More Control Over Metadata and Interface
#1
There is so much complicated talk about scraping meta data from different sources, it has become user friendly only for users who are not picky. And the method requires that Kodi be able to access the internet, and the scraping source. The process is online, and the user cannot customize anything, they can only pick a source. At least that is my knowledge of how things work.

I know this has been proposed before, but what if I wanted to do it all myself? What if I wanted my movie file to be associated to a local JPEG or PNG image file for CD art, and Fan art? What if I wanted to insert my own description? You will say "it's available on IMdB, or TMDB, or any other database". And while that's true, it takes away control over the process of customization. What if I want to play an April Fool's joke or something by using a false name, CD art, Fan art and description? I can't do any such pranks as of yet, even though I would love to watch my sister start a horror movie thinking it's an animated disney film. Tongue

And that is just being able to provide custom properties to present files. What if I wanted the interface to show a dud? What if I wanted to add a movie title, along with a CD art, Fan art, description and all those other properties, such that clicking on that would simply lead to a message saying something like "Movie not found"? What if I wanted that item on my list without it leading to a specific file, just because it looks fulfilling?

These are my issues. It is all about control. I need things to be user friendly as I am a total noob with no technical sav, and definitely no coding skills. As of now, only super smart users can achieve what I want through complicated means, and only users who are not picky can be satisfied with how the scrapers work. Being able to input my own data is an important part of the experience, and I am not willing to compromise. I am only going to speak for myself, but I hope that this resonates within at least a few other people out there.
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#2
All this is already possible so i'd say start reading the wiki.
Having high customisation abilities and keeping it user friendly do not go together.
So if you are a noob you need to learn how to do it if you want it
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#3
(2018-11-26, 20:28)waggonerchristopher Wrote: There is so much complicated talk about scraping meta data from different sources, it has become user friendly only for users who are not picky. And the method requires that Kodi be able to access the internet, and the scraping source. The process is online, and the user cannot customize anything, they can only pick a source. At least that is my knowledge of how things work.

I know this has been proposed before, but what if I wanted to do it all myself? What if I wanted my movie file to be associated to a local JPEG or PNG image file for CD art, and Fan art? What if I wanted to insert my own description? You will say "it's available on IMdB, or TMDB, or any other database". And while that's true, it takes away control over the process of customization. What if I want to play an April Fool's joke or something by using a false name, CD art, Fan art and description? I can't do any such pranks as of yet, even though I would love to watch my sister start a horror movie thinking it's an animated disney film. Tongue

And that is just being able to provide custom properties to present files. What if I wanted the interface to show a dud? What if I wanted to add a movie title, along with a CD art, Fan art, description and all those other properties, such that clicking on that would simply lead to a message saying something like "Movie not found"? What if I wanted that item on my list without it leading to a specific file, just because it looks fulfilling?

These are my issues. It is all about control. I need things to be user friendly as I am a total noob with no technical sav, and definitely no coding skills. As of now, only super smart users can achieve what I want through complicated means, and only users who are not picky can be satisfied with how the scrapers work. Being able to input my own data is an important part of the experience, and I am not willing to compromise. I am only going to speak for myself, but I hope that this resonates within at least a few other people out there.
Use an external mediamanager, here are a bunch of them https://forum.kodi.tv/forumdisplay.php?fid=116
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#4
I had no clue about external media managers. While I will check them out, it would be nice if this was a local setting. For example, you could right click on a movie on the list, and options like "Replace CD art", "Replace Fan Art", "Replace Plot Description/Summary" etc. would actually be there. That would make things infinitely more simple than using external media managers or coding, or using scrapers.

That being said, I am curious about how the external media managers work. If they're easy to use and allow me to have complete control over the movie's properties, I will be more than happy to use that, at least till Kodi adopts this feature officially, if that ever happens, which I hope it does. Thank you for the responses, it means a lot to me. Please keep them coming.
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#5
EDIT: No, external media managers are absolutely not user friendly at all, it's a nightmare. I am no tech geek, so chances are I'll break my computer before I realize the proper way of using that. Tongue

Side note: Forums should allow us to edit our posts. I thought that feature would be there, but it doesn't exist.
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#6
(2018-11-26, 21:03)waggonerchristopher Wrote: EDIT: No, external media managers are absolutely not user friendly at all, it's a nightmare. I am no tech geek, so chances are I'll break my computer before I realize the proper way of using that. Tongue

