Ember Media Manager review, comments and things I hope to see in the future version
#1
Hi @DanCooper... First, I want to thank you very much for this amazing software. I am using it from Windows after trying several other similar software and I must say it is the easiest and most reliable. So, I thought to make a thread to show what I like, ask some questions and suggest small things that I think could make the user life easier.

What I like:
- Very easy to use.
- Very fast when it comes to loading the media library and downloading the chosen info or artwork.
- Clear and clean user interface.
- Good settings that allows the users to arrange and download info and artwork exactly as they want.
- Does not consume the PC resources.
- It has this amazing option that I like so much called "keep existing" for the existing artwork. Very smart to be honest, because one other software deleted my existing artwork and it was quite a process to get them back.

Questions:
- In the main page for "Movies" tab where I have the movies list on the left side and the info of the movie on the right side, why it doesn't show the discart even though it shows almost every other artwork I have for that movie? It isn't a big deal, but I am just a visual person and I look at this side of the page to see what are the missing artwork instead of looking at the check mark on the left side. screenshot here shows what I mean https://imgur.com/qzUEkLB

- When I have the wrong movie name, I right click on the movie and I choose "change movie". Then a pop-up appears asks me to select a movie from the matching movies from a list. So I select one and then another pop-up appears to allow me to choose artwork if there were several artwork for the same type. This pop-up does not fit in the laptop screen and has no scroll bars to see all the artwork there. So I cannot really see everything. Is this a problem with my screen resolution? Can this pop-up have a scroll bar for users with old laptops like mine? screenshot here shows what I mean https://imgur.com/XOteldE

- When I chose to download "extrafanart", the software downloads them into a separate folder called "extrafanart" inside each movie folder and give them name combination like so "<movie-name-random-number>.jpg". In the latest version of Kodi, when the user edits the "advancedsettings.xml" file they can get the "extrafanart" saved into the same movie folder -and not in the "extrafanart" separate folder- and they are named like so "<movie-name-fanart-running-number>.jpg". Can Ember Media Manager use the same methodology to save the "extrafanart" in the same movie folder with the same naming combination for the sake of consistency? let me know if there is an option to do so.

Things I hope to add/change:
- Some movies have no fanart or landscape artwork in fanart.tv or TMDB which are the two sources that Ember Media Manager uses to get the artwork. On the other hand, the IMDB usually have a lot of good images for the movie that can be used as fanart or landscape if they are resized to the proper size. Is it possible for the Ember Media Manager to have an option to allow the user to choose to get some of these images and use them as fanart and landscape as a last resort if the software didn't find anything for these two in fanart.tv or TMDB. Ember Media Manager already has an option to auto resize images and has options related to the IMDB so I'd say you pretty much have your way around these two things and you can use them to make this new option. I thought about that because this is actually what I do when there is no fanart or landscape for the movie then I go to the IMDB and I grab two good images, I resize them and save them as fanart and landscape for that movie. Not the best but better than nothing at least for me.

- When I use the software to scrap several movies and at the same time I manually save an artwork in one of the folders of these movies without first updating the library or reloading / refreshing the movies that I updated manually in the software, when the software scraps the movie, it deletes the artwork that I added manually. But if I first add the artwork manually then reload /refresh those movies in the software then I scrap those movies in the software, nothing gets deleted. I am not sure I explain the scenario in a good way, but I think these steps will explain what I mean:

1- I open Ember Media Manager and load the library.
2- I select some movies I want to scrap for artwork.
3- I right click selected movies, let's say their names "movie1, movie2, movie3" then I choose "re-scrap selected movie > ask > all items" (the specific scraping option does not matter in this scenario, but this happens also with any scraping option I choose, for example, scrap for info only or for fanart only, etc.)
4- this is the important step then, while the software is scraping these movies, I go and get, for example, an image and I manually save it in the folder for the movie called "movie1" and I name it for example "movie1-clearlogo.jpg" or any other artwork.
5- When the software finish scraping the "movie1" whether or not it found new artwork, I go to the "movie1" folder and I find that this new image I added "movie1-clearlogo.jpg" was gone, completely deleted and not even in the recycle bin.

But If I wait until the software finish scraping then I add stuff manually then refresh the library, nothing gets deleted. I wish the software wouldn't do that. It seems that it locks the folders and doesn't allow new stuff unless the library is refreshed or what I am not sure.

