LinuxMCE Forums

General => Feature requests & roadmap => Topic started by: bobpaul on June 23, 2007, 12:05:30 am

Title: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: bobpaul on June 23, 2007, 12:05:30 am
Putting all the media from my network into 1 single list just doesn't cut it for me. For one, now I have to rename all of my media, as I already have it stored such as:
\\NAS\tv\Series Name\### - Episode Title.avi
where ### is the season/episode number

If I could tag each avi as a particular series and then sort that way, sort by sub folders, or do pretty much anything other than the current setup, it would be much better.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: RGoolsby on August 31, 2007, 03:18:25 pm
I agree, I have 100s upon 100s of gigs of everything from music videos, to movies, to television series, and I wish there was a directory system to make it easier to interact.  (without searching) 

Any advice?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: bulek on August 31, 2007, 08:21:44 pm
Hi,

not sure if this will  be of any help, but this feature exist in quite limited way. You can go into Video, then Options and select Filename at the top and then your directories will appear and you can browse them. It seems that it only remembers that setting for one Orbiter session.

Regards,

Bulek.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: PowrrrPlay on September 01, 2007, 04:44:19 pm
I would think that if the media was stored within the DB an not in a flat file system you could have these types of features.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: dopey on September 03, 2007, 09:21:04 am
I would think that if the media was stored within the DB an not in a flat file system you could have these types of features.

...No this would actually be counter productive as the database is only on one server, whereas you can have media on several servers. Not to mention the fact that it would be much slower.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 03, 2007, 09:56:06 am
come on, guys. You have filters.. ____USE THEM___ !!

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: ant_tm on September 07, 2007, 12:29:11 am
I have to agree with bobpaul - I have my files organized in almost exactly the same way.  I spend the time to organize the heirachy so that it is easy to use when I utilize XBMC to view them.  This whole scan into a database and use filters thing is great when you are only talking about a flat collection of ripped dvd movies but is next to useless when you are talking about downloaded tv episodes :)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 07, 2007, 03:10:50 am
so, you're talking about adding an additional layer of UI complexity just to satisfy your little edge case? nice. um, no.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: dopey on September 07, 2007, 05:39:09 am
Actually, I agree that the media organinaztion needs work. For example, I have 5 recordings of the same series in MythTV, just different episodes, LinuxMCE handles this by repeating the Series name 5 times... not cool... Also I have some a lot of permanently saved series recordings organized by Series/Season/Episode Number - Episode Name.Extension, because they are all tv shows they all show up with the rest of the Myth recordings and only display Episode Number - Episode Name... again not cool...

It's not just his certain setup that requires a change in how this is handled. Just about everyone with a lot of media has this problem... There are better ways of doing this, but it would most likely require database changes and Rolodex type of UI, kind of like MythTV has for its recordings. You wouldn't need too many changes, just the ability to have multiple levels of search. For example, lets say the UI looks just like it is now, only that one incantation of the Series name would be displayed, then upon selecting that Series name the menu you are currently working with gets pushed over to the left and a new one is created to the right that lists all the Episodes for that Series. This can be expanded to suit the needs of all.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: ant_tm on September 07, 2007, 08:38:26 am
I hardly think the ability to browse a directory structure is a difficult prospect and I don't think this is an edge case.

Maybe I need to start looking into the tags (or whatever) that are used for the filtering and convert my library to that.  But I still prefer the folder hierachy simply because I can add a new series to the folder and instantly access it through folder browsing without having to wait for some process to update the database (which takes a couple hours now).

so, you're talking about adding an additional layer of UI complexity just to satisfy your little edge case? nice. um, no.

-Thom

Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Hagen on September 18, 2007, 10:11:16 am
Actually I am quite happy with having all movies in a single place.
The trouble comes with TV series, here I would like the option to sort by [series]->[season]->Episodes
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on September 18, 2007, 12:13:41 pm
Try sorting by filename instead of title.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Hagen on September 18, 2007, 04:10:39 pm
That is all well and good, but you still get a BUNCH of TV recordings jamming up the "Movies display"
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 18, 2007, 04:48:09 pm
I actually consolidate TV series onto DVD images (which can be a bit bigger than an actual DVD.), so that they don't jam up the media display.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: lucidus.nox on September 20, 2007, 07:17:28 pm
I agree, the media browser needs some help when it comes to having tons of TV episodes in your collection. Sorting by Filename is really the only way that it becomes usable. Is there any way for me to make sort by filename the default behavior?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Hagen on September 21, 2007, 11:08:49 am
It would help tons if what I put into "public/data/tv series"  actually shows up under TV series and not among my DVDs/movies
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: CrafyZA on September 26, 2007, 02:19:40 pm
While we are on this topic. Im am rather happy with most of how it works now. the filters work great, but perhaps some more filters will work.
For instance:
I have roughly about 40K mp3 files.
Database has populated with all of this.
BUT:
When I add a new movie, and add the attributes it gets a little slow.
Genre and title specific. If i click the attribute Title, it populates the combo/dropdown box with every single title from my music collection. Same with Genre.
It would be much better if you can have a parent level, for instance audio or video, and then have parent specific attributes. so if you select audio, the dropdown will only display titles or genres from media that is audio, and then the same goes for video.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: andy90 on November 20, 2007, 07:38:19 pm
I have it another thread but think thats in the wrong place so posting here.

+1 for folder layout instead of all files in one place.

Sorry thom but i disagree completely, its not an edge its usability, ever wanted to watch something but you dont know what? nothing beats going through folders just browsing, not searching for a string.  Also I have a few gig of films, many films come as two parts, so straight off the film list is doubled, which means loads of scrolling when just looking, and on an older PC it doesnt scroll very well.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 20, 2007, 08:21:25 pm
we can go back and forth on this one...but the truth of the matter is, folders are essentially a band-aid, when you have the ability to zero in by real metadata instead of creating fixed points of heirarchy. You're just feeling chapped because you don't want to actually tag your data.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 20, 2007, 08:22:45 pm
so if you really want it.. click on view by Filename. If you're not happy, modify your version of the code. OR LEAVE.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on November 20, 2007, 09:04:20 pm
I have it another thread but think thats in the wrong place so posting here.

+1 for folder layout instead of all files in one place.

Sorry thom but i disagree completely, its not an edge its usability, ever wanted to watch something but you dont know what? nothing beats going through folders just browsing, not searching for a string.  Also I have a few gig of films, many films come as two parts, so straight off the film list is doubled, which means loads of scrolling when just looking, and on an older PC it doesnt scroll very well.

Try sorting by filename instead of title.

ffs. +1 for people learning how to read.  ::)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 20, 2007, 09:08:30 pm
andy90: as for files coming in two parts etc.....also, why don't you STOP pirating films off bittorrent, or better yet, concatenate the files together?

"What do you mean I have to index my 50,000,000 bits of pirated media?"

