FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) -- Read This First

Discussion in 'Moving Pictures' started by RoChess, January 23, 2010.

  1. RoChess
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    This is a FAQ for the Moving Pictures plugin.

    It will answer some of the questions often asked on the forum. Over time more solutions will be added, so please check back on occasion before posting your 'question' on the forum. This FAQ is mainly targetted towards Moving Pictures v1.0, which is currently in beta. So if you are using the stable v0.7.5 release, some screenshots will look different and some options will not be present.

    For the easy questions, such as "Adding a custom movie", look at the existing FAQ first on the Wiki website.


    Using the Forum Search

    If your problem is not in this FAQ, try searching the forum first...

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    It is very likely your question was already asked by somebody else, so try a search first.

    The entire MediaPortal forum is large and in different languages, so be sure to target your search at the right place.

    Do not use the 'Search' option at the top of the forum, but instead click on the "Search this Forum" option on the right side:

    [​IMG]

    Then try to search for a single noun keyword that describes your problem. For example if you have trouble playing back ISO files, then simply search on 'ISO'. You might get a lot of results, but focus on the thread titles first.



    Adding your own backdrop/fanart image

    The best way to add a missing backdrop is to contribute to themoviedb.org, however...

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    You might have a personal home video of your kids, or a funny videoclip that you saved. There won't be any IMDb reference for those, and neither will there be a backdrop on sites such as themoviedb.org, impawards.com and alike.

    If you have a screenshot or other picture that could act as a backdrop, you can manually assign that to be used by MovingPictures. The developers are working on including an easier way, comparable to how you can do the covers, but until they are ready, open the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "Movie Manager" tab. Then locate the movie that you want to configure the backdrop on. Select the movie and scroll down to the bottom of the details. There you will find "Backdrop Path", as per:

    [​IMG]

    Simply double click in the red encircled area and provide the path to the new picture, such as the example "D:\Heat.jpg". You can confirm the new image via the Enter key, or clicking elsewhere with the mouse. Be sure to not add any trailing or leading spaces, as that might cause problems.





    Adding a new, or updating an existing scraper

    Movie database sites adjust their code, so the scrapers have to be modified...

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    MovingPictures gets the information regarding cast, summary and other details from internet movie websites, such as IMDb. This process is called scraping, and it is a seperate part of MovingPictures. The reason for this is that you can update the scrapers without waiting for a new MovingPictures release. A lot of scrapers are bundled by default, but there are many other scrapers available.

    List of scrapers not included by default:


    Updates to the default scrapers are also posted on the forum. In order to install and/or update a scraper, use the following steps:

    Open MovingPictures configuration, and go to the "Importer Settings" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Adjust the radio button to "Manually Manage" the data source scrapers:

    [​IMG]

    Use the "Movie Details Data Sources" button to open the following:

    [​IMG]

    This will show you the existing scrapers, their order in which they are used, and their current version.
    Click the little arrow next to the [+] to reveal the following menu:

    [​IMG]

    Select "Add a New Data Source" and then browse to the location where you downloaded the scraper XML file. New scrapers will be added at the bottom, and you can use the green up and down arrows to adjust their position. If you did not adjust the default settings, then only the first scraper listed is used for auto-approval, so keep that in mind.

    Note: If you are the first to notice something is wrong with a scraper, then you can help the developers with proper debug logs. To enable the scraper debug mode, go back to the "Movie Details Data Sources" screen from before that lists all the scrapers. Then use the gear icon to select the following option:

    [​IMG]

    This will activate the scraper debug mode, which you can verify via: [​IMG]

    Your movingpictures.log file can now be zipped and given to the scraper developer to solve the problem you discovered. This can result in extremly large log files if you import a large amount of movies, so keep the steps needed to recreate the problem as short as possible. For example close MovingPictures configuration, open it, and re-import a single movie that is causing problems.



    Advanced settings: An intro before feature film starts

    For a real Home Theater experience, you can use your own intro movie...

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    It is possible to have your very own introduction trailer start before the selected movie plays. MovingPictures does not play this intro when you resume a movie.

    You can obtain a wide range of trailers from: DTS THX Dolby WMV Movie Distributor VOB Trailers

    A very nice one is the Dolby 'Countdown' trailer, which is 19 seconds and starts with a black and white old fashion movie countdown reel, but then transforms into a visual stunning countdown timer and ends with full 5.1 surround sound magic.

    To setup an intro movie, start up the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "About" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Then click on the "Advanced Settings" button: [​IMG] to open:

    [​IMG]

    Now scroll down to "GUI Settings" -> "Playback Options" -> "Custom Intro Location" and provide the location of your movie.

    For example: D:\Intro Movie\Dolby Countdown 1080p (AC3).mkv and use the "Update" button to confirm.



