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Support / IMDb Movie Connections
« on: April 30, 2013, 07:48:23 am »
There is some problem with the IMDb plugin ( or the program ( when Movie Connections is selected in the plugin configuration. The page is downloaded okay, but the update takes a very long time and often hangs the program. If "Followed by" only is selected, the problem does not occur.

Support / Not getting posters
« on: January 20, 2013, 11:22:59 pm »
Hey people.

I've been using version for some time and all of a sudden it stop getting posters. I can't import them from Amazon or any other place. Tools -> Preferences -> Plugins > IMDB plugin in > Click Configure button> Check Download image... I already did that to no avail. Please help.

Have you updated the IMDb plugin and enabled overwriting the Poster field?

Support / Data Missing?
« on: December 30, 2012, 10:25:45 pm »
I have been using PVD for several years. I have not added any new movies to my database since 2010. I wanted to update my video collection in PVD but I have run into a problem. When I tried to import the data for "The Mist"2007 from IMDB my PVD crashed. When I open it again all my data is gone. How can I recover all my 211 movies that I had in my database? I am using Windows 7. I have donated money twice because I love the program.

Check the data file. Hopefully, it's size will suggest it still contains something like 211 movies. If not, you'll have to restore from whatever backup you may have. If so, start the program and make sure it loaded that file (as indicated by the title bar). If the movies still don't appear, make sure Filters and Search are cleared. If that doesn't help, set Filters for 'invisible'. This may show a very long list. Check it carefully to see if your movies are included. Let us know what you find.

Support / Updating People removes link in Movies
« on: December 23, 2012, 03:40:30 am »
I experience a bug for couple weeks, it might be new, even for you. Actually, when I review a movie, I sometimes click on an actor link and wish to update his/her filmography. Then, when I get back to the movie from where I started, this actor is missing form the actors list for that movie. Then I have to update info for this movie and the actor reappears......... Do not know how to refresh data for many of actors as I wish from time to time, without losing them in some movies. I have all newest plugins, and XP with SP3.


It's always done that. I'm not sure why—it is annoying. Maybe nostra can do something about it in the next update, or explain why it is so (maybe he has in the past, but I don't remember...)

Feature Suggestions / Automatic update of viewed People records
« on: October 21, 2012, 02:20:13 am »
I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I like the idea so much, I hope it might make it into the next beta release...

What I'd dearly like to see is the option to have people records automatically updated—if and when they're selected from the Movie view. That way, any new link selected would result in the target record being updated within a few seconds. The same thing could be done for existing records that haven't been updated within x days. That would ensure the data viewed for existing records isn't stale.

(See the linked post, and the one linked to it, for more background—particularly the problem of keeping people records up-to-date for a large (500+) collection of movies.)

I did consider whether it might be easier and more useful to apply the optional behaviour whenever a people record is selected, not just when a link in a movie record is selected. But that would be far too annoying when viewing or working with a number of different records in the People view. So this would have to be something that only happens when a link is selected from a movie record.

Selecting a link would trigger an import—using the default/'favourite' plugin or script—under the following conditions:
  • Data has never been imported for the record (that might be determined by comparing [Date Modified] to [Date Added], or perhaps by more direct means); or
  • Data has been imported, but [Date Modified] is more than x days in the past ('x' being a user-specified preference).
[Date Modified] is updated whenever a record has been in edit mode. It will also be updated if something other than the primary plugin is used to import data. It's therefore not a perfect indication of whether data has been imported. But for most users in most circumstances, it should work fine.

For those of us who find impractical to keep all people records up-to-date, this option would provide the next best thing: Any link used to view a person would result in the data being updated immediately—if necessary.

Perhaps a bit more involved, but a future embellishment of such a feature could be a command for updating all people linked to a particular movie a once. I wouldn't use that for all movies, but some of particular interest for which I'm likely to view the records of a number of people, I'd much rather do that than wait for each one I choose to view to be updated.

Support / Forum Attacks
« on: September 13, 2011, 07:39:11 pm »
It seems the forum must be due for an upgrade in it's protection measures. We're now getting more spam than legitimate posts. Simple Machines Forums attacks seems to contain good advice. Perhaps items 4 and 5 (in the original post) need to be addressed. I also think all the "members" with no posts should be deleted. The vast majority of them are spam bots. I'm sure any legitimate user who has such an account deleted won't mind re-registering (under new security measures) if they understand why the deletion was necessary.