Funny, I imported all my legal store bought media into LinuxMCE, and everything has covers, indexed authors, directors, genres, and guess what? I don't need folders! *GASP!*

I have over a thousand movies in my library, and twice that in my CD collection that i have imported in, and I am able to very quickly find what i'm looking for.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: jca on November 20, 2007, 11:30:09 pm
I have terrabytes of data and one of the main reason's I'm migrating form mythtv is the vastly superior media browser in linuxmce.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Greg on November 21, 2007, 02:08:59 am
Ok, maybe someone can help me figure out how to use filters to get what I want.
I'm dealing with TV Recordings, but also Movies.

For my TV Recordings, I've set the Title attribute to be the show title (e.g. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" ).
I set the Episode attribute to be the episode title (e.g. "Go to Hell", "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp", "The Chick Chop Flick Shop", "Who & What", "Goodbye and Good Luck" ).
I set the Release Date attribute to the first aired date, ("2007 10 11", "2007 10 18", "2007 11 1", "2007 11 8", "2007 11 15")
I also set a brief description.

When I want to watch TV shows, I want to see a list of the unique show titles, but just one for each show.  Once I select one, I want to see a list of the Episodes for that show, sorted by Release Date.

Now please explain how I can do something like that in the UI.

Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 21, 2007, 02:32:53 am
We should be able to filter via epsiode name, yes... and that is something I want as well, so it will make it in!

While the system isn't perfect, the issues with dealing with TV episodes will be fixed soon, even if I have to do them.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: andy90 on November 22, 2007, 06:32:47 pm
I have over a thousand movies in my library, and twice that in my CD collection that i have imported in, and I am able to very quickly find what i'm looking for.

Exactly my point, you know what you are looking for.

Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 22, 2007, 07:14:54 pm
and if I don't?

gee... I filter by Genres, because I usually have a cloudy idea of what i'm looking for.....

or maybe I want to watch all my Kubrick films.....

your argument
does not
hold
water.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: golgoj4 on November 23, 2007, 11:11:14 pm
so if you really want it.. click on view by Filename. If you're not happy, modify your version of the code. OR LEAVE.

-Thom


are you always this pissy? Seriously, its feature requests. So fracking sorry if we ask for a better way to access the content. Didnt realize it was your way or the highway. And in the future, maybe you shouldn't accuse other users of being thieves.

And seriously, do you have to spend your time pooping on ideas for improvement? It seems more productive work can be done besides calling people thieves and telling them its 'this way or the highway'. Why do you think we ARENT using windows  ::)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on November 23, 2007, 11:35:38 pm
so if you really want it.. click on view by Filename. If you're not happy, modify your version of the code. OR LEAVE.

-Thom


are you always this pissy? Seriously, its feature requests. So fracking sorry if we ask for a better way to access the content. Didnt realize it was your way or the highway. And in the future, maybe you shouldn't accuse other users of being thieves.

And seriously, do you have to spend your time pooping on ideas for improvement? It seems more productive work can be done besides calling people thieves and telling them its 'this way or the highway'. Why do you think we ARENT using windows  ::)

It would probably help if people stopped suggesting the same thing (over and over again) that is already available and learned how to use the system properly.  Excuse tschak909 for pointing that out, it is getting rather annoying and there is no need to try and get under his skin about it.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tkmedia on December 05, 2007, 08:44:06 pm
we can go back and forth on this one...but the truth of the matter is, folders are essentially a band-aid, when you have the ability to zero in by real metadata instead of creating fixed points of heirarchy. You're just feeling chapped because you don't want to actually tag your data.

-Thom


What is the best way of tagging my media files. Other than re-ripping it  using Linuxmce.

Amarok seems do a lot better recognizing my media library.

Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on December 05, 2007, 08:55:35 pm
I want to work on a replacement media manager for the web admin..but that will come after I finish my mame plugin work.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tkmedia on December 05, 2007, 09:17:00 pm
Any suggestions in the mean time??   My library has picked up a couple of album covers and assigned them to almost all my music that was ripped with software other than Linuxmce.  Also I have a bunch of flac files downloaded from archives.org   (Live concerts mainly), any Ideas on how to best tag and organize these files.



Thanks



Tim
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on December 05, 2007, 10:17:13 pm
right now, the only way is to go into the media files sync, and adjust the attributes of each individually..this is why I want to rewrite it.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: bulek on December 05, 2007, 11:01:35 pm
Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on December 22, 2007, 05:58:47 am
I've worked in a consulting role on a number of UI projects within the multimedia and broadcast industry, and have found some of the responses in this thread alarming and to be honest a bit worrying. I'm really concerned that LMCE is going to remain stuck in the same place because a few people are being stubborn about certain issues.

Joe Bloggs says "I find it really tedious to wash all these dishes".
Everyone else says "Stop being lazy, it isn't that hard!"
Joe Bloggs is an edge case.

Then one day some bright spark invents the dishwasher... Suddenly all the people who were happy washing dishes by hand realise that this dishwasher is really quite neat, and makes their lives easier (though they could still live without it).

It's all about innovation. Inventing easier and easier ways to do things, more intuitive ways to do things, more lazy ways to do things! When someone says "I never would have thought how useful it would be to have a..." then you are being truly innovative.

If someone says media is too hard to navigate, then perhaps they have a point. They might be wrong on the detail, they might be stupid, they might not have read the manual, it might piss us off that they ask before thinking it out properly, but you have still have to take their experience of the product into account. They are the general public, and the general public should be able to use LMCE - right? Or do we want it to remain a geek-tool hidden away from the mainstream? This isn't what the simple DVD install suggests.

We all want to see LMCE grow into a tool which is both powerful and intuitive. You shouldn't have to read a manual. Has anyone read the manual for their iPod?

Ok, so it IS possible to find media using filters. But is that really the simplest way? My girlfriend certainly can't use it. My parents would struggle, and my grandparents... no chance! Has someone made a decision that these people should be excluded from using LMCE?

I'm not trying to upset anyone here, just hopefully opening a few points up for consideration. Just because something is possible doesn't mean we should not strive to make achieving it more simple.

Best wishes,

Chris




Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on December 22, 2007, 02:47:55 pm
Here's some constructive criticism on the interface, as I would go about it in my work life for a project involving GUI elements. I'm trying to imagine here how it would look for a non-technical user.

Home Screen
- Plenty of stuff going on here, but it's not overwhelming
- Categorisation by line is neat, colours help differentiate
- "Speed Dial" and "Dial Direct" text does not quite fit on the buttons

Going to watch TV
- Confusing as when I move the cursor to TV I get "not available" in the box next to it
- Click TV, then another GUI comes up. Look is very different. See a flash of another menu then into TV. A bit untidy.
- Hitting the recording list button now takes me into a mythtv menu which replicates the videos page. A bit confusing, as it appears to partially replicate the videos page. TV shows are here but DVDs etc are not.

