Author Topic: Export plugins for J River Media Center  (Read 11163 times)

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Offline nostra

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2009, 12:09:23 pm »
I think I'll just add COM server to my TODO list for 1.1. I am pretty sure that it is the most recent version I will be able to concentrate on such things like controlling PVD from another App. Please use a simpler approach until then.
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Offline raldo

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2009, 04:35:38 pm »
I think I'll just add COM server to my TODO list for 1.1. I am pretty sure that it is the most recent version I will be able to concentrate on such things like controlling PVD from another App. Please use a simpler approach until then.

Great! A com server is a more generalized solution than my proposal...

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2009, 01:48:30 am »
If that's the design premise, it's hard to imagine how your plugin will further the development of PVD.
Why? You could still use PVD in the way you've always used it and prune the data. And then use an MC plugin for import. The difference would be that more people would use PVD.

You probably don't agree with it, but I do have a very clear premise. My experience as an MC and PVD user tells me it is very unlikely there will ever be a satisfactory solution for getting video meta data that is "built-in" to MC. J River might implement something, but it is likely to be simplistic and limited. It may satisfy casual users who don't care for more. I see no point in catering to them, however—they don't care!

The rest of us don't want to be restricted to one source of data, and want to be able to combine that data in any way we choose. That can require careful management of configuration settings and workflow which would be very difficult to control via a plugin. Yes, I know I could still do this and just use the plugin to import the results. But then why have the capability of controlling PVD from the plugin at all—for the users who have "simple" configurations requiring little maintenance? If that's the case, they should have no trouble running PVD.

I'm not really ignoring the "casual user" of MC. I just believe if one wants any control over the collection of meta data for video, they are better off using PVD directly. By "better off," I mean in ease of use, efficiency, ability to solve problems, and maintaining data integrity. I'm very much interested in more people using PVD. It's my hope a plugin that makes importing data from PVD much more user friendly would provide the incentive many MC users need. Once they try PVD, I believe they will discover for themselves this is the case. Also, I think the plugin will gain acceptance more readily if users understand PVD is doing the job of collecting and maintaining the meta data, and the plugin is just a rock-solid, one-click (once configured) tool for importing the results.

But all this seems rather moot...

I think I'll just add COM server to my TODO list for 1.1. I am pretty sure that it is the most recent version I will be able to concentrate on such things like controlling PVD from another App. Please use a simpler approach until then.

Version 1.1 has to be at least a year away, so I hope you don't plan on waiting. I realize you probably want to do it your way, regardless of my opinion. But might the "simpler approach" be something like what I suggest, and still be something you can build on later? If so, you might consider a successful "phase 1" plugin might generate enough interest to make things happen faster.

Offline patch

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2009, 12:41:19 pm »
It's not just that, though: Some users may have "lesser criteria" on data. For example, some of my friends use MC but complain about the lack of metadata possibilties for movies. Or my sister imports some movies into MC and her husband has no idea what the movies are about. A description, year, director might be nice for them.

But none of them are ready for PVD in its current state.

Have you actually used PVD to get metadata from the web?
It is true there is a silent mode but this is just used to reduce the time you need to wait for downloads to occur, you still need to review the results and make corrections where appropriate.

To use PVD as a silent web retrevial engine would just give your sister & husband the impression it doesn't work.

Some users may have "lesser criteria" on data. ...A description, year, director might be nice
The data integrity we are talking about is "Does the imported meta data correspond to the video I have?" It is not about how many fields from IMDB have been imported. So no you will not reliably get the above data from PVD unless you ensure it is accurately imported into PVD.

The reason is relatively simple. PVD tries to use a trimmed version of the movies file name to search for information on the internet. But the file names a human created and often do not uniquely specify a movie. Further more a movie often has multiple entries in the online databases.
A unique relation from file name to internet database is not going to occur so PVD (or any other program) is not going to work reliably in silent mode with out subsequent user checking data integrity.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2009, 06:27:56 pm »
Quote
The data integrity we are talking about is "Does the imported meta data correspond to the video I have?"