    Advanced settings: Adjusting scraper auto-approve results

    There are a few ways to improve the automatically approved results...

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    The easiest way to influence the auto-approve results is by placing the right scraper at the first position. Please refer to the scraper FAQ above for this.

    However there are a few advanced settings as well that can help.

    Start up the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "About" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Then click on the "Advanced Settings" button: [​IMG] to open:

    [​IMG]

    Now find "Movie Importer" -> "Matching and Importing" -> "Only Auto Approve from Primary Data Source"

    Adjusting this one to "False", will allow other scrapers to auto-approve a movie as well. This could however be the wrong movie, which is why by default only the first/primary scraper is used.

    The "Movie Importer" -> "Matching and Importing" -> "Minimum Possible Match Threshold" can also be a factor, because it will stop trying to use other scrapers when enough matches have been found. Adjusting this to '0' will ensure that all your active scrapers are used, but be aware that this will cause extra internet traffic and processing time.

    However if you for example are useing the CDUniverse adult scraper, and placed this below the IMDb scraper, then it will never be able to get you a result without modifying these two settings. This is because IMDb will always be able to find some regular movie titles that match some parts of your adult movie title.



    Advanced settings: Using Noise Filer to clean up filenames

    Instead of renaming a lot of filenames, there is another way that might work...

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    You might have weird filenames that fail to get a match. MovingPictures needs a clean title to work, so it has the option to strip unneeded information from the filename before it tries to match the title via the scrapers.

    The default Regular Expression used for this is pretty universal, but might not be ideal for your filenames.

    Start up the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "About" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Then click on the "Advanced Settings" button: [​IMG] to open:

    [​IMG]

    Now locate "Movie Importer" -> "Tweaks" -> "Regular Expression Noise Filter".

    Do not be scared by the extremly complicated setting that you will see by default, which is:

    Code (Text):
    1. (([\(\{\[]|\b)((576|720|1080)[pi]|dir(ectors )?cut|dvd([r59]|rip|scr(eener)?)|(avc)?hd|wmv|ntsc|pal|mpeg|dsr|r[1-5]|bd[59]|dts|ac3|blu(-)?ray|[hp]dtv|stv|hddvd|xvid|divx|x264|dxva|(?-i)FEST[Ii]VAL|L[iI]M[iI]TED|[WF]S|PROPER|REPACK|RER[Ii]P|REAL|RETA[Ii]L|EXTENDED|REMASTERED|UNRATED|CHRONO|THEATR[Ii]CAL|DC|SE|UNCUT|[Ii]NTERNAL|[DS]UBBED)([\]\)\}]|\b)(-[^\s]+$)?)

    Regular Expressions have a lot of options, a few of them are as follows:

    • (...) = create a group
    • | = seperates multiple patterns
    • \s = space
    • \d = single decimal number
    • \d+ = multiple decimal numbers
    • \' = '
    • \( = since '(' is used for groups you need to use '\(' when you want to locate a '('

    So if you want to also make "Movie Title (Director's Cut).avi" work, you can add this to the end of the existing expression:

    Code (Text):
    1. |\s\(Director\'s\sCut\)

    The '|' makes your new addition seperate from the existing one, the '\s' looks for the leading space, and '\(' and '\)' are needed to avoid creating a group. The end result is "Movie Title.avi" which will allow the IMDb (or any other) scraper to match it to the right movie.



    Advanced settings: Solving unexpected sorting behaviour

    Some movies might not sort as expected, so here are some things to keep in mind...

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    By default MovingPictures will make it easier to find movies that have a prefix such as "The". It does this by removing the prefix, so that a movie like "The Art Of War" gets listed under the letter 'A'. The title is not changed, only the sorting behaviour.

    However you might find unexpected side effects to this, because a movie like "Die Hard" gets sorted under the letter 'H'. This is because 'Die' is German for 'The' and MovingPictures by default has multi-language support.

    To remove the non-English sorting adjustments, go to the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "About" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Then click on the "Advanced Settings" button: [​IMG] to open:

    [​IMG]

    Now locate "GUI Settings" -> "Sorting" -> "Articles for Removal" and adjust the current setting by removing |die or any other articles you do not wish to keep. For pure English only you can surfice with the|a|an.

    Note: There is another side effect and that is that in the current version the articles are not actually removed, but added to the end of the title. This can cause problems with some sequels in which the first movie is sorted last. A solution is being worked on, and you can stay informed via: Google SVN Issue #700

    It does not occur often, so for the time being you can fix it manually.

    Open the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "Movie Manager" tab. Then locate the movie that is sorted wrong, for example "The Art Of War".

