Author Topic: Proper use of filters  (Read 6605 times)

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buah

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Proper use of filters
« on: January 13, 2010, 12:35:18 pm »
I tried to find a topic treating this matter, but I either wasn't successful or it really didn't exist.

In case this feature exists, this topic is made in appropriate forum, and it could be deleted after someone, please, pointed me to that topic.

In case this feature doesn't exist, then this topic is appropriate for "Feature Suggestions" forum, in which case I suggest to move it there.

What's in the matter? As I said I'm preparing to download data for about 5500 movies, and the use of "visible" and "not visible" options aren't that clear to me. I would like to make a Custom Field named "In Collection" (checkbox), than to assign it to all 5500 movies with a single click, so later, after downloading data, I could found them easy in a list of God-knows-how-many-tens-of-thousands entries (I would also like to have them, too - I want to know how many movies in a database I've seen, regardles have them or not in collection).

Another option is to set them "Wish-Not owned", but it's pretty inconvenient because actually - I own them!

The third option would be possibility to  assign "Wish" field checked by default for any new Movie entries (New titles downloaded by me, or by filmography), so I could later filter only those that are "un-wished".


Any suggestion appreciated in a way suggested. :)


Cheers
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:15:59 pm by rick.ca »

mgpw4me@yahoo.com

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Re: Group Operations
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 06:12:07 pm »
Other people are using the system the way it is, so it's unlikely program changes that will break their logic will be made.  Other similar threads resulted in a 'no' to adding / changing the checkboxes.

Personally, I'd have found checkboxes for download status useful.  Not going to happen.

I'll tell you what I've done, so maybe it will help you.

1) I tried a custom language file.  It works.  I don't use it anymore.  I wrote some skins accomodate this all, but I stopped doing it that
    way because it ended up being more work than it was worth.  I ended up doing more configuration work than movie related work.
2) I now use the checkboxes the way they are, and use the colour preferences to indicate meaning.
    a) I have a light yellow for movies that I'm going to download ("wish")
    b) I have a light blue for movies I've seen and didn't like / deleted ("not wish" "not owned")
    c) Movies I keep are obviously, "owned"
    d) "owned" "wished": The wording doesn't make sense for most people, but in my case, it could mean I have a bad copy and want a better one.
        Unfortunately this is no colour preference for this optioni, so I don't use it.
    e) I use a BOOKMARK to indicate a movie that I have a bad copy of (bright yellow)
    f) I keep my download links in the COMMENTS field and copy / paste them into RapidShare Plus when I'm ready

So where does this leave me?  

1) I have a clean, sortable list of movies that I own, with colours that indicate the download status.  It works good enough and is
    minimal effort to set up.
2) I have a non-visible list of movies from filmographies.  ** NOTE ** I stopped using the filmography setting for people after 150,000
   movies of which I have 3000...I'm on "R" in the people list...it takes about 8 hours to do 1,000 people on high speed internet after you
   hit 100,000 movies and it gets slower the more movies you have.
3) I can pull up a list of 'not owned' movies and see from colour which ones I have ready to download
4) I can tell by colour what movies I seen, didn't like, and don't want to download again.

Is all this a messy workaround?  Yup.  If you don't collect movies the way 'most' people do, you can't expect changes to the software...the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual in this case.  The man power doesn't exist to do more.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 07:18:45 pm by rick.ca »

buah

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Re: Group Operations
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 10:03:34 pm »
Thank you mpg4me for an ample and helpful post. It was helpful to saw how you kept track of certain categories of movies you downloaded data for (although you didn't emphasize with which colour you marked movies you have in you collection "for good" - "owned").

Somehow, I had a feeling my English would miss the point intended by my post. As the subject of this topic says, the point and the question meant to be:

1. How to utilize available group options to keep track of movies that are in someones collection physically? (as I found, so far those group options are: "Seen", "Wish", "Loan" and "Bookmark" regarding my aim)

2. Is there any opinion on adding extra group option to PVD by nostra, that could be performed on multiple movie selection to fill custom made checkbox. Something like I faked in a picture below:




Thank you
Cheers
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:05:41 pm by buah »

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Group Operations
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 10:12:52 pm »
...the use of "visible" and "not visible" options aren't that clear to me.

