New project: ComicStreamer media server

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New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  ComicTagger on Fri May 16, 2014 3:45 pm

Hey all,

If you're here reading this, you might be interested in test driving ComicStreamer (https://github.com/beville/ComicStreamer), a new project I've been messing around with.  

The goal is to create a media server that comic reader apps can connect to for browsing, search, reading, and downloading comics.  The primary feature that is supported is being able to stream comics page by page.  The client apps can communicate with a public REST API, so it's very easy to talk to.

I've got a web front end for configuration, and a demonstration of the various features.  It's all pretty rough right now, but functional.  

In particular I'm looking for:


  • Feedback from comic app developers who might be interested in connecting to it.  If you want your favorite reader to support ComicStreamer, pass the link along to them.
  • Help from web developers and/or graphics designers to help with the web interface.  I'm pretty green with respect to web development, so I need help! :-)

    Looking forward to feedback!  You can post here or in the issues forum on the issue tab on github https://github.com/beville/ComicStreamer/issues?state=open
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  anomander on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:38 am

Disappointed you haven't had a flood of replys as in my opinion this could be a very useful project. All other "portals" are added as an afterthought to other projects. For this reason they all universally suck as they simply dont scale.

Concentrate on speed and I believe people will migrate to you.

It would also be interested if you could query it for cover matches in a similar way to CV. This way friends could help each other tag by allowing lookup access to their portals.

Anyway congrats on leading the way again.
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  ComicTagger on Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:38 pm

Thanks, anomander! Yes, speed of queries and page serving is definitely a priority, and there is plenty of room for optimization at things stand now.

For now, in the interest of simplicity, I don't want to do any sort of matching analysis like ComicTagger does, as I'm trying to keep the feature set focused. That doesn't preclude that happening in the future, but for now, I just want to get things working solidly.

I've got another developer interested in helping with the web UI, and another developer of an iPad comic reader app is working on support of ComicStreamer, so good things are coming!
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This!!!

Post  jswimmer2010 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:48 pm

This is what I've been dying to see. "Plex" just for comics. I'm not a developer or anything but I would definitely pay for an app that can "stream" my comics. I hope this picks up steam.

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  Vaemendis on Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:45 pm

Hi ComicTagger,

I have developped a server for comics and ebooks, Ubooquity ( vaemendis.net/ubooquity ) which shares some functionalities with ComicStreamer (library browsing, online reading, etc.).

Being able to stream comics to external comic reading applications is a feature that has been reaquested a few times and I am considering implementing it. I was thinking about using OPDS ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPDS ) for the navigation part (since it is already a widely supported standard, and my users requested it anyway), and extending it to add the streaming part which is, in the end, only sending a picture after receiving a comic id and a page number.

Would you be interested in defining a common API for comics streaming that would be shared by both our applications ? Having some kind of "standard" could encourage reading app developpers to adopt it.
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Convergence with MyReadings ?

Post  hugoheitz on Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:30 am

Hi,

I use for a few weeks now MyReadings (look at sbdomo MyReadings).
It is a web interface to present content of calibre databases.
It offers a streaming for CBZ or CBR.

It would be cool to converge on this subject.

I would be really happy to use it.
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  ComicTagger on Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:31 pm

@Vaemendis, Ubooquity looks very cool! I'll have to play with it a bit. I wasn't aware of it it or of OPDS. I'll have to look at OPDS and see if that would make sense to support. Did you already have a look at the API ComcStreamer has?

@hugoheitz, MyReadings also looks interesting. But I'm not sure what you're asking. From what I can tell (I don't speak French), it seems to be a web front-end for Calibre. Are you thinking that it could use ComicStreamer as a back-end in addition to Calibre?
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  Vaemendis on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:53 pm

I took a look at your API and I find it simple and clean.
Its only flaw in my opinion is that it is a new API in a domain where an established standard already exists (OPDS).
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  btx on Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:11 am

I love this idea, and especially love that it's using a backend database (which of course is necessary). In-archive metadata is problematic, since it alters the comic archive, which creates file sharing and unique identification issues. The database approach is the ideal solution to this - and it seems like it'd be fairly easy to mod comic tagger to (optionally) write its meta to a database instead of modding the comic archive.