Support / Getting information from sites without plugin or script
« on: August 06, 2011, 07:49:19 pm »
The reason for me giving all this info.:
- Is there anyway to make a plugin and/or a script specific to which would work by using google as means to find the links.  Using search engine is not an option here for their search engine basically sucks, they take out too many common words, where a lot of the movies I endup having to search for have these common words and therefore in the end no links to the movies will end up being found in their database.  Google is best way to go.
- I would like to use this to find the cover images and imdb link (- the /combined endings).  So in the end, I'll end up having the correct/best fitting cover image and an Imdb link/url which later or have it run before the imdb plugin where the urls will be given and the data can be found.

I normally usually just go to the site where I found the link to download the movies which is
One thing I noticed on this site is that a lot of the movies have an imdb link that ends with /combined, if I input these as the url info. and then use the button on the top of PVD to get imdb movie info., I will get an error; HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found. If I remove the /combined ending I have no problem getting the imdb movie data.

The way I normally track down the movie is through
For the search criteria I input the 'Movie Title' and a space and then '' then hit enter.  The very first links found are usually what I'm looking for (I've even kept the authors ending to the movies file name for easier referencing and more defined searches through google; such as -CHD, aAF, -SANTi, -ViP3R, -CM8, etc..)

Here is a good example for 5 selections can be found:
the movie Your Highness (2011)
when I goto and I enter in Your Highness then hit enter,
the very first links for Your Highness are:
Your.Highness.(2011).BDRip.1080p.DTS.X264-CHD (Page 1 of 1) - View ... 2 posts -
Your.Highness.(2011).UNRATED.BDRip.AC3.XviD-SANTi (Page 1 of 1 ...‎
Your.Highness.(2011).UNRATED.BDRip.XviD-3LT0N (Page 1 of 1)
Your.Highness.(2011).CAM.XviD-WBZ (Page 1 of 1)‎
Your.Highness.(2011).PPVRiP.XviD-IFLIX (Page 1 of 1)‎

Now if you go to or open each of the links above to a new tab you'll be able to see what I'm talking about with the urls, but the main reasons for me to come back to the sharethefiles site are: 
-I could not find or wasn't sure about the correct fitting cover image that should be applied to the movie in question.
-no link to any movie for the imdb data could be found.
so when I go back to share the files, I can get both the cover image and the url.

From the above url's you'll notice that the middle one gives the best picture but also gives the url with the /combined ending as do all the other links found for this movie at  The last two (cams), give the same cover image as that found on the imdb site with the Spring 2011 at the bottom not too like-able and besides, I do have the Unrated rip as well so again the middle one looks the best.  The first 2 links have an oplique or offset looking cover image which is not too like-able.

Is there anyway to make a plugin and/or a script specific to which would work by using google as means to find the links.

I don't think so. The site is a forum. Plugins and scripts rely heavily on content appearing in predictable form. And if one were attempted, it would probably have to use the same search technique you're using—relying on Google to list possibly relevant pages on the site. The circumstances do not lend themselves to automation. You're better off using a browser. And the tool to use is therefore a Web search.

Using this site to find the IMDb URL is pointless. Obviously, searching the title at IMDb (using the plugin) is going to be much more effective in finding the IMDb URL. If it's always included as a reference in sharethefiles posts, the IMDb URL (or just the movie reference part of it) would be the most effective search term to use to get a Google site search to return a list of only pages relevant to the specific movie of interest.

This is what I recommend...

  • Add this Web search:
  • Add the movie to the database and run the IMDb plugin.
  • Run the Web search to get a list of relevant posts on sharethefiles. If the title search produces too many irrelevant hits (or you just know from experience it will), cut & paste the IMDb movie identifier (the "tt" part of the URL) into the Web search box for a more specific search.
  • Find the poster you want, download and manually add it to the PVD record.

Having said all that, this is clearly a secondary source for posters. And if you can't find a better poster elsewhere, I wonder how likely it is you would find anything here. :-\

Support / [FIXED] Bug in IMDb People plugin
« on: August 05, 2011, 07:49:22 pm »
If Download image is set in the IMDb configuration, the plugin will now improperly record an image URL in the URL field and delete the filmography data. Once the bad URL is recorded, the record cannot be updated—even if Download image is not set—until that URL is removed. The problem is compounded by the fact the IMDb Movie and People plugins share the same configuration settings.

Since the Movie plugin has recently been fixed for a similar issue, there's a significant risk users will use the People plugin to update many records—with Download image on—now that the Movie plugin works with it on. Once that happens, recovery would require one of...

  • Finding all affected records (search 'All'—as there's no facility for searching the URL field), manually deleting the bad URL and updating the record (with Download image off).
  • Rebuilding the database by deleting all people, updating all movies to add the people, then updating all the people.
  • Restore from a backup made prior to when the corruption occurred.

