Author Topic: Export template for J River Media Center  (Read 11227 times)

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Offline raldo

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Export template for J River Media Center
« on: March 25, 2009, 05:30:36 pm »
I don't know if anyone here uses J River Media Center (http://www.jrmediacenter.com/), but here is an export template that will output to an MPL file. MPL is the main database format that Media Center (MC) uses. MC is great as an organisational/playback/home theatre setup, but lacks online metadata lookup for movies, so this is where PVD comes in for me Smiley

First of all, set up the export template in PVD-
go to tools > preferences > plugins > plain text/export > add > (call it what you want) > and then copy and pase the following:
[...]

When exporting using this method, each movie record results in one exported record. When a movie/record contains multiple files, the filename is comprised of pipe "|" separated filenames.

Is there a way using export templates to ouptput multiple export records where each record represents only one file?

The reason why I'm asking, is that on the J. River MC side, the MPL file is imported incorrectly for movies with multiple files.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 03:52:10 am by rick.ca »

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 09:55:48 pm »
Quote
Is there a way using export templates to output multiple export records where each record represents only one file?

It's been a while since I've done this, but I have a vague recollection I had to edit the export file to deal with this. I suppose the easiest way to do that is to eliminate all but the first file reference—perhaps it's not necessary to tag all the files of a multiple file movie in MC.

BTW, what version of PVD are you using? Are you using darichman's script, or have you updated for use with 0.9.9.4?

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 11:32:06 pm »
PVD: 0.9.8.20
script: 0.5.0.6

Why?

Using just one filepath would naturally solve the problem to a certain extent, as you explain. It would be a lot of manual work, though.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 12:21:41 am »
Quote
Why?

No reason, now that I remind myself the export function doesn't yet work in the 0.9.9.4 (it needs to be updated in respect of how fields are now referenced by name). I knew there was some reason why I hadn't done this in a while. :-\  It seems to be a snail's race between that getting done, an MC improving Theater View so the data is actually worth having there.

Quote
It would be a lot of manual work, though.

It would require a text editor that uses regex, and the regex for finding and deleting the text between the first "|" and "</" of the filename tag.

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 08:53:26 am »
[...]
It would require a text editor that uses regex, and the regex for finding and deleting the text between the first "|" and "</" of the filename tag.

Yes, that's possible. Still, It's cumbersome.

It's a pity because I have a setup that's relatively simple to use now:

Open PVD, search folders and export. The export launches a batch file which again launches MC with import playlist command line options. Done.


Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 10:06:57 am »
Rick.ca:

There has been a lot of discussion on the JRMC forums regarding feasible methods on obtaining meta data for video.

What, would you say, is the possibility of somehow more closely integrating PVD with MC?

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 11:42:14 am »
Quote
It's a pity because I have a setup that's relatively simple to use now.

That's slick. Would you like to share your routine? I'm also curious about how you handle the list fields.

Quote
What, would you say, is the possibility of somehow more closely integrating PVD with MC?

Except for the problem you mention, it sounds like you've come pretty close to an ideal. Even if it has to be done manually, it only takes a few minutes. Beyond that, I can only offer some conflicting thoughts...

Since PVD uses a Firebird database, there's a possibility of the data being pulled directly from the database. This would probably be child's play for MC developers, but they're not going to do it for a handful of users using PVD.

Most people willing to make the effort to collect the information are going to use custom fields, use standard fields for other uses, and have differing preferences as to how data elements are handled in PVD and MC. Accommodating all the possible variations makes closer integration more difficult. In fact, with this in mind, the flexibility of exporting to XML starts to look pretty good.

A user with sufficient programming knowledge could write an application that reads the database and writes a MPL file. The advantage of that is it could be scheduled to run at regular intervals, and MC could be configured to import it regularly. The fact that both the export and import would run automatically would make it seem the two applications were integrated.

While it doesn't seem like a big deal, there is user data created in MC (e.g., date played, rating) that has no way of being recorded (automatically) in PVD. As a practical matter, I suppose the best way to deal with such things is to import the PVD counterparts into separate fields—for comparison to the MC values. In MC you would have the choice of displaying one, the other, or a calculated result, and would be able to report at any time what needs to be updated in PVD to bring it in sync.

