Author Topic: [SOLVED] User Breaks MB Theater Mode! (This is why we can't have nice things!)  (Read 996 times)

avitar

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Happy New Year Everyone! I’ll try to be as brief as possible but I could use a little help.

Setup:
Windows 10
MusicBee: 3.4.8033 Store

Problem: I use one of the Theater Mode plugins. When I select View>Start Theater Mode from the main menu, MB does not display the background. The elements are all there in the correct place, but the background is just a washed out pastel colored screen. If I instead select View>Theater Mode>Plugin Name everything works fine.

This only affects the one Theater Mode plugin that I installed. Until I started working on a different problem recently, all plugins (including this one) worked fine.

(The TL;DR folks among you can skip to the summary below. The following just describes what I was doing when this happened.)

~~~
 
Background: I provide this part because in my opinion, things rarely break for no reason. My first question to anyone is, “Ok, what where you doing before this happened?” So here is my very quick story.

1. A couple of weeks ago I installed Minilyrics and the Minilyrics helper plugin. Everything worked fine for several days. Then I noticed that MB would lock up after 4-5hrs. I’d have to kill its process to restart it.

2. Shortly after this I noticed I was also getting a non-descript error msg when going into the plugin panel. So I disabled the Minilyrics helper plugin. No joy. I then disabled other plugins including Theater Mode. Still no joy.

3. Then I uninstalled the Minilyrics program from the computer and the plugin from MB. That fixed the error message! But now I had two Theater Mode plugins on the plugin screen – one enabled & one disabled. Hmmm, how to get rid of the extra one I wondered…

So I started playing around with the files in the different directory paths – \Program Files X86, \Users & \Program Files. During that time I created problems (i.e. double theater mode entries, ratings that wouldn’t update in Theater Mode etc.) and fixed them.

Now I have this one last problem: Theater mode can’t display the background for this one plugin when called directly from View>Start Theater Mode. As stated, it works fine with View>Theater Mode>Name of plugin.

Potentially relevant info:

1. The theater mode plugin (Mod'ernaire) is located in the \Users path in the appropriate TheaterMode.list folder.
2. All other theater mode files (Artist Pictures, Cine View etc.) are located in the same folder on \Program Files\ path.
3. MB settings show the mb_TheaterModePlugin.dll location to be in the \Program Files\ path, not the \Users\ or the \X86\ path.
4. My TheaterModeState.ini file has an entry that is curious to me because the plugin uses a static image –

                  C:\Users\GTP\AppData\Roaming\MusicBee\Plugins\TheaterMode.List\Mod'ernaire.Rotation

Perhaps that is normal.

Like I said, this problem is probably self-inflicted; but for the life of me I can’t seem to find a way to reset it.

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Summary: The burning question in my mind is, “What is the technical process difference between how MB handles View>Start Theater Mode and View>Theater Mode>pick your theater mode plugin. I’d guess the first provides some kind of relative reference from the mb_TheaterModePlugin.dll while the second directly calls the user installed .xml file. That’s only a guess though and I’d have no idea of how to fix it.

Anyways, thanks for reading and any help/insight anyone can provide.
Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 04:55:02 AM by avitar

Steven

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View/ Start Theatre Mode uses the default path of: MusicBee application folder\Plugins as the basis for the various files used, so if the skin is actually located in the user directory then it probably wont load correctly
Starting by selecting a specific view will base the file paths from that skin's location

I will look to address that

edit:
actually what i said was not correct - it should work the same either way its started.
Maybe remove all theatre mode files from the User folder and fresh install the theatre mode skins in the MusicBee/Plugins folder
Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 10:22:44 AM by Steven

avitar

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No Joy.  :(

Here is exactly what I did according to your suggestion.

1. Stopped MB
2. Deleted all readily apparent Theater Mode files and folders.
3. DL’d fresh copy of the problem skin, unpacked and pasted to Users\...\Plugins directory.
4. Rebooted computer (just a habit)
5. Started MB
6. View>Theater Mode>Modernaire (had to select skin b4 View>Start Theater Mode)
7. Went back to main window view (View>Main Player)
8. View>Start Theater Mode
9. No Joy. Same results as before.

I used to troubleshoot globally. Sometimes if I could have seen what the other person was looking at I would have solved a problem immediately. So I’ve included pictures. It'll illustrate what I've done and maybe you’ll spot something that isn’t right.

Picture of User folder/file structure before and after (Shows what was deleted)

Skin performs normally when selecting View>Theater Mode>Modernaire

Skin fails when selecting View>Start Theater Mode

Just for kicks I also included the following just in case there was anything obviously amiss.

\Program Files\...\MusicBee file structure

I appreciate the help so far and I realize that time is limited for everyone. My desire to fix this is kind of OCDish. So if you find that you don’t have time then let this go. I still have functionality; it just takes two extra clicks.

If you want to chase this down though I have plenty of time on my end to try any suggestion you have.

