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

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- snoxbox - 2009-06-18 00:23

Fergus Wrote:Is there a way of expanding the Library to include 'Home Movies', 'Fitness', etc, etc? If this already exists, then I hang my head in shame for polluting this thread!

Currently no, not directly, but you can add them as a custom genre. So you would go to Movies-->Genres, then have 'Home Movies, 'Fitness' etc.

I knocked up a basic app a while ago that would help you achieve this:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=36167&highlight=yang


- pencilhead - 2009-06-24 06:24

Hi,
I only use this for TV shows.

I would like a - Simple Playlist (I have asked this in feature request section)

Would it be possible to have a simple playlist for TV shows based on the file name?

Potentially a library option called "Filelist" perhaps.

It would recursively scan nominated folders and return a directory listing and inside each directory listing have the filenames. (It has to do this anyway when creating library). It doesn't matter what the name of the file is.

I would then like to be able to apply the watched /unwatched / all options to it.

This way XBMC doesn't care about naming conventions and doesn't have to scrape the internet for tv show information. It just returns a list of filenames in the directory and keeps a reord if it has been watched or not.

ie. I want a very simple watched / not watched playlist. I don't care and don't want to have to rename files etc. to have them appear in library mode.

Thanks
P


- pecinko - 2009-06-26 13:03

Since already considering library changes, I would propose considering improvement for a pictures section too. Just a basic ability to sort out some of the pictures would definitely be very appreciated.

http://www.xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?p=358661#post358661


- Rand Al Thor - 2009-06-26 17:37

I don't think this has been suggested so far, but what about the option to remove individual items from a smartplaylist? I doubt I am the only person this has happened to before, but I make a smartplaylist and inevitably there turns out to be an item that despite the many criteria that I apply I don't want in the playlist. Usually an episode that just has a stray word in the synopsis that sets off the filters or something of that nature. Rather than adding a filter like "title is not XXXXXXXXXXX" which currently adds all episodes, you could just choose "Remove from Smartplaylist." The only issue would be if you made a smartplaylist and removed an item that you then wanted to re-add after removing. To solve this, and in a general sense just make the smartplaylists/filters more useful, I would like to the see the option "Add to playlist" available in the context menu of any movie and to have all of your smartplaylists be listed along with your regular playlists as options for adding.

That way you could make a smartplaylist for something like "Favorite Movies" You could set a filter that says all movies with Director = Tim Burton (because Tim Burton is awesome) then you could manually remove one of the Batman flicks that he did by using context menu->remove from Smartplaylist. Then once you have the bulk of your Favorite Movies added through the filters, you can manually add others from the library.


Just a few things I have wished I could do when creating smartplaylists.

Cheers,
Rand


- KidKiwi - 2009-06-27 01:14

The inability to do anything to playlists - except delete them - once they are saved - is something I hope will be looked at - perhaps as part of the upcoming library revamp.


- KeithZG - 2009-07-06 04:36

Okay, I'm a bit late to the party, but I felt like mentioning that I definitely DO use the Genre lists, and quite often in fact; basically whenever I have people over and there's nothing specific that we want to watch, instead the consensus being something like "something funny" or "something with explosions" or whatnot. With a rather sprawling collection that I have indexed by XBMC, I find it very useful, both for movies and TV shows.

That being said, I only use the other bits (Actors, etc) rarely, and mostly just on curious whims. I never use the studio bit.


- xexe - 2009-07-06 10:13

The tale of XBMC Nodes in Xe's house....

Xe has a large movie library and a giant TV library (several times bigger than any of the examples listed here). File mode seldom see the light of day for Xe and never for his family.

Xe manages his library and is obsessed with tidyness.

He uses the current nodes as follows:


Movies
======
Title: The majority of the time.
Genre: Fills the gap when he wants to watch something but doesn't know what it is yet.
Year: On the odd occasion when in the mood for something modern or old (Year node not the best for achieving this i.e He is never looking for something made in 1972 but in last xx years etc)
Actor: Once to satisfy a bet a.k.a never
Director: never
Studio: never

TV shows
======
Title: always
Genre: Never
Year: Never
Actor: Never
Director: Never
Studio: Never

His family use XBMC daily but in a slightly different way (not caring about how the back-end works):

First stop is always Recently added. If nothing jumps out there they browse the library genres like...

Movies
======
Title: Rarely
Genre: Almost always
Year: Never
Actor: Never
Director: never
Studio: Never

TV shows
======
Title: Always
Genre: Never
Year: Never
Actor: Never
Director: Never
Studio: Never

Right enough with the third person writing Xe... Nod

We use Nodes for when we don't know what movies to watch however that is becoming less and less useful. It was fine when the Mrs could go to the Horror movie genre and there were 20 movies there but now there are 500 its less useful.

Filters sound like the perfect solution with one caveat. Starting from the big list and then applying a filter requires that the big list loads fast. After a point the big list gets slow to load even on fast hardware. For example my Tv show list takes 60+ seconds to load when initially entering and also most of the time when going from Season level back up to the main level. Yes the collection is huge and that's why it is slow but to stay as useful this needs to be taken into account.

For the younglings browsing by movie rating would be useful as there are suitable movies in quite a few genres and not an immediately family proof way to find them.

Speaking hypothetically "less is more in this household". Trying to explain all the XBMC features is an ongoing chore and anything intuitive that can work with a few remote control buttons wins big.

