Topic: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

To install Advanced Launcher, you need first to install the XBMC Angelscry Repository. This repository allows you to stay informed when a new version of the Advanced Launcher is available and to automatically install the last version of the Advanced Launcher add-on.

Repository Installation

You can download the last version of the XBMC Angelscry Repository from this page: http://www.gwenael.org/Repository/repos … -1.2.2.zip. Save the zipped file on your local hard drive. Then, open XBMC and go into System / Add-ons / Install From ZIP File menu. Here select the XBMC Angelscry Repository zip file. The XBMC Angelscry Repository is now installed.

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Advanced Launcher Installation

To install the Advanced Launcher add-on, go to the XBMC home menu then go to System / Add-ons / Get Add-ons and select the Angelscry Add-on Repository. To be sure to install the last version of Advanced Launcher, open the context menu and select the Force Refresh option. Then go to Angelscry Add-on Repository / Programs Add-ons / Advanced Launcher and select the install option. The Advanced Launcher add-on is now installed.

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Add Network or Local drives

It will be possible that, during the launcher creation, you will be not able to see or access any of your network or local drives (to select your executable or your items). To solve this you will have to select the Manage sources menu entry. You will be automatically redirected to the XBMC filemanager screen. Here, add a source via the "Add Source" entrie. Now technically it does not matter what you add as a source. In order to use your whole hard-drive just add the whole hard drive to the sources, you won’t have any side-effects (except you will have to navigate more while creating new launchers).

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Specific XBMC configuration for Windows

To fully use Advanced Launcher under Windows operating system, you will need to activate the Use a fullscreen window rather than true fullscreen option that is present into XBMC system settings.

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Skins supporting Advanced Launcher

Basically, all the skins are working and are compatible with Advanced Launcher. But not all the skin are supporting all Advanced Launcher features (aka. display of all the metadata managed by Advanced Launcher). You will found here a table with the list of skins supporting (or not) Advanced Launcher : http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Co … n_features.

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Launchers Creation

When starting for the first time Advanced Launcher you will be asked to select which king of launcher you will want to create. Advanced Launcher allows you to create and use 2 kinds of launchers:

  • Standalone launcher: This launcher will be used to start applications that did not use external files to work. It will be typically Windows or Linux games, Internet browsers, etc.. This launcher is also for applications which do not need to be started with a specific command line support.

  • Files launcher: This launcher will be used to start applications that use external files to work. It will be typically emulators, media players, books readers, etc... Those applications must have a command line support.

  • Query launcher: This option will allow you to create launchers from Advanced Launcher internal items search engine results.

  • Favourite Launcher: This option will allow you to create launchers from XBMC Favourites.

  • Manage sources: This entry will redirect you to the XBMC filemanager. Before create a launcher you must define drive sources for executable and items files.

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Stand Alone Launchers Creation

To create a stand alone launcher, from the XBMC home menu, go into Programs / Advanced Launcher. Then, go into the context menu and select the Create New Launcher option:

  1. Select the Standalone (normal PC executable) option.

  2. Browse and select the executable file of the application you want to start.

  3. Enter executable file arguments (i.e. command line parameters) if necessary. If your application do not have a command line support, let it blank. If your application have or need command line information, enter them here.

  4. Indicate the title of the launcher. It will be under this title that will be displayed the launcher under XBMC.

  5. Choose the platform. This parameter is used by metadata and image scrapers. If your application is not a game, this parameter is not important. In other cases, select the option corresponding to the platform of the game.
    If the default launcher thumb and fanart paths have not been set :

  6. Select the thumbnails path. This is the folder where will be stored the thumbnail image of the launcher. If there is already an image (jpeg, gif, png or bmp format) with the same name than the executable file or with the _thumb suffix, this image will be automatically attributed to the launcher.

  7. Select the fanarts path. This is the directory where will be stored the fanart image of the launcher. If there is already an image (jpeg, gif, png or bmp format) with the same name than the executable or with the _fanart suffix, this image will be automatically attributed to the launcher.

