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newbie asking about basic features

I installed XBMC on linux and don't understand few things. It is supposed to replace the following, right?:
- a music player with collections manager (e.g. rhythmbox),
- a video player (e.g. vlc) and,
- a photos/movies collection manager (e.g. shotwell).

If so... I find it very counter-intuitive.
1. how do I load photo tags from jpg files (shotwell writes them to each file as meta data and other photos collection managers, e.g. f-spot, load them without problem)?
2. how do I display all photos regardless of the folders those reside in (as does the library view for movies instead of the files view - such "library" view is the default behaviour of every collection manager I known)?
3. also how do I tag photos and people on them?
4. and how do I set XBMC to write those tags in each file as meta data?
5. I don't want to lock a ~/.photos but want to password protect ~/.photos/.private - how do I do that? (even if I add ~/.photos/.private as a separate source and lock it with a password, it will still be accessible as a subfolder of ~/.photos)
6. the same goes for ~/.videos and ~/.videos/.private
7. can I hide files instead of locking sources? (i.e. set one password and select multiple videos and/or photos in multiple locations that I want to be invisible unless the proper password is given)
8. can I rate my music? how do I make XBMC write ratings as metadata in each music file?
9. can I somehow simplify the menus? (e.g. weather/movies/photos/music - that's it; or at least no submenus in movies/photos/music; ideally I would like to hide anything that can make changes and leave only the "readonly" access untill the password is given)

The last thing: XBMC asks me about the master password twice at startup if it's defined, even though I unchecked the option to ask for master password on startup in settings (if I leave it checked, XBMC will ask thrice).

If any of my questions regard unsupported features, please tell me, so I could submit an official request.

For starters, XBMC isn't for everyone.

That said...I'll refer you to the official description if you haven't already seen it.

I'm not going to give excuses re: your comments some more vaild than others, clearly you have noted deficiencies and your expectations. The first half of your issues deal with the picture viewer aspect of XBMC, and I'd have to agree with most of your points, I rarely use it...The use of Profiles allows selections of the library to be seen and should be able to handle your privacy issues. I'm not a big music collector and I depend on the public database for information, I make playlists of things that interest me. Using the appropriate skins XBMC can be as simple as you want it to be. I don't think in terms of a simple 'player' but a highly customizable media centre with management of my personal library.

As XBMC is community driven project, and you clearly have ideas for it's improvement, I suggest that you post in the Features Suggestion forum. If you can not contribute code, personal donations are well received.

BTW: I still use, but not so much.

Irfan View as my photo viewer
VLC & MPC as my video viewer
and Windows Media Player
Thank you for your response. Reading /about/ is what made me interested in XBMC in the first place. I want a media hub! Smile As far as I understand, for some of the things I mentioned (privacy, menus) workarounds exist and I will get more familiar with them. As for the rest... I would appreciate some feedback before I submit these because there might be more workarounds I don't know about:

Regarding photos collection manager:
a) basic pictures tagging: add a tag to a pic, add a rectangle data to a tag (so it could show which tag is which face), write it in a jpg file as metadata, make it as compatible with other photo managers as possible (e.g. shotwell, f-spot, picasa)
b) let's make it fancy: pictures tagging with facial recognition! so it would list available faces and rectangles over them and user would only had to provide tags
c*) even fancier: auto-recognize (with some accuracy) faces over time (because writing with a remote isn't fun)
d) tag-based slide show
a) basic files import: copy photos from folder or external device to the library, automagically place them in correct structure (e.g. year/month/day/dsc000001.jpg)
b) make the structure customizable
c) auto-test for duplicates
d) watch the photo library changes
a) make private source B (/home/user/Videos/Me&MyGF) inaccessible without a password even if source A (/home/user/Videos) is public
b) hide/lock files with a specified tag until the password is given

* - well, it's doable, isn't it Tongue

Regarding movies collection manager:
a) (same as III.a) make private source B (/home/user/Videos/Me&MyGF) inaccessible without a password even if source A (/home/user/Videos) is public
b) allow for folder or even file based privacy settings (a show-hide switch kind of thing)
a) controllable forward/backward jumps length (to big for me)
b) controllable playback speed (0.8x, 1.0x, 1.2x and so on)
c*) better subtitles control (I have subtitles in a separate file and they load even though XBMC says there are no subtitles available, no way to turn them off)

* - is it only me? is there some kind of vob-sub muxer on linux?

