Moving Pictures MP2 (1 Viewer)

Lehmden

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    OMG, EVERY one of my movies, and EVERY one of my TV show episodes, shows up in "Videos".
    This is by design (at least right now). I don't like it too and most others are also don't like it the way it is now. I think this will be changed soon (hopefully).

    Did not seem to have a problem with Holmes Inspection being in a folder
    Sometimes this works, sometimes it don't work. Can't tell why and how as it was working for some files and don't work for other files from same series and season. And with every new run of importer there are different files not working...
    As long as you have subfolders for seasons the MP2 import isn't reliable.
     

    dir

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    Reading a lot of these posts really makes it clear that MP2 is being developed purely by and for technical people. Having your entire video collection ALSO appear under 'Videos' may make perfect sense from a database architecture point of view, but it adds nothing to the user experience, creates total confusion, creates duplication (everything in Movies or Series will also show up in Videos), and creates unnecessary complexity for users.

    Unless, and until, MP2 development management or executive (I don't know how the organisation is structure) get involved and put some people in charge that understand who their target user is, and allow those managers to overrule the architects and other technical people, MP2 is doomed to be relegated to be used by a few thousand technical people around the world. And those people will only use it until they see just how simple and intuitive the alternatives are.

    Sorry, I'm checking out of this. After 10 years tweaking, building, rebuilding, updating, and fiddling with htpcs and servers and apps like MP, Meedio, and a few others, its really just an exercise in technical masturbation. There are alternatives now that cost $35, are the size of a USB stick or mobile phone or ashtray, and plug into your hdmi port on your TV and do everything MP does - and a lot less, actually, yet are far more compelling and simple to use. Google and Apple may have millions to spend on R&D, but they clearly prioritise end user acceptance and usability over architectural purity. Something the MP dev team clearly hasn't learned how to do.
     

    MJGraf

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    Reading a lot of these posts really makes it clear that MP2 is being developed purely by and for technical people. Having your entire video collection ALSO appear under 'Videos' may make perfect sense from a database architecture point of view, but it adds nothing to the user experience, creates total confusion, creates duplication (everything in Movies or Series will also show up in Videos), and creates unnecessary complexity for users.
    Well, it seems like I need to give some background here...

    To be able to make an app user-friendly in the long run, it is a necessity to have the technical concept perfectly right. You can also make a user-friendly app without a good technical and conceptual base (see MP1) but the problem is that it will end up in "specific solutions for specific needs" that do not fit into one big concept. As a result, it will be very difficult to add new functionality later on (see again MP1).

    Let me give you an example: Moving pictures is the best thing to watch movies I have ever seen. The problem is, however, that it is more or less a separate application and - maybe besides the skin engine and the player - could also exists without MP1. The reason is that someone decided that we need something like Moving Pictures, realized that close to nothing inbuilt in MP1 could be used for it and developed Moving Pictures including its scraper engine and its scripting engine completely separately from MP1. Moving Pictures has its own database - not connected with MP1 as such. The same holds true for TVSeries, etc.
    Now someone decided that times have changed and we need something like MPExtended and WebMP - in particular for mobile devices. The problem is that MPExtended now has to have separate ways to access the databases of Moving Pictures, TVSeries, MyMusic, etc. There is no "one big concept" behind it, which makes it more difficult to integrate a new technology such as MPExtended.
    This, by the way, may also be the reason why in this thread there are a lot of requests that seem to target the same thing - watching Movies and Series in MP2. And from an MP1 perspective, these requests would all target the same "part of MP1", i.e. Moving Pictures for movies and TVSeries for series. But this is not the case for MP2...

    MP2 is completely different in that respect. There is one single database for ALL kinds of "Media Items", be it movies, series, music, tv recordings, etc. Everyone may later on add new "kinds of Media Items" - not the MP1 way by providing a completely separate plugin with its own database etc. But the MP2 way: by telling the system "hey, there is a new kind of Media Items. They can be accessed via [...] Metadata can be scraped like [...] and what you find there are movies". MP2 will then automatically start importing these new Media Items in its one and only database and when the programmer did this work correctly, he would not even need to write his own frontend plugin. Since he told the system that the new Media Items are movies, those movies would immediately show up in the Movies section of MP2 Client. An example for this could be an online video store. What you need to make this work is a so called "ResourceProvider" and a "ResourceAccessor" (these tell the system how to access the videos online) and a MetadataExtractor (which is responsible for scraping metadata). That's all...