File Launchers Creation

To create a File launcher, from the XBMC home menu, go into Programs / Advanced Launcher. Then, go on the context menu and select Create New Launcher option:

  1. Select the File launcher (e.g. game emulator) option.

  2. Browse and select the executable file of the application you want to start.

  3. Enter executable file arguments (i.e. command line parameters). To fill these arguments you have the possibility to use 5 advanced launcher dedicated tags :
        %rom% : this tag will be replaced by the complete path of the file.
        %romfile% : this tag will be replaced by the filename (name + extension).
        %romname% : this tag will be replaced by the name of a file (name without extension).
        %rombasename% : this tag will be replaced by the base name of a file (without ext., disc# and alternative title).
        %apppath% : this tag will be replaced by the folder path of started executable file.
        %rompath%: this tag will be replaced by the folder path of each files.
        %romspath%: this tag will be replaced by the parent folder path of all files (defined during launcher creation).
        %romtitle%: this tag will be replaced by corresponding title of an item.

  4. Select the folder where are stored the files that will be launched by the application.

  5. Indicate the files extensions that will be listed by the launcher. The extension must be separated using the | character.

  6. Indicate the title of the launcher. It will be under this title that will be displayed the launcher under XBMC.

  7. Choose a platform. The selected option will correspond to the platform of the started application or emulated system. This option will be used by the scrapers to identify games.

  8. Select the thumbnails path. This is the folder where will be stored the thumbnail images corresponding to the files used by the application.  If there is already an image (jpeg, gif, png or bmp format) with the same name than the item file or with the _thumb suffix, this image will be automatically attributed to the item.

  9. Select the fanarts path. This is the folder where will be stored the fanart images corresponding to the files used by the application.  If there is already an image (jpeg, gif, png or bmp format) with the same name than the item file or with the _fanart suffix, this image will be automatically attributed to the item.

Important : After the files launcher creation, you need to go to the "Add items" menu option of the launcher (using "C" key) to add items to the launcher (using manual or automatic method).

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Advanced Launcher Configuration

You can configure Advanced Launcher Add-on at 3 different context menu : into Add-on settings, the Launcher context menu, and the Item context menu.

Add-on Settings

Into the add-on settings you will found all the options to configure options specifics to advanced launchers, activate or configure the different scrapers and use the debug options. Scrapers allows you to download from Internet metadata and images related to launchers and item. There is 3 types of scrapers :

  • Data & Infos scrapers to get data like name, release date, genre, plot, etc..

  • Thumbs scrapers to get thumbnails images

  • Fanarts scrapers to get fanarts images

You have the possibility to combine those 3 types of scrapers as you want. You can activate or deactivate the type of scraper you want. You also have the possibility for each type of scraper to select between different database or sources.

Data & Infos Menu
This settings menu contain configuration options for the data scrapers.

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  • SCAN SETTINGS

  • Collecting method (None/Scrapers/NFO Files/NFO Files+Scrapers) : The None option, do not import datas.The Scrapers option will use one of the web resources scrapers to import datas. The NFO Files option will import datas from related NFO files. The NFO Files+Scrapers option will import datas from related NFO files if they exist. If not, one of the web resources scrapers will be used to import datas.

  • Import mode (Automatic/Semi-automatic) : Select how the imported data will be selected. With the Semi-automatic option, user will be asked to select datas from a list of results. The Automatic option will automatically select the first returned result.

  • SCRAPER SETTINGS

  • Source : Select the web resource from where the datas will be imported..

  • Ignore BIOS Files : This option is dedicated for MAME games. When activated, Advanced Launcher will automatically ignore any detected BIOS files during folders scan.

  • TITLE FORMATTING

  • Ignore scraped title : When activated any title will be replaced by the item filename. "Clean Items titles" and "Titles formating" still apply.

  • Clean Items Titles : Activate or deactivate the clean title option. For example, as scraped title like Alien Invaders (1983)(UA Ltd.)[aka Alien aka Les Envahisseurs Etrangers] will the displayed like Alien Invaders. Any information under brackets will be ignored.

  • Article at the end : When activated any title articles like "The", "An" or "A" will be automatically placed at the end of the title.

Thumbs Menu
This settings menu contain configuration options for the thumbs images scrapers.

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  • SCAN SETTINGS

  • Collecting method (None/Scrapers/Local Images) : The None option, do not import any thumb.The Scrapers option will use one of the web resources scrapers to import thumbnail images. The Local images option will import thumb from the related local image.

  • Import mode (Automatic/Semi-automatic) : Select how the imported thumbnail images will be selected. With the Semi-automatic option, user will be asked to select the thumb from a list of images. The Automatic option will automatically select the first returned image. Name of the saved image will be romfilename.jpg (if thumbnails and fanarts folders are different) or romfilename_thumb.jpg (if thumbnails and fanarts folders are the same).

  • SCRAPER SETTINGS

  • Source : Define the source of the thumbnails scraper. Scraping results will be different depending the source used.