As an example If we could filter for modern horror movies with a big budget and a decent IMDB rating intuitively that would help alot. Being presented with a list of plot keywords remaining after the filter had been applied if done right would help alot too.

Recently added TV and Movies is a firm favourite here. One major downside of the recently added tv lists is that it often gets saturated out by the replacement of a tv recorded ep with a dvd rip. I often have 25 new individual eps for 25 different shows all lined up to watch then the addition of a new dvd season pushes 22 of them out the list. Thats a pain that would benefit from a solution of "filter the last xx eps from unique shows added"

Hope this helps


- jmarshall - 2009-07-06 10:41

Hi xexe, thanks for the post.

What would be _fantastic_ is if you could get me a copy of your database so that I have a nice, large, real user database to play with.

This will ensure we can optimize the initial listing (most important being the title listings) speeds - my main idea here is to fetch minimal info (i.e. just enough to display and sort the list) and then background fetch the rest in chunks.

Smartplaylists/Filters is something that's going to take a lot of work to get right (at least from a user-interface perspective). Any ideas you have to make this process easier for the user would be most helpful! Obviously the simple stuff (like allowing you to place a smartplaylist wherever you like in the hierarchy, rather than under the "playlists" node) is easy to take care of - the tricky bit is the interface to construct those filters. If you have ideas on this, I'd most welcome them.

The cool thing with CouchDb (if we choose to go with it) is the queries are written in javascript, and are stored in the db itself, which is accessible via a webinterface. You can construct views directly in the couchdb webinterface, so hopefully we'll have some way to allow power users such as yourself to setup views (aka filters) directly and have these show up in the UI automatically. Not quite sure how this will be done though at this point!

Cheers,
Jonathan


- xexe - 2009-07-06 11:51

Will see what I can do. I am due for a complete dbase rescan soon so it might be wise to hold of until that is done.

Alternatively i can probably give you a fake filesystem with 0byte files and real movie.nfo and tvshow.nfo. This might be more useful in the long term for other devs.


- rausch101 - 2009-07-06 15:10

xexe Wrote:He uses the current nodes as follows:


Movies
======
Title: The majority of the time.
Genre: Fills the gap when he wants to watch something but doesn't know what it is yet.
Year: On the odd occasion when in the mood for something modern or old (Year node not the best for achieving this i.e He is never looking for something made in 1972 but in last xx years etc)
Actor: Once to satisfy a bet a.k.a never
Director: never
Studio: never

TV shows
======
Title: always
Genre: Never
Year: Never
Actor: Never
Director: Never
Studio: Never

My database isn't as large as xexe's, but it's still very large on a... normal scale Wink I use the video nodes in the exact way that xexe does, with one exception. Every so often I will use the studio tag to look up a Pixar movie, but that's the only time. I also think that making a "decade" node would be more effective than a "year" node.

xexe Wrote:Recently added TV and Movies is a firm favourite here. One major downside of the recently added tv lists is that it often gets saturated out by the replacement of a tv recorded ep with a dvd rip. I often have 25 new individual eps for 25 different shows all lined up to watch then the addition of a new dvd season pushes 22 of them out the list. Thats a pain that would benefit from a solution of "filter the last xx eps from unique shows added"

I completely agree with this as well. This sort of behavior also happens whenever I decide to pickup a new TV Series - the "Recently Added" TV Show node gets flooded with that new show. Like xexe said, it'd be nice to have a limit on the number of those episodes. A better solution might be: if there's ,say, 3+ episodes added from one show, just display "# New [show] Episodes".


- jmarshall - 2009-07-07 00:13

@rausch101: Nice idea regarding recently added shows - will make a note of it.

@xexe: Dummy filesystem would be fantastic - that's effectively what I'd be using your db for anyway Smile The ideal would be with full nfo files so I can quickly populate a db for testing (i.e. save thetvdb and themoviedb/imdb some bandwidth), as then I can easily remove 'em to test the scanning side of things as well.

PM me once you've had some time to sort something out.

Cheers,
Jonathan


- PCATV - 2009-07-07 05:36

I hope this isn't too off topic, but it is related to the library...

Would it be possible to have the option of storing the library database on a network drive with a cached local copy?

If you start watching something at one location and want to pickup where you left off at another location it would be nice if there was a shared database.

A central location for thumbnails etc would be nice also.


- althekiller - 2009-07-07 05:55

PCATV Wrote:I hope this isn't too off topic, but it is related to the library...

Would it be possible to have the option of storing the library database on a network drive with a cached local copy?

If you start watching something at one location and want to pickup where you left off at another location it would be nice if there was a shared database.

A central location for thumbnails etc would be nice also.

Please search. There are plenty of threads you could hijack where your question would be on topic.


- bionic1234 - 2009-07-07 11:04

Sorry that I missed this thread.
A bit off topic from Genre filters, but perhaps directly in line with the thread title "how can we improve smartplaylists?"
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=53375

JM, would it be possible to mix Video Sources randomly in a smartplaylist?
ie; TV episodes, Movies, Music Videos, movie trailers?

Thank goodness XBMC is so good at organizing content, but somedays you just want to kick back and "see what is on" rather than spend time trying to figure out what you want to watch.


- mcborzu - 2009-07-09 03:55

I use Movies:
Genre's-My custom 720, and maybe Comedy or something like that when I can't decide what to watch

Year-Only for recent year like 2008 or 2009

Tv Shows-Never

@jmarshall
If you want I have a pretty big library...600 movies about 15 complete TV Shows if you'd like to use it.