The visibility of a record isn't really an "option." Movies in filmographies and awards are that are not also part of your "collection" are added as invisible records. If you later add such a movie to your collection, the program will (hopefully) recognize the movie being added is the same as the invisible record, which will then be made visible. The point is, it's something under program control—not something you should be concerned about. Your only decisions in this regard—and they are important ones—are what credits to download, and whether or not to maintain filmographies.

My personal preference is to restrict the number of credits to those shown on the IMDb main page (up to 15), and to include filmographies. Many movies (particularly more recent ones) have huge credit lists. The "main page" option is the only way to restrict the number of credits. One of the main features of the program that sets it apart from others is it's ability to maintain filmography data in a proper relational database. It would be a shame not to use this. It does, however, mean a lot of invisible movies get added. This, in turn, is another reason to restrict the number of credits downloaded. So, the preference settings I recommend are:

  • Movies: Show movies added from filmographies not selected
  • People: Show people added from movie credits
  • Plugin (configuration): Download full credits and Except actors (from main page only)
  • Plugins (bottom of page): Do not add people from Awards if they are not listed in movie credits

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I would also like to have them, too - I want to know how many movies in a database I've seen, regardles have them or not in collection

This implies the 5,500 movies you're referring to are just those you own, and do not include all the movies you've seen. The existing filters will separately distinguish movies seen/not seen and those owned/not owned. If you're importing data and you have a record of the seen/not seen status, that should be included in your import. The status of the owned filter is determined by the existence of data in the Path field. I see no reason why this wouldn't leave the Wish filter available for it's intended purpose.

Other people are using the system the way it is, so it's unlikely program changes that will break their logic will be made.  Other similar threads resulted in a 'no' to adding / changing the checkboxes.

So you know where I stand on this. Adding filters is not going to help the situation where the user is not able to adapt the existing ones to their circumstances. In buah's case, I see no reason (yet) why the existing filters—used in the "normal" manner—will not serve his needs.

Quote
I ended up doing more configuration work than movie related work.

Sorry, but I don't think this is a helpful comment. I use a custom skin and a slightly modified language file. These modifications give me exactly the results I want, make my "work flow" more efficient, and require very little maintenance.

Quote
d) "owned" "wished": The wording doesn't make sense for most people, but in my case, it could mean I have a bad copy and want a better one. Unfortunately this is no colour preference for this option, so I don't use it.

The display colours have no bearing on the function of the filters. There's no reason why you can't flag an owned movie as "wished." It will appear in a list of owned movies, coloured as "wished." That would make perfect sense in the circumstance you describe, and leaves bookmarks free for other things. Bookmarks are most useful in situation where you need to temporarily flag records—usually so they can be selected for some one-time operation.

Quote
it takes about 8 hours to do 1,000 people on high speed internet after you hit 100,000 movies and it gets slower the more movies you have.

I don't dispute this is your experience, but please don't generalize. There are about 25,000 people (and about 250,000 invisible movies from their filmographies) in my database. Of course it takes a long time to download information for a large number of people, but the number of invisible movies in the database has no bearing on that. And download time depends on your internet service and the online server. I recently re-downloaded all the people in my database. I'm not sure how long it took because it ran in the background. It was likely more than 24 hours, but less than 48. Unhappy with the quality of photos from IMDb, I just updated the 4,600 records that had a photo using the OFDb plugin (i.e., replacing the IMDb photo with the OFDb photo, if one existed; it appears a better one did for about 2/3 of them). This took 14 hours, but records with photos are obviously much larger than those without.

Quote
Is all this a messy workaround?  Yup.  If you don't collect movies the way 'most' people do, you can't expect changes to the software...the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual in this case.  The man power doesn't exist to do more.

Work around what? Your circumstances are pretty "normal," and it seems the program works perfectly well for you. What more do you want? If the software was produced by an army of bone-headed programmers, I have no doubt it would attempt to dictate to users exactly how they should manage their collections (and/or offer 19 different methods for doing so). Personally, it's my intense hatred of such crapware that leads me here. The approach here is simple and direct, if not elegant. Like most powerful database software, however, this does require the user to be clear-headed about the information they want and how best to maintain it. For those who have, I doubt very many have had to do anything that can seriously be called a "workaround." For the few that have, I suspect PVD may have been the only software that allowed them to do so.

