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

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- Rand Al Thor - 2009-05-24

Hey Jm,

I use genres all the time. I have made custom genres for all of my Holiday movies, so Christmas, Halloween, etc. The kids love this kind of stuff. So each year a couple weeks before Christmas I just go to Genres->Christmas and let the kids loose. I am pretty happy with the way things work right now (I use media companion to create any genres that don't exist and they import fine). The only thing I would really love to see is sort order and it looks like you are addressing this. That way I can get all the LOTR movies to show in proper order and the same with the bond flicks etc etc. Hope that helps.

I know some people sort their movies by grouping them in genre folders. This has never been an appealing option to me because a I feel that movies can belong to several genres and wouldn't want to limit them. For example, if you look under Action and don't see Indiana Jones, you might assume you just don't have the movie, when in reality it was in the Adventure category. I like being able to use both. Just my 2 cents.


- pletopia - 2009-05-24

my biggest suggestion would be to all the recent list to be bigger .. i used to use plex before i switched back to xbmc and the biggest thing i miss was the ability to set the size of recent count in plex .. i'd like my recently added list to be longer then just the default 25 as currently implemented

- jmarshall - 2009-05-25

Thanks for the discussion. I request again that you try to keep it on topic - I realize there are many flaws with the current library, but I'm particularly wanting to nail down the usefulness or otherwise of browsing your collection from the current category nodes. None of the other things that have been brought up thus far has not already been considered for the new design.

@Dilligaf: You're use sounds like you really need to search for actors, rather than browse them, or do you enjoy looking through the list prior to selecting a movie?

@krypt2nite: I'm interested in whether my idea of filters on the main list would do the same thing for you. eg a filter button on the left that you specify "genre: action" would do the same thing, or whether you really need the list of genres or years to browse through. If so, that's fine - just trying to nail down the essential browsable folders that will be supported in order to keep things as contained as possible Smile

@RickDeckard: Your use of "year" sounds like it could be handled by a filter easily enough - it's not really browsing your collection by year - rather, you just want to view recent films (eg last 4 years). This is smartplaylist-able at the moment for instance, so would fit in nicely with the new filter idea.

@Rand Al Thor: Sounds like filters would do the trick for you as well for that usage, or do you actually _browse_ by genre frequently?

@pletopia: The idea is for everything to be customisable under the hood - filtering by a true date added field is ofcourse on the cards.


- krypt2nite - 2009-05-25

jmarshall Wrote:One idea for a “filter” system is a Filter button which when clicked gives you a list of pre-configured filters, or allows you to design of a new filter, which is saved for later use. Similar to smartplaylists, but simplified down a bit, and available in any listing.

Yeah this sounds great. Would work out just fine if oriented towards grouping movies into a category you can name.

Please consider what buzzra said on the blog post also. I think this falls in to the current views category.

Quote:I mostly use the “Recently Added” node. I would like to see more flexibility in what shows up in this list. The main problem is that it shows movies recently “SCANNED” into the library not really “ADDED”. This means that old movied that get re-scanned, show up in the recently added list. I would also like to be able to choose the number of movies in this list, up to the entire database, sorted by ORIGINAL date added to the database.

- Rand Al Thor - 2009-05-25

jmarshall Wrote:@Rand Al Thor: Sounds like filters would do the trick for you as well for that usage, or do you actually _browse_ by genre frequently?

I do occasionally say, "hmm what do I want to watch? Action, Comedy..." It sounds like you would still be able to do this just in a different way. If I am understanding your proposed changes, instead of going up a node and then selecting genres, we would just pick a gui button or context button for Filter and it would have the option to filter by anything we can come up with, right? So, if I wanted to it list only Comedies, it would be just as easy as going to filter->genres->comedy or something along those lines. We could also have preset custom filters if I am understanding you. It sounds like this would be a great addition. It would have all of the functionality I use now and more. I think it might also be easier on the end user (wife, girlfriend, kids) to explain what the filter button does (which could be displayed in plain sight), instead of telling them to hit backspace to go up a directory then go to genres then...

Anyway, it sounds great to me.


- jmarshall - 2009-05-25

Cool. I suspect we'll keep both. i.e. I suspect there are users for whom the browsing of Genres, Years, (or some other category) will still be desirable, even though a filter system will be in place. The tricky bit really is fitting this in with the "customize your library" stuff I've got planned in a coherent way. The same applies to smartplaylists though, as I think about it, so I'll have to deal with it either way. Much thinking still to be done!


Rating - tvieson - 2009-05-25

I would like to see ratings added. Unless its there and I'm not seeing it. Something to make it easier to filter what you don't want ur kids to see.

- manivanilli - 2009-05-25

Greetings jmarshall and the XBMC community!