Unless #2 is something one might want to do anyway, I would expect #3 to be the only practical solution. But many users will not have good backup. Hopefully, nostra will be able to fix this soon. In the meantime...

Do not run the People plugin on multiple records unless you are certain Download image is off. Remember that if this is set on for the Movie plugin, it's also on for the People plugin!

Support / AllRovi movie script
« on: July 21, 2011, 10:22:25 pm »

AllRovi script does not work anymore.

It's topic not very visible on the Scripts and Templates board, so I'm announcing it here. Thanks to Ivek, we once again have access to most Allmovie data.

For those not familiar with Rovi/Allmovie, its consistent quality of Synopsis and Reviews is much better than the user-provided crap on IMDb.

Now for all former AllMovie fans here is new AllRovi script, based on AllMovie script and with the help of other scripts, especially the new Italian script. The script gets most of the movie information currently available at the new AllRovi site, including:

  • Basic info; Title, Year, Director, Genre, Run time, Release, etc.
  • Poster (not good quality, but sufficient for a thumbnail)
  • Rovi rating
  • Synopsis
  • Review
  • Sub-Genres and Themes
  • MPAA rating and Flags

We (co-authors Ivek23 and have a faint hope more data that was available at the old AllMovie site will be added to the new AllRovi site. If that happens, we'll update the script to include it.

The most current version of the script is always attached to this message. Details of changes are documented in the script, and may be commented on in messages posted to this topic. Please post any comments or questions concerning this script to this topic.

Support / IMDb plugin maintenance issues
« on: July 20, 2011, 05:29:26 am »
The error no longer occurs, but the User Review and Technical Specs custom fields are not being filled.

Just a reminder this is outstanding.

Is there anything else the plugin is not getting that it should?

Support / Exporting posters
« on: February 23, 2011, 11:41:34 pm »
hi there..
is there a way i can export posters to hardisk and sorting  them by genre in folders?

Thanks in advance

This post (second half) and this one it refers to suggest one way to do this. Essentially, you would export the posters and a text file with the image name, genre and path. This would be all to one directory—because that's all a simple export can do. Then import the text file into Excel, and use that to parse a batch file that moves and renames the images to ..\[Genre]\[Filename].jpg.

Talk / Personal Anything Database?
« on: February 05, 2011, 01:25:08 am »
I don't do whisky, but my database is bigger than most. And now, thanks to my out-of-control OCD, there's this... 8)

[attachment deleted by admin]

Support / Bookmarking problem
« on: November 29, 2010, 01:28:48 am »
Since yesterday I cannot use any bookmark functions previously set in Preferences-Appearance-Colors. Nothing happens when I try to set a colored bookmark for the first movie beginning with A or B... or when I try to do the same for the names of series etc...

First, let's determine whether the problem is with setting the list colour, or with the setting of the bookmark flag...

Select Bookmarks>Clear all. Select a movie and Set bookmark. Now select Filters>Bookmarked. Is the list restricted to the one movie just bookmarked? If so, is it's list colour that which you've set for bookmarked items (the default is yellow)?

If bookmarks are being set properly, but not displaying the correct colour in the list, we might assume the problem is with your configuration file (where you colour preferences are stored). To test this, start the program using the -portable switch. (You can do so by double-clicking on the portable.bat file in the installation folder.) This will force the program to create a new default configuration file (in the installation folder), avoiding any problems that might exist in your configuration settings (located in the application data folder). If the bookmark list colour now appears, you can probably resolve the issue by copying the [Colors] section of the pvdconf.ini file in the installation folder to replace the same section in the pvdconf.ini file in the application data folder.

Support / Writing plugins
« on: November 20, 2010, 09:01:25 pm »
How can we go about writing plugin?

I have quite a few Chinese movies and documentary that cannot be found in IMDB. However, they can be found in

I google search and manage to find a DVDpedia written for Mac with yesasia plugin. Wondering is it possible to find out how to do it?

If you have to ask, writing a plugin is probably out of the question. A plugin is a compiled (just like the main program) library that requires the same development tools and programming expertise nostra has.

But you might be able to create a script. A script is a set of text instructions that are processed by the script engine. An instruction manual is available in the Help documentation. You'll find examples, like allmovie.psf, in your Scripts folder.

Help / 1060 Importing Existing Collections [In Progress]
« on: September 30, 2010, 08:48:12 am »

 On this page:


PVD includes import plugins for Excel files and text files in CSV format. Regardless of where the information comes from, if it can be arranged in the necessary format, it can be imported. The best tool for doing that is a spreadsheet. If you have Excel, use that and the Excel import plugin. If you don't, use any other spreadsheet application to prepare the data, save it in CSV format and import it using the CSV plugin.