  • Thumbs Region : Select the geographic region (America, Japan or Europe) for the thumbnails. If not activated the first found thumbnail will be returned This option is only available with the GameFQA and MobyGames scrapers..

  • Images Size : Select the size of the image to scrap. This option is only available with the Google scraper.

  • Overwrite Existing Files : If this option is selected, existing thumbnail images will be automatically overwritten by the new scraped ones.

Screen & Fanarts Menu
This settings menu contain configuration options for the fanarts images scrapers.

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  • SCAN SETTINGS

  • Collecting method (None/Scrapers/Local Images) : The None option, do not import any fanart.The Scrapers option will use one of the web resources scrapers to import fanart images. The Local images option will import thumb from the related local image.

  • Import mode (Automatic/Semi-automatic) : Select how the imported fanart images will be selected. With the Semi-automatic option, user will be asked to select the fanart from a list of images. The Automatic option will automatically select the first returned image. Name of the saved image will be romfilename.jpg (if thumbnails and fanarts folders are different) or romfilename_fanart.jpg (if thumbnails and fanarts folders are the same).

  • SCRAPER SETTINGS

  • Source : Define the source of the thumbnails scraper. Scraping results will be different depending the source used.

  • Images Size : Select the size of the image to scrap. This option is only available with the Google scraper.

  • Selectecd fanart image: Define which images from the list, returned by the scraper, will be used as fanart images. First, half and last images can be selected. First image is the default value.

  • Overwrite Existing Files : If this option is selected, existing thumbnail images will be automatically overwritten by the new scraped ones.

Advanced Options Menu :
This settings menu contain general configuration options for Advanced Launcher.

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  • SCRAPER SETTINGS

  • Recursive Scan : Activate or deactivate the capability or Advanced Launcher to recursively scan items into sub-folders.

  • Hide launchers and items marked as finished: Autohide launchers and items that have been marked as finished.

  • Adjust launcher delay (ms): Specify the delay into ms before starting an application and restoring XBMC. Delay too low may generate freeze and black screen errors into XBMC.

  • Action on Playing Media : Define which action will be done on the playing media (audio or video) when an application will be started by Advanced Launcher. The playing media could be : stop, put into pause, or let to play.

  • Activate "Launching Application" notification : Activate a notification display message when Advanced Launcher start an external application.

  • Disable LIRC (Linux) : Automatically disable the LIRC actions sends to XBMC when a launcher is started. This option is only available under linux.

  • LAUNCHERS DEFAULT PATHS

  • For Thumbs images : Define the default folder where will be saved the launcher thumbs. If not set, the thumb path will be always asked during the launcher creation.

  • For Fanarts images : Define the default folder where will be saved the launcher fanarts. If not set, the fanart path will be always asked during the launcher creation.

  • For .nfo Files : Define the default folder where will be saved the launcher .nfo data. If not set, the .nfo path will be always asked during the .nfo import, creation or update.

Backup/Debug Menu
This settings menu contain configuration options concerning backups and the debug mod of Advanced Launcher.

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The backup submenu allows to manage autobackups of the launchers.xml file. The backups faile are saved eahc time launchers and items are created/edited/deleted.

  • Activate autobackup : This option activate/desactivate the launchers.xml file autobackup.

  • Number of backup files to keep : This option define the number of launchers.xml file that will be stored (between 5 to 100). The oldest backup file over this limit will be deleted.

  • Load a backup file: This option allows to load/restore as saved launchers.xml file.

The debug submenu could be used by advanced users during the built-up of their XBMC/Advanced Launcher/Scripts/Executable Application system.

  • Show Batch command windows : This option show/hide the window display of started .BAT scripts by advanced launcher on windows operating system.

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Launcher Menu

When a launcher is focused, you could open its context menu (using "C" key). This menu allows you to directly edit, modify and configure the launcher. You have basically 6 possible options:

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  • Addon Setting : to access Advanced Launcher configuration menu

  • Go to root : to come back to Programs Add-ons menu

  • Search : to search items using different criteria

  • Manage sources : to add file sources from the XBMC filemanager

  • Create New Launcher : to add a new launcher

  • Edit Launcher : to modify any parameters of the launcher

  • Add Items : to add launcher's items (only for files launcher)

  • Add to favorites : to add this item the XBMC favorites

Search
When selecting this option, the Advanced Launcher will ask you to select the criteria of your search : by title, release date, platform, studio or genre. For the search by title you will be asked to enter a query text and will search in all launchers, items having this text into their name or title. For the other search criteria, a list of existing values will be displayed.