Side note: Forums should allow us to edit our posts. I thought that feature would be there, but it doesn't exist.
It does, but only when you hit a certain amount of posts, and 'I think' a certain amount of time. As you have made three posts, I'm guessing three is not the magic number Tongue
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Kodi: 2 Raspberry Pi 3 running Libreelec
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#7
to change any artwork of any media item, open the info dialog (press "i" on a keyboard or the according button on your remote) for that f.e. movie and click the "choose art" button. You can also change the name/title of library items if you fire up the context menu on that item, hit the "manage" menu entry and proceed from there. Not sure what about this process isn't straight forward. Yes, the "manage" section does lack the "choose art" feature atm, but basic changes can be done from within the UI. In depths changes can be done by placing any artwork of your liking next to the media file on the filesystem and by providing a "nfo" file with all the description, rating and whatever else info you'd like to have in there.
Also - I've been using "TinyMediaManager" a lot back in the days and it really is straight forward to use - not sure why you think media managers are hard to use (point them to the location of your media, scan that location for files, then either do an initial scrape from online sources or add all the meta data yourself).
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#8
Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, using external media managers requires time to learn and pick up on it's inner workings. I don't have the time or willingness to pursue something so complex just to carry out tasks that in theory are way simpler and should take way fewer resources. Why is offline scraping or manual data entry not even thought about while every other database is on a freaking list? It's the Kodi equivalent of teaching algebra at a math class without teaching numbers, or basic calculations like addition, subtraction etc. It should be way simpler and user friendly than it has been made to be.

As for why I am so pro-offline pro-local movie property entry type, imagine this following scenario. What if I painstakingly enter my desired data for about 1,000 movies on my hard drive, and all of a sudden, Kodi decides to automatically "update" that data by scraping some database, thus rewriting everything I took hours to type? That in itself can be very frustrating, and it can get worse adding something as complex as external media managers into the equation. I should be able to completely disconnect any chance of online scraping, and be able to locally add whatever I want to. That is user friendliness and user consideration. It simply makes no sense to believe that online scraping should be the standard method because "all the data is there".

Once again, I am not against that method, but if it does not work for me, I and other people in my place feel completely disregarded. And I am sure that is not why Kodi was created. I am happy that the option exists in case I just don't want to enter the data myself. But if I do, that option is no use to me, and the only option I have is "none", which means all my movies will have nothing but the file name and fundamental properties to go on, like framerate, resolution, sound format, file extension etc.
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#9
You can do what you want to do with nfo_files (wiki) it might not be as easy as you want it to be but you can do it. Kodi also prioritizes NFO files over scraping from the internet.
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#10
(2018-11-26, 20:42)T-bird_se Wrote:
(2018-11-26, 20:28)waggonerchristopher Wrote: These are my issues. It is all about control. I need things to be user friendly as I am a total noob with no technical sav, and definitely no coding skills. As of now, only super smart users can achieve what I want through complicated means, and only users who are not picky can be satisfied with how the scrapers work. Being able to input my own data is an important part of the experience, and I am not willing to compromise. I am only going to speak for myself, but I hope that this resonates within at least a few other people out there.
In fact, many people are in the same mood as you, because not everyone is technically savvy and coders. This makes the user feel unforgiving, should have a change history to help users have a better experience 
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#11
I’ll put this in a historical context, in the beginning, there was no way to have metadata in a video file, like mp3’s. So the way that people got around this originally for movies, using IMDB as a starter was to have the movie name and year in the title of the file name, and that is how we scraped those.

Then TVDB came along and did the same. TV shows are more complex, with seasons, episodes and specials thrown into the mix. So now not only did the folder name had to be correct, so did the season folders as well as the episode names!

So the scrapers, Kodi and the media managers all have the same issue in regards to this. TBH, Plex and Emby have the same issues, as we are all using the same databases to scrape off, so whether we are using an internal scraper via Kodi, or via any other app, including media managers, it all comes down to naming your media correctly.

I am a classic Dr Who fan and CSI fan... I have unfortunately, had to do this manually, so understand your frustration! (26 seasons for dr who and approx 13 seasons for CSI! with approximately 20 odd episodes each!) some episodes refused to scrape!