As for plugins that import data from other applications, there is only one—the Ant Movie Catalog plugin (download). So this topic will focus on the universal method of importing data from any source—using a spreadsheet as an intermediate step.

For the purpose of this topic, "existing collection" means anything which is—or can be converted to—a list of movie titles, which may or may not include information in addition to the titles. Even if it's just a simple list of titles, importing that list will be much easier than entering them manually, one-at-a-time.

Identifying Data Sources

If you don't have an existing "database," there are many possible sources of movie lists you should consider. If you do have an existing database, you may want to add additional movies from such sources to your import. Even those will established PVD databases may find it useful to add movies from lists. Additional movies can be imported at any time.

Here's a list of sources to consider:

  • An existing database from another video database application. Virtually all of these will have the ability to export Excel or CSV files. If they don't, they probably have the ability to generate a printed report of some kind. This can be captured and imported into a spreadsheet for preparation for import.

  • Before letting our imagination run wild (with the rest of this list), there's one special source to consider—video files on your HDD. If those are your collection (i.e., you're not interested in videos for which you do not have such media) and you have no other information about them to capture, then you don't need to import anything. Instead, you may rely on *Scanning Media to add those to your database. You may still add movies this way, however, and then scan the files later to match them to the movies added.

  • This one should be obvious by now, but we'll add it to the list anyway—any spreadsheet listing you may have. Maybe you made an inventory of the DVD's you own, or have been keeping a list of movies seen. You would not only import the items from such lists, but whatever the list means as well. From your inventory, that might be Media label and/or Location. If your list includes neither of those, you might set one of them to "DVD"—just to distinguish them from movie records for which you don't own a DVD. From your list of movies seen, that might include the Seen date. If you list did not include the date, you would at least use it to set the Seen flag.

  • A list in any other electronic format that can be easily converted to a spreadsheet. If your inventory or movies seen lists were Word documents, for example, you could cut & paste the contents to Excel. Excel can also import data from text files of many different formats and layouts.

  • If you're not an accountant, it's perhaps unlikely you have an "inventory" lying around. But you may have used one or more of the growing number of websites that allow users to create lists of movies. Even if you haven't, using one to create a list of the movies you want in your database may be the easiest way to get started. All that's required is the site display your list in a form you can cut & paste into your spreadsheet.

  • An example of this is the IMDb My Movies service. With this service, any IMDb movie page is easily added to your personal "My Movies" list. The resulting list can be cut & paste into a spreadsheet. The items in the list are links to the movie pages. These can be extracted and imported, so the IMDb plugin will be able to access and download the data directly—without having to search for the title.

  • The IMDb can also generate many different lists, any of which may be cut & paste into your spreadsheet. It would take only minutes to compile a list of the IMDb Top 250, every Best Picture Oscar winners, Sci-Fi Feature films Released 1960 or later with User rating greater than 8 and more than 1,000 Votes, etc. 8)

  • You may wish to incorporate lists of movies included in other collections. For example, The Criterion Collection is "a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films on home video." Or 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Such lists may serve two purposes. First, to simply record the fact that some of the movies otherwise in your collection are included in these lists. Do this by importing "Criterion" or "1001 Movies" into a custom Recommended by field. Second, to provide a "Wish List" of movies to consider viewing or acquiring. This might seem like a good way to create an unwieldy wish list, but consider this: After importing information about these movies, you may use Advanced search to select movies you're not interested in, and delete them. Depending on your interests and the lists available, this may be an excellent way to create a personalized list of movies you must see before you die. ;)

  • It's difficult to fathom how it happens, but some people manage to keep important information in printed form, but lose the electronic version. If this is you and your painstakingly created list of 1001 movies you've already seen in your life, don't despair. Scan and OCR that list to capture the data. The results will not be 100% accurate, but much better than entering all those movies manually.

Preparing Data for Import

Review of Excel use and tips.

Using the Data Import Plugins

The plugin is not dependent on headings in the Excel file. As long as the configuration has the correct sequence of columns specified, it will work even if there is no heading row. On the other hand, it does recognize the first row is headings, if that's what they are. It's helpful to be able to view descriptive headings while entering the configuration—where the fields must be listed in exactly the same order as the columns in Excel.

When importing additional information to existing records, the following confirmation dialog appears. It may seem straightforward, but can be a little confusing when one appreciates the import works on a field level, not just for each record as a whole. This is what each option does:

  • Update adds source (Excel) field if destination record exists (as determined by matching ID, Title/Year or URL); otherwise does nothing.
  • Merge adds source (Excel) field if destination field (PVD) is null; otherwise leaves destination data intact.
  • Add adds all the source fields to a new duplicate record; the existing record is unaffected.
  • Do not add skips the record; continues the import with the next record.
  • Overwrite replaces the destination field with the source field; if the source field is null, the destination field is left unchanged.
  • Cancel terminates the import.