Regardless of the integration issues, I'm convinced MC will never have an information gathering ability of it's own that will come close to what PVD can do. So, hopefully, we can work through the integration issues. Meanwhile, I'm enjoy using PVD with my "Theater View" skin to "collect, organize and play" my movies. ;)

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 01:27:42 pm »
[...]
That's slick. Would you like to share your routine? I'm also curious about how you handle the list fields.
[...]

I'll post the scripts when I get back home later on today.

I assume you're talking about semi colon (after replace in output script) delimited fields? I have posted some suggestions over at the mc forums regarding this.  http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=51208.0. It'll be interesting to see if for example "Director" (MC) will be changed to accomodate this.

[...]
Except for the problem you mention, it sounds like you've come pretty close to an ideal. Even if it has to be done manually, it only takes a few minutes. Beyond that, I can only offer some conflicting thoughts...

Since PVD uses a Firebird database, there's a possibility of the data being pulled directly from the database. This would probably be child's play for MC developers, but they're not going to do it for a handful of users using PVD.

Most people willing to make the effort to collect the information are going to use custom fields, use standard fields for other uses, and have differing preferences as to how data elements are handled in PVD and MC. Accommodating all the possible variations makes closer integration more difficult. In fact, with this in mind, the flexibility of exporting to XML starts to look pretty good.

A user with sufficient programming knowledge could write an application that reads the database and writes a MPL file. The advantage of that is it could be scheduled to run at regular intervals, and MC could be configured to import it regularly. The fact that both the export and import would run automatically would make it seem the two applications were integrated.

While it doesn't seem like a big deal, there is user data created in MC (e.g., date played, rating) that has no way of being recorded (automatically) in PVD. As a practical matter, I suppose the best way to deal with such things is to import the PVD counterparts into separate fields—for comparison to the MC values. In MC you would have the choice of displaying one, the other, or a calculated result, and would be able to report at any time what needs to be updated in PVD to bring it in sync.

Regardless of the integration issues, I'm convinced MC will never have an information gathering ability of it's own that will come close to what PVD can do. So, hopefully, we can work through the integration issues. Meanwhile, I'm enjoy using PVD with my "Theater View" skin to "collect, organize and play" my movies. ;)

But what about the following solution which requires "smaller" changes on the PVD side? And practically NO changes on the JRMC side:
o Use send to external in MC (with filename as parameter) to pass parameters to PVD (Similar to how JRMC can receive parameters)
o Implement a silent mode on the PVD side, where search, update and export are done "behind the curtains".
o PVD's export function "runs" the exported MPL file
o  -- OR even better: PVD sends a core command to MC with mpl filename attached. Doesn't require OS to trigger import
o JRMC dialog pops up when import has finished.


Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 06:31:22 pm »
[...]Would you like to share your routine? [...]

Export template:
Code: [Select]
%OPTIONS%
replace="&<->&amp;"
replace="<<->&lt;"
replace="><->&gt;"
replace=",<->;"
filter="MPL Files|*.mpl"
encoding="UTF8"
%OPTIONS%
%HEAD%
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<MPL Version="2.0" Title="PVD->MC Export file">
%HEAD%
<Item>
{%value=27 template="pages\files.ptm"}
<Field Name="Year">{%value=5}</Field>
<Field Name="Genre">{%value=44}</Field>
<Field Name="MPAA Rating">{%value=6}</Field>
<Field Name="Actors">{%value=52}</Field>
<Field Name="Director">{%value=53}</Field>
<Field Name="Producer">{%value=56}</Field>
<Field Name="Screenwriter">{%value=54}</Field>
<Field Name="Original Title">{%value=3}</Field>
<Field Name="Country">{%value=45}</Field>
<Field Name="Tag Line">{%value=14}</Field>
<Field Name="Studios">{%value=50}</Field>
<Field Name="Description">{%value=15}</Field>
<Field Name="Season">{%value=42}</Field>
<Field Name="Episode">{%value=41}</Field>
<Field Name="Keywords">{%value=51}</Field>
<Field Name="IMDBRating">{%value=9}</Field>
<Field Name="Composer">{%value=55}</Field>
</Item>
%FOOT%
</MPL>
%FOOT%

And then the template for filenames, should be placed under [...]\PersonalVideo..\Plugins\template\pages

Code: [Select]
<Field Name="Filename">{%value}</Field>
This yields duplicate filenames for each record in the mpl file, but MC manages to import the records anyways. The good news here is that movies with more than one file get metadata for one of the files!