Suggestions:
1. Mythtv be running in background so that going to TV is quicker and you do not see the "prescaling theme images"
2. Mythtv theme be chosen which looks more like LMCE
3. Would suggest recordings button take you back to videos page but as there are some problems with this I would not recommend at the moment (e.g. in progress recording is not visible on LMCE videos page)


Going to watch a video (first time user, no filters)
- Top of screen is full of videos with title "1001_20071212162003.mpg" etc. Try to delete some but it is tedious to go into the submenu then move cursor over to delete
- Want to watch heroes so press the "GH" button (would be nice to press 4 twice on the remote, like a mobile)
- Episodes all have the same title and same cover art (the channel logo). Would be useful to see subtitle here.
- One by one I go through the episodes and click them, then read subtitle and description until I find the one I want
- Then I have to move the cursor over to "Play" (I'm using a keyboard) and hit it. At first I can't see where these buttons are as they are small and at the bottom left of the screen.

Suggestions:
1. Show subtitle in small text under the title, or merge into title with a colon (:) inbetween. e.g. "Heroes: The Beginning". If people are opposed to this then implementing point 4 would pretty much fix this useability issue.
2. In the submenu for Play/Close/Delete make the cursor hover over play or close by default so I can do something useful with my first button/keypress. Also make these buttons bigger/move to a more obvious place.
3. Not sure where all the "1001_20071212162003.mpg" videos come from?
4. Once you are in the play/close/delete submenu you should be able to cycle through the videos using (obvious) up and down buttons while staying in that view. There is no sense going back to the previous screen if you are just browsing.
5. There should be a disable cover art button/option for the main list which presents media in a table - e.g. Title | Episode | Length | Director etc (fields configurable). There would be space for a small thumbnail


Going to watch a video (using filters for the first time)
- Click options, though the title is not obvious
- Go accross to select "TV Shows only"
- Now not sure how to get back to main screen to see all TV shows
- I see the Search button but it is at the bottom left, so lots of button presses to get there
- Even though I have not typed anything into the search yet there are no TV shows listed (I understand why, but this is different to for example iTunes)
- Type a random letter and get results which include films and TV shows. Still can't figure out how to view all TV shows
- Give up

Suggestions:
1. An ok button at the top right of the options screen should take you back to the list with your filters applied
2. The search button should be under that
3. Consider having search populated with all results before you start searching. Can understand there are arguments both ways here. If point 1 was implemented this would not be necessary anyway
4. Add a search box to top of list on main page. Will search within all videos, or within filtered results if filters have been applied.
5. LMCE should set media type to tv show when saving mythtv recordings (doesn't seem to have for mine)


Going to listen to music
- No obvious way to browse albums. This is how I usually choose my music.
- Go to do a search, but have to press a lot of buttons to get there
- Useful area of search GUI is small, but loads of screen space.
- Search results are a mess, and not possible to see what album a track is on or who it's by
- When I search for "In Utero" I get 4 entries for the album

Suggestions:
1. Album/Artist/Genre buttons at the top or side which change the list type
2. Search box at top of main list
3. Make changes to filters page as suggested for videos
4. Search results in a table form e.g. Track | Artist | Album
5. Table form view also an option for the main screen? e.g. a disable cover art button/option. Fields could be user configurable (e.g. option of track, artist, album, genre, time, year, track no, etc top be visible)


Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Lowspirit on December 22, 2007, 04:11:58 pm
chrisbirkinshaw, Your post is right on the dot. Elitism will bring LinuxMCE down if it's allowed. All people working with any UI aimed at a general public must listen to that public, not their pals within the project. Always ask Your girlfriends mom or a grandparent to play a certain episode of DH and see how they approach the UI. Learn from that. Your personal view as a developer is of NO interest in this. Unless Your plan is to create a system for Yourself and other tech-people. And that is not the case with LinuxMCE. I hope. Face it, the general public is used to sort their multimedia files in a  folder structure. The general public will get irritated and turn elsewhere if they don't understand a new concept. And that would be very sad since LMCE is so promising. I hate geek elitism. It's highly contra productive and probably the sole reason why we are having this discussion. Tech-people should not be allowed to develope UI on their own all.

And... A person posting on this board complaining about not being able to understand the UI has to be allowed to do so. Even if it is a repeat or a re-repeat of another post. As developer of UI You have to appreciate ANY input from the future users of the system, no matter how silly or wrong it might be in Your eyes. Repeats just means the developer is wrong and the general public is right.

I found LinuxMCE a couple of weeks ago, and i love it. I bought a load of hardware and are testing all parts of it. It's great fun! Until now i didn't have a clue about Linux at all, but now i removed Vista and XP on several machines and only run LMCE and Kubuntu. And it works very well for me. I have even built my own thin client using plexiglass, a slaughtered 350W PSU, an  AMD mATX mainboard w. Nvidia 6200 on a risercard. It was cheap. It is very compact and it works excellent! I doubt that i can claim it to be CE-approved, but who cares?

Merry Christmas!

Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on December 22, 2007, 04:28:30 pm
My sentiments EXACTLY. These days people expect to be able to use all but the most advanced functions of a domestic device without referring to a manual. Look at the manuals which ship with Apple products - there's hardly anything there!

Having my girlfriend around really keeps me grounded. Yes, she likes that the lights dim when the TV starts, but she still struggles to get the media on the screen in the first place!

I know there are people working on this project who want to make something useable by the general public, because we have the excellent plug and play support, very intuitive lights and media floorplans, and the easy-peasy install DVD.

And there are all manner of conventions in PVR/MP3 player/DVD player/Media Centre menu systems which, rightly or wrongly, for all their faults, are how people now expect things to work. If it's going to be different to that (encouraged!) then it better be intuitive, beneficial, and very very OBVIOUS!

Chris

ps. I can't program C, so realise I'm going to piss people off by making requests when I'm not seen as contributing. But I have spent days and days getting this system to work, and posting on this forum (hours on this thread alone). Hopefully that's all useful stuff!
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: dopey on December 28, 2007, 02:19:10 am
The only people who get pissed off by these posts are complete morons or just haven't had their cup of coffee yet! This is actually a very old thread. When I re-read it I realized some of the people that were opposed to changing the UI are now they same people who are actively involved in doing just that... there is now a plan to change up the UI (actually build a whole new one) after the release of 0710.

You make some very valid points, most of which I completely agree with.

Suggestions:
1. Mythtv be running in background so that going to TV is quicker and you do not see the "prescaling theme images"
2. Mythtv theme be chosen which looks more like LMCE
3. Would suggest recordings button take you back to videos page but as there are some problems with this I would not recommend at the moment (e.g. in progress recording is not visible on LMCE videos page)

I agree with this one, and I think I've even mentioned your suggestions before, however, the new UI is going to try to better integrate into MythTV and VDR. This would eleminate the need for the MythFrontend entirely as the new UI would simply request what it needs from the MythBackend. I first suggested that we just extend the proven MythFrontend, but the addition of VDR (provides similar dvr functionality) would make this unrealistic. The new UI will now have to seamlessly work with both platforms.

