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Thread: Do Active Playlists Really Work?

  1. #21
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    Sep 2009
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    Hi,
    we don't currently have any documentation on the internal structure of the nfo files but we do have some information on file naming http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?id=supported_external_metadata_files&s[]=nfo. We also have a patch which allows exporting metadata from Mezzmo to nfo files to make it easier to create them so if you would like to try the patch please send an email to support [at] conceiva [dot] com.

    Mezzmo Android: Install it on your tablet, smartphone, Android TV or Amazon Fire to browse and stream files from your Mezzmo library to all your devices. Full details at http://www.conceiva.com/products/mez...mo_android.asp
    Mezzmo for Kodi Add-on: Install it into Kodi to stream files from your Mezzmo library directly in Kodi. Full details at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...odi_user_guide
    Mezzmo for Roku App: Install it onto your Roku to stream files from your Mezzmo library. Full details at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...oku_user_guide
    Wiki: User Guides & Reference Manual at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    53

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    Hi Peter,

    Thank you. Ticking 'Get text data from file path' really does work! This is different to the conditions for the TV Show category and, as far as I can see, appears to be undocumented.

    Absence of any automation of the Keyword field also seems to be undocumented. I will document them!

    Roger

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    53

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    Hi martyd,

    No problems with hijacking.

    I'm learning as I go. Just organise a small test database and play. A few samples are provided below.

    nfo files are very-much free-format, and may include or exclude almost anything. No validation - they work or they don't. Parameter names are specified inside <> and ending with </>. The parameter values are between the two. Use any text editor to create and edit them.

    I can't remember how I got them, but I think that a lot come from a very good piece of free software called Tiny Media Manager (TMM).

    I think the first two are from TMM, but you get a lot of 'false positives' so I've stopped using it. My later examples are what I'm working towards.

    The filenames of the nfo file must be identical to the movie name, but with a file type of nfo. You'll find that TMM generates other file types containing graphics etc.

    Also, for TV series a file called tvshow.nfo in each folder is almost mandatory.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sample TV episode (not guaranteed to work - see my sample below)

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <!-- created on 2015-12-01 17:01:19 - tinyMediaManager 2.6.9 -->
    <episodedetails>
    <genre>Comedy</genre>
    <series>Alexei Sayle Series 2</series>
    <title>Episode 1</title>
    <keyword>Sayle</keyword>
    <plot></plot>
    <thumb></thumb>
    <playcount>0</playcount>
    <watched>false</watched>
    <aired>1995-06-16</aired>
    <premiered>1995-06-16</premiered>
    <studio>BBC Two</studio>
    <actor>
    <name>Angus Deighton</name>
    <role></role>
    </actor>
    </episodedetails>

    Sample tvshow.nfo

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <!-- created on 2015-12-01 17:01:19 - tinyMediaManager 2.6.9 -->
    <tvshow>
    <title>Blackadder</title>
    <rating>10.0</rating>
    <year>1983</year>
    <plot>PLOT</plot>
    <mpaa>TV-14</mpaa>
    <genre>Comedy</genre>
    <studio>STUDIO</studio>
    <actor>
    <name>.BLACKADDER</name>
    </actor>
    </tvshow>

    A current minimal movie nfo of mine (work in progress but seems ok)

    <episodedetails>
    <season>2</season>
    <episode>1</episode>
    <actor>
    Angus Deighton
    </actor>
    </episodedetails>

    A current minimal tvshow.nfo of mine (work in progress but seems ok)

    <genre>Comedy</genre>
    <actor>
    <name>.ALEXEI SAYLE</name>
    </actor>

    See my next post.

    Good luck
    Last edited by SolihullRog; 02-08-2017 at 10:51 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    53

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    The following intends to provide useful tips in populating metadata in Mezzmo. It is incomplete, but cannot be continued at the moment.

    5.1.1.0 VERSION 7 - 22 Feb 2017 at 12.00 GMT (FINAL FINAL VERSION FOR NOW)

    FINAL FINAL NOTES

    1. When I first got Mezzmo I blasted it with imported metadata - artwork, plots, 20 actors per film etc!? I never read most of this, and it just got in the way. For the sake of visibility I would now only populate nfo files with basic fields for navigation until the whole system was working. Then maybe introduce plot, and 20 actors per film(?) etc. But I won't be doing that.

    2. During the development of this document I found the need for a 'free variable' field which I could populate and use for my own purposes (e.g. to hold the folder name). I decded that I wasn't interested in Production Company (which derives from <studio> in nfo files, so I started to use that as my 'free variable', often in the Keyword Hierarchy. Hence some random references to these fields.


    I've been struggling with a complete, comprehensive, user-friendly menu system for my media for at least 2 years, and I've decided to do something about it.

    I'm doing comprehensive tests for my own benefit and that of other users.

    My prime objective has been to reproduce the structure of all my movies as in my Windows folders, but to be able to introduce an 'Unwatched' filter. So these notes are solely about movies.

    It is a complex topic, and finding clues is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I've decided to put them all into one haystack - here. Please chuck yours in.

    Useful Software
    ----------------------

    To get real control of your metadata I recommend the following software (I have no connections with any of them).