This dialog will appear for each record already in the database unless "do not show again is checked"—then the response is applied to all records imported.

It's easy to assume all records will be "updated" when choosing Overwrite. It can be important to recognize blank fields in import records will not cause existing data to be "deleted." If this is what is intended, blank cells in Excel should be changed to "null" or "delete me," which can be deleted in PDV after importing (if available for the field, using multiple movie editor).

Case Study: Importing the IMDb Top 250

Cut & paste this into Excel, and create...

Help / 1050 Database Design
« on: September 27, 2010, 09:07:33 am »

  On this page:
The PVD Database
Your Existing Collection
Data Sources
Building the Initial Database
Maintaining the Database


PVD is, of course, a database application designed for videos. In this context, "database design" refers to the essential structure of the relational database that PVD creates, and the program logic that goes with it. Given this structure, there are many choices for you to make in what information is to be collected and how it's to be maintained. This may also be referred to as "database design"—that is, your design of your database. This topic will clarify the restrictions imposed by the former, and the range of possibilities involved in the latter. This will help you to...

  • Understand and respect why things work the way they do.
  • Appreciate and use the flexibility available.
  • Provide for data that is meaningful and consistent.

The PVD Database

The following illustrates just some of the relationships in the PVD database. (This is from an SQL query builder, but it's not a valid query!)

  • People are related to Movies by Career (producer, director, actor, etc.).
  • People, Movies and (award) Events are related by Awards.
  • People and Movies are separately related to Genre.
  • Users (borrowers) are related to Movies by Loans.
  • Movies and People each have their own relationships to Images
  • Episodes are actually Movies that are related to another movie (series) by Episodes.

Much of this need not be of any interest to the user. But understanding the basic structure of the database in terms of relations helps explain why many things work and appear the way they do. So, for example, understanding how People are related to Movies won't change the fact you may do so by recording a particular person in a career "field" of a movie. The program will record the appropriate relation, and you don't need to know there is no such career field in the movie record. But understanding it is really a relation that the database is maintaining may help you appreciate the importance of getting that information from one reliable source. More on that later...

Your Existing Collection

Many, if not most users have sought out PVD because they have an existing collection of videos. A "collection" might be...

  • An existing database maintained in other software;
  • A physical collection of media, without any existing metadata;
  • A simple list of movies (e.g., movies you've seen and/or want to see).

If you have any of these things, some or all of the information is likely important to you. With some planning and the right tools, you'll be able to capture and import this information into PVD. If you have an existing database, carefully consider this topic in its entirety. It's likely the only information that matters is the proper identification of the movies in the collection (i.e., Title and Year or URL) and any "personal" information about each movie (i.e., date seen, rating, comments, media label, etc.). Other information can (and will) be replaced by on-line sources that may be different than those used before. Also, your routines for maintaining the collection will likely change—and with it, the nature of the information you choose to collect.

Data Sources

For most users, the primary source of metadata will be the IMDb. Regardless of what you may think of the website, it is the largest, most comprehensive source of data available. It not only includes more movies than any other source, it includes complete and consistent credits data for most of its entries. Most of PVD's standard fields may be filled using the IMDb plugin.

Even if some data elements from other sources are preferred, the IMDb provides an excellent source for basic factual data, including credits. A good strategy is to get all the information provided by the IMDb plugin, and then replace elements of that from preferred sources, when available. At the same time, additional information from alternate sources may be added to custom fields.

If—because of language or nature of collection—the IMDb is not a viable primary source, consider alternatives that might serve the same function. That is, a source that...

  • Is likely to include the movies in your collection. Even if other sources are used, what you want from a primary source is the ability to correctly identify your movies through a simple title search, and provide accurate factual data. Identification and accuracy of basic information, of course, go hand-in-hand. A source that does not record a title's year and genre correctly, for example, will not identify your movies correctly.

  • Includes complete and consistently recorded credits data. While it's possible to combine credits data from whatever sources have it, it's preferable to get all credits data from one source. Otherwise, duplications and inconsistencies will likely occur.

Building the Initial Database

To keep this simple, let's assume...

  • You have an existing database that includes Media label, Date seen and the purchase price of each DVD owned.
  • You'll be happy to replace all other data with that downloaded from IMDb.

You'll want to import into PVD...