Suggestions:
1. Show subtitle in small text under the title, or merge into title with a colon (:) inbetween. e.g. "Heroes: The Beginning". If people are opposed to this then implementing point 4 would pretty much fix this useability issue.
2. In the submenu for Play/Close/Delete make the cursor hover over play or close by default so I can do something useful with my first button/keypress. Also make these buttons bigger/move to a more obvious place.
3. Not sure where all the "1001_20071212162003.mpg" videos come from?
4. Once you are in the play/close/delete submenu you should be able to cycle through the videos using (obvious) up and down buttons while staying in that view. There is no sense going back to the previous screen if you are just browsing.
5. There should be a disable cover art button/option for the main list which presents media in a table - e.g. Title | Episode | Length | Director etc (fields configurable). There would be space for a small thumbnail

This is one of my biggest frustrations as I pointed out on the first page of this thread. I still think my suggestion of a rolodex type of display, or sub-menus, would be better here (see my original post for details). The "1001_20071212162003.mpg" files are MythTV recordings that for one reason or another have lost there information. This one actually alludes to a problem with your setup. Either a the database got corrupted at some point and it had to remove some entries to repair it, or LinuxMCE hasn't re-scanned the MythTV database after a re-install, or you re-installed without backing up the MythTV database. All the scenarios have actually happened to me while testing. I really love your idea on point 4. That just makes sense...

Suggestions:
1. An ok button at the top right of the options screen should take you back to the list with your filters applied
2. The search button should be under that
3. Consider having search populated with all results before you start searching. Can understand there are arguments both ways here. If point 1 was implemented this would not be necessary anyway
4. Add a search box to top of list on main page. Will search within all videos, or within filtered results if filters have been applied.
5. LMCE should set media type to tv show when saving mythtv recordings (doesn't seem to have for mine)

Suggestions:
1. Album/Artist/Genre buttons at the top or side which change the list type
2. Search box at top of main list
3. Make changes to filters page as suggested for videos
4. Search results in a table form e.g. Track | Artist | Album
5. Table form view also an option for the main screen? e.g. a disable cover art button/option. Fields could be user configurable (e.g. option of track, artist, album, genre, time, year, track no, etc top be visible)

I don't really have anything to add to these, other than you are right and your ideas should be kept in mind when designing the new UI.

P.S. Just because you don't program in C doesn't mean you can't contribute, which you have. Believe me your posts are read by developers and when they are typed in an intelligent manner they are taken to heart and discussed. I invite you to read the following rather large threads: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3344.0 (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3344.0) (be mindful that this one is in the developers forum, but as a developer yourself you are welcome to give input [even if you don't program in C, which isn't uncommon and has been discussed in there too]) and http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3480.msg18454#msg18454 (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3480.msg18454#msg18454) (starting at the relevant post).
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: totallymaxed on December 28, 2007, 03:50:07 pm
Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.

Under 0710 UpdateMedia and ripDiskWrapper.sh now create standard ID3 tags in the ripped files. thes can be read by any other app that understands ID3 tags

So this is a start along the road you are proposing... not the whole solution though.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: dukat on January 14, 2008, 01:45:04 pm
Thank you, chrisbirkinshaw, for getting this discussion in the right direction.

While I also sense a lot of potential in LMCE, I'm often taken back by some harsh replies I read here in the forums. I hope this discussion will make LMCE evolve much better into "real" usability!
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: PetRose on April 25, 2008, 11:54:29 pm
Agree,
Standards, already there should be obeyed if possible and without sacrificing functionality ;)
Have a look at the IPTC standard:
http://www.iptc.org/pages/index.php
which no longer are related to photos-only.
Here you get the framework- and now editors to batch edit metadata is available - and still on top of flat file systems to keep the performance.

Cheers
Peter

Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: golgoj4 on April 26, 2008, 06:03:12 pm
Anyone in this thread been tracking the HA Designer screencasts? any new ideas?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: erasmix on April 26, 2008, 06:42:14 pm
Hello,

I'd like to use this thread to advocate for a better media browsing solution. I'm relatively new to LinuxMCE, but I've been using a MacMini with FrontRow, for two years, to navigate my media collection. I have 1100+ (and growing) video files in divX, XviD, avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, and others. FronRow is the only reason why so many people bought the mac to use it as a media center.

I find LinuxMCE MUCH MORE robust in the sense that it doesn't crash/hang as easily as the mac. However there is no equivalent to FrontRow to navigate a complex media tree. All my files (no matter how I sort them) are shown on a flat list, which makes them unmanageable. In my opinion this is the most important feature LinuxMCE is missing.

I recently bought new hardware just to run LinuxMCE, so I'm fully committed to make it work. Eventually I want to replace MacOS and install LinuxMCE on the Mac too.

Erasmo.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: golgoj4 on April 27, 2008, 02:21:52 am
Hello,

I'd like to use this thread to advocate for a better media browsing solution. I'm relatively new to LinuxMCE, but I've been using a MacMini with FrontRow, for two years, to navigate my media collection. I have 1100+ (and growing) video files in divX, XviD, avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, and others. FronRow is the only reason why so many people bought the mac to use it as a media center.

I find LinuxMCE MUCH MORE robust in the sense that it doesn't crash/hang as easily as the mac. However there is no equivalent to FrontRow to navigate a complex media tree. All my files (no matter how I sort them) are shown on a flat list, which makes them unmanageable. In my opinion this is the most important feature LinuxMCE is missing.

I recently bought new hardware just to run LinuxMCE, so I'm fully committed to make it work. Eventually I want to replace MacOS and install LinuxMCE on the Mac too.

Erasmo.

It not advocates we need so much as people who are willing to take on the task and DO it. People are working on a lot of things. So jump in  ;D
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: erasmix on April 27, 2008, 06:54:09 am
C'mon, you don't need me to jump in to code (I'm not a coder). For what I could read on this thread, there is plenty of people that wants to work on LinuxMCE. I bring more value as a user/tester  :D and even, yes, as an advocate  ::)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on April 27, 2008, 07:52:41 am
erasmix - I have already responded on your other thread. LMCE already does the file/folder heirarchy view and always has. It just isn't working on your system. Fix that and this issue will go away.

And read more! You'll find that all those other people asking for the same thing, you mentioned, were all equally mistaken thinking it couldn't do it as well. It can, it just defaults to Sort by Title rather than Sort by Filename. They just needed to change that in the menu and away they went. Your issue is obviously deeper, and likely to do with the way you added the share initially.