Regarding music collection manager:
a) download incomplete music information (year, artist, album, genre, etc.) if possible
b) save metadata in files (id3v1 & id3v2)
c) auto-rename files & folders according to the customizable string (e.g. artist/album_year - album_title/track_number. track_title.mp3)
d) save rating as metadata in files (compatible with other players e.g. rhythmbox, windows media player, winamp)
e) save play counts as custom metadata tag in files (user based, e.g. cygue#19; PatK#27; username#counter)

a) make the "enable edit mode" option in settings (or in upper right corner or wherever) which asks for master password (if set)
b) in edit mode place a checkbox next to the each menu position, checked by default, unchecking which will hide this object as soon as the edit mode is disabled

Actually, I am a programmer but pushing patches upstream is time consuming. Kudos for everyone who does.
Quote:* - well, it's doable, isn't it
Anything is do-able, given time effort et a programmer you would know that better than anyone. My background is the visual arts, (I haven't been using XBMC too long either) so when I saw what XBMC offered for image display, I was a tad disappointed to the say the least (noting your shortfalls is deja- vu to me) and for a time I called up external image viewers from within XBMC, but abandoned that for issues. What did I expect.. photoelements? I do use a browser to call up slideshow of various folders when making presentation, and listening to favourite music with rotated images of the artists is nice.

Re: Tagging, Images or music, most of us hesitate when software wants to manipulate our physical files. XBMC handles this with .nfo files in a central library system and should have most of the relevant metadata you're requesting. The fancier stuff like auto importation etc.. can be handled with software provided by hardware people (camera) and to some extent the O/S There are some basic file manipulation tools with the program, but largely most people handle their collections in a manner that suits their needs. The devs here have a public road-map for the direction XBMC will go; as limited programming time allows, it's not like this is a MS, Google or Adobe operation with 100's of team members and big budgets. There are some nifty picture plugins see if that will bring a smile.

Re: Privacy, profiles are the choice for many to keep siblings from one area or source, but a file by file lock is not something in the features that I'm aware. One of the more interesting aspects of XBMC is that once all your sources are scanned into the library, it's all there for cross checks, dups, image etc. For most user home theatre types, a media buffet is more important than locks. This may change in the future, but for now I hate passwords. There is ways to keep folders outside of the library, but still have it accessible to the player.

Re: Playback,
Quote:controllable forward/backward jumps length (to big for me)
This can be adjusted in the advancedsettings.xml note you can use a mouse wheel for scrubbing, and the pointer directly on the travel bar will bring a jump to that position. But don't expect frame by frame manipulation this is not NLE software unless you want to get your coding hand dirty. Subtitle control on XBMC is the best I've seen.... fonts, size, colour adjustment, screen position, Integrated subtitle fetching, lip sync etc... Nothing can turn off a hard-coded sub embedded into the video.

Re: Music, once and album or song is properly scrapped, you'll have (year, artist, album, genre, etc.) and some of the artwork and play count, and as mentioned previously the metadata is stored in .nfo files (which can be edited) compatibility with 'proprietary' software should NOT be a concern of open source GPL coded software.

Re: Skin, there is quite a few different skins... and some handle 'security' in different ways... I suggest you try a few on.

As you get more familiar with XBMC you'll have most of your questions answered by the faqs and wiki's and from your background I'm sure you'll prove to be an asset to the forums. The devs will appreciate your comments and fielding questions in the 'Features Suggestion' thread.
(2012-09-03, 01:48)cygue Wrote: c*) better subtitles control (I have subtitles in a separate file and they load even though XBMC says there are no subtitles available, no way to turn them off)

Press 't' to toggle subtitles on/off or press 'l' (lowercase L) multiple times to cycle through the available subtitles until it says 'disabled'


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