In the configuration dialog for the plain text template, tick "Open file upon completion". The new export template is also configured as "Use As Default".

In PVD, all folders that contain movies are selected in the File Scanner Group of the Tools\preferences\folders

I then associate .mpl files with a batch (.cmd) file that has the following text (create a file called "ImportMc.cmd"):
    mc13.exe /Import %1

File types can be associated by right clicking the file, selecting properties and then pressing "Change" in the General tab. Then press browse and point to the batch file.

When this is correctly set up I can import new files into mc by:
o PVD: Tools\Scan folders. One may have to press ok some times.
o PVD: Tools\Export
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 11:08:09 pm by raldo »

Offline nostra

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 06:36:35 pm »
To split files use this code in main template file:
Code: [Select]
Files:
{%value=path template="pages\files.ptm"}

And this in files.ptm
Code: [Select]
{%value}


P.S. You will need to use field number instead of "path" if you use 0.9.8.20
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Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 07:14:34 pm »
To split files use this code in main template file:
Code: [Select]
Files:
{%value=path template="pages\files.ptm"}

And this in files.ptm
Code: [Select]
{%value}


P.S. You will need to use field number instead of "path" if you use 0.9.8.20

Nostra:

This is a step forward but consider this: In the resulting MPL file, I would like one <item> section per File. When I do what you suggest above, I get one item section where the filenames appear twice.

I tried moving the Item section into files.ptm, but then %value=xx didn't parse into the resulting mpl file.

Can a child template somehow inherit  the values from the parent template?

« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 07:16:19 pm by raldo »

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 07:41:08 pm »
I've found a solution which works better than before. See Edit above...

Offline nostra

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 08:17:32 pm »
You want to get only one (first?) file for arecord or what?
If so then define the template link like this:
Code: [Select]
{%value=27 template="pages\files.ptm" maxvalues="1"}
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Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 08:23:26 pm »
Quote
I assume you're talking about semi colon (after replace in output script) delimited fields?

Yes. I see you just replace all commas with semi colons. I used a separate export to do that only for list fields—so it wouldn't replace commas in fields like Description.

Quote
It'll be interesting to see if for example "Director" (MC) will be changed to accommodate this.

I attempted to explain here some new field types that would be required to properly handle movie information, but there's no sign yet they "get it."

Quote
I've found a solution which works...

Well done! So, does this achieve a level of integration you're satisfied with, or do you think there might be a better solution?

I hope the 0.9.9 export function is completed/fixed soon—I'd like to give this a try. Or at least be ready when MC gets around to providing the field types we need.


Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 11:06:27 pm »
[..]
Yes. I see you just replace all commas with semi colons. I used a separate export to do that only for list fields—so it wouldn't replace commas in fields like Description.
[...]
Yeah, I guess I can live with some extra semicolons.. Since the MPL file can be reimported, I guess I can do it all over again if those semicolons start bothering me!

[..]
I attempted to explain here some new field types that would be required to properly handle movie information, but there's no sign yet they "get it."
[...]
Notice how JRMC did the GUI design in cooperation with the users on the forum. I'm pretty sure they'll come around with a proper list of meta data for movies. As far as I understand, they're also working on theater view meta display view for movies.

It'd be interesting to know how the various online databases overlap and differ wrt. meta data. Has anyone done a survey?! The intersection between these services + some of the "Good differences" I guess should be the standard for what they end up with...

Quote
So, does this achieve a level of integration you're satisfied with, or do you think there might be a better solution?
[...]
It looks like this is as far as we can get without code changes on either side. It's pretty good, I'd say...