Thanks for the support Steven.

phred

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3. DL’d fresh copy of the problem skin, unpacked and pasted to Users\...\Plugins directory.
I'm coming in on the middle of this, but this line jumped out at me.

Skins do -not- go in the plugins directory. They go in the skins directory.

But if you're actually referring to a theatre mode, then that goes in
Plugins\TheaterMode.List or TheaterMode.Embeded. I can't really remember the difference between the two, but my TMs are all in the .List directory.

Since your MB home install is in the Windows users directory, I'd suggest getting/using the Portable version and place it outside of a Windows-controlled directory. Such as X:\MusicBee
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

avitar

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Yes, my problem solely concerns Theater Mode. I wasn't sure whether or not to call it a plugin or skin. I've seen both. Now I know! Thanks.

Quote
Since your MB home install is in the Windows users directory, I'd suggest getting/using the Portable version and place it outside of a Windows-controlled directory. Such as X:\MusicBee

I don't want to side-track the thread but your comment made me curious. Is there some advantage to this? Perhaps you're thinking Windows caused my problem. If so then I'm sorry to say that I'm the most likely culprit. I was handling other issues and this problem was likely an unintended consequence.

phred

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Yes, my problem solely concerns Theater Mode. I wasn't sure whether or not to call it a plugin or skin. I've seen both. Now I know! Thanks.
Skins change the appearance of MB by changing various colors and sometime the elements of the layout.
Plugins add additional functionality to MB.
Theatre Modes provide a different way of viewing MB.
For the most part, one has nothing to do with the other. The lone exception is that Theatre Modes need the Theatre Mode plugin in order to work.

I don't want to side-track the thread but your comment made me curious. Is there some advantage to this? Perhaps you're thinking Windows caused my problem. If so then I'm sorry to say that I'm the most likely culprit. I was handling other issues and this problem was likely an unintended consequence.
I just noticed that you're using the store version. Get the Portable (or even the Installer) version and stop using the Store version.

First off, the Store version doesn't get updated nearly as often as Portable or Installer. Secondly, the Store version basically runs under the control of Windows, and as such doesn't always work as expected. Understand that I'm not saying your issue is because of the Store version, but it's certainly possible. And the only way to know is to try one of the other versions.

A big advantage to using the Portable is that it's, errr, portable. If you're replacing your hard drive or your PC, you can simply copy the entire directory in which MB lives to a thumb drive or some other storage space, change the hardware, and copy MB back from the 'backup' storage to the new hardware and you're up and running.

I strongly suggest the Portable version. Get it from the downloads page of the website, or from the first forum topic. Once you have it "installed" download the latest patch version and apply it per the instructions in my signature below. Make sure to place the Portable version in it's own directory. If you only have one drive letter (C:\) then create a new directory C:\MusicBee and put it there. Update to the latest patch, get the Theatre Mode in question and see where you wind up.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

avitar

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Quote
I just noticed that you're using the store version. Get the Portable (or even the Installer) version and stop using the Store version.

You just never know the importance of a seemingly innocuous comment. I went ahead and installed it and SUCCESS! The Theater Mode problem is solved! My OCDish-self thanks you!

I had, of course, considered the nuclear option - reinstalling MB; but for such a simple little annoyance the risk/reward analysis didn't work for me. I got burned years ago with an Itunes installation that wrecked my library - ironically that led me to MB. I've forgotten the details but between that and other glitchy software installs over a several decades (not MB) I religiously avoid re-installations as a repair strategy. If I had known I could just install a different version without having to impact my "working" version,  that would have been one of the first steps.

So yep, a very good day indeed. Problem is solved; I'm on a more frequently updated version; and I'm away from the MS store. Things couldn't get much better.

Thanks again phred.

@Steven - thanks for your help too. I really appreciated it and I'll always wonder just what did happen. But having said that, I'm glad this is wrapped up so you don't have to waste time on something that's trivial in the bigger scheme of things.

phred

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Thanks again phred.
You're quite welcome.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, did you use the Installer or the Portable?
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

avitar

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Quote
Get the Portable (or even the Installer) version and stop using the Store version.

It seemed as if you favored the portable so I took your recommendation and went with that.

phred

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Thanks.

Let us know if you have any more questions or issues.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.5 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.