  • A complete list of all the Titles in your collection. If available, this should include data that will help find each movie's entry at IMDb. Ideally, that would be the IMDb URL—which you may have if it was previously used as a source. If not, Year will resolve most ambiguities.
  • Your "personal information" about each movie. Standard fields exist for Media label and Date seen. You'll need to add a custom field for Purchase price.

You'll create your initial database by...

  • Exporting the necessary information from your existing software.
  • If necessary, preparing this exported data so it's in a form that can be imported by PVD.
  • Importing the data.
  • Downloading data for each movie using the IMDb plugin.

This process is described more fully in the next topic, Importing Existing Collections.

Maintaining the Database

Once you've created your initial database, maintaining it will probably be straightforward. It's worthwhile to consider, however, exactly what this will entail and how it will be done. There's unlikely anything about the "design" of your database you can't change at a later date, but having a clear plan from the start will at least save you some time in adding the data. For example, if you later decide you should include the vendor and date (as well as the price) of each DVD purchase, you'll be able to add custom fields and import those separately. It would have been easier, however, to include these in your original import.

The process of adding movies to your collection might be different from what you've done in the past. The way PVD scans media might suggest a different way to reference physical media. Perhaps the reason you're using PVD is that you've decided to rip all your media to HDD—and you no longer even need any reference to the physical media.

  Read or scan the rest of this documentation before finalizing your database design. You're likely to find ideas and suggestions which you will find easier to incorporate from the start.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Help / 9010 Style Guide and Topic Template (attached)
« on: September 26, 2010, 12:19:05 am »

  On this page:
Fonts and Lists


This is a template for creating new topics. It creates the basic navigational elements that should be consistent from topic to topic. These include:

  • An On this page: summary at the top of the page. The items in the summary are linked to the subheadings.
  • Page navigation controls (arrow icons) attached to each subheading (for moving from subtopic to subtopic).
  • Topic navigation controls (home, previous, top, next) presented as a footer.

This is also a style guide for explaining and illustrating style elements that should be consistent throughout the Help documentation.

Start a new topic by saving this template with the topic name XXXX Topic Name. "XXXX" is a numeric the board style will use to place topics in the correct order, but not display. Note the URL of the new topic, and then add it to the TABLE OF CONTENTS. Use the template by replacing the text between the subheadings, and using the BBCode examples as appropriate.


The SMF edit box is too small for editing these relatively large, heavily formatted topics. Use a good text editor like UltraEdit (commercial) or Notepad++ (freeware). Even for minor revisions, it's more efficient to make the change in an editor, and then cut and paste the entire contents into the edit box—replacing what's there (i.e., in the edit box Ctrl+A to select all, then Ctrl+V to paste your new version from the clipboard). These editors can also highlight and insert tags or style templates (e.g., a pre-formatted table).

Using an external editor also allows for maintaining a revision history of source files. When revisions to a topic are complete, save the file with the name...

XXXX Topic Title YYYY-MM-DD (source).txt

...and attach the source file to the topic.

Fonts and Lists

For clarity, some terms should be identifiable by appearance, as follows:

  • Command (may also be used for emphasis)
  • Significant object (may also be used for Headings)
  • Field name
  • WARNING: Message
  • Comments (on adjacent normal text)
  • PVD (meaning of abbreviation in tool tip)

As above, use the default bullet-type list for a point form list...

  • point1
  • point2
  • point3

...while an ordered list should be numbered:

  • step1
  • step2
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Tables can be a pain to create and maintain, but the result is much easier to read. Here are some tools that make the job much easier:

Tool          Source          Description          
TemplateText editorThis table was created using the template below.
Table GeneratorTeamopolisEnter data to webpage and let it create the table.
HTML Converter          Sea Breeze          Copy existing HTML to webpage and let it convert the table.

R1C1          R1C2          R1C3          

The first row is formatted as column headings, and these are padded with non-breaking spaces to separate the columns. To be effective, this padding would have to be used in the row where the data is widest. Rows are easily added by copying the last row of BBCode before using it.


Icons can be used to draw attention to points otherwise easily missed.

  Suggestions, tips or checklist.
In addition to those used here, the following icons are available...
...for use as suggested by their tool tips.

Spheres icons courtesy of...

  Warning or caution (do not also use red).

  How should an answer to FAQ be presented?
Like this. ;)


Screenshots are very useful for explaining how things work and keeping the reader oriented to their own experience of the program. Do try to strike a good balance between images and text. Unless illustrating an advanced feature or customization, shots should be of standard/default views and skins—so as to not confuse new users. Save the shots at full resolution in PNG or JPG format. Upload them to F-TP:// They will then be available at ht-tp://

  • Images up to 600 pixels wide (like this one) might be placed in a table like this, with accompanying text placed beside it. The width may be reduced using the width parameter. Wider images should not be placed in a table—unless they will serve their purpose when reduced to 600 pixels or less.