2. Is there any opinion on adding extra group option to PVD by nostra, that could be performed on multiple movie selection to fill custom made checkbox. Something like I faked in a picture below:

You posted while I was writing. Please let me know if you still think this is necessary after considering what I've said.

mgpw4me@yahoo.com

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 11:38:41 pm »
'Owned' and 'wish' end up with the same colour as 'wish'...not useful for me, since I can tell them apart.  So I use an option that does give me a different colour.

......."Sorry, but I don't think this is a helpful comment. I use a custom skin and a slightly modified language file. These modifications give me exactly the results I want, make my "work flow" more efficient, and require very little maintenance."

Heh?  Which comment isn't being useful?  It takes hours to build a skin and if you're dealing with figuring out how to manipulate existing features to your purpose, the process is painful.  This isn't a knock on the software, but it's difficult to use "out of the box".  It's been months of learning for me to figure out a way to do what I want, I have a pretty good clue about how software works.  I don't really think you're sorry at all <grin>.

......So you know where I stand on this.

True enough.  I got caught up in my own situation.

......I don't dispute this is your experience, but please don't generalize.

Delete all your 'people', turn on ALL the download options and remove the limits on credits.  You'll see what I say is not a generalization.  Databases do not add records as quickly as they can read them.  On an update, there are many more searches than updates.  I can run through 100,000 updates in several hours.

......Work around what?

Default configuration.  It takes time to figure out how to do what I'm doing.  There's little documentation and you basically have to find everything yourself...and then dream up what you can change in existing options to accommodate it in the 'best' way.  It's an unfriendly application to customize, and it's the significant flexibility / complexity of the application that makes it so.  The fact is that most people don't know XML or PASCAL, have trouble figuring out how to change a template and finding the options they need to do what they want.  Does that mean I'm going to update the docs for you?  No, I have other priorities.  Is it a problem regardless?  For new users it is.

You don't like the way I do things in the only reasonable way the program allows.  Get real, or at least be polite about it.  There are people in the world who don't have elephant hide for skin the way I do.

buah

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Just trying to catch a proper moment to hit "CTRL+ALT+I"
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 12:34:20 am »
rick.ca,

First of all, thank you as for your suggestions considering personal reference as for your usually fast reply and as I said earlier: it's not that PVD is the best of it's kind (which is true) that matters to me, but that it suits all my needs. That's why I posted such a topic in this and not in "Feature..." forum: because I felt I only needed support to figure out how to get the result I want.

Second, I found a flaw in my previous posts, if it matters now: I meant "Group operations" and not "Group options". Silly me!

Third, as I finished testing PVD on a single entry ("The Shawshank case" :)), and while we're waiting for an update for an imdb.dll regarding "Top 250 Rank" issue, I decided meanwhile to test PVD on a multiple movie entries. And that's how this topic emanated.

Quote
The status of the owned filter is determined by the existence of data in the Path field.

Important thing to say here is that I imported 5500 movie entries from MS Excel table without such a "Path" column in that .xls file.

If I understood your statement quoted above, please let my screen capture first talk instead of me:






1. I don't have a path for "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" as you can see. I applied "owned" filter (also seen) and it still appears on list?
2. I downloaded data for "Mesrine..." movie from my collection (it's "Path" is not null), and I got an extra "Gangstars - Gangstars ()" entry (light blue coloured one in the left pane). Don't have it in collection, don't have a path for it, still "owned" filter applied, still "Gangastars" visible, and in the "owned" list? I applied "Refresh" also.
3. No matter I additionally applied "Visible" advanced filter, the result is the same - all movie entries shown: "owned" ones (physically in my collection) and "not-owned" ones (not physically in my collection), and all are "marked in database" (is it the term?) as visible?

Quote
In buah's case, I see no reason (yet) why the existing filters—used in the "normal" manner—will not serve his needs.

I know that this issue is too trivial, because primarily and main purpose of any software of this kind is to manage and maintain one's collection. Regarding that, I'm definitely doing something wrong - either setting up PVD's preferences, or improperly using existing filters, while at least, all PVD components I use were up-to date, but I just don't know what.

