Video browser, is a little plugin for Vista MCE that let's you browse your videos the way they were meant to be browsed.--

Here is a very rough initial release of my video browsing plugin for Vista MCE. It seems pretty functional though it still does have a few quirks.

New in this release:

  • Supports metadata for both TV shows and movies

  • DVD playback direct from the hard disk

  • Native Vista MCE plug-in (ported from XBAP for MCML) - Meaning the remote and scaling should work better

!/images/screenshots/VideoBrowser_tv.png!

!/images/screenshots/VideoBrowser_movies.png!

The installer is available "here":http://www.samsaffron.com/downloads/1.

I have not tested this on XBOX extenders or Vista X64.

To get metadata for your movies use "MyMovies":http://www.mymovies.dk/

To get metadata for your TV shows use "the following ruby script":http://www.samsaffron.com/tvdb_scraper.rb.

You will have to install Ruby first and type: Ruby scraper.rb [Path for TV shows] in the command line.

The Ruby script is provided as is to the community using the public domain licensing Sqlite uses. The script contains a useful command line switch which will rename your videos to a more human readable format. It uses "thetvdb":http://thetvdb.com/ as the source for its meta data.

There are quite a few areas in the plugin that need improvement, I will address them in a future version:

  • Navigation between listview, sorting area and now playing window needs to be improved - it does not work in a predictable way.

  • First time you navigate to a page the thumbnail on the left is not refreshed.

  • When holding down the up or down remote buttons continuously it does not zoom through the list.

  • I lost my new videos section (this was an areas that sorted the entire collection by date)

  • Not displaying all the available metadata

Hope you enjoy this, please feel free to comment or post any suggestions.

Comments

King_Manon almost 7 years ago
King_Manon

I posted this on TGB also, but just to make sure you have it I post it here also smile Where would you like requests etc in the future? e-mail me if you want further requests or ideas, I have plenty!

Alright, I have this baby installed and I would call it a good start!
I simply love the fact that you can simply put in an xml-file with data and voila, you have a movie synopsis! This is just what I have been looking for.

I have a few ideas already, that you may consider:

- The posibility of getting one (or maybe two) user selected information from the xml-file shown on the same page as the movie itself. #1
- A subpage with detailed information. #2
- The posibility for the user to decide how many lines of movie synopsis there should be displayed. #3
- The posibility to delete a folder/movie. #4

Explenations:

#1: Often I flip through my movies, looking for a movie I could just squueze in before bedtime, meaning that I often look for movies that are of about 90 mins length. The ultimate solution would be if you could sort movies according to categories or runtime, but I guess that a rather big thing to ask for, so what about adding the posibility for the user to decide for an extran information on the same page as the movie? It could be done as simple as editing a config.xml or something. Extra field = runtime or something.

#2: The product as of now is great for an overview, but as you have mentioned yourself it would be cool to display all of the data. I don't ever think you should change the easy way of navigating to a movie as it is done now, instead a subpage to each movie could be available. How about if you press Play on a movie it plays (doh) and if you press OK you enter the subpage!

#3: Pretty self explaining, but for people with a high res monitor or tv it would be nice to have the posibility to change how many lines of synopsis is displayed. Again, this could simply be put in a config.xml for now.

#4: I simply hate the fact that the option of deleting a folder, including all content, have been removed from Vista media center. On media center 2005 I always watched a movie, if I disliked it, I would delete it right away. Now I have to connect to my htpc remote and delete all content. So if you do a subpage, include a delete movie folder button.

I hope you will use my input, I assure you I will start using your application and report any faults etc to you as I go along.

King_Manon almost 7 years ago
King_Manon

Bug:
I can see that only the automaticly added folders on my Vista Install eg. c:\users\carlos\videos are in the list here. I have added two folders manually, they are not displayed!

Sam almost 7 years ago
Sam

KingManon,

Thanks for the suggestions!

#1, Will certainly consider adding this, I also would find sort by runtime useful! Im thinking of adding some sort of folder.ini file that can optionally control how the info is displayed.

#2 Yerp, sub page is in the making.

#3 Will consider creating a registry setting for this stuff.

#4 Will look at adding a registry that enables the option to delete a movie (and dirs) from the details page. I am not sure if I want this on by default ...