The responses you get can be quite terse on something like this because people have had to answer the same question time and time again, as people don't search first to look for the simple answer to their question (albeit I acknowledge yours is a different issue, and a genuine one!)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: erasmix on April 27, 2008, 08:16:38 am
Yes Collin, and I'm sorry. I made this post before your answer came in on the other topic. Right now I'm doing a clean install and will give it another shot. I sincerely appreciate your help :)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on April 27, 2008, 03:03:57 pm
no worries - I see that you mention your share is on the external network, which would certainly limit the autodiscovery functions! Either way, NFS is not my thing - Roy knows all about that stuff, and it seems like he is giving you a hand, so good luck!
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: wombiroller on May 14, 2008, 04:14:56 am
right now, the only way is to go into the media files sync, and adjust the attributes of each individually..this is why I want to rewrite it.

-Thom


FWIW IMHO - this would be a key for people migrating existing data or linking to a NAS (which a bunch of rips).

I am browsing via filename currently (which is fine) - mainly because I can't be bothered editing all the attributes via the admin tool... one by one... by one...

Thanks Thom  ;D
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on May 15, 2008, 12:15:24 am
If you just want to edit the attributes, you can do this in any mp3 id3 tag editor, or even in the properties of the files in Windows. This will embed the attributes into the files, then UpdateMedia will come along and bring them all into the database. Much easier than using the web admin....
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: rodercot on May 29, 2008, 02:51:45 pm
Has anyone looked at My Movies, It is now a full database online with User Contribution it is a back end/front end solution. currently for windows but does run on SQL has support for DVD, Hd, BD, TV series, specials, server, client relationship and they are looking right now to port to other apps. I have posted a little something on there feature request forum. I have been a user since it,s began and I have upgraded my system along the way so all my movies are still catalogued in the MM database even though I switched to XBMC on an xbox.  http://www.mymovies.dk/home.aspx

 I setup my NAS on my external newtwork (hint add the IP and the MAC address when adding it as a device) It scanned all my music and movies 9 drives - My Music is all FLAK ripped from the CD and recoded with EAC to best way, Id3 embedded and then all my movies are VOB again ripped from the original. It synced all my data into the Other/ directory as it is suppose to. NO cover art and no metadata even though the cover art and data is embedded. My Movies have their cover art in the same folder as the movie with folder.jpg and no cover art is displayed - This is just an FYI. It did not find the art as supposed to. I am fixing that now.

 Rgds,
 
 Dave in Canada
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: nite_man on August 04, 2008, 05:39:31 pm
Try sorting by filename instead of title.

It it possible to use that sort option as default? Because each time after reboot my core/hybrid I have to choose it again.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on August 05, 2008, 07:10:20 am
No. Same when you reload the router - very annoying. I logged a mantis on this months ago, but it hasn't gone anywhere yet, understandably low on the priority list :)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: nite_man on August 05, 2008, 08:34:19 am
No. Same when you reload the router - very annoying. I logged a mantis on this months ago, but it hasn't gone anywhere yet, understandably low on the priority list :)

That's very said :(  I don't think that it's difficult to do. Will dig the code :)
Title: Re: just jumping in
Post by: indulis on September 08, 2008, 04:00:44 am

It not advocates we need so much as people who are willing to take on the task and DO it. People are working on a lot of things. So jump in  ;D

Working involves not just coding but updating wikis, writing documentation, and also spending the time to document issues back to the developers so that they can improve things.  I have spent a LOT of time investigating the horrid area of Linux compatible TV tuners, and have documented my findings back to the linuxtv wiki.  I personally think this is also useful work.

I have to agree with other people on this forum, it seems that there is a "hair trigger" mentality here.  It is not really what I would class as a friendly forum, I get the feeling you have to be careful what you say or you will get crisped to a cinder.  Sometimes just for reiterating or agreeing with what someone else has commented on.  Definitely not the tone of say the Oztivo mailing list (where the same Qs get asked a lot of times but always get patiently answered, and yes I did my share of this tedious replying when I had a hacked TiVo), or the Mythtv forums.

I work with large UNIX computer systems (banks, retail etc).  K-Mart do rollouts of new systems or upgrades to their stores.  They have pilot rolllout stores where they test their procedures for installation/upgrades by having the store personnel carry out the process.  The rule is that if the user breaks the install/upgrade, then it is the fault of the developers, and it goes back for more bullet-proofing.  Same should be true of usability- the fact that people are complaining about the same thing many times says that it is an issue and needs to be fixed.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on September 08, 2008, 05:22:43 am
Not sure where you are going with the Kmart story, you certainly can't compare a commercial project with a OSS project in that way for what should be obvious reasons.

It is certainly true that some get overly worked up in this forum, but frankly that is hardly unusual for forums generally. You will find many regulars still posting (patiently) the same answers to the same questions all through the forum. The answer is, just don't get precious about the odd rude comment and don't return fire. But most importantly, try to avoid these situations by doing at least a modicum of searching and research before posting a question - it really is inconsiderate to ask a question that has been answered many times already - basically it says, I'm too lazy to look and I expect existing forum members to spoon feed me! And THAT is common to all forums.

Yes, doing documentation, wikis, bug report, etc is all helping the project, at the same time the real hard work is the coding!
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: indulis on September 08, 2008, 10:46:45 am
Not sure where you are going with the Kmart story, you certainly can't compare a commercial project with a OSS project in that way for what should be obvious reasons.

...

Yes, doing documentation, wikis, bug report, etc is all helping the project, at the same time the real hard work is the coding!

Kmart story was to say don't blame the users for complaining if something gives them pain.  "The end user is right" is not always true but gives you a reason to at least consider that they might be.

And yes I think everyone recognises that the coding is long hard work, but rewarding. I have done some coding so know the late nights and the hair-tearing with bugs.  The documentation and wikis etc are tedious and are not rewarding in the same way.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Monkgs on September 08, 2008, 06:06:02 pm
And yes I think everyone recognises that the coding is long hard work, but rewarding. I have done some coding so know the late nights and the hair-tearing with bugs.  The documentation and wikis etc are tedious and are not rewarding in the same way.

What's your point?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on September 10, 2008, 01:55:47 am
The point is, obviously, that we should be grateful for the people who don't code but write documentation, because lets face it nobody wants to write documentation! I work for a software company and it's easy to get a patch, but you try and get release notes, or an updated install guide, and you're in trouble! ;-)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: indulis on September 12, 2008, 08:27:11 pm
Thanks Chris. Exactly my point.  That contribution of time and effort is time and effort no matter which part of the project it is being done for.

Back  OT, I am also not a fan of filesystems being the storage/search paradigm for a media UI.  The database with search is potentially a better way to go if done right.

Noone wants their mp3 library to be accessed by directory sorted alphabetically by album name, so Linuxmce should naturally fall in more with the "mp3 media library" model.

I think the trick would be to give users a hierarchical set of predefined searches for things like "by series-by date" which could be easily navigated.  Then the option to create additional searches.

I think that would satisfy everyone.  ???
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 12, 2008, 08:34:07 pm
This has been hashed over and over again, repeatedly.