The experience says that sometimes rephrasing the question can help resolving problems, so please allow me to do so:

After mass import online data in silent mode (or not, it produce the same unwanted result for me) for 5500 movie entries and getting hundreds of thousands new entries, how to manage to get shown only a list of movies I own - those 5500, regardless the fact that I don't have "Path" field filled in for them, without deleting extra entries gotten?

Please if it's needed consider here as a separate issue above screen capture regarding applied "owned" field didn't impact on not-having-"path"-movie-entries, in terms of "how it should be after online importing" and "how it is in buah's case after online importing".

I want you to know that I read your previous post several times before, and several times during writing this post ensuring that I didn't misread something. Thank you even for your patience to reach the end of this post, not to mention if I get a reply.

Cheers

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 01:40:33 am »
Quote
'Owned' and 'wish' end up with the same colour as 'wish'...not useful for me, since I can tell them apart.  So I use an option that does give me a different colour.

Your personal preference was clear from your original post. I was only pointing out there is nothing wrong with the program design in this regard. Most people, if they cared, would be perfectly happy to flag a movie "wished" in the circumstance described. It will stand out very nicely in a list of "owned" movies. Yes, in an unfiltered list, it will appear as "wished" and you won't know it's also "owned." I don't care. You do, so you choose do it differently. So what?

Quote
Which comment isn't being useful?

Your comment implies any effort to modify these aspects of the program is not worth the bother. My experience does not bear this out. Your comment is not useful because it's misleading—especially to new users. Users have a choice. They can leave things as much as possible in the "out-of-the-box" state and forego the benefits of modifications, or not. Creating a custom skin from scratch is a lot of work. It should be undertaken only by those with the aptitude, desire and/or need for such things. On the other hand, adding a few custom fields, adding them to the default skin and using a custom language file are all rather straightforward things anyone can do.

Quote
Delete all your 'people', turn on ALL the download options and remove the limits on credits.

As I said earlier in my post, not restricting credits is not a good idea. You will end up with a huge number of people in your database, most of whom you don't care about—as well as having performance issues. But my database works reasonably well with the credits restricted (to the extent possible) to those I'm interested in. Maybe that won't work for you—due to poor internet service or the data source—but the suggestion it can't be done is not a valid generalization.

Quote
It takes time to figure out how to do what I'm doing...

Of course it does. Any software with similar capabilities would too. Yes, a "slicker" interface might make some aspects of its configuration easier. And yes, it would be great to have "professional" documentation. But these are not reasonable things to expect from a freeware application. Good documentation is scarce, even in commercial software. But I digress. The necessity to configure a database application in order to get the results a user wants has does not constitute a "workaround."

mgpw4me@yahoo.com

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 02:01:42 am »
I disagree, but it doesn't matter.

If buah can find a workable answer anywhere in this thread, I'm fine with that.

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2010, 04:34:42 am »
Quote
I found a flaw in my previous posts, if it matters now: I meant "Group operations" and not "Group options".

No problem. But since you mention it, I hope you don't mind me changing the subject to "Proper use of filters." I thought that better described what you're asking about.

Quote
If I understood your statement quoted above, please let my screen capture first talk instead of me:

OIC. The problem is with your understanding of the filter menu captions. What you're calling the "owned" filter is actually the "wish" filter (i.e., it depends on the status of the wish flag. I obviously haven't helped by referring to the "media on hard drive" filter as the "owned" filter. Sorry for the confusion, but this illustrates the problem with filters when each one works in a very specific way, but can be used in different ways by different users. I've actually renamed them "Wished" and "Media" (meaning I have, or "own" the media) using a custom language file—because that's what they mean in the context of how I use them.

I find it helpful to consider what each filter does, rather that what it's called. First of all, they all have three "states:" on/true, off/false and ignore/not applicable. Then the attributes filtered, in the order presented in the menu, are:

1. Viewed: Based on the view flag (which is set automatically if a view date is set).

2. Wished: Based on the wish flag.

3. Loaned: True if the movie has been "loaned" using the loan management feature. If you're willing to let "borrower" mean whatever you want it to mean, this can be used as a customizable filter. For example, you could "loan" a movie to "amazon.com" to indicate the movie is on order, with delivery due on a certain date.