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, it gets sorted after the sequels. So to fix it, double click the SortBy field:

    [​IMG]

    And manually remove the ending 'the' part of the title, and hit Enter. The results of this are not immediatly shown, so you have to close the MovingPictures configuration screen and start it back up. But then you are presented with the following result:

    [​IMG]

    The reason for this behaviour is because the letter 'T' from 'the' gets sorted after the letter 'I' from the Roman Numerals.



    Working with filters and custom categories, genres, etc

    Adjust the way movies are categorized, to get the best personalized experience...

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    MovingPictures is all about allowing you to create the best personal experience, so you have many options at your disposal. One of these is custom categories to bundle movies together, so that they are easier to locate.

    Open the MovingPictures configuration screen and click on the "GUI Settings" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Via the "Define Movie Categories" button you are presented with:

    [​IMG]

    In this screenshot you can already see an example filter 'Asian' that bundles all those movies together. The movies that are part of this filter are shown in light grey. To edit the filter click on the "Edit Filter" button, so you end up with:

    [​IMG]

    In this example all the Asian movies are in the subfolder "Asian", so a rule to reflect this was used. Many other combinations are possible, so you can create many different categories to match your needs. You can also use custom images for your categories.

    Visit the Custom category image thread on this forum for a wide selection of category images created by others.

    Simply download the images and place them in the 'Categories' folder for the skin that you use. You can find this folder in your MediaPortal program folder, for example:

    C:\Program Files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\skin\Blue3wide\Media\Categories.​

    Note: Remember to use the exact same Category Name as the Category Name.png filename, including spaces, or the custom image will not show.



    Keep movies hidden from other users via a PIN-code

    Don't want your kids to find R-rated movies? Or keep your private movies hidden...

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    With multiple people using the same HTPC, you will run into situations in which you want to hide certain movies.

    You can use the Parental Controls to achieve this. Enter the MovingPictures configuration screen and go to the "GUI Settings" tab:

    [​IMG]

    Then enable the checkbox for "Require following password to view restricted movies:" and give it a PIN code to use. Then click on the "Define Unrestricted Movies" button to get the following screen:

    [​IMG]

    Now you have to reverse your thinking for a bit. The goal is to specify the movies that everybody can view. In the above example that means every movie which has not been given a MovingPicture user defined rating. You can use the "View Results of this Filter" button to see a list of all the movies that everybody without the PIN code would be able to watch.

    There are a lot of options you can filter on:

    [​IMG]

    Just remember to think opposite. So if you want to filter out your adult movies that are all stored in the "D:\xXx\...." folder, then you can use "Full Path" -> "Does not contain" -> "xXx\".



    UPDATED: Reducing backdrops/fanarts and cover images

    Running out of storage space? Slow scrolling of the movie list?...

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    All those images can add up quickly, which for users on a small partition, or small SSD can lead to problems running out of free space. Large images can also cause a delay when you scroll your lists very fast. MovingPictures v1.0.2.1048, also known as Beta3 has the ability to reduce image resolution, but this might not be enough for some users.

    The following script solves the problem in a different way, it does so by looking at the image filesize and makes sure it falls under a threshold, which is 350kB for backdrops and 150kB for covers. It also caps the dimensions to width x 1080 pixels for backdrops and width x 800 pixels for covers. Existing pictures with those dimensions (or smaller) are left alone, unless their filesize is larger then the thresholds. It does this by adjusting the JPEG quality factor, which in most cases leads to a result that the human eyes can not differentiate anyway. You can adjust any value if you prefer more quality and are less worried about the storage factor, but then you might as well just stick with Beta3.

    Visit Reduce storage size of 'thumbs' folder (MovPic + TVSeries) for more information.


    NEW: Cleaning up your movie collection and making it cross-compatible

    If you have media extenders or other software, it might help...

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    Making your collection cross-compatible, as it will allow it to be recognized by other movie solutions. It also helps when you want to re-import your collection from scratch.

    For example a Western Digital TV Live box goes for roughly $100 and is great for a bedroom, instead of full blown HTPC solution, if budget is small. It has support for cover images, if those images are inside a dedicated folder along with the movie file itself. To make this work, you would need to copy all your covers and create those folders for each movie. Now you can indeed try this manually, but why would you when there is a great application to do this automatic.

    Please visit the Copy Artwork and Details thread on this forum for more information.



    If you find any mistakes in my explanations, or have your own contributions, please reply to this thread so I can modify this first post to include them.
     
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  3. RoChess
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    RoChess Extension Developer

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    I'm going to be copying this FAQ into the MovingPictures Wiki soon. If anybody has ideas on adding other questions of interest, or finds a mistake in the ones I've done, now would be a good time to let me know.

    MovingPictures v1.0 stable will be released very soon, so it will be nice if the Wiki gets updated, as the majority of users will get their information from there.

    This forum version was meant as a quick draft, but with nobody giving feedback it isn't progressing much :cool:
     
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