The best solution, of course, would be a plugin on the JRMC side with direct communication to PVD.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 11:18:39 pm by raldo »

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2009, 12:17:11 am »
You want to get only one (first?) file for arecord or what?
If so then define the template link like this:
Code: [Select]
{%value=27 template="pages\files.ptm" maxvalues="1"}
maxvalues="1" results in the number two filename (alphabetically) being exported. I think the solution above is good enough for now...

Nostra, are you the owner of PVD? If yes, would you be interested in cooperating towards making a JRMC plugin where PVD serves JRMC's needs for meta data? JRMC has a pretty comprehensive API, look here: http://wiki.jrmediacenter.com/index.php/Media_Center_Automation.

On your side, I'd guess you'd have to develop another plugin type, a database Server of some sort. I work as a programmer, and I'd be interested in trying something like this.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2009, 12:22:27 am »
Quote
Yeah, I guess I can live with some extra semicolons.. Since the MPL file can be reimported, I guess I can do it all over again if those semicolons start bothering me!

You could just use two templates—one for list fields, one for other. Now that you got the export/import down to one automated step, surely it would be twice as gratifying to run two of them! ;)

Quote
I'm pretty sure they'll come around with a proper list of meta data for movies. As far as I understand, they're also working on theater view meta display view for movies.

Yes, they've made it clear they will come up with something for Theater View. But when it comes to making changes to handle different types of data (e.g., ordered lists of [name] - [role]/[function] for credits) and they ask for a list of fields needed for movies, I have to wonder if they really understand the unique requirements for movies. MC already allows custom fields, so we don't really need them to add any "standard" fields for movies. What we need are a few new field types that do not currently exist.

Quote
It'd be interesting to know how the various online databases overlap and differ wrt. meta data. Has anyone done a survey?! The intersection between these services + some of the "Good differences" I guess should be the standard for what they end up with...

Actually, my primary concern is many MC users, and the developers, may think this is what needs to happen. My experience here tells me that approach will only satisfy those who don't really care much about the information, as long as it "appears" automatically. I wouldn't bother arguing that is "wrong," as a majority of MC users may be quite happy with that. But my interest is in collecting and maintaining my own personal set of information about movies. It comes from several sources, and I'm sure it's substantially different than what anyone else is collecting. And it's the only information I'm interested in seeing in MC. My hope is more MC users will come to appreciate using something like PVD—even if just as a tool for collecting the meta data—is a better solution than any one-size-fits-all approach. Then, maybe they'll find a way to accommodate both approaches.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2009, 12:50:34 am »
Quote
I work as a programmer, and I'd be interested in trying something like this.

I'm having trouble keeping up with you... I should think anyone willing to augment our overworked Development Division is most welcome. ;)

Excuse me if I'm clueless about such things, but wouldn't your MC plugin just access the Firebird database directly? Why would you need a plugin on the PVD side? To enable the update of PVD from MC, I suppose. Would it be possible to defer this aspect if nostra is to busy to do anything immediately on this end? Could it still be a two-way update—as long as PVD is not running at the same time? And I don't know if there are any meaningful parallels, but have you looked at Kroozbox - PVD to media theatre solution?

I imagine this would be something that would necessarily determine all the fields used in a particular PVD database, and facilitate the mapping of any or all those fields to fields in a particular MC database. Right?

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2009, 12:58:11 am »
types of data (e.g., ordered lists of [name] - [role]/[function] for credits) and they ask for a list of fields needed for movies, I have to
Do you mean the annoying reordering of lists into alphabetical order? I agree that there should be another ordered list type.

I don't understand the syntax "[name] - [role]/[function]". Is this a new field type?

Then, maybe they'll find a way to accommodate both approaches.

Yes, I agree with you on this.

Do you want to start a new thread on this in the MC forums? The timing is correct now...

Offline raldo

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Re: Plain text export templates -- Splitting output records...
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2009, 01:08:11 am »
Excuse me if I'm clueless about such things, but wouldn't your MC plugin just access the Firebird database directly? Why would you need a plugin on the PVD side? To enable the update of PVD from MC, I suppose.
Yup, that may be a way to access the data. The reason why I think something must be done on the PVD side is, as you suggest, that MC needs to be able to tell PVD that action must be taken, I.e. update the database.

I was just suggesting a generic approach ("New Plugin Type") but a simpler solution may work as well.