4. Path: A path exists in the Path field.

5. Bookmarked: As set using the Bookmarking feature.

6. Movie (not series): It's movie unless it's not. Then it's a series (or an episode of a series).

I'll wait to see how much this clears things up before commenting further.


Offline rick.ca

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 08:10:45 am »
I missed this in my previous post...

Quote
Important thing to say here is that I imported 5500 movie entries from MS Excel table without such a "Path" column in that .xls file.

This may not be an issue, depending on how your media files are named. The program will scan your HDD and attempt to match the files found to your movie records. If the Title or Original title and Year are included in the pathname in a form recognized by the regex provided in Preferences - File Scanner, then the program will do this for you. Perhaps you've already done this (Tools - Scan folders...). If this doesn't work with sufficient accuracy (you'll probably want 95 - 99%), you may as well address the issue now. That means revising the regex so all of your files are properly recognized and/or changing filenames so the regex are able to accurately extract the Title and Year. Although the pathnames might have been imported, letting the program do it will be a good test of the configuration. If it can process 5,500 movies correctly, then you can be confident it will continue to do so for future additions.

buah

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 01:01:51 pm »
rick.ca,
Thank you for further advises and suggestions.
Quote
I'll wait to see how much this clears things up before commenting further.
Regardless how bad my English looks, I assure you that my first post is fully complied with your penultimate post. I got my dilemma afterward. After your last two posts, it is confirmed to me that I understood the use of given filters, so I'll delete parts of my previous post, cause I don't want to confuse other users, or to mislead them. I'll do that after you agree with it.

This is how I did it.
1. I titled all videos I had according to IMDb "standards": Title-as-shown-at-IMDb%20-%20Original-Title-as-shown-at-IMDb%20(Year-Shown-at-IMDb).
2. I cataloged them for years with "WhereIsIt?" mainly, alongside with many others too in order to finally find the one that suits my needs.  
3. I finally found it - PVD.
3. I exported all data (without "Path" field) from those catalog software I used, to Excel.
4. Didn't scan any file, just imported data from that table to PVD (I don't have them on HDD, and to scan all DVDs again would take a year at least).
5. Now I'm preparing to mass-download online data.
6. I can't do that because I won't be able to track movies I own because of the nature of importing data from MS Excel (couldn't be able to apply any given filter that will match wanted result).

I got an idea: I'll import all data again, but I will import MS Excel "Media Location" data (it's actually DVD case # in which video is) to PVD's "File Path" field (column). So, I'll get their actual path (not the "Path" from they were supposed to be scanned), but will be able to apply PVD's "Movies on Hard Drives" and "Movies on Removable Drives" in order to keep track of owned movies.

After that, any new entry (5501, and successive)  is already meant and planned to be scanned from HDD, or removable media.

Your opinion on this is greatly welcome.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 03:27:33 pm by buah »

Offline rick.ca

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 11:11:48 pm »
Quote
I got an idea: I'll import all data again, but I will import MS Excel "Media Location" data (it's actually DVD case # in which video is) to PVD's "File Path" field (column). So, I'll get their actual path (not the "Path" from they were supposed to be scanned), but will be able to apply PVD's "Movies on Hard Drives" and "Movies on Removable Drives" in order to keep track of owned movies.

This is exactly what I would have recommended. Again (for the sake of others reading this), this is why one should consider carefully exactly how each filter works rather than be swayed by the what the menu captions suggest they do. Because the "path" filter is based simply on the existence of data in the Path field, it can be used in many different ways.

Quote
...so I'll delete parts of my previous post, cause I don't want to confuse other users, or to mislead them. I'll do that after you agree with it.

Please be careful in deleting parts of a post that has been responded to—that can make the thread even more difficult to follow. If you're concerned about others being mislead by something you've said, it might be better to strike it out and/or add a comment like:

[Edit: The following is incorrect—see subsequent post.]

buah

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Re: Proper use of filters
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 10:03:23 am »
rick.ca,

Thank you for your time, suggestions and patience. It was very useful to me!