If people got away from altering their archives, something like a metadata server could be a reality, and could help work around comic vine's API limits - could map archive hashes to its associated metadata... could return meta as quickly as a system can hash a file.

Seems like it'd be easy to mod your tagger to write the meta to the database (perhaps with a web API call?).

As for OPDS ... i didn't see where it let you define individual pages as separate files with order ... it looks like it's more geared towards most of the content being in a single file (epub, cbr, whatever). I noticed it supports separate files for things like the cover image, so I might be wrong, I just couldn't find an example. Your current API seems to fit the specific needs of comic book viewing very well.

There's an iOS viewer that supports its own server called ComicGlass- it streams a page at a time (or a whole archive), but appears to have no meta/search functionality. Looking forward to seeing this one!

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  ComicTagger on Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:30 pm

btx, thanks for the interest in the project.  At this time, I'm not planning any integration of ComicTagger and ComicStreamer, apart from the obvious producer/consumer relationship with respect to the comic metadata.  And, to be honest, the promoting of standardized in-archive metadata is essentially the mission statement of ComicTagger.  I wanted to make it easier for each file to carry its own metadata, and not rely on app-specific databases.  So while, yes, I understand that modifying file contents is problematic for certain peer-to-peer file sharing systems, I trade it off against easily identifiable content (by both humans and computers) that can be easily copied and moved into different contexts with no loss of information.  In the ideal world, content producers such as Image or Panel Syndicate (or whomever) would tag the originals, so no modifications would be needed.

With regards to OPDS, Vaemendis was suggesting that we jointly extend the existing OPDS spec to add comic page streaming.  While I like the idea, I just don't know when I will find the time attack this side-project of adding OPDS support.

I'll make an announcement in this thread when the iOS reader with experimental ComcStreamer support goes up.  Should be soon.
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  klassobanieras on Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:20 am

Beat you to it!

Chunky Comic Reader (iPad) dev here, the latest update adding ComicStreamer support just hit the iOS appstore. The option for CS servers only shows up if you've got the paid upgrade though, so do try the free version to see if you like it first. If you're new to it, it works rather nicely with ComicTagger too FWIW.

Currently you can import or stream comics from CS, browse by series/creator/folder, or browse using the web UI. The web thing is quite well hidden though - after you add a CS server, it shows up in the 'A-Z/Grouped' menu at the top-left.

Any feedback would be much appreciated. And thanks to Mr ComicTagger for the excellent project, it's early days yet but it's already my preferred way of getting at my library.

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  anomander on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:38 am

Can we create a new forum here to discuss ComicStreamer? I wanted to start asking for comments on stuff like memory usage vs. data set size etc but it seems better to create threads for it rather than pollute your announcement thread
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  ComicTagger on Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:40 pm

@klassobanieras, thanks for the swift announcement!

@ALL, If you are an iPad owner, I highly recommend Chunky Comic Reader (http://chunkyreader.com/), whether you are interested in using ComicStreamer or not. It's only $2.99 for the pro upgrade, same price as you would pay for a single comic.

@anomander, For now I'd prefer to use the Issues tab on GitHub. If the amount of discussion is overwhelming, we can create a new dicussion area here or elsewhere. Thanks!
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  richardjones on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:30 am

Just wanted to say that I'd love to see an app for Android  Very Happy 

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  theslime on Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:59 am

This looks like a great concept. Kudos to you for creating it. My dream scenario would be if ComicRack for Android implemented it, but since that's not gonna happen the next best thing would be something like if Open Comic Reader added this as a backend with a "keep offline" button for each series. (The SD card on my LG G Pad is completely packed.)

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  jswimmer2010 on Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:56 am

Just curious if comic streamer is still being developed. Comic streamer always freezes once it gets to 100 comics scanned and I have to manually quit force quit the program in the activity monitor to get it to actually quit.

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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

Post  Phunetik on Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:44 pm

Sounds cool!
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Re: New project: ComicStreamer media server

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