Unfortunately I am currently only limited to use "video file-mode" in XBMC due to many reasons; I have around ~1500 films sorted by limited simple-genre folders (screenshot below). It would be great if XBMC could use user-directory structures for sorting movies in library-database mode and bypassing the IMDb genre tags:

Example: (An option so that the user can highlight a directory "SCI-FICTION" and select "Use this folder name as Genre for all movies in this directory" and that would overwrite all the multiple IMDB genres to the user-set folder name for all the films/.nfo within that directory. )

In the past I used to edit most of my .nfo files by hand and changed the multiple IMDb genres to my own custom simple genres, but that was not a good solution because when I later wanted to update/ scrape the IMDb database/user-ratings etc. then the genre tags would be overwritten again. A directory genre structure would be a much easier and better solution to solve the useless multiple-IMDb genre issues for most users.

12 Monkeys (1995)
2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)

A possibly merge between Videos/Movies(library) section in the future would be much welcomed and less confusing for newcomers to this excellent Media Center software. I always recommend XBMC to my friends, colleagues and family due to the ease of use but improvements on the video area and its library management would indeed be much appreciated and welcomed by all of us. Cheers

img below: Start-page when I enter the "MOVIES" section: (as mentioned by jmarshall, the "search by" function is more useful for actors, year, studio etc. instead of of having them listed on the main movies page)

- proctor - 2009-05-25

Currently my DB has roughly 1500 movies.

90% of the time I use Title to browse to a movie. The other 10% I use the recently added list. Don't really like how existing films end up on this list though if they get rescanned.

I almost never browse by year, but I have used it a couple times in the past to find recent films that are no longer in the recently scanned list.

I find browsing by Actor/Director/Studio a pain, its like scrolling through a phone book and who does that anymore? Maybe I would use this if there was a quick and easy way to type a name and search.

I'm not a fan of how IMDB assigns multiple genres for every movie so I never use that for browsing the library.

If possible, I would love the ability to filter by Language or Resolution/Source

- AaronD - 2009-05-25

Apologies in advance if I go OT, but I've found it a little hard to distinguish between what you consider on topic and off topic. However, here goes...

I've got a library of about 300 movies, and my system is used by my wife, young kids and myself. My wife and kids only ever really browse by title. Probably because they don't explore, and just aren't aware of any other way of doing it.

80% of the time, I tend to browse by title as well. The rest of the time, I either browse recently added, or browse by genre. I would say half of this time, I'm not actually browsing by genre, but rather wanting a particular genre and this is the easiest way to get there. But there are times, normally on a friday or saturday night (we have kids, so have no life Rolleyes) where I will just browse by genre and we will decide what we feel like as we go.

I also frequently browse by genre when I am picking a movie to put on for the kids. A while ago, I created a smart playlist for this, and using Media Companion I created a custom genre for "kids" with a corresponding link from the main menu (Aeon skin). It worked really well, and the rest of my family used this all the time. But at some stage during a rebuild, I lost the smart playlist and custom skin Xml's, and I just haven't found the time to redo this. I would definately like the ability to do this more easily, particularly linking smart playlists to custom menu items at the top level. One problem I find with the current method of browsing by genre to find kids movies, is that they are distributed across genres. What I really want to do is browse all "family" and "animated" movies, rather than having to look at seperate genres.

I also modify the title of some movies to perform a pseudo "grouping" of movies, so having grouping built in would be useful.

I would also sometimes like to be able to browse by IMDB rating, but haven't tried to set anything up for this.

I hope this is useful.


- jmarshall - 2009-05-25

Thanks Aaron. I presume you are meaning filtering by IMDb rating, rather than browsing by it?


- pletopia - 2009-05-25

jmarshall, i think you misunderstood my previous post ..

i too have a ~1500 movie collection
most of the time (75%) of the time i browse by recently added ... 20% by title .. 5% by genre

my suggestion would be to just increase the recent count from the current 25 to a user selectable amount (i believe in plex i was able to set it to anything with a max size of 250)

- snoxbox - 2009-05-25

I have >1000 movies, and I find Title (or Flattened) too slow for movies. I primarily use Genre's to browse, with Year used around 30% of the time.

The biggest gripe I have is not being able to have separate 'Flatten' settings for TV Shows and movies. I don't think too many people would use anything other than title view for TV Shows. I have to turn it on or off every time I switch between Movies and TV Shows.

- Jeroen - 2009-05-25

Most of the time I just search by title, but the nodes do come in handy in certain situations. I use genre sometimes, and I use years and actors sporadically. The others I do not use. I use the recently added feature very often though.
I think the way I'd like to see it is similar if not largely the same as your proposition Jonathan.
I think a "related" button in the left hand menu (don't know how to call it actually) could bring up a list from which you could drill down by actor, genre and so fort. The ability to use custom filters would be a great bonus.

- queeup - 2009-05-25

Title, yes
Genre, yes
Year, yes
Actor, sometimes
Director, sometimes
Studio, never used

TV shows:
Title, yes always
Year, never used
Genre, never used
Actor, never used