Or Both?

27 May 2013   #11
dperecky

win7 64bit Ult. using: XP Mode, in English or Espa˝ol, SUA, Bitlocker
 
 

In a dual boot configuration, libraries are IMO useless. Everything is on a common D: drive.


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27 May 2013   #12
smarteyeball

 
 

I stopped using libraries in 8 because mine kept corrupting.

I use them like a shortcut when I do use them. My drives are partitioned into categories anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2013   #13
TomBrooklyn

Win 7 Pro
 
 

Well it seems some people have found Libraries useful.

To me, it seemed like an added layer of a directory structure--that could be useful, but could also potentially lead to some confusion and disorganization.
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14 Jun 2013   #14
BrokeIC

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

It took me about 6 months before I noticed my libraries were all screwed up. It took me 2 days of research to figure out how to fix it. I move most of my music and videos and photos out of libraries onto other hard drives.
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14 Jun 2013   #15
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Most useful to me is the "Recorded TV" library, in support of Windows Media Center (used as my Ceton-based whole-home DVR, for HDTV viewing/recording/playback through Linksys DMA2100 extenders around my home to support my multiple HDTV's).

WMC only supports one single "recording folder" for new recordings. There is no "folder pool" (i.e. multiple folders, possibly spread across multiple drives/partitions) for new recordings.

But WMC playback comes from the "Recorded TV" library, which by default is the same single folder used for new recordings. However MULTIPLE folders (on multiple drives/partitions) can be added to the "Recorded TV" library FOR PLAYBACK. So you can essentially have an INFINITE amount of space used for storing previously made recordings (e.g. manually moving the WTV recording files from the primary "new recording" folder to any of these additional "long term storage" folders).

All of the WTV recordings in ALL of the "Recorded TV" library appear in the "Recorded TV" list (i.e. MyDVR button on real hardware cable company or satellite DVR remotes) presented by WMC. So you can playback from anywhere in the "Recorded TV" library.

Infinitely valuable to me (and believe me, I DO know where all my data is on the 12 partitions spread across my 4 internal hard drives along with my two external USB 3.0 drives used for backups and long-term storage of WTV recordings).
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14 Jun 2013   #16
BrokeIC

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I've never used Media Center before. Just went through setup of it, but it can't find any files in the folders I gave it to search from. Maybe it needs a day?

Media Center didn't find my Hauppauge PVR either. So I'm reviewing this video about whether I should worry about that.
Hauppauge HD PVR Review with Media Center on Windows 7

I use Total Media Extreme/Theater software and record mp4's for X-Box, even though I only have a PS3. My PVR is old and should probably be replaced with a gamer model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2013   #17
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

As was implied by my earlier system description, I do NOT use external cable company equipment (neither STB nor DVR) and do not use any any analog equipment in my WMC implementation.

WMC is in fact my DVR! It is based on the use of an internal Ceton 4-tuner M-card cablecard-enabled PCIe InfiniTV tuner card (they have new internal/network/USB versions out now that contains 6 tuner, still only requiring one M-card rented from TWC/LA at a mere $2/month). I also have a 2-tuner Hauppauge HVR-2250 internal OTA/ATSC tuner card for use with my roof antenna. HDTV image quality of local OTA/ATSC networks via off-air roof antenna is superior to that re-transmitted by TWC/LA because with OTA/ATSC there is no re-compression of the original network content as is unfortunately done by TWC (to reduce bandwidth requirements for insulting delivery to customers who presumably "can't tell the difference", but who actually probably don't know this is going on and would certainly prefer the superior original non-recompressed content if given an A/B demo).

Anyway, Windows Media Center in Win7 was DESIGNED TO WORK WITH the Ceton card (i.e. cablecard-enabled tuner, both internal and external/USB, agreed to by Microsoft's licensing and DRM agreement with Cablelabs, which allowed Ceton to develop its products and allowed Microsoft's WMC to handle decrypting of protected copy-once content via cablecard for viewing and for recording/playback) as well as with competitive external cablecard-enabled products such as the Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime, as well as with other retail OTA/ATSC TV tuner cards (e.g. from Hauppauge and ATI) to handle unprotected copy-freely content.

Theoretically, WMC can also work with external cable company STB/DVR tuner devices, including support for interfacing to "IR blaster" equipment so as to control the channel tuners in those external boxes for proper channel selection for scheduled recording by WMC.