But honestly, the way we have it STORED, is the right way to do it. The entire view is constructed on the fly in response to what needs to be shown in the view.

Where we fall short, and these are being addressed, is in these areas:

* Proper tagging of media. This system lives and dies by it. If you don't have any of your media tagged, of course it's going to be one big blob flat mess.
* more effective viewing of media that has a common title, but differing subtitles and discs, again, we have the code in the media plugin to handle this, it just needs to be dealt with.
* more effective visual cues as to which filter options are being selected. Right now, you can't tell if unviewed/viewed media is selected. This is a bug. There are a few others, but this is the gist of it...

Keep in mind too, that you  can select the black boxes on the details page, to turn on a filter for a given attribute.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: nite_man on September 22, 2008, 09:02:14 am
Sure, proper tagging of media content will help to organize media library much much better. But it'd be nice to have possibility to store search preferences and use them when the LinuxMCE is up instead of default ones. Also I think  it'd be nice to use IMDB to get movie info together with Amazon. Its database is bigger and it provides more useful info. Will see how to implement it.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on September 22, 2008, 05:06:59 pm
...like how XBMC has been doing it for years now...  ;)
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 22, 2008, 05:31:08 pm
The issue isn't as simple as that. We have to be able to identify discs that are inserted too. Can't use IMDB or Amazon for that. *hmm* this issue keeps coming up, and I keep explaining it, and people don't seem to listen.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: hari on September 22, 2008, 06:11:40 pm
...like how XBMC has been doing it for years now...  ;)
Maybe you want to add a method to store those settings via the general info plugin or some other way?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on September 22, 2008, 07:02:02 pm
Hari, can you explain how the current player is hooked into LMCE?  Could the player be replaced or is it hardcoded into LMCE? 
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on September 22, 2008, 07:19:02 pm
The entire architecture is modular, and is designed to replicate house-wide.

You need to read up on DCE on the wiki, but the gist of it is:

* DCE Plugins attach to the Media Plugin to handle stream management and typing, these run on the router and provide the stream data house-wide. These send messages to Players to start a media stream etc.
* DCE Players, run on each media director or target device, and provide the necessary bits to do the work.

The most common player is the Xine_Player, which wraps libxine, but instead of xine-gui, a DCE interface is exposed.

All of this is handled by the Media_Plugin's MediaHandler class (MH Play/Stop/Move Media, etc.), and does all the necessary messaging to bound orbiters in a room to update their displays accordingly.

You'll need to look at the source code a bit more, but I can answer questions on the architecture.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: nite_man on September 22, 2008, 08:13:10 pm
The issue isn't as simple as that. We have to be able to identify discs that are inserted too. Can't use IMDB or Amazon for that. *hmm* this issue keeps coming up, and I keep explaining it, and people don't seem to listen.

-Thom


Sorry for not clear explanation. I talked about admin web interface and not about getting info on the fly when disc is inserted.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: nite_man on October 06, 2008, 04:35:03 pm
I have over a thousand movies in my library, and twice that in my CD collection that i have imported in, and I am able to very quickly find what i'm looking for.

Thom, I'll be very appreciated to you for a few screenshots which show your conception of media library organization. If it's possible, of  course.

TIA
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on October 12, 2008, 02:15:32 pm
I have over a thousand movies in my library, and twice that in my CD collection that i have imported in, and I am able to very quickly find what i'm looking for.

Thom, I'll be very appreciated to you for a few screenshots which show your conception of media library organization. If it's possible, of  course.

TIA

Yes, it would be great to have on the wiki a step by step guide to media organisation, to include tagging and searching, playing etc. That way when someone whinges about the interface, rather than just telling them to "F%&K off , it's fine as it is!", it would be possible to helpfully point them to a URL on the Wiki. Perhaps they might even then be converted and see its merits!

If you can send some screenshots (as I'm currently useless at finding my media too) I can put some words around it and make some pages.

Chris


Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Glasswalker on November 28, 2008, 09:27:52 pm
I'll just throw my 2 cents in here too, (and beat the dead horse a few more times lol) :)

I think the media browser in lmce is actually very nice, with a few minor issues (as thom has pointed out above). One of which is tv episode browsing that causes me some pain lol...

Anyway, but yeah the big pain point for most people is tagging their media. Without tagging, any nice media browsing system is useless (short of file folder browsing). Properly tagged media is key to a nice clean media browsing experience (a perfect example of this is what is accepted by many as one of the most intuitive music browsing interfaces around, that is the ipod/itunes). Without proper tagging, the ipod is useless. Luckily music bought through itunes is pre-tagged (and most downloaded music is at least partially tagged).

To this end I have re-written a chunk of media tagging code in LMCE web admin, it helps with tagging files in large volumes. It also has some nice functions specifically targetted at tagging tv episodes.

Anyway, check out my thread at http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6571.0 (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6571.0)

It still has some minor issues but I'm working on it. Hopefully when I get the bugs ironed out (mostly relating to flac files) it will get merged into the 0810 release of LMCE.

Anyway, hope this helps some of you.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: golgoj4 on November 30, 2008, 09:27:57 pm
Sure, proper tagging of media content will help to organize media library much much better. But it'd be nice to have possibility to store search preferences and use them when the LinuxMCE is up instead of default ones. Also I think  it'd be nice to use IMDB to get movie info together with Amazon. Its database is bigger and it provides more useful info. Will see how to implement it.

xbmc uses a site called tvdb.org to grab tv show info. Frankly, i suck at coding. All my attempts so far have failed horribly to integrate this and while im not giving up, it would be nice if someone smarter than me looked at this and told me if im pissing in the wind or not.

http://www.thetvdb.com/ the site

http://www.thetvdb.com/wiki/index.php?title=Programmers_API

Ive gone ahead and registered so that i could start testing You can pm me for the api key if you want it.


Right now i see a manual lookup similar to the current one we use for discs. I really want to get this going but work and shrinking free time have really limited the time i can invest atm :(

About IMDB:

Imdb I looked into a while ago, but i believe the cost was around $15,000 us to get a static copy, and from what I could tell they were not into creating an api for other users. We could in theory approach them with a proposal to allow some sort of api just for us, but I dont see that as realistic without it being heavily branded and clustered with ads.

Also, someone mentioned that we should attempt to find more international sources for media, but i havent really been able to identify anything close to imdb as of yet.

-golgoj4
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on November 30, 2008, 09:30:07 pm
TV lookups would essentially be handled in MythTV_Plugin..but..why? MythTV does a good job of this, already.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: golgoj4 on November 30, 2008, 11:58:55 pm
TV lookups would essentially be handled in MythTV_Plugin..but..why? MythTV does a good job of this, already.

