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Linux Smart Homes: Managing Your Media with MythTV

MythTV is an open source program that you can use with Linux. With the MythTV digital video recorder, you can watch TV, pause and resume live TV, schedule recordings, and do everything that a typical PVR (personal video recorder) can do. However, you can do a lot more than a typical PVR will let you do. You can use MythTV as the control center for all the media on your system. You can organize and play all your music files by using the MythTV Music menu. You can play videos stored on your system by using the Video menu choices, and you can organize and display slide shows of all your images by using the Images menu.

Playing music with MythTV

MythTV gives you the ability to organize and play the music files you have stored on your system; for instance, you can use it to play MP3 files that you've ripped from your CDs. Before you can use the music player, though, you must enter the directory location that contains the music files. Here's how:

1. From the MythTV main menu, choose Setup --> Music Settings --> General Settings.

2. Enter the path to the music files in the Directory to Hold Music field.

3. Click Next, then Finish, and then press Esc twice to return to the main menu.

4. From the main menu, choose Music --> Select Music.

5. Use the arrow keys to highlight the music you want to play and press the spacebar to select it.

6. Press Esc when you're finished to return to the Music menu.

7. Choose Play Music from the Music menu.

8. To stop playing music, press Esc.

Playing videos with MythTV

MythTV gives you the ability to organize and play the video files you have stored on your system. Before you can use the video player, you need to enter the directory location that contains the video files. Here's how:

1. From the MythTV main menu, choose Setup --> Videos Settings --> General Settings.

2. Enter the path to the video files in the Directory That Holds Videos field.

3. Choose Next twice, then Finish, and then press Esc twice to return to the MythTV main menu.

4. From the main menu, choose Videos --> Browse Videos.

5. Use the up- and down-arrow keys to find the video you want to play and press the spacebar to select it.

6. Press Esc when you're finished to return to the Video menu.

Viewing image slide shows with MythTV

MythTV gives you the ability to organize and view slide shows of image files you have stored on your system. Before you can use the image viewer, you need to enter the directory location that contains the image files. Here's how:

1. From the MythTV main menu, choose Setup --> Images Settings.

2. Enter the path to the image files in the Directory That Holds Images field.

3. Choose Finish then press Esc to return to the MythTV main menu.

4. Choose Images from the main menu to open the Images page, where you can see your images.

5. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the images.

6. Press the spacebar or Enter to see a full-size view of the highlighted image. Press Esc to return to the thumbnail view.

7. Press the M key to activate the menu on the left side of the screen.

8. Use the up or down arrows to highlight your menu choice and press the spacebar or Enter to select it.

9. To stop the slide show, press Esc.

10. To exit the image viewer, press Esc from the thumbnail viewer page.

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