Personal Video Database

English => Help => Topic started by: on September 15, 2010, 12:26:02 am

Title: 1010 Getting Started
Post by: on September 15, 2010, 12:26:02 am

(  On this page:
Introduction (#post_intro)
Installing PVD (#post_s1)
Command Line Parameters (#post_s2)
Portable Mode (#post_s3)
Server Mode (#post_s4)


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Welcome to Personal Video Database! PVD is a powerful and flexible program for managing your videos and information about them. Like any such software, this power and flexibility demands a little more effort to master than lesser programs. We believe you will find this effort well worthwhile. The purpose of this Help board is to provide—

(  This Help board is a bulletin board just like the other boards hosted here. It's formatted with a theme for giving the appearance of a wiki. This means you may leave a comment or ask a question by posting a reply—just as in the other boards. Please don't worry posting in the "wrong" place. We want it to be easy for you to post when and where the comment or question arises. If moderators decide something is better discussed elsewhere, they can easily move your post.                    

But enough talk! If you haven't done so already, it's time for...

Installing PVD

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This is so easy (and harmless), you may as well do it first and ask questions later...

If you were brave enough to do that, this is what happened—

(  BACKUP!!!
All of your data is saved in one big database file. You may not be concerned yet, but at some point you're going to have enough data that even the idea it could be lost will be very upsetting. Adopt an effective backup routine now—

  • The most effective routine is one that happens automatically. It's advisable to have some backup system in place that automatically makes a backup of all user data on a regular basis. A good backup system will keep a number of versions of each data file.

  • By popular demand, the program includes backup and restore functions. Unfortunately, this is only effective if the program is functioning properly when the backup is made, and the same version of the program is used to restore the compressed backup file.

  • An easier, faster and more reliable method is to make a copy of the database file in Windows Explorer. A copy will never let you down, and you'll always know exactly what state your last version was in.

(  The following are advanced topics. "Quick start" readers may prefer to skip to Orientation ( now.                    

Command Line Parameters

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Parameter Purpose
-portable writes the program configuration in the Installation folder
-debug writes plugin activity to a log file which can be displayed in real time (select Help>Log)
-showhidden shows hidden files in File>Open dialog
-showfloppy shows available floppy drives within File select dialog which are hidden/ignored by default
-readonly prevents any editing of the database
-noconfig hides settings
-addmovie="title" adds the specified title to the database
-addfile="video_file_path"      adds the specified video file to the database
-selectmovie="title" starts with a particular title selected
-selectperson="name" starts with a particular person selected (in People View)

Any number of parameters may be added to the command line...

     "C:\Program Files\Personal Video Database\viddb.exe" -parameter1 [-parameter2]

...and the command line may be executed in any manner permitted by Windows—

(  Using -debug switch will not impact on performance. If the program is always started using the switch (e.g., by adding it to the main program shortcut), the log will always be available for monitoring and reviewing plugin performance.                    

Portable Mode

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The purpose of the -portable switch is to allow the program to be run from a removable drive, including a memory stick. All it does is cause the configuration file to be created and saved in the Installation folder instead of the Application Data folder. If the database file is then saved to the same device, the application is completely portable.

The fact the configuration file is saved to a different folder also provides the means to run the program with a different configuration file. This is useful in a number of different ways—

Server Mode

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PVD uses the Firebird ( RDBMS engine for it's database services. Specifically, it uses the Firebird Embedded Server (, a server engine plus client rolled into one library called fbembed.dll. So while your database appears to be fully integrated with the program, it's actually an independent database served to the application by Firebird.

The exact same functionality can be provided in an actual client-server environment by installing the full server version of Firebird. This will be of interest in situations where

Firebird Server is no less efficient and does not require significantly more resources than Embedded. So if you have any need for it, use it. Once installed, you may connect to your database using either method. In most situations, it's best to always connect using the Server. Embedded will cause the database to be locked—and other users/applications will be unable to connect.

(  For those using Firebird Server, there is one circumstance in which you must switch to Embedded. That is when running Tools>Optimization. The "garbage collection" part of that routine cannot be completed because the Server is unable to backup and restore the database.                    


( Server Manager.png)
Firebird Server Manager
  • Download ( and install Firebird Server. Choose "Windows executable installer for full Classic or Superserver, recommended for first-time users," and either 32 or 64-bit—as appropriate for your system. In normal circumstances, you should not be concerned about studying it's documentation or changing the default configuration.

  • Start the Firebird Server Manager. Once you are satisfied it's working correctly (step 4), we recommend you set it as shown, click OK—and forget about it. It will run as a Service, and always be available to PVD (and other applications).

  • In PVD, select File>Open and select a file other than your active database. The point of this step is to force Firebird Embedded to release your active database so Server may connect to it. If necessary, use File>New to create an empty or test database for this purpose.

  • Select File>Connect to... and specify your database as:
    [computer name|IP address]:[local path]
    Success will be indicated by this connection string (followed by "Network") appearing in the Title Bar.

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[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: 1010 Getting Started
Post by: on September 16, 2010, 01:13:38 am
Title: Re: 1010 Getting Started
Post by: afrocuban on October 22, 2023, 06:18:17 pm
What is going on with the forum?