[Blog] - Concept to enhance presentation of pin protected folders

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by infinite.loop, May 24, 2013.

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Would you like to see the proposed features added in an upcoming version of MP?

Poll closed June 7, 2013.
  1. Yes!

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  2. No! (see my reply which explains why)

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  1. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    A great way to customize the way MediaPortal presents content inside the graphical user interface is to take use of folder.jpg files.

    When you place such a file inside a folder, then MediaPortal will automatically display that file instead of the default folder, CD/DVD, harddisk icon or the thumbnail it automatically creates based on the videos or pictures inside that folder.

    This proposal here will show you how pin protected folders are displayed currently inside MediaPortal, and how it can be improved.

    I am using the videos section of MediaPortal to describe the intended change, yet the functionality is meant to be introduced in the video, music and picture sections of MediaPortal.

    The Idea:
    When you start using MediaPortal, you will most likely configure just one folder/source for each of the Music,Video and Picture areas.

    But there can be reasons to have more than just one folder/source. i.e. when using multiple hard disks, NAS devices or just a combination of both.

    Another reason for configuring multiple folders/sources can be that you just want to separate certain content in order to group it nicely, or restrict the access to some files.



    This example here is mainly focused on the idea of restricting access to certain files.

    We will have two separate folders for the video section as sources. One that stores the videos the kids are allowed to see, and one that stores videos only the parents are allowed to have access to.

    The Configuration:
    So lets go to MediaPortal Configuration, and enter the video section.
    There we will now add two folders. Each one pointing to the folder that stores the media for the "kids" and the one for the "parents".

    Config_001.jpg

    Now when go to MediaPortal, and enter videos, we will get this.

    MP_GUI_001.jpg

    So far so good!
    Parents and Kids sections are selectable individually. But this does not look nice yet. So lets save a folder.jpg in the parents folder, and one in the kids folder, that helps to identify the purpose of each folder instantly, without reading the name of the folder inside the GUI.

    folderKids.jpg folderParents.jpg

    When we enter MediaPortal now, we will get this. The used images might not be everyones taste, but you get the idea.

    MP_GUI_002.jpg

    Now we have created folder.jpg's, and everything looks good.
    What is missing is the protection of the parents folder, that prevents the kids to access it.

    Let's go back to the MediaPortal Configuration, and edit the parents folder inside the videos section to set a pin code (enter 4 numbers)

    Config_003.jpg

    And now we start MediaPortal again

    The Problem:

    MP_GUI_003.jpg

    So we placed our nice folder.jpg's in the kids and parents folders before. But now with setting the Pin Code, we no longer see that folder.jpg in the parents folder.

    The reason for that is that MediaPortal automatically hides the present folder.jpg as soon as you set a Pin Code. This is done with good intentions, because if no folder.jpg is present, MediaPortal will automatically generate a folder.jpg from video and images inside a folder. And this could lead to having a folder image that shows content your kids should not see.

    Yet we have placed a specific folder.jpg in that folder, and we want MP to display that. Also we do not see that this folder is pin protected, because it uses the default folder icon the skin provides.

    The Solution:
    Finally, lets get to the core of this proposal!

    "locked" icon
    Instead of displaying the default folder or hdd icon, allow the skin to provide a specific icon (i.e. something like a defaultLockedFolder.png) for locked folders.
    This will allow the user to instantly understand the function of the displayed item.

    MP_GUI_004.jpg

    overwrite hiding of folder.jpg
    Ultimately, we want MediaPortal to display the folder.jpg which we manually created and placed inside the parents folder. To achieve that we need a config option that allows us to tell MediaPortal that we know what we are doing here and that it has to display the folder.jpg inside our configured source.

    Config_002.jpg
    The default option will be to not show a present folder.jpg and have MP display the defaultLockedFolder.png instead. So there is no risk that unsafe content is displayed as icon for a locked folder.


    What do you think?
    Would you like to see this functionality introduced in an upcoming version?

    Did you already know about the possibility of using a folder.jpg to alter the presentation of folders inside the MP GUI?

    Let me know! :)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
    • Great Idea! Great Idea! x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  3. pellegj

    pellegj Portal Pro

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    Sounds good, but more complicated than needed i would say.
    Why not just change the code and allow a folder_user.jpg and display that if the folder is locked. I have no insight to how the code for this looks, but with this way there should not be any need to change anything considering autogeneration och the folder.jpg file.
     
  4. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    Idea is good, but not straight forward for the users because everywhere MP takes use of "folder.jpg". If pin protected folders then require a "folder_user.jpg" we don't only have to tell MP to look for that file instead when the pin is set but also somehow teach the users that in this case they need to name the file differently. The latter is IMO a major problem for useability because it is confusing the users and will mostlikely lead to false bug reports.

    So I belief that the proposed config option is better for usability. Since it is placed in the same screen where you set the pin code, it is also obvious for the user that it exists and requires no extra work for the user to get the intended behaviour of MP.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  5. kiwijunglist
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    kiwijunglist Super Moderator

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  6. megahorst
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    megahorst Super User

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    what about overlaying the folder.jpg with a padlock if the folder is protected?
    using this solution makes a config option obsolete
     
  7. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    It does not make the config option obsolete because the purpose of the default behavior (not display the folder.jpg) is to avoid that potential unsafe content is displayed.

    As I said in the proposal, keep in mind that if no folder.jpg is present, MediaPortal automatically generates a folder.jpg by using the video or pictures files inside the folder. That is why we are are currently hiding the folder.jpg completely. :)
     
  8. Edalex
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    Edalex Community Plugin Dev

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    Offtopic: why did you make screen from Configuration not Setitngs inside GUI? :confused:
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  9. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    Because this here is only a concept to explain the intended functionality.
    Also IIRC, the shares setup is not part of the in GUI settings section.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  10. crackdown

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    Great Idea! But what is even more important is implementing a way of setting a pin to adult content in certain TV broadcasts. i know this is off-topic, but its a feature which is asked for many times by users with kids. If the locking of certain folders can be accomplished, why not making it possible to lock certain channels in the TV section?
     
  11. infinite.loop
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    infinite.loop Retired Team Member

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    I fully agree, and I have an other proposal that goes even beyond that currently discussed inside the team. Yet doing that right will be quite a huge project.
     
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