Thanks for elaborating, patch. Just to clarify, my idea of "data integrity" also includes the existence/seen status, consistent titles for foreign films, the updating of all items to the same state, adding missing information "manually" using Web search to find alternate sources, replacing posters of inadequate/consistent quality, comparing questionable data to alternate sources, etc. In many respects, data integrity in this respect can be determined from MC as well as it can from PVD—but it can't be readily corrected. Trying to manage this process from MC, even if one has a much looser idea of "data integrity," would be a frustrating experience.

Quote
you still need to review the results and make corrections where appropriate.

So I agree with this—in a much broader sense. I can assess the results almost instantly when they are "in my face" immediately after a download/update. And corrections can be made quickly and efficiently when all the necessary tools are at hand. Often a human judgement is necessary to select the right tool—change a setting and run the plugin again, use an alternate source, use Web search, make a manual correction, search and compare to other records, etc.

Offline raldo

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2009, 11:34:01 am »
Version 1.1 has to be at least a year away, so I hope you don't plan on waiting. I realize you probably want to do it your way, regardless of my opinion. But might the "simpler approach" be something like what I suggest, and still be something you can build on later? If so, you might consider a successful "phase 1" plugin might generate enough interest to make things happen faster.
I'm working on something these days, maybe you'll see something within a few weeks :)

Offline raldo

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2009, 11:56:18 am »
To use PVD as a silent web retrevial engine would just give your sister & husband the impression it doesn't work.
As I said earlier in this thread, PVD should ideally feed info/disambiguation back to MC.

I've also noted that PVD has certain rules for "cleaning up" filenames. Once you learn those rules, the results become a lot better (Example: use "(1of2)" instead of "part 1" in the filename)

Offline darichman

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2009, 01:38:38 pm »
I'm working on something these days, maybe you'll see something within a few weeks :)

I've not been too active here lately, but I'll watch this thread with interest. A quick and easy way to pull PVD database info into MC would be a useful tool!

I'm sure you're aware that you can use PVD's export feature to generate an MPL file which can then be imported into MC. That's the way I've been doing it for a while - works great but requires the manual step of exporting from PVD and importing into MC. If what you propose doesn't work out perhaps you might find a way to automate this process somehow as a solution.

It might also be worth considering sending fields to PVD and not filenames. If you have accurate fields in MC this bypasses the need for cleaning up filenames. I export [Name] and [Filename] from MC to [Title] and [Path] in PVD.

Like Rick, it seems to me that MC's approach to video metadata is certainly less than inclusive (although recent trends indicate this may change at some point)... for me, at least at the moment, maintaining a PVD database as well as a MC database seems the best option. The closer we can get the integration the better, however ;)

The way PVD refers to fields has changed since this post, but it shows how you can go about creating an mpl from PVD: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=47538.msg326313#msg326313

If the resultant MPL were in a folder that MC could pick up in auto-import? I know it's not exactly what you had in mind, but we'd be halfway there at least...

Until Nostra swoops in and saves the day, of course ;)

Offline raldo

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2009, 01:53:56 pm »
Like Rick, it seems to me that MC's approach to video metadata is certainly less than inclusive (although recent trends indicate this may change at some point)...
I gather you're talking about displaying video metadata? Yes, it's completely incomprehensible.

I wonder why they haven't released the theater view SDK yet. That would have speeded up things a little..

Quote
The way PVD refers to fields has changed since this post, but it shows how you can go about creating an mpl from PVD: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=47538.msg326313#msg326313

If the resultant MPL were in a folder that MC could pick up in auto-import? I know it's not exactly what you had in mind, but we'd be halfway there at least...

Check out this thread too (in the PVD forum): http://www.videodb.info/forum_en/index.php?topic=1238.0
In there, I outline a way of making MC import the exported playlist "automatically" and immediately. It's not a "good" method, but it works.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 01:58:51 pm by raldo »

Offline darichman

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Re: Some questions regarding export plugins...
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2009, 02:16:17 pm »
Thanks! I haven't seen that thread - will check it out.