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Create New Launcher
This option allows you to create launchers (stand-alone and file launchers). All the details concerning the use of this option is described here.

Edit Launcher

This option allows you to edit and modify any option concerning the launcher. When selecting this option, a menu with new options appears :

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  • Import Infos, Thumbnail & Fanart : This option will automatically import data, thumb and fanart images for the launcher.

  • Modify Datas/Infos : to modify the launcher displayed information.

  • Change Thumbnail Image : to set or change to thumbnail image of the launcher.

  • Change Fanart Image : to set or change to fanart image of the launcher.

  • Mark as finished/unfinished : to mark the launcher as finished or unfinished.

  • Manage Items List : this menu will give you access to item list options : import/export/delete.

  • Advanced Modifications : will give you access to launcher advanced configuration options.

  • Delete : this option will simply delete the launcher. (but not the related files)

Modify Datas/Infos
This option will give you to modify all the displayed metadata of the launcher : title, platform, release date, studio, genre and plot.

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  • Import Infos from... : to automatically import launcher data using the selected data scraper.

  • Import Infos from .nfo file : to automatically import launcher data from the corresponding .nfo file.

  • Modify Title : to edit the launcher title.

  • Modify Platform : to select the launcher game system from a list of supported platforms.

  • Modify Release Date : to manually edit the launcher release date info.

  • Modify Studio : to manually edit the launcher studio info.

  • Modify Genre : to manually edit the launcher genre info.

  • Modify Description : will import the content of a selected text file and will save it as description.

  • Save Infos to .nfo file : to save launcher data into the corresponding .nfo file.

Change Thumbnail image
This option will give you the possibility to change the thumbnail image assigned to the launcher. This option will open a new menu:

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  • Import from... : will automatically import an image using form the selected thumbnails scraper, using thumb region and image size limit criteria. The image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher thumbnail path parameter.

  • Import Local Image : will browse and import a local image. This image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher thumbnail path parameter.

  • Select Local Image : to browse and assign a local image.  This image will not be saved into the folder defined by the launcher thumbnail path parameter but only linked.

Change Fanart image
This option will give you the possibility to change the fanart image assigned to the launcher. This option will open a new menu:

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  • Import from... : will automatically import an image using form the selected fanart scraper, using image size limit criteria. The image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanart path parameter.

  • Import Local Image : will browse and import a local image. This image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanart path parameter.

  • Select Local Image : to browse and assign a local image.  This image will not be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanart path parameter but only linked.

Items list
This menu will give you the possibility to automatically import export items data using .nfo files and to clear the items list.

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  • Import items data from .nfo files : will automatically import/update item data from .nfo files. Filenames of .nfo files must be the same than items.

  • Export items data to .nfo files : will automatically export/create/update item data into .nfo files. Filenames of .nfo files will be the same than items.

  • Clear Items List : will delete all the items entries of the launcher (clear list). Files are not deleted.

Advanced Options
This option will give you the possibility to modify specific options of the launcher. Theses options are for advanced users. A new menu will open:

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  • Change Application : to select the executable application file linked to the launcher.

  • Modify Arguments : to change the arguments send to executable application file linked to the launcher (command line).

  • Change Items Path : to modify the path where are located the item files. This option is only available for file launchers.

  • Modify Items Extensions : to change the extension of the files managed by  the launcher (command line).

  • Change Thumbs Path : to define the path where will be located the thumbnails images corresponding to the items or the selected launcher.

  • Change Fanarts Path : to define the path where will be located the fanarts images corresponding to the items or the selected launcher.

  • Change Trailer file : to select the video file path that will be use as a video trailer for the selected launcher.

  • Change Extra-fanarts Path : to select the path where will be located the extra-fanarts images corresponding to the selected launcher.

  • Toggle XBMC into Windowed Mode : this option define how XBMC will be displayed after starting an application (windowed or keep into fullscreen).

  • Shortcuts (.lnk) support : this option (only for windows system) define how .lnk files will be managed. If activated, .lnk files will be started by explorer.exe, otherwise .lnk will be started by the defined launcher application.

Add Items
This option will allows you to add and assign items to the launchers. There is 2 methods to add items : using the automatic scan option or do it manually. When selecting this option, a new menu will appears :

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  • Scan for New Items : will start a scan of the assigned items directory. Any new item files with the right file extension will be added. If data, thumbs and fanarts scraper mode options are activated (semi-automatic or automatic) for scan, the Advanced Launcher will download those informations and images. Item data entries will be also automatically removed if the corresponding item files are missing.

