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Video library redesign idea - How can we improve Smart Playlists, aka Filtered Lists? - Printable Version

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- m.savazzi - 2009-07-09 13:56

jmarshall Wrote:Hi all,

I've been working on redesigning the video library so that it's much more flexible, and before I get too much further, I really need to get a handle on how each of you use the current video library.

In particular, I need to hear from those of you who make use of the Genre, Actors, Years, Directors, Studios "nodes" in the movie or tvshow library.

If you do:

1. Why do you use them (i.e. what is your end goal in using those nodes)?

2. Could this be done better in an alternate way (eg by enabling a "filter" on one or more genres)?

My blog has some further ideas.

Cheers,
Jonathan


It's super important for me to put the Offline flag and the location ID (double field in the form of text - number. So for example could be Shelf - 3 or DVD - 540)

So with one library I can browse all my online media and switch to look for a movie in the offline.

So far I was able only to find workarounds...

The key point for offline files is not only to have the flag but to be able to manage the lack of the physical file.

The solution I have found is to have a folder per each movie with a fake avi in it. The problem is that XBMX reads the video properties out of the fake avi.

Here is the structure:
Directory of T:\test out\output 2\A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd
A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd.avi
A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd.info
A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd.jpg
A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd.nfo
A Beautiful Mind (2001).offdvd.tbn
/extrathumbs
fanart.jpg
folder.jpg
poster.jpg

This is just the best solution I was able to find. But in the library I'm not able to switch/filter between online and offline so... for now... I cannot use library for online contents.

Hoping this helps!

M


- m.savazzi - 2009-07-09 14:18

Another point: reading the post on XBMC I would kindly aks NOT to remove the file browsing capability.

I have a very wide library for offline content while a small one for online (due to disk space) so it would be a mess for me to find out the online content between all the offline.
At least till the filtering system is really easy and straightforward.

In addition the online library has been created not following the XBMC namig conventions and folder structures so it would be quite a mess to reorganize it.

Last but not least a lot of the online is self produced.... and this is something you have to take in account in library design Smile my home videos!

Mf


- o_dog - 2009-07-12 01:47

I know it's been up before but a "First letter" sorting would be nice. All the "jump with" is just annoying. If you have alot of movies it's just a pain using the library at the moment. With First letter sorting it scales it down a bit and let you get an overview of the movies. Right now i'm not using the library at all but made my own symlink sorter with first letter, but this also means i can't take advantage of the library views. And listing all the movies in one dir from fileview takes some time.

another nice feature would be to have a dated structure instead of latest. Like
Latest/2009-06-01/movie


- jmarshall - 2009-07-12 07:06

What's wrong with the "Jump with" - surely you get more overview, and an easier way to browse the library, when you have them all listed and jump through letter by letter? There's NextLetter and PrevLetter for this purpose.

But yes, in the new library you can browse by filesystem with all the info intact. Not sure how this will work with symlinks though - for fast updating etc. we'll be assuming a "normal" hierarchical filesystem.

Cheers,
Jonathan


- o_dog - 2009-07-12 19:20

it's the amount of movies, and how they're organized. It's just cleaner with the "First letter" listing. The thing is that with alot of movies, overview might not really be what you need. And i didn't suggest that you remove the titles listing, rather add an option for listing by first letter or a filter?

The symlinks are shared over network from fileserver and show up as regular dirs in the xbmc box, so no problem there, unless you do something really strange....knowing a few developers i wont say thats out of question though =p

What would really be nice is if one could define ones own library structure. That one might take a bit of work though, but i wonder if it can be done?


- jmarshall - 2009-07-12 23:38

Quote:But yes, in the new library you can browse by filesystem with all the info intact.

I'm not sure just how more direct I can be. Clearly you can define any structure you like with your filesystem, so the library is as configurable as you want in that regard.

Cheers,
Jonathan


- KidKiwi - 2009-07-13 00:00

I must admit I like the idea of a "First Letter" sort filter as well. I also have a very large library and the ability to jump straight to a particular title letter is appealing.

It would be nice if this could be achieved with the remote - you press one key - it pops up an onscreen alphabet as part of the skin, you chose which letter - press select and it jumps (or auto jump after a min. time). (Not sure if this can be achieved with "Shift Letter" on a remote??)

I use SMS jump, next/previous leter (these are great BTW). I made an onscreen SMS jump mode which works with PM3 (would be excellent if this was a standard part of each skin) and using the other keys one can quite easily jump throughout the library. However, it currently takes multiple key presses to get to certain title letters and uses 3 keys on the remote for it all to work. It is unfortunate the xbox remote doesn't have more keys. Perhaps I need to invest in one of those universal remote dooheckies! Still, if it came to the crunch, I would rather have a one button press to return to the current playing video (Or a selection window for the last several items played) Big Grin


- jmarshall - 2009-07-13 00:18

The only thing I don't like about the A-Z is putting it in the heirarchy - It just seems a clunky way to look through movies to find something to watch - I much prefer to have everything in one list instead of having to go in and out of "letters".