I don't know what you tried to do with your initial experiment with WMC, but I'm sure it's just a configuration or setup issue. Obviously things get more complicated when you have external equipment (and multiple boxes at that) involved. In my opinion having my two TV tuner cards (4-tuner Ceton, and 2-tuner Hauppauge HVR-2250) internal to my HTPC makes it all just a piece of cake to set up WMC.

There are of course some basic preliminaries to go through, e.g. performing the DCA ("digital cable advisor") test to confirm that your system's hardware and video conform to the DRM requirements set down by Cablelabs in order to allow WMC to control the cablecard for secure decruption, etc., as well as the "head-end pairing" required to get your M-Card operational with your cable company, etc. WMC automatically detects the relevant connected hardware (both internal as well as external I would presume) and configures itself accordingly.

And you have to get the Guide configured correctly, selecting your cable company's name, provide your zip code to identify the proper channel lineup and program info (retrieved every night automatically by WMC from Zap2it which is the Microsoft contractual program Guide provider for all areas of the US, if not also for Canada).

Anyway, without knowing what you actually did and tried, and without knowing about your specific hardware equipment, I wouldn't attempt to advise you on any problem solving. And besides, that's not really the essence of this thread.

But I can tell you that WMC is WONDERFUL!!! It actually works, flawlessly (especially when it comes to not recording repeat airings of a scheduled program if I don't ask for it)! And I have essentially unlimited hard drive capacity for recordings (thanks to "Recorded TV" library), 6 tuners for simultaneous record/playback/view, 2-week program Guide for upcoming, support for up to five simultaneously operating "extenders" around the house (which are essentially "satellite clients" of my HTPC "server", i.e. independent DVR's on their own), etc.

Can't praise Microsoft enough for what they've built here. And it looks gorgeous as well!
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14 Jun 2013   #18
BrokeIC

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I've got a 4:3 VGA external monitor connected to my laptop. That probably violates some DRM for video.

There's no OTA signals in my area.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2013   #19
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
IMO Libraries weren't a good implementation in any case.
They are going to disappear in the latest version of W8 (W8.1). - They will actually still exist but be hard to find so IMO no point in using them.

A much better way is to either SPAN DISKS (risk though if any disk in the spanned group fails then data on the whole lot fails) or use Storage Pools (W8.1).

If you back up data regularly then I wouldn't worry about problems with using Spanned volumes. With these a group of volumes say D,E.F.G for example is treated by Windows as a single "Logical volume". So you don't have to worry or care WHERE your data is physically located. Also good if you have a few lower capacity disks - you can "Aggregate" these into a larger disk space.

I like this a lot for multi-media - particularly Music and Video collections. These days people often have several TB of music / video - and most music organising programs get into problems if your music collection say fills up a standard disk. This method avoids that - the music collection can be as large as the entire 4 disks in my example and the program still thinks it's all stored on a single disk.

The newer storage pool system (W8.1) works much the same -- but more robustly. When the W8.1 preview appears it's worth testing this feature.

Spanned disks - sceenshot enc.

You'll see in one screenshot TWO entries for Disk F (the physical configuration)
In the other you'll see the aggregate - Disk F is now ONE volume as far as Windows is concerned.

Cheers

jimbo


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Is Libraries Useful; a Debilitating Crutch--Or Both?-span3.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2013   #20
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
IMO Libraries weren't a good implementation in any case.
They are going to disappear in the latest version of W8 (W8.1). - They will actually still exist but be hard to find so IMO no point in using them.

A much better way is to either SPAN DISKS (risk though if any disk in the spanned group fails then data on the whole lot fails) or use Storage Pools (W8.1).

If you back up data regularly then I wouldn't worry about problems with using Spanned volumes. With these a group of volumes say D,E.F.G for example is treated by Windows as a single "Logical volume". So you don't have to worry or care WHERE your data is physically located. Also good if you have a few lower capacity disks - you can "Aggregate" these into a larger disk space.

I like this a lot for multi-media - particularly Music and Video collections. These days people often have several TB of music / video - and most music organising programs get into problems if your music collection say fills up a standard disk. This method avoids that - the music collection can be as large as the entire 4 disks in my example and the program still thinks it's all stored on a single disk.

The newer storage pool system (W8.1) works much the same -- but more robustly. When the W8.1 preview appears it's worth testing this feature.

Spanned disks - sceenshot enc.

You'll see in one screenshot TWO entries for Disk F (the physical configuration)
In the other you'll see the aggregate - Disk F is now ONE volume as far as Windows is concerned.

Cheers

jimbo
How do you back up and restore a drive in spanned drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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