  • Manually Add Items : this option is dedicated to add items manually (for example for items that are into a different folder). When selected, you will be asked to select the item you want to add, and to give it a title name.

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Item Menu

When an item is focused, you could open its context menu (using "C" key). This menu allows you to directly edit, modify and configure the item. You have basically several possible options:

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  • Addon Setting : to access Advanced Launcher configuration menu

  • Go to root : to come back to Programs Add-ons menu

  • Search : to search items using different criteria.

  • Edit Item : to modify any parameters of the selected item

  • Add to favorites : to add this item the XBMC favorites

Search
When selecting this option, the Advanced Launcher will ask you to select the criteria of your search : by title, release date, platform, studio or genre. For the search by title you will be asked to enter a query text and will search in all launchers, items having this text into their name or title. For the other search criteria, a list of existing values will be displayed.

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Edit Item

This option allows you to edit and modify any option concerning the selected item. When selecting this option, a menu with new options appears :

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  • Import Infos, Thumbnail & Fanart : This option will automatically import data, thumb and fanart images for the item.

  • Modify Datas/Infos : to modify the item displayed information.

  • Change Thumbnail Image : to set or change to thumbnail image of the selected item.

  • Change Fanart Image : to set or change to fanart image of the selected item.

  • Mark as finished/unfinished : to mark the item as finished or unfinished.

  • Advanced Modifications : will give you access to the item advanced configuration options.

  • Delete : this option will simply delete the item. (but not the related files)

Modify Datas/Infos
This option will give you to modify all the displayed metadata of the selected item : title, platform, release date, studio, genre and plot.

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  • Import Infos from... : to automatically import item data using the selected data scraper.

  • Import Infos from .nfo file : to automatically import item data from the corresponding .nfo file.

  • Modify Title : to edit the ite title.

  • Modify Platform : to select the item game system from a list of supported platforms.

  • Modify Release Date : to manually edit the item release date info.

  • Modify Studio : to manually edit the selected item studio info.

  • Modify Genre : to manually edit the selected item genre info.

  • Modify Description : will import the content of a selected text file and will save it as description.

  • Save Infos to .nfo file : to save item data into the corresponding .nfo file.

Change Thumbnail image
This option will give you the possibility to change the thumbnail image assigned to the selected item. This option will open a new menu:

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  • Import from... : will automatically import an image using form the selected thumbnails scraper, using thumb region and image size limit criteria. The image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher thumbnails path parameter.

  • Import Local Image : will browse and import a local image. This image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher thumbnails path parameter.

  • Select Local Image : to browse and assign a local image.  This image will not be saved into the folder defined by the launchers thumbnail path parameter but only linked.

Change Fanart image
This option will give you the possibility to change the fanart image assigned to the selected item. This option will open a new menu:

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  • Import from... : will automatically import an image using form the selected fanart scraper, using image size limit criteria. The image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanarts path parameter.

  • Import Local Image : will browse and import a local image. This image will be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanarts path parameter.

  • Select Local Image : to browse and assign a local image.  This image will not be saved into the folder defined by the launcher fanarts path parameter but only linked.

Advanced Options
This option will give you the possibility to modify specific options of the launcher. Theses options are for advanced users. A new menu will open:

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  • Change File : to select/change the path of the file corresponding to the selected item.

  • Change Trailer file : to select the video file path that will be use as a video trailer for the selected item.

  • Change Extra-fanarts Path : to select the path where will be located the extra-fanarts images corresponding to the selected item.

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Other User Guides

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

NFO Files
Here is the minimal structure of the .nfo managed by Advanced Launcher :

<game>
    <title></title>
    <platform></platform>
    <year></year>
    <publisher></publisher>
    <genre></genre>
    <plot></plot>
</game>

To be automatically recognized by Advanced Launcher, .nfo files must be located into the same folder than the items files. The NFO files must also have the same filename than the items. For exmaple, if your item is /path/items/item1.zip the corresponding .nfo will be /path/items/item1.nfo

Re: Advanced Launcher : User Guide

Full manual Install :

To bypass dependencies incompatibility problem with some XBMC versions, you can perform a full manual installation of Advanced Launcher :

  • Close XBMC

  • Download the last version of Advanced Launcher from here : http://www.gwenael.org/Repository%20Archives/

  • Decompress the .zip file.

  • Copy/paste the plugin.program.advanced.launcher into the xbmc/addons directory.

  • Restart XBMC