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

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- TeknoJnky - 2009-09-03

I was just thinking of something the other night that would be really convenient..

When browsing/filtering by year, it would be nice to be able to expand the scope by +/- number of years.

This would be similar to a decades type filter (60s/70s/80s/etc), but would be more dynamic and sliding.

Specifically, you have a list of years and scope (or other terminalogy) range, increasing/decreasing the range will accordingly expand or narrow the resulting movie list.


selecting year 1985 with a scope of +/- 5 years would give you a list of movies from 1980 to 1990

scrolling to year 1990 would give list of 1985 to 1995.

setting scope to +/- 1, would give a list of 1989-1990.

and so on

- jmarshall - 2009-09-04

How exactly would this be achieved from a UI point of view??

- TeknoJnky - 2009-09-05

Well I am no expert UI designer, but for example using pm3.hd fanart view:

(keep in mind, I primarily use recently added views, and always flatten)

on the left menu would be an option to choose a predefined quickfilter (like year, genre, actors, etc), along with the scope (+/- # of years etc).

above (or below) the text list of movie titles, you could have a single item (accessible by remote either between the left menu and the title list, or to the right of the title scrollbar)

this single item would simply have the list of the selected filter, displaying only 1 (the current item), as you move up/down the list, the title list adjusts accordingly.

moving left/right would go to the title list or left side menu

duno if its possible, but you could even add a pop up menu to quickly change the filter (to genre etc) or adjust the scope/range on the fly by pressing the select or context button on remote.

it doesn't really matter where the filter is at top or bottom, as long as it is somwhere that makes it apparent that is selectable/adjustable.

when filter is set to none, then the control would be hidden so the skin would appear normal.


Maybe it would look even better if it was subset into the top or bottom of the title list with some type of 3d effect to make it appear on a different layer of the same title text list.

- NotShorty - 2009-09-17

I'm not sure how off topic this is, but I noticed Boxee lists sources as "Connected."

Would there be a way to configure the Library so that sources such as remote shares or external hard drives automatically show up in the Library when they are connected and do not appear when not connected? The only way I'm aware of doing this now is via different profiles, which is not super fun.

I'm thinking of an automatically generated .nfo in the root of the external drive which XBMC recognizes on connection. There could be a user-configureable setting for whether XBMC updates the Library of the source(s) on that drive, or just loads the old Library info.

Thanks, and sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere.


- ederson - 2009-10-07

I tried to resist but i`m more than thrilled about this so i`ll ask ...

Will this be part of 9.10 ?

- spiff - 2009-10-07


- wstewart - 2009-10-09

jmarshall, how is the video library re-write going?

- jmarshall - 2009-10-10

It's still in concept form. Too busy doing other stuff!

- Shadowsoul - 2009-11-16

TeknoJnky Wrote:I was just thinking of something the other night that would be really convenient..

When browsing/filtering by year, it would be nice to be able to expand the scope by +/- number of years.

This would be similar to a decades type filter (60s/70s/80s/etc), but would be more dynamic and sliding.

Wouldn't this be better solved by a "StartYear" and "EndYear", this way the skin could decide between sliders, textboxes, numeric up/down-boxes/etc?

- therealjoeblow - 2009-11-24

mfsav2 Wrote: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

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!


Yet *another* vote for some basic, functional offline management. I know the devs continually insist that this isn't a priority for them, but *many, many* users keep asking for it... we seem to be at an impass here (the devs' answer is usually, "this isn't a priority for us, if it is to you then code it yourself", which isn't workable either, since if we were all really good coders we'd have just written our own custom applications to start with).

Really, it doesn't have to be a major overhaul to XBMC or the database, I don't think that's what anyone's asking for - just a simple addition of 2 fields to the database - OFFLINE Y/N, and if Y, then a disc index number. And a simple modification to the XBMC to ask for the disc number to be inserted if OFFLINE=Y, and maybe a small change to the box that pops up when the entry in the database is clicked in the library but not found online, instead of "do you want to delete it from the library Y/N", add "or do you want to move it to offline status (enter disc id)"

Other than those tweaks, the file scanning and scraping functionality is already there, I can already scan my DVD's with either original DVD content or video media content just the same as scanning a harddrive to catalog the actual data (albeit clunky, one at a time). Maybe adding a queing function for the actual scraping from IMDb etc could also be added for offline media so you can more quickly pop the discs in and out and do the time consuming scraping later, but then, that's a more advanced feature that I could see taking some effort and time to add...

Just my $0.02, but I get frustrated when devs continually refuse to consider functional requests that really make a lot of sense to many users that are made over and over again, but yet other seemingly unique/advanced/user-specific features get added...

The REAL Joe

- therealjoeblow - 2009-11-24

xexe Wrote: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:

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...

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

Wow! Sounds like Xe lives over at TRJB's house :-)

Only notable difference would be TRJB browsing movies by Actor (actually actress) more frequently. Eg. Just watched "Blood Diamond" and said "hmmm, that Jennifer Connelly's a good actress, and quite a cutie to boot - I wonder what else I have with her in it..." I do this quite frequently. Otherwise, wifey and the kids use the machine is virtually exactly as Xe described...

And yes, our collection too is huge, with all of the same issues the Xe described with respect to loading time, and replacing old TV recordings with newer DVD's or DVDRips, etc., or moving masses of files from one location to another having the same effect on the database and newly added files, etc.

The REAL Joe

- therealjoeblow - 2009-12-01

One additional thing I'd like with the new library (if it gets redeveloped) is some rudimentary filtering capability based on SOURCES. IE, in the 'add a source' screen, I've created one called "HD Movies", and I added local drive and smb paths to point to a half-dozen or so folders where I store those on my various machines; likewise, I added another source called SD Movies where all of my DivX/XviD DVD rips are organized by adding their collective paths to that source. I have another one where dummy .avi files are stored to catalog offline media in a source called "Offline". Etc (this could also go on for DVD ISO movies; HDTV TV Caps; SD TV shows, on and on).

Now XBMC has no problem scanning all of the movie content to the movie library; and likewise all of the TV content. But there's no apparent simple way to filter it, it's *all* displayed in the movie or TV library at once, and there are times when I only want to watch HD, other times when I'm bored and want to browse what I have in SD, etc.

It would be nice if I could go into the Filters and pick "By Source" and have a list of my various user-named sources show up (similar to the way Genres; Date; etc work), so now I'd only be looking at my HD movies, or my SD TV shows, or my DVD ISOS, etc.

I think this could add a tremendous amount of flexibility to those with large collections. Anyone else think this would be a good idea?

The REAL Joe

- spiff - 2009-12-01

yup. ^ part of the plan if we ever get rolling.

dynamic video sections in main menu - hamboy75 - 2009-12-08

Hello, I'm new in HTPC world and new with XBMC.

I have been testing some mediacenter software and xbmc is the best of all them, but logically it is not perfect and i miss specially a feature.

What I miss is the option to add new video sections to the main menu, for example, I love documentaries, and I would like to have my own section with just documentaries, where i can see them like movies, that is, fantart, thumbnails and even info throw a nfo file...., i know there is not a documentary database yet..., but some of us would like that option, adding our information manually.

There would be other ppl that would prefer for example some sport games videos, maybe musical videos, or even xxx :p.

I have been exploring a bit inside aeon, but i dont know if it is possible to hack it to add this feature that i'm comment about, probably it is not since it is not fully supported by xbmc (or am i wrong?)

Since i'm foreign, sorry about my english.

Thanks for your time and your work.

- prae5 - 2009-12-08

You should be able to do this with smart playlists if your have scanned in all of your content.