View Full Version : Thumbnails & FFMpeg & CPU Load... Oh My!

07-07-2011, 12:37 AM

First, Mezzmo is an excellent program. I've been doing Media Serving since the 1st Go Video / Gateway units using Mediabolic Server Software. I've tried pretty much everything out and without a doubt, Mezzmo has the most configurable options of all of them. Up till now I have been using D-Link Media Server v1.10 for AVI & MPG files while using a netshare to access MKV files since the D-Link software does not recognize them.

That being said, I've a few issues and I've searched the forums for insight & solutions. While I see several references to similar issues, I see no solutions, so here we go.....

Thumbnails: I have unchecked and allegedly turned off the thumbnail generator. When adding files, a system process of adding thumbnails still runs, AND it initiates SEVERAL instances of FFMpeg until it literally pins the CPU useage at 100%. There needs to be a way to absolutely disable thumbnail generation, as even when selecting that process from the status window, the dialog of being able to stop the process is greyed out. While the thumbnail feature may be handy to some, when dealing with a large library it is a headache and simply fluff I (and I surmise others) can do without.

FFMpeg: Even when there is no activity, IE no serving being done, and media server is turned off and there is no actions being performed, such as adding files, maintaining the database or generating thumbnails, an instance of FFMpeg is ALWAYS running, and at 50% CPU load.

I have transcoding for all files to each media player turned off. Baiscally I am using Mezzmo as a database and placeholder for the media server GUI's to select files to play. As each device I have natively decodes MKV, AVI & MPG files, there is no reason to transcode. Therefore, why should FFMpeg be running at all?

CPU Load: Mezzmo will use all available CPU time and when it does you are pretty well up the proverbial river without a paddle. I have priority set to normal or below and this does not make a difference.

To administer my media server I use RemotelyAnywhere as opposed to having a Keyboard, Mouse & Monitor connected. When Mezzmo pins the CPU, such as when generating thumbnails and having several FFMpeg instances running, I cannot even access the remote GUI.... there's just no timeslices available. Once it has done doing whatever it appears to be doing, I can finally access the server, but this can be quite awhile of waiting. When this happens, there can be MANY instances of FFMpeg running, all manner of percentage load, but ultimately the total sum will use all remaining CPU time. I suspect this is somehow related to the thumbnail generation. Killing all the FFMpeg instances and turning off the Media Server will allow the CPU to go back to 99% idle.

Infrastructure particulars: My setup is as follows:

Dell PowerEdge 2900 running Server 2003 32-Bit - 4GB RAM
1 - Dual Core XEON 5150 @ 2.66mHz
Total Storage is 13TB.
4 - eGreat M34a Players
2 - LG BD570 Blu-Ray Networked Players
1 - WDTV Live
1 - D-Link DSM320RD
1 - eGreat M32b

Gigabit network using 1 Netgear GS724T Switch.

I have also tried using the Database Maint scheduled to run at 3AM, however it did not run. This morning I manually turned it off and added another directory with several files (20) in it. Previously the db showed there were 15,758 video files. After doing this, the maint app ran and went through all the files, apparently adding the ones I *thought* were already added. The total now came out to what there actually is selected, which is 17,546 files for a total of 6943.51TB, but it also started generating thumbnails for the new files again. CPU load pinned by FFMpeg again with 3 instances running.

I have several suggestions for features or fine tuning, but I thought I'd start with this. To the staff, I can allow access to the server remotely so you can see these issues instead of trying to replicate them in your setup if you wish. Simply PM me and we can proceed from there if you wish.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

07-07-2011, 10:38 AM

At the moment, actually, there's no way to turn off generating video thumbnails. The current option only turns off getting album art for music files from the Internet.

I think this is the root of the problem here, since until Mezzmo goes through all your video files and generates all those thumbnails, it won't stop - thus you're getting FFmpeg instances coming up.

I'd recommend stopping the server (and shutting down the app if it's running), then delete the MezzmoVideoThumbnail.db file from Mezzmo's database folder (it'll be something like C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Conceiva\Mezzmo). That file contains information on thumbnails that need to be processed, so deleting it will cause Mezzmo not to process any further thumbnails.

Once you add more files to Mezzmo, it'll re-create this file and put more information in it, so if you add lots of files, you may want to delete this file again.

Of course the best solution is for us to add an option to really turn off generating video thumbnails and I've added a note to implement this in a future update.

07-07-2011, 12:11 PM
Hi Dennis

Thanks for the reply and the note to implement in future releases. I will be registering and recommending Mezzmo to those who do similar to my setup.... it really is an excellent app. One option that I would really like to see is the ability to select a NIC or NIC's that Mezzmo will use. I can see in the not too distant future that splitting the network to feed just the media servers and leave the other NIC(s) for regular use will be a useful option. I realize my setup is not the usual, but your app has many possible uses for delivering media and splitting the network up into specific ranges or scopes could be a very neat way to maximize server capability and extend the network without also filling up a trunk to capacity. - Again, fantastic app and thanks for the reply!

07-07-2011, 12:26 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback!

You can actually select which NIC to use - go to Media Devices dialog, select your device and Edit it - there you'll get a network card drop down list that you can use to limit network traffic to a specific card.

07-07-2011, 11:34 PM
Hi Dennis

Wow! This is the first time I've requested a feature and it has been retroactively implemented before I asked. Doctor Emmett Brown would be proud indeed!

I will look forward to the thumbnail turn-off feature last week Thursday.

Thanks again for the excellent service and fantastic app.

07-08-2011, 09:47 AM
I'm glad to help out :)

10-24-2011, 08:57 AM
Can we please get an update on:

1) a feature to disable auto video thumbnail generation as discussed above
2) a feature to auto-download IMDB artwork for multiple movies (not the currently implemented manual process for individual movies)


10-24-2011, 10:29 AM
1) a feature to disable auto video thumbnail generation as discussed above

It's being considered for one of the upcoming updates.

2) a feature to auto-download IMDB artwork for multiple movies (not the currently implemented manual process for individual movies)

The problem here is that unless the movie contains metadata that Mezzmo can read, the results of getting artwork automatically (e.g. without you choosing the right one) leads to mostly erroneous results. We're looking into improving this, so over the next few versions there should be some enhancements in this area as well.

12-01-2011, 11:54 AM
Can I manually update ffmpeg and associated libs to the latest version as they are released or do I have to wait for the maintenance releases of Mezzmo?

12-01-2011, 12:20 PM
Can I manually update ffmpeg and associated libs to the latest version as they are released or do I have to wait for the maintenance releases of Mezzmo?

You can download or build your own ffmpeg.exe and use it (keep a copy of the one that came with Mezzmo just in case the new one is not working). Or, you can email us at support [at] conceiva [dot] com and we can supply you with our latest build. We build it at least weekly for our own internal testing.