Tips & Tricks, Questions & Answers

The nessMediaCenter help in the menubar offers many hints and tips.
And at YouTube are some tutorial videos with comments.

 Alias files are not visible in movie folder?

An alias of a folder is in the user's movie folder, but this folder alias is not visible in the MediaCenter?

nessMediaCenter supports aliases to files, but not to folders. "Symbolic links" must be used instead.

  • Open the "Scripts" folder of the download image (or download and unzip the ZIP file), copy the application "Create Symbolic Link" to the desktop (or anywhere else where it is visible).
  • Drag & drop the folder(s) onto this application. Select the target folder (user's movie folder for example) and confirm.

"Create Symbolic Link" will create symbolic links of the folder(s) at the target folder - and these links will be displayed in the media center.

An alias of a file is in the user's movie folder, but this file is not visible in the MediaCenter?

The Finder creates aliases with the wrong extension: an alias of a movie file has the extension "mov Alias" instead of just "mov".
If a movie file has the name "" then the Finder should name the alias "holiday", but it is named " Alias".

Replace the wrong extension by a correct extension, and the movie file will be shown. Or use the application "Create Symbolic Link" - this application uses the correct extensions and makes it easy to place the links in the target folder.

 DLNA can not be accessed in the Apple TV App Store version?

Basically, the same tips apply as for the Mac version (s. next tip).

The difference is, however, how the media center can be started: on the Apple TV, the launched apps can be displayed by pressing the Home button twice. After selecting nessMediaCenter, swipe upwards to quit nessMediaCenter and then start it again.

 DLNA is not shown even if it is activated in the menu settings?

First the Firewall Settings should be checked. Open the "System Preferences", select "Security" and then "Firewall". If the firewall is on, then incoming connections should be allowed.

Very often the incoming connections are blocked - select "Advanced", allow incoming connections (by unchecking "Block all incoming connections"), stop DLNA (the DLNA media server as well as the media center of nessMediaCenter) and start DLNA again. A dialog should be shown to allow incoming connections for the DLNA media server and nessMediaCenter.

If the incoming connections are already allowed in the firewall and the connections are still not working or are not visible, then this might be a problem too, because the Mac OS might not really allow connections. In this case it might help to remove all previously allowed incoming connections, then quit all applications & restart them and then launch the DLNA connections again. A dialog should be shown to allow incoming connections for the DLNA media server and nessMediaCenter.

Another problem might be that DLNA media servers provide their service in time intervals - thus it might take up to 1 minute until DLNA will be shown.

If DLNA is not visible after 1 minute, then it might help to start the media center of nessMediaCenter and press CMD + TAB to bring nessMediaCenter in the background. (The media center window will get invisible but it will still be there.) Then stop the DLNA media server and (after a minute) start it again.

If even then DLNA does not appear, then another software probably blocks the port:

  • EyeTV uses for the EyeTV archive sharing e.g. the same port and must be turned off
  • TVMobili also blocks this port on the same computer and therefore the DLNA media server of TVMobili can only be accessed from another computer

 EyeTV channels (live streams) are not supported?

EyeTV movies can be selected and started (even outside of the EyeTV archive) by nessMediaCenter, but the channels and their live streams are not integrated in the media center.
The reason is quite simple: EyeTV offers so much good functionality that an implementation of these functions in nessMediaCenter does not make sense.

Instead nessMediaCenter supports the EyeTV activation and control by the remote control:

  • By selecting "Exit" in the media center EyeTV can be activated.
  • If EyeTV is in the foreground, then EyeTV can be controlled by the remote control.

Our blog describes how to integrate nessMediaCenter in EyeTV (and thereby launch EyeTV) .
And the intro of the nessMediaCenter help describes how to control EyeTV with the Apple remote control or "NV Remote".

 Fullscreen presentations on multiple screens?

With nessMediaCenter, multiple presentations can be started - and owners of multiple screens can run these presentations on multiple screens in fullscreen mode.

And so it works to start multiple presentations: in the first presentation you call in the presentation menu "Switch Fullscreen" (or press the key "F") to switch the presentation to window display.
Then you can start a second presentation in the media center and switch this presentation also to window mode.

Owners of multiple screens can now move one of the two window presentations to the 2nd screen and call in the presentation menu "Switch Fullscreen". Then the other window presentation can be activated (by clicking on the window) and also switched to fullscreen mode.

Only the active (fullscreen) presentation will play video sound. Or one starts with the iTunes control a music playlist before - then for both presentations the video sound is suppressed and the iTunes music played.

The handling of fullscreen presentations on multiple screens has been improved on 12/15/2014 - if you own an older version, then please download and use the improved version.

 Internet content can not be accessed or played?

The internet offer in the media center depends on the content of various providers. From time to time, providers change there content and then nessMediaCenter needs to be adopted.