Thanks again and hope that my feedback helps Smile
Jaqo.
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#2
(2020-04-14, 10:55)Jaqo Wrote: In the main page for "Movies" tab where I have the movies list on the left side and the info of the movie on the right side, why it doesn't show the discart even though it shows almost every other artwork I have for that movie? It isn't a big deal, but I am just a visual person and I look at this side of the page to see what are the missing artwork instead of looking at the check mark on the left side. screenshot here shows what I mean
The reason is your screen resolution and the very simple "skinning engine" that Ember has. You've disable the "small fanart" image in the settings. As you can see the space that this image whould use is still unused by the other images. This is because of the image "container/panel" has fixed positions and sizes in the GUI provided by the theme.
All default "themes" are made for 1080p screens. If you want to see all images you have to made your own theme. The easiest way to do that is to copy the default theme (.\Ember Media Manager\Themes\movie-Default.xml) and rename it to e.g. "movie-MyOwnTheme.xml" (you have to use the "movie-" prefix to flag the theme as movie theme). You can select your own theme under Settings => General => Interface => GUI Themes => Movie Theme.

Important note: if you update from Ember, ALL themes will be deleted and replaced by the standard themes. Not a good solution, I know, but that's already changed for Ember 2.0, but I can't take it over to Ember 1.5. It is therefore important that you make a backup of your own theme, which you can import again after the update.

Edit the theme:
Every image panel has a start point (left upper corner of the panel) that is defined by "position from left" and "position from top" and a "max width" and "max height".
So e.g.
  • <posterposleft> defines the start point by numbers of pixel from left
  • <posterpostop> defines the start point by numbers of pixel from top
  • <postermaxwidth> defines the max width that the panel can get
  • <postermaxheight> defines the max height that the panel can get
The max values should be:
  • 2:3 for posters (it isn't in the default theme, but that has other reasons)
  • 16:9 for Fanart, Landscape and ClearArt
  • 1:1 for DiscArt
I think the easiest way to get to all the values is to draw a sketch on a paper like so:

Image

 
(2020-04-14, 10:55)Jaqo Wrote: another pop-up appears to allow me to choose artwork if there were several artwork for the same type. This pop-up does not fit in the laptop screen and has no scroll bars to see all the artwork there. So I cannot really see everything. Is this a problem with my screen resolution?
Image
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#3
(2020-04-14, 10:55)Jaqo Wrote: On the other hand, the IMDB usually have a lot of good images
I have a different opinion. Also the IMDb scraper is very complex the maintain. I removed the support for IMDb images and trailers because now most of the trailers are 480p-only and the images are more advertising posters than proper covers.
 
(2020-04-14, 10:55)Jaqo Wrote: when the software scraps the movie, it deletes the artwork that I added manually.
Yes, that's how Ember works atm. For me as a non-English speaking person (or English is not my mother tongue) it is too difficult to name all the reasons for this now. If you don't use the edit dialog to add images or trailers you have to reload (e.g. with F5) a movie to rescan the folder for manually added content. This will be changed in Ember 2.0, but i can't do it in 1.5.x.
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#4
Hi @DanCooper,

I think you made my day today Smile
you have good answers to the things I was wondering about and I find it very cool that I can make my own themes. Thank you very much for the detailed description about that.
you mentioned that you cannot fix stuff in v1.5.x and this is totally understandable. I am very excited to get the new version v2.0. It seems it will be awesome.
as for the IMDB suggestion, I agree with you and you have a good point there. That's why I mentioned it as a last resort for someone like me who prefer any image with low resolution or wrong size over no artwork at all. From your reply to my post, I get the impression that you have already tried that in the past maybe and it was not working as it should. So that's fine then I didn't know that, because I started using Ember only a few weeks ago.

Thanks again and have a good day Smile
Jaqo
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#5
(2020-04-14, 16:28)DanCooper Wrote: another pop-up appears to allow me to choose artwork if there were several artwork for the same type. This pop-up does not fit in the laptop screen and has no scroll bars to see all the artwork there. So I cannot really see everything. Is this a problem with my screen resolution?
Totally forgotten to add a comment to my screenshot. Yes, the horizontal scrollbar is missing. I've fixed that for the next release. The screenshot shows the next release.
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