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Just updated retropie -- now screensaver doesn't work

  • My video screensaver has been working fine for a long while, but now that I updated yesterday, I get a black screen. I have one video that I use for the screensaver.

    I updated retropie (not underlying os) to update the built-in scraper(s) in ES which I need to use as I'm not done scraping.

    The way I got it working before was to put a video into this folder:


    Then put this into one of the gamelist.xml files:


    OMX player has been set to [ON] And it worked, until I updated.

    I tried deleting that and adding the above <video>....</video> line into an actual game listing, and when I go to the game in Emulation Station, I can see the video play in the image box on top of the png image and hear the sound too. It doesn't play the video very well in the little box (it kind of freezes after a few seconds and the sound continues, too large a video for that little box I assume), but I see it. I see nothing but black when the screensaver comes on.

    If I turn the OMX player to [OFF] the video appears when the screensaver kicks on, but only the first frame and that's it, just looks like a screenshot of the actual video (I assume whatever player that is, is frozen on the first frame).

    I tried something that worked for someone else with a similar issue, deleted all other instances, then I added the video line to a game's metadata in ES rather than editing the gameslist.xml file. Nothing but black still for me. That didn't seem to edit the gameslist.xml, so no idea where that video metadata line is stored when added through ES metadata (still there after a full pi restart).

    Raspberry Pi 3B
    Originally Built From: SD Image on RetroPie website
    Linux 4.14.71-v7+ armv71 #1145 SMP
    Retropie 4.4.8
    ES V2.8.1RP

  • Global Moderator

    Please add more info about your setup, as requested in

  • [UPDATE] Okay, I've being doing some unrelated things on my pi (just looking through games to see if they scraped okay), going back and forth between my pi and the computer, and still have my screensaver set to come on after 1 minute, so the screen frequently goes black, but surprisingly, after many black screens, my screensaver came on, as it should. Played, no problem. What?? The problem fixed itself?? I let the video loop a few times, it kept playing as it should. Weird.

    I touched my controller to make it turn off and go back to ES, then waited another minute to see if it would come on again. Nope, back to the black screen. So, hm... why would it do that? In the documentation, it says, paraphrasing, "if it has trouble finding a random video to play, it will default to the black screen," so I guess, for whatever reason, it's having trouble finding it. I don't understand why. There's only one video.

    Okay, so I thought maybe there's some confusion between the metadata I entered and the line I wrote in the gameslist.xml, that's my thought because of the weird way in which I entered the line in the ES metadata, but that didn't seem to alter the xml file, yet it remained in the ES metadata area even after a full restart of my pi. How could it still be there when it doesn't show up in the xml file? So, I deleted that line and hit save in the metadata box. Did not restart anything. Now the screen saver comes on. But, the video no longer appears in the game image box.

    I checked the xml file, the line of code has changed, it now says:


    Weird! And when I touched the controller, the screensaver doesn't turn off right away, the screen goes black for about 14 seconds before going back to ES. Double weird. Tried that a few times, and each time it took over 10 seconds of black screen before going back to ES. After a few tries, the screensaver doesn't come on again, just goes straight to blackscreen. Triple weird.

    Okay, I restarted ES and see what happens (the line of code is still in the xml file, didn't touch that yet).

    Darn, it just goes to the blackscreen again, no screensaver comes on, tried a number of times, plus still no video in the game image box even though the line of code is still there.

    Bogus, Dude!


    Tried adding a fake game entry again, with more tags this time.

      <path />
      <name>Screensaver Placeholder</name>
      <cover />
      <image />
      <marquee />
      <rating />
      <desc>This is not a game, but a place for me to put the screensaver video file as the system screensaver chooses a random preview video from a game.  None of my games have video previews, just images, so I put this here for that purpose.

    Still goes to blackscreen.

    Just to triple check, played video from command line:

    omxplayer pathtofile/screensaver_01.mp4

    Plays it perfectly.
    Deleted everything. Went back and tried entering it in a game's metadata again via ES. Plays in the games image preview box, but screensaver still goes to blackscreen.

    Okay, something's broken with this version. If anyone comes up with a fix or workaround, please let it be known below.

  • Got another idea from this guy:
    @robertvb83 said in Screensaver shows hidden games and freezes emulationstation:

    but with the clean gamelist the Screensaver works just fine and responds quickly…

    So, I created a games list with only one non-game in it, with the one video I have. Added that to a system which I don't use. Nothing. Still a black screen.

    Hm.... sh*t. I finally finished my retropie after months of work, but the screensaver stopped working, it's the LAST thing to make it COMPLETE, DONE, FINISHED. Sucks.

  • @scocasso i think the screensaver will only show videos if a corresponding rom is found in the path tag of your gamelist.xml
    Your dummy entries seem to contain no rom

  • @robertvb83 @scocasso
    Maybe it's related to this thread here
    What was the version of ES before you updated?

  • Can you share your es_log.txt from a session where it works and where it doesn't? Ideally the same. Thanks.

    Edit: and just to be clear, while I'm happy to try to help, as you've probably seen in other threads, this is not how the screensaver was intended to work, but more of a happy workaround people put together to make it work like they wanted for a single file. While I don't recall anything meaningful changing in the code (probably more related to your playlists and scraping that have added other video tags?) I'm happy to try to troubleshoot but no guarantees.

    Can you also share your gamelists, maybe two of them - certainly one which you have scraped recently and another that you haven't touched in a while?

    Use pastebin if needed. Thanks.

  • @cyperghost said in Just updated retropie -- now screensaver doesn't work:

    What was the version of ES before you updated?

    OOh, no idea what the old version was. Probably from September 2018 when I last updated.

    @pjft said in Just updated retropie -- now screensaver doesn't work:

    probably more related to your playlists and scraping that have added other video tags?

    Aaaaah, yes, that's a good idea!! I did do a new scrape for one system using Skyscraper rather than using the built-in scrapers. That would explain why is seems to be "looking" for a video, but not finding it -- except that one day, that one time, where it DID find it and it worked as expected. Because Skyscraper adds the <video /> tag to each game.

    I'll delete every instance of <video /> and see if that works.

    OMG, yes, it WORKS!
    Using my original 'dummy game'


    put into a gamelist.xml

    Thanks guys!!!! Now my retro pie is complete!!!

    Man, why didn't I think of that in the first place?

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