HP Media Collector

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HP Media Collector takes media files from the computers on your network and copies them to your HP MediaSmart Server. This allows you to maintain a comprehensive library of music, photos, and videos in one location in your home.

Technical Details

There are two components involved with the Media Collector. The first is the Configuration that occurs on the Server via the Media Collector Settings tab of the Home Server Console. The second occurs when installing the MediaSmart Server Client Software on your client PC, a Scheduled Task is created. This task is scheduled to run every 5 minutes, and queries the Server to retrieve the configuration it should use. By default, the Media Collector is disabled on the server and no collection activities will occur.

When the Media Collector is enabled on the Server, the Client should retrieve the configuration within 5 minutes and begin the collection activities. Collection details are stored in xml files in the Music, Photos, and Videos shares on the server.

Important Functionality Notes

  • When HP Media Collector copies media files from all your computers and users, it attempts to reduce duplicates. For example, if two users have the same media file, Media Collector copies only one file to the Server.
  • When all media types are enabled for collection, Media Collector collects photo files first; then music files, and it takes video files last.
  • HP Media Collector skips picture files that are less than 45 K in size. Media Collector ignores some directories for each media. See the list below:
    • Photos
      • temporary internet files, My Music folder, windows system directories
    • Music
      • temporary internet files, windows system directories
    • Videos
      • temporary internet files, windows system directories, mov files located under My Pictures, Pictures

Supported File Formats

Photos (files located under My Pictures, Pictures)

  • jpg
  • gif
  • tif
  • pct
  • mov


  • mp3
  • wma
  • m4a
  • aac
  • wav
  • playlists (m3u, wpl)
  • album art


  • AVI
  • MOV
  • m4v
  • MPEG
  • MP2
  • WMV
  • FLV
  • DIVX
  • DVR-MS
  • M2TS
  • VOB file collections

Media Collector Status

The Media Collector includes two utilities for viewing the current Collection status, with one residing in the Server Console and the second running in the Client Control Center. Unfortunately these are of limited use as they only show the metrics from the latest Collection run and have limited troubleshooting usefulness.

Collector console status.jpg

Collector controlcenter status.jpg

Troubleshooting and Debugging

The Media Collector logs are stored on the Client PC in the following locations[1], and should be one of the first things checked if the Collector is not behaving as expected.

  • C:\temp\HP MediaSmart Server\log\

Additionally, the Media Collector status files are stored in the following locations:

Windows XP :

  • C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\

Windows Vista:

  • C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Hewlett-Packard\HP MediaSmart Server\

Additional details for the Media Collector are written to the Application Event Viewer logs on the Client PC.

If the Collector has run successfully for a period of time, but then seems to no longer work, the Scheduled Task on the PC should be checked. You can view this via the Start Menu -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Task Scheduler. Look for an entry named "<username>-mediaAgg", and from there you can view the runtime history of the task and edit the properties. I personally found that when the task was initially created, it was scheduled to run for 10116 minutes (7 days), and my Collector had run successfully for the one week and then no longer collected new media added to my PC. I was able to resolve this by changing the "Repeat task for a duration of:" from 10116 to "Indefinitely".

Collector scheduled task.jpg


  1. http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4273