    Now you will probably say "well, that's what I told you. You only talk tech-speak, no one understands this and what we want is a user-friendly MP2". And I tell you that the tech-thingy is necessary to make it the way you want to have it. Imagine in the online video store example - what would be necessary to make the online video store work: 1) You install the plugin. 2) you add a Share with the "OnlineVideoStoreXYZResourceProvider". 3) Enter your credentials of the online video store. 4) wait until the import is finished 5) enter Movies and watch the movies of your online video store. As you see, using this online video store is 100% identical with adding your own movie collection and watching those videos. The MP1 way would have been that you install the respective plugin and then you have to open its new config tool in the MP1 Config utility, get used to it, make a lot of choices for various settings and finally you end up with a new entry in your main menu. What you find there (buttons, menus, etc.) would most likely be different from what you find in Moving Pictures, e.g., although both do the same: providing access to movies - just from different sources. That's the result of "one big concept" in MP2 - combined with the extensibility that is available through the plugin system.

    Against this background, back to the the question "why do all the movies also show up in Videos" - (and for breeze: why do I find some of my series only in videos): The concept behind this behavior is that MP2 thinks in "MediaAspects". There is a "MovieAspect", a "SeriesAspect", a VideoAspect, a MusicAspect, etc. Every MediaItem has one or more of these "Aspects". Every "Aspect" holds one or more so called "Attributes". An attribute of the MusicAspect e.g. is the "Artist", an attribute of the VideoAspect is the "VideoBitrate".
    Now, historically, there was only the VideoAspect (besides the PicturesAspect and the MusicAspect). Furthermore there was only the Video section in MP2 Client. So all your Movies, Series and anything else that was a Video was only shown in the Video section of MP2 Client. Then Morpheus came along and thought, there is something missing. We need something like Moving Pictures and TVSeries in MP2. And so he added the MoviesAspect and the SeriesAspect together with the respective front ends in MP2 Client. But he did not do so as it would be in MP1 - by writing a completely separate plugin. In the MP2 architecture this wouldn't make sense. Every movie IS at the same time a video - the same is true for series. And we already import all the information like "VideoBitrate" we also need for movies and series. What he did is that he added the MoviesAspect and the SeriesAspect additionally to the VideoAspect and only included additional Attributes specific for Movies and Series (such as the IMDB ID for Movies or the "Season" for series).
    The result was that the Movies section in MP2 Client only shows "videos" having a MovieAspect - the Series section only shows "videos" having a SeriesAspect. But still every movie and every series has a video aspect - which is why they are (still) all shown in the VideoSection.
    And as to your problem, breese, Lehmden is completely right. Apparently the VideoMetadataExtractor has found information for one of your series and therefore added a VideoAspect with that information. This is why it shows up in the video section of MP2 client. But the "SeriesMetadataExtractor" could not find information for that series and therefore no SeriesAspect was added. This is the reason why this series does not show up in the series section of MP2 client.
    Finally: How does MP2 decide which Apsect to add to a MediaItem. This is a decision that mainly the user makes when adding the Share. If you add a share, you have to choose a media category. If you choose "Music", MP2 will ask the MusicMetadataExtractor to find metadata for all the MediaItems in this Share and if the MedatadaExtractor is able to find information, he will add a MusicAspect with that information to the respective MediaItem. If you choose "Videos" as media category, MP2 will ask the VideoMetadataExtractor to gather information on the MediaItems and - if successful - will add a VideoAspect. If you choose "Movies" (or Series) when adding your Share, you will notice that at the same time "Videos" is also checked. This is the result of Movies and Series being a "subtype" of Videos. And this means that MP2 will first ask the VideoMetadataExtractor to find information on the MediaItems in the Share and then also ask the MoviesMetadataExtractor to find additional information specific for Movies. As a result, if the VideoMetadataExtractor was successful, the MediaItem will have a VideoAspect, if the MovieMetadataExtractor was also successful, there will also be a MovieAspect.

