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How many people only(or mostly) use file mode due to library limitations? - Printable Version

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How many people only(or mostly) use file mode due to library limitations? - Munch - 2012-03-01 23:17

I will start by stating that I have found only two viable htpc programs. XBMC and media browser. I am using a Asus EEEBox 1501p and media browser runs too slowly, although it's handling of the media library is superior to that of XBMC allowing the user to browse the library the way he want and not the way the developers want. Unfortunately the menu navigation is way too slow even with all effects off. However XBMC has a superior player and built in codecs. It's the library part: navigation and scraping that needs the most work and sadly is what received the least attention with the version 11 update.

The net result is for more than a year is I have been using xbmc exclusively however 99% of my time was spent using it in file mode. I have evaluated version 11 and I can see that, that is not going to change. Most of the work the developers put in to version 11 will go wasted because file mode remains the only usable mode. Ironically users have been complaining and feature requesting a improved library like forever and their request have fallen on deaf ears.

I will try and explain why I use file mode. With file mode I am able to create and browse my own custom folders rather be limited to Movies and Series. I need additional folders for Downloads, Youtube video's, Music Videos, Documentaries, Personal Videos, Kids Programs, Adult, HD Movies including the usual Series and Movie folders. Each folder can map to many real physical folder locations.

Why not use playlist? Because XBMC does not import everything into the library and playlists are very limited themselves. First I spend most of my time browsing my new download folder as that is were all new content goes automatically. The files don't magically get sorted into folders that are part of the library. Even if there is a way to magically sort them using some application why should users have to go to the trouble. I might sort the folder manually once per month or when I have time. But for the most part most of what I watch is in my download folder.

For a folder to be indexed in the library the folder needs a scraper assigned and a content type set. However the content types are predefined and very limited. Not only that you cannot have mixed content in folders. Like my download folder has all types of content: Series, movies, documentaries, youtube video's, basically any playable content, but not of a specific content type. Media browser has no problems scraping mixed folders like this and files that cannot be scraped still get listed or shown in the library.

In a ideal world I will not even need to have a downloads folder choice. You should just configure folders that contain media and not the type or scrapers to use. You can still configure scrappers but no on a folder level but a global level. Say for movies you x and series y. It is possible to determine from the filename the type usually and when you cannot determine you can maybe have hints for certain folders or just try all configured scrapers. There are lots of solutions and Media Browsers work pretty well so it's not impossible either.

Finally creating nfo files is also not a solution. Nothing that requires external applications or manual editing is a proper solution.

And finally in a unrelated note the ribbon like left to right scrolling home page menu on XBMC is a bad idea. Too few options fit on the screen that way and allot of screen space is wasted. I could probably use other skins but I had no problem with the default on 10.1


- Memphiz - 2012-03-01 23:34

Guess today its "Lets shit on the devs day" ... looking forward to the "devs shit on users" day then - ohh wait obviously Eden already takes care of that...

Maybe we should get rid of file mode - ohh better not - obviously its exactly what fits your needs...


- jmarshall - 2012-03-01 23:46

First off, Eden does actually move a fair way to what you want. Just not far enough Wink

You can exclusively use file mode in Eden whilst STILL having pretty metadata for those folders for which XBMC's built-in library stuff suffices. eg if you have Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos, then you can quite happily scan those into XBMC's library, but browse them in filemode. When you do, you get all the pretty metadata. Dharma didn't have this, so for those of you who wish to organise their media using the filesystem, Eden is a great step up in this regard.

Obviously you're still somewhat restricted, as if you're browsing via filesystem then you can't do some of the niftier db-related stuff, but it's better than Dharma nonetheless.

Cheers,
Jonathan


- magao - 2012-03-02 02:37

I exclusively use file mode. That's because:

1. All I want to do is play back video;

2. I'm happy to organise my directory structure;

3. Setting things up to work with library mode reliably would be too much hassle.

Simple fact is, the majority of things only get watched once. I'm not going to futz around with filenames, metadata, etc when all I want is a nicely organised filesystem.

A lot of people really like library mode. But I'm a simple guy who just wants to watch stuff.


- Martijn - 2012-03-02 03:09

Memphiz Wrote:Guess today its "Lets shit on the devs day" ... looking forward to the "devs shit on users" day then - ohh wait obviously Eden already takes care of that...

Maybe we should get rid of file mode - ohh better not - obviously its exactly what fits your needs...

Let's make it a whole week then Rolleyes


I have never used file mode and so far had no issues at all using library mode and scraping.
Smartplaylists seperate all that I want onto their own. Sure it's not perfect but what is.
If you just follow the filnaming conventions their will be no issues.
Or use reg-ex. Ofcourse their are just people that are plain stuborn and expect everything to magicly happen.

So if you think nothing happened with the Eden release you do need to get your head out of the sand. Priorties were just given at other parts of the code. This is still all done for FREE by volunteers.


- htpc guy - 2012-03-02 03:48

Memphiz Wrote:Guess today its "Lets shit on the devs day" ... looking forward to the "devs shit on users" day then - ohh wait obviously Eden already takes care of that...

Maybe we should get rid of file mode - ohh better not - obviously its exactly what fits your needs...