-Thom


I was thinking of existing shows that were acquired through other sources. Podcasts, Amazon eps, etc. You are absolutely correct that myth does it now. I actually copy the id3's over to my archive directories to use with torrents i download. I generally watch it live or close to live with myth, but my picture quality is a lot worse than what I can dl.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: skeptic on December 03, 2008, 12:34:12 am
Just for another view of how someone may do things..  I rip all my movies and TV series DVDs on my non-LMCE desktop.  I prefer having just the movie, not a full DVD image with menus and such.  I also like using H.264 instead of mpeg-2 for the huge disk space savings.  Unfortunately that means when I copy the videos to LMCE I have to tag each and every one.  The occasional movie isn't so bad, but any improvements (ie - automatic filling in of genre from a search, I don't think it's possible using Amazon) would be fantastic.  The real hassle comes when I buy a TV series.  For example, I have all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 at ~22 episodes each.  That's a lot of individual videos to manually search for, often changing the title, adding a genre, adding episode info (which I usually skip), setting media type, etc.

Not a complaint or a demand to be fixed, just some info on how I and possibly others use the system when looking at ways to improve the end user experience.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Afkpuz on December 08, 2008, 10:03:36 pm
I'd just like to throw my lot in with Thom and the others.  At first, I didn't understand those filters and didn't have my media tagged properly.  Thus, I was very frustrated at first with the browser.  If I had made any posts, they would have looked like some of the frustrated posts in this thread.  I then watched a screencast made by Thom about media navigation.  After getting all my media tagged properly and adding album art to it all, I now quite enjoy the media browser.  I'm getting very good at finding exactly what I want.  And from the looks of it, that pesky issue of tv episodes/seasons/discs is being worked on.  So my advice guys is three fold.

1.) Tag your media.  It'll take a long time, but once it's done, you're golden.  then, tagging new media will be quick and easy.

2.) Learn how to use the media browser
Watch this screencast by Thom to help http://www.localeconcept.com/pub/Using_Media_in_LinuxMCE_part_1.ogg

3.) Know that changes are being made and do what you can to help
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 09, 2008, 03:16:58 pm
I agree that tagging media properly yields the most powerful search functionality, but I'd just like to toss a suggestion out there to see what people think and to see if it is possible.  Media centers I've used in the passed rely on a naming convention for your files, you can then choose to update your database and a parser will run against various sites like IMDB, etc. based on the naming convention and pull down the information for that specific file.  This effectively automates the tedious process of tagging everything.  Is it possible to apply this same concept to LMCE and let it go find the data based on a naming convention and tag our media for us?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: hari on December 10, 2008, 03:43:13 pm
in the meantime there are tools like easytag that are optimized for such actions.

br, Hari
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 18, 2008, 10:19:35 pm
I know this has been hashed over before, but I'd like to bring this up for serious discussion about the pros and cons of this.  Wouldn't it be simpler to integrate xbmc to handle media management/playback?  Their entire infrastructure is based around handling media and making it a simple and painless process for users.  They are, however, not interested in home automation at all so it is not a viable solution for me as far as a whole house aspect goes.  LMCE is only just now getting the tagging of media automated whereas xbmc already has this technique implemented, polished, and perfected.  They have now a MythTV client so the myth backend can run in the background and xbmc can provide the frontend to LMCE.  The biggest bonus I see is that it also adds some option for people who might not like the way things are done in MythTV because XBMC's developers have stated numerous times that their software is a client, and their TV frontend which is currently under development is being designed to work with any backend be it an HDHomerun, MediaPortal, MythTV, or any of the other client/server architecture options out there.  This gives the LMCE end user's options and potentially much less painful setups as they could slap the Hauppauge HDPVR card that has only beta drivers for Linux in a Windows box and maintain full support right now.  Of course that is just an example of how I see it being beneficial, perhaps I'm missing some other element, but instead of incorporating both Myth and VDR and maintaining both, wouldn't it be simpler and more robust to implement XBMC and let their developers deal with the rest?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: cirion on December 18, 2008, 10:54:39 pm
Ouch...

los93sol, do you even understand what LMCE is?
I must say Xbmc looks nice, and I know a lot of other systems that are easier to work with than LMCE when only thinking of a PC connected to my TV.

But LMCE has a big error in it's name... The MCE part is what fools a lot of people in thinking it's just a Media Center Edition for Linux. I should have been called Linux Smarthouse or something similar. The original designers called it Pluto Home and they still make and sell it by that name. Media on a TV is just a small % of what LMCE was intended for when the designers made it.

What you want, is to destroy whatever LMCE is, and make it work on a PC on your TV with XBMC's UI and still have all the magic that is LMCE in the background. What do you want to do with all the other supported hardware's... Can XBMC be used on a PDA, Web pad, Mobile, Web browser and so on? How can those devices both control LMCE and XBMC. How does the UI control my house?

Who should develop the integration? Do you want to do it? Can you do it? Why do you think the XBMC integration would be easy?

What I think can be done with XBMC is to use it as a frontend on a standalone PC, and connect the shares from the LMCE server. That would be easy to do, and you can do it now. The server would still be able to do all the LMCE magic, and you have your XBMC frontend on your TV. But replacing today's UI with that of XBMC would require a lot of work that none of the developers here would want to do... They already have enough developing to do as the system is now.

I would love to se an improvement on the UI on my TV and media organization, and I that will come in time. I don't think XBMC will ever be able to replace LMCE's UI.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on December 19, 2008, 12:16:29 am
In short. no.

We would have a humongous overlap in UI aspects, amongst other things. We have a far superior system that just needs to be debugged.

I've already been over this repeatedly, so I will not repeat myself.

There is absolutely zero upside in doing this.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 19, 2008, 12:55:33 pm
Ouch...

los93sol, do you even understand what LMCE is?
I must say Xbmc looks nice, and I know a lot of other systems that are easier to work with than LMCE when only thinking of a PC connected to my TV.

But LMCE has a big error in it's name... The MCE part is what fools a lot of people in thinking it's just a Media Center Edition for Linux. I should have been called Linux Smarthouse or something similar. The original designers called it Pluto Home and they still make and sell it by that name. Media on a TV is just a small % of what LMCE was intended for when the designers made it.

What you want, is to destroy whatever LMCE is, and make it work on a PC on your TV with XBMC's UI and still have all the magic that is LMCE in the background. What do you want to do with all the other supported hardware's... Can XBMC be used on a PDA, Web pad, Mobile, Web browser and so on? How can those devices both control LMCE and XBMC. How does the UI control my house?

Who should develop the integration? Do you want to do it? Can you do it? Why do you think the XBMC integration would be easy?

What I think can be done with XBMC is to use it as a frontend on a standalone PC, and connect the shares from the LMCE server. That would be easy to do, and you can do it now. The server would still be able to do all the LMCE magic, and you have your XBMC frontend on your TV. But replacing today's UI with that of XBMC would require a lot of work that none of the developers here would want to do... They already have enough developing to do as the system is now.

