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Basic library maintenance question
Hi, All. My first post, having only recently downloaded XBMC to try out on my PC. I currently use an old Xtreamer Sidewinder Mk 1 with an internal drive for viewing movies on my TV, but have a server full of titles now and the aim is buy something more sophisticated, like a Boxee, or (preferably) build a small, silent PC and load XBMC on it. HOWEVER, much as I like the very slick interface, the add-ons, the choice of skins, etc, it really bothers me that my first attempt at changing a source drive has resulted in duplicate movies in my library that I simply can't shift. Googling has seen me try library cleaning multiple times and even removing the MyVideos.db from AppData. Nothing, but nothing, has worked and the original titles from the now removed drive keep reappearing. I am, by nature, a bit of a fiddler and tweaker and don't mind getting my hands dirty technically if it means a better outcome, but you rapidly tire of it when a product like XBMC, which has been around for years and has massive online support, completely fails at a basic housekeeping task. A number of threads on this topic seem to just die out, as if the original poster gave up after getting the usual advice. I desperately don't want to join them in XBMC limbo, but my confidence is teetering. Is there a solution out there that I just happen to have missed? And does the development community recognise this is a design flaw that really deserves some serious attention?
Note: Limbo = Twilight Zone a better description of were we stand, you can join us later Smile

Most of users don't have the kind of issues your talking about though, usually adding a local source. Multiple listings are almost always the same content with multiple paths... fooling the XBMC system into thinking (well it's doesn't really think, but let's not get picky) that you have more videos of the same thing in different places. On occasion when you move files around manually... the old listing is still exists, and when you scrape (or auto-update) you get the new listing as well, the solution for this is a simple System>Videos>cleanup Then there's the age old... double path to the NAS which never cleans out... because you have two paths to the same thing... a simple process of checking for that is to find two videos that are dups... using the keyboard 'I' command for information, should show the true path to both files... hence any diffs. Eliminate one of the paths, clean-up ...

I appreciate your answer. Yes, I have several files duplicated. I wanted to avoid getting overly complicated, but for the sake of clarity.... I have about 10 movie files on a drive in the server I fear is close to failure. Just a hunch. To be safe, I copied the files to another drive as a backup. Then I decided to point XBMC at the backup to do some playback experiments. I removed the original drive from my movie library source list, added the backup drive, and did the update content thing. To my way of thinking, what I had done was... well, it's pretty straightforward. If XBMC offers a remove source option, then the implication is you can remove the source. If you can then add a new source, that implies you are adding a new source. You would naturally expect the library to keep up. To make matters worse, I got fed up this afternoon and completely removed XBMC, restarted the PC and did a fresh install. Now my library refuses to build automatically. I have to go into each movie one at a time to force it to refresh the content. It also now displays the big blue Up arrow and a thumbnail of the movie poster when I select a film, whereas before it either began playing or displayed info depending on which setting I'd chosen in System. It's just bewildering. My system is pretty clean. I only rebuilt the PC a week ago and it's lean, fast and fully updated. I really want this to work, but there aren't enough hours in the day when the problems come this thick and fast.
Hate to say it, but I kinda think your worst enemy is yourself... You missed a critical step 'Clean Library' when you moved your sources around. It's not auto magically done for the sake of those users who have collections spread across external drives that sometimes are not connected and don't want their library toasted.

When one gets fed-up enough to remove XBMC... it usually comes with a bit of hair loss, so use this with caution. It's also helpful to have a look at a proper debug log yourself, many clues reside inside that one. (settings>system>debug>debug logging) or post it to with the link in a message.

When you specify a source, set the content... exit ask for an auto-scan, you'll get the requester asking to scan or not. Change the source parms even slightly in settings and it will again ask for permission to auto-update. Of course you can go inside the folders and manually update.. but tedious.

Big Blue pointer Settings>appearance>file lists>show parent folder items or not and 'turn on 'stack' sliding menu to the left side of the screen and it should play directly.

You're just to hard on yourself... stop with the hair pulling...keep your cool, think twilight zone solutions, you'll get a hang of this... I for one welcome hairless wonders.

I'm quite happy to accept it's something I've done, but what bothers me is that I paid attention to the screen prompts and did the 'obvious' things, including library cleaning. Maybe I got the timing wrong on that one. I read one post from some unfortunate who had to run library cleaning several times as it seemed to only remove one redundant title at a time! I think what really confused me after the re-install was that I didn't get that prompt to auto-scan. I remember it from the initial install and it certainly took quite some time, even though my total library of titles is not much more than 100 separate files. I had to try Update Library and Update at Startup in a repeated attempt to make it read through the whole collection again, which it failed to do. The update was taking maybe two seconds and then stopping. It seemed happy to have found three titles.

Thanks for the tip on getting rid of the parent folder. Vaguely recall seeing that option which obviously I got right the first time.

You are quite right - can't afford hair pulling, or the blood pressure. But most of all I LIKE seeing XBMC on the screen and want it to work. The proprietary hardware/software solutions are undoubtedly easier and cheaper, but none of them come close to the sophistication of XBMC. Just need to keep plugging away. I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with me...
I guess this is a Welcome to XBMC forums then Smile

Not sure if you've missed this one... Settings>Video>Library>Export Library> and hit separate files.. and follow along. This puts a copy of the .nfo, cover, and fanart into each individual movie folder. A rescan/re-scrape and it all comes back in minutes...XBMC sees these local files, and doesn't have to exit to the internet... which from what I've read in your message, is what you're running up against.
Haven't had time to fully explore the results yet, but late last night I made a breakthrough. This is what I did, rightly or wrongly...

I went into the source options and created a new Movies library with the same drives and folders as the original. XBMC let me do it, but automatically overwrote my chosen name with Movies(2). Fair enough. I got to select the automated scan and the usual set up options and once finished, a full download of info for all the titles took place. Once that had finished I removed the original Movies source, which prompted a big library clean up (after various warnings). I THINK we are there now, but I'll have a proper look today. If this has worked, my confidence will have been restored because I'll always know I have a plan B to resort to if something goes awry.

Thanks for the Export tip.

Basic library maintenance question00