  • If multiple images are being used in a series, put them all in the same table. Then the column width will stay the same—even if the images are of different widths.

  • Images may be in the left or right column, and need not all be in the same column. It may be effective, for example, to alternate images and text between equal-width columns.

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Help / 1042 Preferences - Part 2
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:59:29 am »

  In Part 1:
UI Controls

On this page:
Media Handling
Importing Data
Special Features

Appearance > Toolbar/Hotkey   Commands not on menus:
To access these commands, place them on the Toolbar or create a Hotkey.
Always show
Execute default import plugin
Execute default export plugin
Execute default poster import plugin
Execute default cover import plugin
Remove all posters/photos
Remove all screenshots
Remove all covers
Automatically create screenshots

   Default Hotkey:

Dialogs   Confirmation dialog on record deletion
Confirmation dialog on file deletion
Confirmation dialog on clear

Dialogs   Show file selection when detecting DVD duration
Show possible actions on disc insertion

Folders   Default folder for dialogs: Open database, Video files, Open/save poster, Import, Export

   Last used | Specified folder
Plugins   Plain text export
See Export Commands.

   Template configuration
Plugins   CSV import
Excel import
See Import Commands and *Importing Existing Collections.

   Configure field mapping + delimiters
Configure field mapping
Plugins   Set (plugin) as default (for type)   Boolean
Internet   Check for updates
Ignore list

Items added from update dialog
Miscellaneous   Allow editing rating in view mode   Boolean
Miscellaneous   Playlist type to use for playing multiple video files

   PLS | M3U | ASX
Miscellaneous   Adding records:
Show selection dialog if similar records are already in the database
Always show selection list while importing information

Media Handling
Movies > Main   Import media label only from removable media   Boolean
Movies > Main   Delete movie files when deleting Movie from Database   Boolean
Folders   Replace folders in (network) file paths   String find & replace
File scanner   Search for new movies and changed paths on program start   Boolean + search paths
File scanner   RegExps to retrieve information from filenames   Ordered list of regex
File scanner   Find and replace   Ordered list of regex
File scanner   Smart episodes detection
Smart DVD/DB detection
Smart multiple discs detection

File scanner   Ignore files   List (actual or regex)
File scanner   File extensions (to include in scan)   List

Importing Data
Plugins   Movie information   Configuration + Overwrite settings

Plugins > IMDb   ID
Custom field for Votes
Custom field for Top 250 rank
Custom field for Technical specs
Custom field for User review
Use AKA search
Download tags from the first page only (faster)
Download full plot summary
Download full credits
...Except actors (from main page only)
Download Movie Connections
..."Followed by" only
Download "Also known as"
Download Awards
Download Episodes
Download Box office data
Download image

Custom field
Custom field
Custom field
Custom field

Plugins   Poster Import   None
Plugins   People information   Overwrite settings
Plugins   Overwrite fields when importing data with selected plugin   Overwrite | Do not overwrite | Ignore
Plugins   Save description in   Available memo fields
Plugins   Silent mode for all plugins (no user input required)   Boolean
Plugins   Download all available images (silent mode)   Boolean
Internet   Use proxy server
Proxy server settings

Server, port, username, password

Internet   Advanced settings   Timeouts, User agent

Special Features
Movies > Main   Loan all movies with the same Media Label
Loan all movies with the same ID

Screenshots   Number of screenshots to capture
Capture method
Create screenshots using

Random | Equal intervals
DirectShow | FFmpeg library (Path)

Web search   Ordered list of names and search URL's to appear in menu   URL + %s[%u]
Plugins   PVDtoTray

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Help / 1032 Commands - Part 2
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:41:04 am »

  In Part 1:
File Menu

On this page:


  • The bookmarking feature is intended for any temporary tagging need. They only can be easily set or removed or all cleared, so they're ideal for marking items in the process of being updated or reviewed. The bookmark filter can be used to list them, or exclude them from the list. Or Next/Previous used to navigate between them.

  • Because they are volatile, they should only be used for temporary needs—normally tasks to be completed in the same session. For more permanence, use the Loans manager feature (i.e., "loan" the items to "My bookmark") or consider adding a custom checkbox field to record the attribute of interest.


  • All of the import plugins and scripts included in the program appear on this menu. To remove unwanted items, remove them from their installation folders (or add an .XXX extension to disable them) and restart the program.

  • Each item is listed in Preferences>Plugins. Verify plugins are configured correctly before attempting to run them. One plugin of each type (e.g., movie information, poster, people information) is designated as the default. This plugin may be run using the assigned hotkey or toolbar button.