I would love to se an improvement on the UI on my TV and media organization, and I that will come in time. I don't think XBMC will ever be able to replace LMCE's UI.

I'm not sure how you interpretted my post, but I'm only suggesting to run MythTV's backend in the background and to use XBMC as a frontend for it and any other TV backends as well as letting XBMC handle media and pictures whether than recreating the wheel to end up at the result that is already there.  To Thom's point though, I understand there are several issues with the UI integration.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on December 19, 2008, 11:08:01 pm
Ouch...

los93sol, do you even understand what LMCE is?
I must say Xbmc looks nice, and I know a lot of other systems that are easier to work with than LMCE when only thinking of a PC connected to my TV.

But LMCE has a big error in it's name... The MCE part is what fools a lot of people in thinking it's just a Media Center Edition for Linux. I should have been called Linux Smarthouse or something similar. The original designers called it Pluto Home and they still make and sell it by that name. Media on a TV is just a small % of what LMCE was intended for when the designers made it.

What you want, is to destroy whatever LMCE is, and make it work on a PC on your TV with XBMC's UI and still have all the magic that is LMCE in the background. What do you want to do with all the other supported hardware's... Can XBMC be used on a PDA, Web pad, Mobile, Web browser and so on? How can those devices both control LMCE and XBMC. How does the UI control my house?

Who should develop the integration? Do you want to do it? Can you do it? Why do you think the XBMC integration would be easy?

What I think can be done with XBMC is to use it as a frontend on a standalone PC, and connect the shares from the LMCE server. That would be easy to do, and you can do it now. The server would still be able to do all the LMCE magic, and you have your XBMC frontend on your TV. But replacing today's UI with that of XBMC would require a lot of work that none of the developers here would want to do... They already have enough developing to do as the system is now.

I would love to se an improvement on the UI on my TV and media organization, and I that will come in time. I don't think XBMC will ever be able to replace LMCE's UI.

I'm not sure how you interpretted my post, but I'm only suggesting to run MythTV's backend in the background and to use XBMC as a frontend for it and any other TV backends as well as letting XBMC handle media and pictures whether than recreating the wheel to end up at the result that is already there.  To Thom's point though, I understand there are several issues with the UI integration.

Write a DCE Wrapper for the XBMC UI, add the Orbiter logic to handle all the other stuff then make it an option to the orbiter during install... Really there is nothing stopping someone adding a new UI in parallel by making it a DCE device, so that send/receive the necessary DCE messages just like the current orbiter does.

but I think you will find (as Thom among others has pointed out many times in the past) that all the additional logic that the orbiter provides for intelligence, plus its communications interface through DCE would be a truly massive undertaking (much more so than the UI itself), and even if you achieved this, it would leave us taking a step backwards in terms of device-independence for the UI. The Orbiter/HAD is designed so that a common design can be used across all interface devices whether PC, PDA, mobile, VoIP phone, web browser, etc.... but I thought you had already looked into this and had moved on from this question??
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 20, 2008, 01:55:00 pm
I have already looked at Orbiter/HAD and do understand the issue with the UI.  I do not understand what you mean by device independence though as I don't see the difference between xbmc's ui being visible and mythtv's UI being visible.  XBMC is far more powerful as a frontend than the Myth frontend which is how I ended up back at this again.  I guess I'm not fully understanding some of the terminology being used in this discussion.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: chrisbirkinshaw on December 20, 2008, 02:54:23 pm
I think that to simplify things you could say:

Work required to integrate XBMC interface for all devices > (is bigger than) work required to improve LMCE media interface

So lets direct that effort at improving what we already have.

Regards,

Chris
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: colinjones on December 20, 2008, 04:34:29 pm
An even simpler way of looking at it is - how will you get the XBMC GUI engine doing graphics on a Nokia N70 mobile phone? And a Cisco VoIP hardphone? And a generic java capable web pad? etc, etc...

They simply don't have the capabilities to do the kind of graphics you are talking about. Thus you would need to develop completely separate UIs for different devices (ie not device independent UI) That is what is trying to be avoided. And that was the subject of the "UI3" discussion some time ago.

There are plenty of graphics engines we could use, but there needs to be some way of ensuring that if a more sophisticated one is used for the on screen orbiter, that any UI developed will work across all devices without having to build different interface for each. The current system allows this to happen pretty transparently as long as you have a PC, a web enabled device, a Symbian enabled device, a Java enabled device, etc...
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 20, 2008, 06:32:37 pm
The same way it's done with Myth.  Creating XBMC skins is a breeze and something I'm highly experienced in...I did all of the original MC360 xml work for that skin.  Check out Team Blackbolt as a reference of my experience.  Anyways, the point is that you don't have to have all the flash that most XBMC skins do and I can create a skin with it that would work across all orbiter variations quickly and easily.  Within a month I could do complete ground up builds for all variations, and that would be complete custom builds to suit each device.  I understand the one size fits all mentality, but it does not work for UI's, that's why HAD has variations.  XBMC implements a fall through system that could be adapted for the purpose of variations with minimal work.  Would it make a difference to anyone if I go ahead and do a XBMC skin to match LMCE and in a format that is compatible across all orbiter variants?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: tschak909 on December 20, 2008, 06:46:34 pm
Do what you gotta do, but this is not something I am interested in at all.

-Thom
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on December 21, 2008, 09:49:03 am
...like how XBMC has been doing it for years now...  ;)
...
Within a month I could do complete ground up builds for all variations, and that would be complete custom builds to suit each device. 
...

Seems to me like you've had more then ample opportunity to put your money where your mouth is these past three months. 
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 21, 2008, 07:56:15 pm
Sure have, I want to clarify though that where I mentioned doing builds for the variations I was talking about using XBMC's engine.  I also asked if it would help anyone if I went ahead and made a skin to make it match LMCE's current UI.  I really have played with HAD and am not sold on it after working with it.  I can do the same things...well...much more even with XBMC's engine in a fraction of the time it takes to make even small changes in HAD.  I don't have endless hours to skin for LMCE so HAD is pretty much out for me until it's functionality is improved.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on December 21, 2008, 08:27:52 pm
That's really nice and all, but what good would having an lmce skin for xbmc exactly do us?
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 21, 2008, 08:34:12 pm
I don't have the skillset to integrate XBMC myself, but I am able to help with this effort.  I can make the skin match LMCE's which would be better integration then is available currently with MythTV.  Again, MythTV's backend would need to remain intact, but the frontend can be replaced by XBMC
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: Zaerc on December 21, 2008, 08:56:57 pm
So this xbmc skin would then replace the mythtv frontend UI... that we want to get rid of anyway.
Title: Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
Post by: los93sol on December 21, 2008, 09:07:58 pm
yes, I think the real key is the reason for wanting to integrate it.  It gives users more options for other backend solutions other than MythTV.  It would also make it easier for people to migrate to LMCE by allowing them to try it and start using it before scrapping their current builds.