With the recent announcement of Ubuntu forming a Media Center team focusing on Elisa as it’s media center platform, I took another look at Elisa as a potential solution for my home theater PC. (Sidenote: I’m way too lazy and need a gook kick in the butt. I’ve had my HTPC built and ready to go for a year, and have barely tried to fix the last few issues I have with it. Shame on me. Though since I got my dual-tuner HD-DVR from DirecTV, when combined with my Sonos and Xbox 360, I haven’t really needed all the features of a HTPC that I originally planned on).
Elisa was already available in the Foresight repository, but it was version 0.0.1. Asking nicely in IRC, Ken Vandine updated the version to Elisa’s current release, 0.1.6. Ken was unable to run it because of an ATI or Xorg issue in 1-devel with 3D effects, but it started right up for me.
I’ll do a more formal review later, I’ve only played with it for maybe 30-60 minutes tops over the last day and a half, but for a very, very early release, Elisa looks promising. After some user error on where you edit different file locations in the ~/elisa/elisa.conf file, I was able to browse my music and photos.
To be clear, it’s a program to manage your media – it does not have DVR functionality built-in. And for me, that may just be perfect. It will manage your movies & videos, play DVDs, photos, and music. It has built-in support already for Streamzap remotes. (I don’t know what that is yet, but I’m going to find out).
One obvious bug, is when I start Elisa from a terminal or Alt-F2, there is no window border. Changing Elisa to fullscreen with the “F” key and back to a windowed version, brings up a window. This tip is useful, because if you don’t, and you lose focus of Elisa, none of the shortcut keys work if the window border isn’t there.
I’m going to play with it more this weekend, and will post more thoughts on Elisa early next week. For now, here are some screenshots of Elisa in action, with bigger versions available on my Flickr account.