No kidding. Today alone I've seen posts complaining about the lac of skins in Eden, this post, and one saying WMC was better than XBMC. Give the Dev team some slack. They do this on their own time. Maybe everyone should ask, what can I do for the project to make it better, rather than just bitch.Nod


- pTeronaut - 2012-03-02 03:51

Those who complain about XBMC, should return it for a full refund of the amount that they paid for it.


- aaronb - 2012-03-02 04:08

Munch, just based on the usage pattern you've described so far please think about how difficult it would be to design a system that accommodated everyone's needs. You're basically asking for XBMC to be smart enough to know what type of content every file you have is, despite your various ways of organzing them.

Munch Wrote:In a ideal world I will not even need to have a downloads folder choice. You should just configure folders that contain media and not the type or scrapers to use. You can still configure scrappers but no on a folder level but a global level. Say for movies you x and series y. It is possible to determine from the filename the type usually and when you cannot determine you can maybe have hints for certain folders or just try all configured scrapers.

OK, sketch out in more detail exactly how this would work, and how it will work properly for everyone's different method of organizing files now that we've removed the need for people to do a somewhat standardized file organization.

Eden will already do much of this for you if you organize things into the folders you want. You're basically asking for XBMC to do all the work of figuring out what the heck the files you download are, rather than having a consistent organizational structure yourself.


- TeKo - 2012-03-02 04:23

magao Wrote:I exclusively use file mode. That's because:

1. All I want to do is play back video;

2. I'm happy to organise my directory structure;

3. Setting things up to work with library mode reliably would be too much hassle.

Simple fact is, the majority of things only get watched once. I'm not going to futz around with filenames, metadata, etc when all I want is a nicely organised filesystem.

A lot of people really like library mode. But I'm a simple guy who just wants to watch stuff.

Use Explorer/Filemanager and VLC player then...


Let the guys working on XBMC alone.

I want everything to look nice so I invest time into sorting everythting and scraping.

Everyone uses different setups and db Views or manager (I use Ember cause I can control everything from my main PC and just have to update library in XBMC without any more input)


Quote:And finally in a unrelated note the ribbon like left to right scrolling home page menu on XBMC is a bad idea. Too few options fit on the screen that way and allot of screen space is wasted. I could probably use other skins but I had no problem with the default on 10.1
Then use another skin or do you want them to change the skin because you dont like it?
There should be a vertical mod for Eden.


- DDDamian - 2012-03-02 04:50

From my perspective I've yet to see a project like this where users have near-instant and frequent communication to developers, access to writing tickets, a birds-eye view of current work, etc.

There's no way it will cater to every whim. Given it's popularity and great price, not to mention the size and loyalty of the community, it's doing something right Big Grin


- JustinAiken - 2012-03-02 05:10

No, but I use library mode almost exclusivley because I love the way it does metadata for movies/TV shows...

I'd like to see seperate categories for movies, documentaries, standup comedy, concerts... But XBMC is free and streets ahead of any other alternatives, free or paid, so I'll just enjoy my movies Smile


- Munch - 2012-03-02 07:50

I am not really crapping on the dev's and appreciate the work done in Eden and Darmha. I fight for Xbmc vs MB against my friends often. And they haven been unable to use xbmc for exacly the reaons I state. The general attitude here seems that it is not possible or too hard to do, yet it is not. It is already done by MB for years now. Please don't tell me to use MB then as I already explained why I would rather not.

My criticism is meant to be constructive and I want to give focus for the next release version 12 before it starts. I am sure I can benefit from some of the changes in Eden though can't help but feel not allot.

To further explain how it can be done. All movies/series/documentaries have well defined file name formats when downloaded. Just using a set of rules you can determine the content type and make a good guess as to what scraper to use and where to categorize it. For files that it can play but cannot tel from the filename what it is it can try and scrape those files using another set of rules. If it still fails it still imports it into the library generating metadata from the information it can gather from the filename. It might not be able to put the file in any category yet and that will require some manual intervention. but the file will still be visible in a special uncategorised or download folder in the library. Preferably there will also be a new folder showing the latest files so new content whether scraped or not will be in there. For files it was able to scrape it will show all the eye candy and have complete metadata for files it cannot it well you lose that until you fix it or tell xbmc what to do with those files. This is just one way this can be done and I have not thought it through entirely buy the fact MB can do it and has been doing so for years proves that it is possible.

I always lose defending xbmc to all my MB friends for exactly this reason. They however use more powerful hardware as is required by MB to run smoothly so my speed argument does not hold with them. All I have is against them is comprehensive built in codecs. Though to be honest I don't care about winning anything. I just want a more usable htpc and I feel I have a better chance convincing the devs at xbmc to fix their media library than convincing the devs at MB to optimize MB to run on my hardware(chances are it requires a rewrite without using WMC).


- Martijn - 2012-03-02 08:05

And all of that can do easily be done with smartplaylist!
If you already have them sorted in different folders.

How would you know if it is easy to be programed? Have you already tried?
All takes time to do it right.


- jmarshall - 2012-03-02 08:14

@Munch: Read my post.


- devkid - 2012-03-02 17:40

Munch Wrote:I fight for Xbmc vs MB against my friends often.
Care to explain what "MB" is?

Fun Fact:
Googling for "xbmc vs mb" brings exactly this thread as first result Smile