  • Where applicable, the operation of the menu item applies to the selected items in the List. The Status Bar will indicate the progress of an import currently running.


  • Each item on the export menu represents a template included in the Plain text Export plugin. Each template is listed in the configuration dialog at Preferences>Plugins>Plain text Export. The templates themselves are saved in the \Plugins\Templates folder.

  • Use the configuration dialog to add, edit or delete templates. A copy of an existing template is easily be made by creating a new template, and then copying and pasting the contents of the existing template. One plugin is designated as the default and may be run using the assigned hotkey or toolbar button.

  • For all templates, the export applies to all items currently displayed in the List. Use Filters or Advanced search to restrict the List to items you wish to export. The Status Bar will indicate the progress of the export. When done, most templates will prompt for a filename, and then display the results in the associated application.

  • Export templates are used to create reports suitable for printing—using whatever application is available for viewing the results (browser, text editor, word processor, etc.). PVD does not include its own print function.


  • The Search bar allows the search of any one selected field. Use Advanced search to perform a complex Boolean searches involving any number of fields and conditions.

    • Select any field from the drop-down box.
    • Change the operator by clicking it.
    • Enter a search term or (for list fields) select one from the drop-down box.
    • Use Add condition to add another condition.
    • Use Add block to group conditions (to change the order they are evaluated in).
    • The selected item is enclosed in dotted lines.
    • Use Delete to remove the selected object, or Clear to clear the entire search.
    • Click OK to perform the search.

    Movies matching the search appear in the list. Clear the results by clicking the refresh button on the Search bar (to the right of the search box). This will not clear the search—it will still be available in the Advanced search dialog to run again or modify.

  • A Web search searches for the Original title (or person's Name) of the selected item using the search facility of the specified web site. The term to search for can be changed manually in the search box. Click the search name button to select a different search. The searches may be added to or modified using Preferences>Web search.

  • Scan Folders first presents a dialog for selecting the folders to be scanned. Default folders may be set at Preferences>File scanner. The routine scans the selected folders for new or changed media files, and presents a Scan Results dialog:

    • The command must be configured so it understands your file naming conventions. This is explained more fully in *Scanning Media.
    • It will show a list of items found, and a proposed action ("Change file path" or "Add new movie/episode") for each of them. If incorrect, these actions may be changed using the context menu.
    • Use the check boxes and controls provided to select which items to process, skip or ignore.
    • Select the items to be Automatically imported and the plugins for doing so (clicking the buttons to select). These settings will be used the next time the routine is run.
    • When satisfied with your settings, click Process to complete the operation.
  • Find movies removed from HDD is sort of like a Filter in that it removes from the List all movies that have a valid File path recorded. The Scan folders routine should correct the references to files that have been moved or renamed. So anything left on the list should either be a movie for which there never was media, or for which media no longer exists.

  • The program supports the optional use of a sequentially assigned Movie ID. Re-index movies will re-index all movies visible in the List, in the order they appear. Be very careful with this command if you choose to use Movie ID as a reference to your physical media. Media label and/or Media location might be a better choice for this purpose.

  • Optimize database searches for and deletes duplicate and orphaned records. It then uses the backup and restore functions to effectively remove the space that was occupied by these records in a process called "garbage collection." Your database will perform better if occasionally optimized.

  • Movies may be Loaned and loaned movies Returned using those commands on the Movies menu. The Loans manager shows a User (borrower) summary with controls for adding or removing users, and a borrow/return history by movie:

    • This example shows the Loans feature being used for an alternate purpose. The Users are not borrowers, but various types of videos. The feature is being used to "tag" them so they can be hidden or displayed using the Loan filter, with the "borrower" indicating the reason for doing so.
    • The Loan command allow a borrower to be selected or, if new, entered, and the number of days to loan for to be selected.
    • When a movie is loaned, a Borrower field appears in the information panel, indicating the borrower and date borrowed.
    • Borrowed movies may also be colored in the list (the default is red).

  • Statistics produces a simple statistical "snap shot" of your database. It cannot be modified, printed or saved. This feature is unlikely to be developed further, as the database itself can be used to generate more useful descriptive statistics dynamically.

  • All of the program's configuration settings and user options are managed using the Preferences dialog.


  • Links:

  • Check for updates will advise you of any updates for the program, plugins, scripts or skin.

  • You can see the credits in About...but they don't scroll! ::)

  • Starting the program with the -debug switch adds two commands to the menu. SQL is for running queries and scripts directly on the database. Log records all plugin activity—all the messages that appear in the status bar as a plugin is running. If there are any problems, the log will often be helpful in identifying what went wrong.

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