If internet content can not be accessed or played, then "Check For Updates" in the nessMediaCenter menu should always be called as first step. Because a new version is not always released after an adaption, it may also be useful to download the latest version manually and install it.

In addition, it should also be examined for some internet content (e.g. YouTube) whether the latest version of Flash is installed (see System Preferences and then "Flash Player").

Please note that the internet content is not adopted anymore and this feature might be removed in the future.

 iPhoto can not be accessed in the Mac App Store version even though media are available in iPhoto?

The XML file of the iPhoto library must be accessed to show the albums, events and media in the media center.

If the iPhoto library folder is not in the current user's picture folder but e.g. on an external volume, then the parent folder of the iPhoto folder (or the external volume) must be added to the "Access Permissions" (available in the File menu of nessMediaCenter) to grant access to the iPhoto library folder and its XML file.

The Mac App Store version 1.7.2 or newer shows a corresponding info message if the iPhoto folder can not be accessed.

 iPhoto slideshow is not used for album presentation?

The media center gives access to the iPhoto media (albums, events and their media) and plays the selected media continuously, but the slideshow functionality of iPhoto is not available.

But one or multiple albums or events can easily be presented with the remote control by selecting the album or event in the media center, pressing "+" (the "up" button) and then PLAY.

And if you want to start a music playlist as background music, then you can use the iTunes control of the media center - during the presentation of the iPhoto media, the current iTunes music will continue to play and video sound will be surpressed.

Using iTunes control to start a music playlist and then moving to the iPhoto albums to start a media presentation might not be as easy as the iPhoto slideshow functionality, but it offers remote control functionality which would otherwise not be available:

  • Selecting / changing the music playlist with the remote control
  • Selecting multiple albums and events with the remote control

 iTunes can not be (successfully) accessed even though media / music tracks are available in iTunes?

The XML file of the iTunes library must exist to access iTunes (successfully) in the main menu of the media center. iTunes 12 or newer has an extra setting "Share iTunes Library XML with other applications" in the iTunes preferences (in the "Advanced" tab). This setting must be activated to access iTunes in the media center.

For the Mac App Store version there is a further requirement: if the iTunes library folder is not in the current user's music folder but e.g. on an external volume, then the parent folder of the iTunes folder (or the external volume) must be added to the "Access Permissions" (available in the File menu of nessMediaCenter) to grant access to the iTunes library folder and its XML file.

The Mac App Store version 1.7.2 or newer shows a corresponding info message if the iPhoto folder can not be accessed.

 iTunes shows playlists below iTunes control which effect nothing?

If you select "iTunes" in the main menu, then playlists might be displayed below the iTunes control that contain no music tracks but movies / videos. These playlists are used to start (purchased, rented or private) movies or videos. The music playback, however, is handled through the iTunes control.

If playlists are displayed below the iTunes control although no videos have been added to iTunes, then there are probably music files that are in the wrong format (QuickTime movies instead of MP3 files).

To check this you can create a new smart playlist that contains as a search criterion "Kind contains QuickTime". The tracks that are displayed in this playlist should be converted into MP3 files or similar, removed from the iTunes music library and then re-added.

If playlists are still displayed below the iTunes control, a new iTunes library might be created by starting iTunes while holding down the option key (ALT) and then selecting "Create Library".

 iTunes control can not select shared music playlists?

Starting with version 1.7.2, shared music playlists can also be selected (next / previous playlist) through the iTunes controls.

However, this applies only for music playlists that have been created by the user and not for the standard music playlist. In addition, the shared iTunes library must have been loaded once after the launch of iTunes.

In a blog entry we have reported about this in detail and explain the necessary steps (including installation of an AppleScript application to automatically load the shared iTunes library).

 iTunes control can only select music playlists and tracks, but not access e.g. artists or genre?

Access to the iTunes music is very different from "Front Row": while in "Front Row" albums, artists, genres and playlists can be accessed, the iTunes control allows it "only" to change playlists and their tracks ("Previous" and "Next"). The shuffle mode can not be started with the iTunes control, too.

The iTunes control has a different approach: instead of switching between the different menues, playback mode and control (keys), the iTunes control always shows the same menue and always uses the same control.

This concept might not be obvious at first glance - therefore an example: in "Front Row" the music was started by selecting a playlist. To select a different playlist, playback display mode is stopped and another playlist is moved to. Meanwhile a different track starts playing what you would like to stop, or at which you would like to decrease the sound volume - but that does not work. You must first select the others playlist to return to the playback display mode, and then you can stop the playback (of the automatically started track) or decrease the sound volume.
With the iTunes control, however, you can immediately stop the playback or change the sound volume - without switching again to the playback display mode. And not only the "computer sound volume" can be changed, but also the iTunes sound volume.