My suggestion is find a media manager that you find simple to use, I use a 30 minute rule on software, if I can’t get the basics first go in the interface, then it’s not a good interface!

If we had MKV’s and MP4’s when media centre software started to be a thing, this would be a lesser issue than it is!

It’s a mess, yes, but once it’s done, and you have a formula that works, then it is a setup and forget setup.
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Kodi: 2 Raspberry Pi 3 running Libreelec
My Setup thread | Setup Ubuntu / TVH / Schedules Direct
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#12
sorry, I don't get your point. We told you that it's totally possible to do a 100% offline scraping in KODI by placing JPGs and a nfo file next to your videos (movies, tv-shows), which in fact is also what I do, and you are still not happy because you would have to spend 30 min to get used to a tool that would assist in creating those offline meta-data (aka media manager)? If you rather spend days/weeks writing the nfo files yourself, be my guest - notepad is the simplest tool ever Smile

Also, KODI will never overwrite your local metadata unless you explicitly tell it to export the metadata of your current KODI library to the filesystem next to the actual media files (in doubt, make the network share readonly). Also, if you only have the local "nfo scraper" installed/configured, KODI will only use your local metadata and never scrape from onlilne sources (unless you tell it to). So what's still your issue? Maybe I misunderstood your points since I'm not a native speaker, but I just don't get why you are still not happy with the possibilities provided.
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#13
Those are a bit more comprehensive answers. Thanks to both da-anda and tjay.

Tjay, I will try my best to look into every external media manager possible, and see which is the simplest one to use. I am a complete noob when it comes to this, and if a software involves too many technical terms, that's my limit. In fact, if a software is anything but user friendly, I can't possibly use it. But as of now, there are not a lot of options on the table, so temporarily, that might be a sorta-solution. Just for now. The historical explanation was good, but it's a shame that people did not start out with manual data entry. When it came to typing, they started out with type writers, then went on to have keyboards, then created dictionaries and autocorrect to predict the next word to be typed, and bots too, for automatic typing and sending of texts. That is sane technological evolution. But in the case of audio and video metadata, they started out in a really convoluted manner, one that disabled them from thinking in the most fundamental manner possible, which is why users like me have no options today. If assigning meta data to a file was equivalent to fire technology, people created the modern lighters and furnaces rather than rubbing two wooden sticks together to create sparks. Yes, it sounds insane, but that analogy helps me get my point across perfectly.

Da-anda, while I do get your point too, the thing is, these features should be really easy to directly integrate into Kodi, rather than using external software and going through needless complications. I won't pretend I know anything about the difficulties in the field, but how hard can it possibly be to get a "right-click" option to customize the metadata fields? With text fields, like name of the movie, description etc, a text box could pop up for the user to type in. With image fields, like cd art and fan art, a file locator could pop up, and we can manually browse to a JPEG or PNG, and hit "OK" or "Select" and the image would load right up in it's place. With number fields like year of release, there could be a dropdown list, maybe even a calendar to get a proper release date. And what if I wanted to link trailers to the movie? It would be fun to be able to click on a movie and select between "Watch movie" and "Watch trailer". Creatively speaking, I am sure it's easier said than done. But these are basic tools that can be created by just a little effort in programming. If the developers can do complex things like involve add-ons, plug-ins, DRM, online scraping and other such things, they can definitely enable the software to make customization easy. That is what I want. And as of now, I see that Kodi's latest stable version is on the verge of releasing, so chances are that the developers aren't gonna integrate this feature right now, even if they think it's worth spending the time and resources to make it happen. But I don't mind waiting a little while longer. I just wanna be able to achieve something that simple through means that are also equally simple.
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#14
Yes, it would be possible to add a meta-data editor into KODI, but you miss the point that KODI  is meant to be used with a TV remote and not on a Desktop computer, and nobody would like to write walls of text with a OSD keyboard and a remote. OTOH, on your desktop computer you can run tools like media managers that have an interface tailored to be used with mouse and keyboard, which will in any way be much easier to use for your desired task than whatever we could provide via our UI.
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#15
In my view if we wanted to add increased metadata editing then the correct place is in the webui so the main Kodi interface does not get cluttered and having the webui do this stuff would help towards the goal of having headless installs operating as media servers.
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