Having an independent list of letters on screen at the same time is an option perhaps, but it needs to be done intelligently (no point showing letters that don't exist, for instance).

If you're looking for a specific movie, then the jump to letter or filter or search stuff is just as efficient (admittedly, the filter and search edit controls need SMS support first, but still).

Cheers,
Jonathan


- psypher - 2009-07-13 07:41

For Movies, I usually use Title and Genre. Actor sometimes, Studio sometimes.

For TV shows, Title or Genre.

Just make sure you don't remove anything Smile

While I'm able to use the library how it is now, reading some of the recommendations I can see lots of improvements mentioned that would be incredibly useful and I look forward to them.

There is one feature that I have not seen mentioned at all, which I'm surprised because either I'm doing something wrong or there is a hidden option that I don't know about because I know most users must have run into this at one time or another. Could you add a filter for "Not Found" or something like that. With a large inventory of movies and shows it's almost impossible to keep track of what may or may not have been found during the library update without manually comparing especially when dealing with rare and obscure shows.


- xeonicxpression - 2009-07-13 09:59

I only use Title and Genre. I actually like the Genre category a lot. It comes in handy on those days where you come home from work and had a piss poor day and just want to watch a comedy. The only problem is that I have 65 genres! I have things like Romance, Romance Film, Romantic Comedy Film, Romantic Drama Film. I don't need 4 different categories for Romance. Then I have stuff like popcorn movie, Over Acting, Class, Secret Service, Chick Flick. What the heck is a popcorn movie and why do I have an Over Acting genre? I can't see myself ever saying "I really want to see a movie with a lot of Over Acting in it". If it could just show a list of just the major genres that would be perfect. I don't know if you can take care of that in the library or if it's more of a scraper issue than anything.

I have never used studio, year, or actor. They all seem pretty pointless and something that could be more effectively accomplished using a search instead. I have 2246 actors, 282 directors, and 150 studios and 28 years. Who really wants to scroll through all of that to find one?

I can see the year one coming in handy sometimes, like if you want to watch a movie from the 50's. Allowing wildcards in the search would take care of that though. A search for 195* could pull up all of the 1950's movies. Problem solved!

About the A-Z list. I think its a great idea actually. I like the way Boxee does with for the Hulu feeds. You go all the way right and list of all of the letters pops up on the right and you can just select one to jump to.

I look forward to seeing how the new library works. It works pretty good for me right now, but from the pages I've read there are some great ideas. Good luck Jmarshall! I can't wait to see what you come up with!


- The-Boxhead - 2009-07-13 12:11

Quote:Then I have stuff like popcorn movie, Over Acting, Class, Secret Service, Chick Flick. What the heck is a popcorn movie and why do I have an Over Acting genre? I can't see myself ever saying "I really want to see a movie with a lot of Over Acting in it".

Lol at this one, i had a good laugh Smile
I so agree with you on this one, it's a pain to keep all the genres well trimmed.


- pecinko - 2009-07-13 21:05

jmarshall Wrote:The only thing I don't like about the A-Z is putting it in the heirarchy - It just seems a clunky way to look through movies to find something to watch - I much prefer to have everything in one list instead of having to go in and out of "letters".

I must admit I do not understand you. A few posts ago I suggested browse by first letter and you said - not going to happen. Now you are saying it is a cool thing and the only problem is it looks little odd?

I believe I posted a link to Moovida site and it shows list of movies with a narrow letter list on the left side of it. Clicking on letter on the left should scroll movie list on the right to a propriete letter section. If you do not mind installing Moovida, you could try it yourself. Of course it should be populated from library data - I have a lot czech titles, so generic letter list would be useless.

Just to be clear - I took your advice to a hart, displaced remote with a keyboard and told my wife to use SHIFT+letter but since you also said you would like to make XBMC more user friendly it just do not seem like a best solution to me. Just my 2 cents.


- rwparris2 - 2009-07-13 21:37

Quote:SHIFT+letter
jump2sms works just as well on a remote. sorry, I don't have time to find a link for you but searching jump2sms here in the forums or on wiki should give you results.


- pecinko - 2009-07-13 22:16

rwparris2 Wrote:jump2sms works just as well on a remote. sorry, I don't have time to find a link for you but searching jump2sms here in the forums or on wiki should give you results.

Thanx for info, I'll search for it.


- TeknoJnky - 2009-07-13 23:00

I occasionally use Info > actors to see actor thumbnails for ones I can't remember etc.

Something I would really like to use it for, is 'find more from actor' type function, where I can pull an actor, see what other movies, select a movie, see what info and other actors are in it and have the ability to play it.

bonus points would be awarded for including and indicating both available (in library) and unavailable (not in library) movie/actor info.

Essentially, I want to navigate the six degrees of kevin bacon, from within the xbmc library.

It should be noted, that I would normally access actor info from a particular/current movie. Only rarely would I access an actor list directly. I can imagine actor lists would be particularly huge compared to a movie title list.