But there are also other differences: for example if you leave the music in "Front Row" to watch pictures or movies, then the music playback will stop automatically. On the other hand, the iTunes control will continue to play music if started. And if video presentation will be started, the video sound is suppressed to continue listening to the music playback.
And in the iTunes control, the screen will be dimmed automatically after 5 minutes of music playback. In "Front Row" on the other hand, the display is rotated every few seconds during playback display mode.

In short, the concept of iTunes control is to offer less and other functions, but also faster and easier control and less "fidgetiness" on the screen.

 Mark of unplayed movies and last play position are not supported?

iTunes offers features like this - to use these features, the movies must be added to iTunes and iTunes must be running.
nessMediaCenter does not offer these features itself, but is showing the mark and resuming the play position this way.

This is a compromise. The reasons are:

  • One user might have seen a video, but another user (at the same computer) not.
  • Some users do not want this feature at all.

nessMediaCenter does not want to duplicate functionality other applications are already offering. By using iTunes functionality, each user can decide to use it (by adding the movies to iTunes and launching iTunes) or not.

Movies like AVI can not be added to iTunes - this tip does not help.

Please download nessViewer to create a movie with a link:

  • Select "Open Media" in the toolbar and select the movie.
  • Choose "Save As", uncheck "Flatten movie file" and confirm.

The new movie does not contain the movie data, but is a small movie with a link to the original movie. And this movie can be added to iTunes. For this little action, the demo version of nessViewer is sufficient.

 Metadata like cover and description is not shown (or wrong)?

Selecting DVDs takes some time and the displayed cover is wrong. A description is not shown at all.

  • Open "Movie Info" at the "File" menu and select a DVD.
  • Search a cover by the providers, or use your browser to search for it. Copy the cover (and description) to the "Movie Info" window.
  • Save the movie info.

The metadata will be saved in the DVD folder if possible. If the DVD is moved to another volume, then the metadata will be preserved.

If the folder of the selected DVD contains other movie files, then these files will be shown in the drawer. It is very easy to select the other movies and to set the metadata.

There will be no search for metadata if metadata has been saved. The DVD cover search can be deactivated by opening the "Preferences" and deselecting all providers.

For movie files, a preview and movie info is displayed, but a nice cover and content description would be more helpful.

Please read the answer above: use "Movie Info".

To add the metadata manually is too much work.

Yes - it is work. But searching automatically for metadata has some disadvantages:

  • Many times the retrieved metadata is wrong. File names has to be modified and must follow rules - same work but different.
  • Movie files might be motion pictures, but what about all the private videos? Telling companies automatically about your private interests is not a acceptable solution. And yes: this is what happens if metadata will be searched automatically for all kinds of media.

 Remote control uses left and right to move up and down?

While buttons are labeled in the old white Apple remote control (up and down with "+" and "-"), these labels are missing on the newer remote control.

Media center and media presentation are controlled in the same way by the remote control: left and right selects the previous and next entry, while "+" and "-" changes the sound volume (iTunes control, media presentation) or adds and removes entries in the media center to the virtual playlist.

If the media center would allow a different layout of the remote buttons (ie "+" and "-" to select the previous and next entry), then there would be two different assignments: in a media presentation would then the previous and next entry be selected by left and right? Or there by "+" and "-"? And left and right would consequently change the sound volume in a media presentation?

We have based the layout of the remote buttons not only on the (old) labels, but eg also on iTunes: even if there the playlists are displayed as list, left and right selects the previous and next song. And "+" and "-" adjusts the sound volume. Just as the system handles this.

But for the keyboard I can change the assignment of the arrow keys - so why not for the remote control?
On the keyboard, the volume can be changed due to extra keys and also "+" and "-" has an extra key. In this respect the different assignment is clear and less confusing.

 Shutdown computer after selection of exit is not available in Mac App Store version?

In the preferences can be activated that the computer will be shutdown after 60 seconds by selection of exit. Until version 1.7 this feature was not available in the Mac App Store version.

Starting with version 1.7.1 this feature is also available in the Mac App Store version if an AppleScript is manually installed. For security reasons this feature can only be executed by a (verifiable) AppleScript that can not be automatically installed by nessMediaCenter.

  • Download the required Shutdown AppleScript and unzip the ZIP file (by opening / double clicking the file).
  • Select in the Finder menu "Go to ...", enter "~/Library/Application Scripts" (without quotes) and confirm.
  • If the folder "com.finess.nessmediacenter" does not exist in the folder "Application Scripts", then create a new folder and name the new folder "com.finess.nessmediacenter".
  • Copy the file "Shutdown.scpt" in the folder "com.finess.nessmediacenter".

Now "shutdown computer after selection of exit" can be activated in the preferences of the Mac App Store version and then the computer can be shutdown by selecting exit in the media center.

Need more help or tips?

Please do not hesitate to contact us.