Some advice for Roku Developers concerning media support
Greetings and salutations
I am a week old Roku user. I received, registered, and configured my new device last Sunday. My configuration included attaching a 4 TB external hard drive to the device via USB. My intent is not to dog the developers of the RMP, that has already been done on another thread. I will say I am happy that the response to roll back was quickly realized and executed.
My primary use for the device is as a media player, specifically a movie library. The streaming services are a distant secondary consideration. I have in the recent past also used the the Amazon Fire TV 2nd Gen set top. While hardware input wise this device is roughly equivalent to the newest Roku, processor wise it is not. It is considerably longer in the tooth.
One of the things I immediately saw as lacking when comparing the two devices was external media support. To qualify that statement, out of box the Fire TV has none. However Kodi is able to be easily loaded and installed to the Fire TV. After doing that I now have a device that hands down beats the **bleep** out of the base devices shipped from either company. It provides a much more polished interface than RMP for managing an externally attached media collection. It allows for tagging of media, internet fetching of media meta data, it handles most every conceivable file format and overall offers a much more enjoyable experience when compared to RMP's Directory/File based layout.
Why not look into giving your user base the capability to install and configure Kodi on thier devices. Failing that, instead of trying to roll your own solution or update what appears to be a homegrown dinosaur of a media player, just offer kodi in your image and lock it down to just offer the external media support. The Roku is based on a Linux operating system, Kodi has many binary compatible images for you to use, I believe it is GPL licensed so you ought to be able to offer it with no upfront cost other than integration and support. Why re-invent the wheel? Someone else has a better solution you can leverage fairly quickly for minimal up front costs.