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Old 01-28-2009, 10:55 AM   #1
rewtedesco
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xine DVD "software intended to be automatically started"


This is about a problem with playing DVD's with xine under Ubuntu 8.10, where I get different behavior for two computers for some dvds, while things are fine for other dvds on both machines.

I am using xine to play DVD's on several different platforms, namely a laptop and two desktops. On the machine I wanted to preferably use for watching DVDs, namely a Dell dimension 3000, xine does not play certain DVDs that work fine on the laptop and the other desktop (the work computers).

The difference is that on the laptop, or on the work computer, when a DVD is inserted, it will automatically be recognized and become playable with xine - after selecting xine in a dialog box that pops up and displays the line "You have just inserted a video dvd ...". For some dvd's this bahavior on the Dell is exactly the same, and xine can play them, but for a number of dvd's the Dell box never even mounts the dvd and the dialogue window does not appear on the screen. Also, the icon of a dvd does not appear on the desktop background window.

The whole thing does not seem to depend on how recent the dvd was released. The problem also occurs occasionally for DVD's that have been around for many years.

I noticed though that the dvds that xine can not play on the Dell desktop have a few things in common: The laptop recognizes them immediately and displays an icon sometimes different from just a dvd disk, and besides the dialog window reading "You have just inserted a Video DVD....", another window pops up with the message "This medium contains software intended to be automatically started. Would you like to run it?" If I press cancel, the dvd will simply play, and if I press run it results in an error "Error autorunning software". But then the dvd will play neverthesless. (I suppose the "autorunning" won't work because it's a windows program anyways, so I expect this failure to happen) For the same dvd I can never get this behavior on the Dell desktop and also can't start the same dvd by any other means, not with xine, or other players, and also not in command mode.

On both computers I had followed the same procedures to install all codecs and stuff, which is very much facilitated in ubuntu 8.10.

My conclusion is that something is missing on the Dell which prevents it from even mounting dvds of that kind when they are inserted. Something may crash but I can't find it. There's also nothing in /var/log/messages.

Is there a simple fix to this problem? And does it have anything to do with the "autorunning" message?
 
Old 01-30-2009, 01:10 AM   #2
rylan76
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It may seem counter-intuitive, but the first thing I always do when installing a distro on a new system is to disable all these "auto" features.

I know it is very Windows-like and friendly to have these kinds of convenient things happening when you insert a disk, but too often (in my experience) the wrong stuff happens, or the right stuff does not happen, or happens inconsistently (as you have discovered). IMO Linux should not try to emulate Windows-like behaviour. Convenient yes, but for me personally, the whole point in shifting from Windows is precisely that I DO NOT WANT to still be burdened with the very problems that drove me away from Windows in the first place! Like autostarting or autoplaying.

That said, if you have some of the systems behaving correctly, great! However, for the system that does not behave correctly with some DVDs in an automatic way, try this:

Quote:
1. Insert the disk that does work with the automatics (e. g. on your Dell system, correct?)

2. Open a terminal

3. Become root

4. Manually mount the disk. On my setup I do:
Code:
mount /dev/dvd /mnt/dvd
5. Start xine manually (click on its icon)

6. Tell it to play the DVD (click on the DVD button)
That is (you do not say) IF the system that does not "autodetect" the DVD can, in fact, PLAY that same DVD at all.

I've got no good theory on why some discs work, and some do not, but it might have to do with DVD regions and / or encryption...? I. e. some encrypted DVDs (ok, all are encrypted as far I know) might not "scan" correctly, preventing your automounter from "detecting" it is a DVD and must be handled in a certain way? Or its file structure is different, or the method used by Xine (or the DVD CSS library it uses for decryption) might not work the same on different model DVD drives...
 
Old 01-31-2009, 02:32 AM   #3
rewtedesco
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It's the hardware, you're probably right.

Thanks Rylan,

It may indeed be a problem with the dvd reader on the Dell computer: I inserted the DVD, and as you suggested tried to mount the dvd device onto a file system, (which I needed to create first):
Code:
>cd /mnt
>sudo mkdir dvd
>sudo mount /dev/dvd /mnt/dvd
The result was:
mount: No medium found.
As a sanity test I tried with a different dvd that this computer could read and which will trigger xine to start up when I insert it. So I closed xine, and did the same:
Code:
>sudo mount /dev/dvd /mnt/dvd
Result:
mount: block device /dev/scd0 is write-protected, mounting read-only
(I have a symbolic link /dev/dvd -> /dev/scd0). After that the "good" dvd plays just fine, whether I use xine in command mode or by mouse clicking.
My conclusion is that the problem is with the hardware, and confirms your suspicion that due to some problem reading the first tracks this pc simply fails to read the whole disk while that same disk can be read without problem in a different dvd device, using the same software.

Last edited by rewtedesco; 01-31-2009 at 02:33 AM.
 
Old 01-31-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
rewtedesco
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It is clear now that it was the hardware: I could play the disk by mounting it from a different filesytem. In particular, I copied the disk on one PC (which can read the disk) as an iso file (generated with k3b, copying dvd image as iso to disk), then I exported that directory via nfs, and i could then play the video from the PC whose dvd device is otherwise unable to read it. In case someone wants to try a similar thing, namely playing iso images of DVD videos stored on another pc, here is what I did:
On firstmachine (which can read the dvd),
Code:
added to /etc/exports a line like 
/home/me/Videos secondmachine(ro,sync)
Then restart nfs
Code:
/etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart
After that, it was possible to play the video on secondmachine by typing:
Code:
sudo mkdir /mnt/remotevideos 
sudo mount firstmachine:/home/me/Videos /mnt/remotevideos
gxine dvd://mnt/remotevideos/movie.iso
(provided that firstmachine and secondmachine are properly resolved in the /etc/hosts files of each machine). Works! - Linux is so cool.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 04:28 AM   #5
rylan76
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Hi

Ok, that's a relief then. Thanks for reporting back, I'm sure this thread will help someone else in future.

Fortunately, DVD-RW drives are two a penny these days...

Regards,
 
  


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