    Now to all the requests in this thread:
    • As mentioned above, the fact that all Movies and Series are also shown in Videos is a leftover from MP2's history. It is surely not too difficult to tell the frontend only to display videos in the video section that do not have a MovieAspect or a SeriesAspect.
    • Everything related to "how is it displayed in the frontend" I have to pass to Morpheus. He did a great job there in the past and he constantly tries to improve the user experience by adding new features. But please bear in mind: The MP2 development team only consists of very few people. Morph is more or less the only dev who currently works on front end improvements. We have just made TVE3.5 work with SQLite which makes it possible for many more people to try "native MP2 tv". As a result there were many requests on how to improve the TV frontend of MP2. And Morph immediately started to implement as many requests as possible - including a new EPG view, etc. Due to the lack of manpower, this all takes some time - but I am sure, he will not refuse to add some goodies to the Movies or Series sections when he has finished the improvements for SlimTV client...
    • All the rest (such as how and what metadata is scraped for what files in what languages, how can this be amended to one's personal needs, etc.) is completely unrelated to the movies or series section in the MP2 Client (unlike in MP1). This is dealt with in the MetadataExtractors and the Importer. And what I can tell you here is that we know that there is still a lot to do. But instead of providing "workarounds" to make feature a or b working, I have decided that we have to change the original concept a bit to have more flexibility. As a result, I will try to write a completely new Importer. This is necessary as we have many requests that the import as such takes too long. The new importer will be able to do a "two pass import", i.e. first only importing the absolutely essential information (in a quick first pass after which you can already find all your movies in the MP2 client - but maybe not yet all the eyecandy such as backdrops, etc.) and in a second pass, which may take longer, all the additional information that takes a lot of time to get (in most cases downloads from the internet). At the same time, I will make sure that the new Importer is able to handle things like "two files (CD1 / CD2) for one movie" or providing the possibility for user interaction during the import (e.g. if TMDB returns two possible matches for a movie, we need the user to choose which of those two is the right one), etc. In the course of this rewrite it may be possible that I also overhaul the current MetadataExtractors - and maybe I will also integrate the scripting engine of Moving Pictures to make it easier for non-devs to extend our scrapers (i.e. MetatadaExtractors). But for these latter things we still need to discuss a lot of things to make sure that we cover every possible use case.
    After all, the devs definitely read all the posts here in the MP2 forum. And we really appreciate all the feedback we get. We also try to implement as many requests as we can. But please bear with us: We are really only very few people and we all have a real life :D So it is not possible for us to answer every user post as extensively as this one. As you can see from breese's post, we are not even able to answer all the posts of our testers (sorry for that breese, I had a lot to do in my job lately, but I really read every one of your posts and I'm trying to solve all the bugs you spot and to implement all your suggestions to the extent possible for me - your work is really very much appreciated...)

    So what can I say: Please keep on testing MP2 and we try to improve it as good as we can. And please post bugs you find and improvements you would like. We DO appreciate it - we just cannot promise to follow up in a few days...

    Michael
     

    Spragleknas

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    Big THANK YOU for this very informative post - we've just FB-ed it!
    Hopefully it will be read by many who are curious about MP2! Nice to see that you've explained a bit in how MP2 is a bit on the short-side when it comes to dev-hours... Hopefully this will change in the near future, but I guess many other than me are amazed to see how well it has progressed lately!
     

    MrTechno

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    Michael,

    This is really good info (I've finally settled on an "informative" rating on the forum and a "like" on FB). Do the aspects work in any combination, for example music videos are both music and videos? Or is it a strict parent child hierarchy like your videos / series / movies example?
     

    Lehmden

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    Hi.
    for example music videos are both music and videos?
    Not as it is now. ATM there is no "MusicVideo" Aspect. This is something for the future to implement. Recent this only is for Videos - Movies - Series.
     

    jmeads

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    Many thanks for this post regarding media handling in MP2, really informative, got here via the FB link
     

    MJGraf

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    Do the aspects work in any combination, for example music videos are both music and videos? Or is it a strict parent child hierarchy like your videos / series / movies example?
    Technically, every MediaItem can have any combination of MediaAspects. But as Lehmden said, there is currently no MetadataExtractor for music videos. The VideoMetadataExtractor only touches files with video-filename-extensions (such as AVI, MPG, MKV, etc.) but it is not (yet) able to find specific music video metadata and store it in the MusicAspect. The MusicMetadataExtractor is obviously able to find metadata on music, but it only touches files with audio-file-extensions such as MP3, flac, etc.
    But you immediately got the concept of MP2 right (y) One possibility to implement this in the backend is to just assign a VideoAspect AND a MusicAspect to such music video MediaItems. In the frontent this would mean, however, that these items would show up in the music section AND in the video section - unless someone implements a new frontend plugin which then only shows MediaItems having both, a VideoAspect AND a MusicAspect (and maybe also tells the video section and the music section of MP2 client that as of now they shall not display MediaItems having both Aspects anymore to avoid that in 2 years of now someone asks why the heck the video section also shows all the music videos that are already handled by the MusicVideo frontend plugin ;) )
     

    MrTechno

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    Sounds like a filter layer might be useful? Something akin to SQL views which sits between the frontend plugins and the backend data, so the videos section only shows VideoAspect MediaItems which don't have any other aspects. And you'd want it on the backend so the Windows client videos section has the same content as the web client. (Sorry if this already exists or you've discussed it and agreed a different approach, I'm at the MagicEye picture stage with MP2 right now where I'm just going to stare at it until it makes sense)
     

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