With the missing folders that were added manually, this is actually by design.

I kept on getting confused with the way you add and remove video folders in Vista. So, instead decided only to look and the current logged on users video folder, and fully support OS shortcuts. So, if you add shortcuts from your videos folder they will work fine, this also gives you better control of the first screen displayed to the user and allows for a hierarchy of shortcuts...

Micklewhite almost 7 years ago
Micklewhite

Just installed. A nice clean, easy way to view my movies.

Like the ideas that KingManon has come up with as well.

Will get some testing in and let you know an feedback.

Keep up the good work.

King_Manon almost 7 years ago
King_Manon

Alright, sounds good!

If you like, you could PM me and I could beta test this baby on and off?!

I think the things I listed above are the basic ideas, when they are implemented I have some more ideas smile But don't you agree that this should be in place first?

Visionary ideas:

1 - Make the background Vista Media Center blue instead of the black wink
2 - Consider implemnting the posibility of letting the user choose how to search through the movies. The choises could be: List (as it is now). thumbnail (as in the standard video lib, but for gods sake with bigger images) and finally my favorite Cover Flow (as seen on iTunes, ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6NJNiIWxdE Not that I am a apple fan, but tis sure looks nice!)
3 - It would be nice to be able to sort the list of movies by all sorts of things. You know like the top bar could be expanded from "By Name" and "By Date" to include "By Runtime", "By year", "By Category", "By Not Watched" etc.

But like I said, if you implement something new, gimme a buzz and I'll test and come up with some new ideas!

Micklewhite almost 7 years ago
Micklewhite

Just a thought, is there anyway you could provide support for the XML files that are generated by MYTV Collection Manager.

I have been using one of the TV archive managers for my films, but this solution is much better. It would be good if it could pick up the data from the xml file that has the same name as the film filename.

Leo almost 7 years ago
Leo

Thanks a lot for your hard work. Finally someone has created an interface that is useable.

And here are my suggestions.

1. Would like to have the option to remove the space at the bottom reserved for descriptions. For me it is just wasted space, and it means less visible files.

2. Possibly reduce the amount of white space between files, so more files are visible (again). I tend to have 40-50 videos in one folder

3. Differentiate between folders and files with a graphic.

I am a long time user of XBMC:
http://xbmc.sourceforge.net/imgs/xbmc_alpha/xbmc_alpha_screenshot_mayhem37.jpg

Thanks again.

Euan almost 7 years ago
Euan

"pick up the data from the xml file that has the same name as the film filename."

I second that. I dont want to have more addins than necessary.

Adam almost 7 years ago
Adam

This is fantastic! Really simple, really nice to use. And SOOO much better than the standard mymovies interface. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep working on it!!

Gary_D almost 7 years ago
Gary_D

Cool software works really good for what I want, it was a LOT easier to setup than MyMovies. Sometimes I get the software crashes when I open the program in Vista MC, but its rare and I just hit back then open it again.

The only feature I would like to see is a tick box sort of thing next to the video file to tell you if youv'e watched it already or not. It would be handy so that you know what the last episode was that you watched. Is this possible?

Cheers,
Gary

Jeff almost 7 years ago
Jeff

Anyone tried this on an extender yet?

Johnro76 almost 7 years ago
Johnro76

I'm not sure if this is a global issue or if it only happens for me, but, when I'm viewing my list of movies, when I hold down the up key or down key the scrolling doesn't continue. It just stays on whatever was selected.

Neff almost 7 years ago
Neff

Just to say thank you – this solves what I think is a huge hole in the Vista Media Centre. That you can get a list view in the video library.

<p>On thing that I think would be good to add is some sort of indication that there are more items to scroll to, some sort of scroll bar or arrows. There's been a few times I've thought “where are the other files?” before trying a scroll.</p>
Sam Saffron almost 7 years ago
Sam Saffron

johnro,

<p>Are you using the latest version of video browser?</p>


<p>Neff,</p>


<p>I'll try and think out some sort of visual cue, I don't want to clutter up the UI so I'll have to be creative</p>
Sam Saffron almost 7 years ago
Sam Saffron

I'm closing comments on this post, feel free to comment on video browser here


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