    To get lots of metadata - Tiny Media Manager
    To do bulk changes to files names - Bulk Rename Utility
    To see what data is inside your movie files - Mediainfo
    To edit lots of metadata, in nfo files, quickly - TextCrawler

    Structure of the Movie Folders
    ------------------------------------------
    Each folder which contains movies must have a type which represents where the movies will appear in the online menu list. This is because movies in these categories are usually displayed in different sequences with different information ("major subcategories").

    When I'm planning to watch a movie I usually decide whether I want to watch one of a particulat genre, one which stars a given lead actor, or one made by a given producer. So my recommended types are:

    - Home Movies
    - Movies By Genre
    - Movies By Star (covering actors and producers)
    - TV Series

    The contents of each folder must include a mechanism to populate the Category field on every movie in the folder with one of Home Movie, Movie, or TV Show.

    In addition, each movie in each Category must contain a mechanism to populate the major Subcategory.

    Examples of Major Subcategories are:

    - Home Movies - Holidays, Away Days, Andrew, Beatrice.
    - Movies by Genre - Comedy, Crime, Thriller
    - Movies By Star - Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, or Steven Spielburg.
    - TV Series - Comedy, Sport, Travel Then have main keys of, say, Allo Allo, Blackadder

    Naming Movie Files
    ----------------------------

    The naming of movie files is an important first step and is covered at this link.

    http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...names#tv_shows

    It is common to include the Season and Episode in filenames of TV Series (e.g. S1E3). These are used in harvesting metadata off the internet. If the movie doesn't have an assoicated nfo file they are also used in populating the Keyword Hierarchy, and therefore used in the display of the playlist. However, if the movie has an nfo file containing these fields, those values take precedence for use in the playlist.

    See below for more details about filenames.

    Setting Your Metadata Controls
    --------------------------------------------

    For the purposes of this article you should set the following flags 'on' in Metadata Retrieval Settings

    - Get text metadata from the file path. This is particularly important for the setting of Home movie.
    - Get text metadata and artwork from XBMC (.nfo/tbn files).

    TV Series - Recommended Minimum Metadata in the File Path and nfo files
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A single parent folder holding all TV series and shows in subfolders - Used in the filter of the playlists
    Each folder which contains episodes of a TV series only contains movies from a single Season and does not contain any movies which are not part of the series.
    Each folder which contains episodes of a TV series should simply be called Season nn. Deviation from this introduces various effects which I have not covered.
    Each folder which contains episodes of a TV series also contains a file called tvshow.nfo. See next.
    The tvshow.nfo file contains a <tvshow> parameter - Ensures that the Category, on the Mezzmo database, is generated as TV Show, and is used in the filter.
    The tvshow.nfo file contains a <studio> parameter - Provides the main key to the list of series as presented to the user if using my recommended Keyword Hierarchy..
    Each movie filename includes the Season and Episode in the form SxxExx - Populates the Disc/Season for use in the Keyword Hierarchy

    GENRE IN THE ABOVE?

    TV Shows (Not Series) - Recommended Minimum Metadata in the File Path and nfo files
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Each folder which contains TV shows only contains movies from shows and not episodes of a series.
    Each folder which contains TV shows also contains a file called tvshow.nfo. See later, but this should include <tvshow>, <title>, <genre>, and <studio>.
    The tvshow.nfo file contains a <tvshow> parameter - Ensures that the Category, on the Mezzmo database, is generated as TV Show, and is used in the filter.
    The tvshow.nfo file contains a <studio> parameter - Provides the main key to the list of series as presented to the user if using my recommended Keyword Hierarchy. The <studio> should be the prime key to the program for display to the user. It will normally be equal to the folder name in which it resides, but if that folder simply contains a season's episodes, then it will be equal to the parent folder.

    GENRE IN THE ABOVE?

    The Importance of the Category Field
    -----------------------------------------------------

    The first thing to do is to ensure that every movie has an entry in the Category field. Checking this field will normally be the first action in the playlist filter. The field's population is described in the sections below.

    The Importance of the Keyword Hierarchy
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    In order for any Active Playlist to work, each movie's Mezzmo database record must contain non-blank values in each of the fields quoted in the Keyword Hierarchy. Many of these can easily be generated by including them in nfo files. Unfortunately, the Keyword field cannot be populated in this way, and requires visiting each database record individually to populate it.

    1 Home Movies
    ----------------------
    See the existing documentation- below - for these, but note that these require the 'Get text data from the file path' option to be ticked in Metadata Retieval Settings
    http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...names#tv_shows

    1.2 Populating the Category (and other fields)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Control of metadata in Home Movie folders can be controlled at the movie.nfo level or by use of a tvshow.nfo file. These are mutually exclusive - data from movie.nfo files cannot replace or supplement data from the tvshow.nfo file.

    The Category of all movies in a folder can be set to "Home movie" by creating a tvshow.nfo file in the folder, and setting its major parameter to <homemovie>. This also succeeds in populating some (all?) other fields from the tvshow.nfo file. Note that presence of the tvshow.nfo file causes Mezzmo to ignore any individual movie nfo files.

    Individual movie nfo files can also be used to populate the movie's Category with "Home movie". This is achieved by having a movie nfo file containing the major parameter <homemovie> and ensuring that the radio button "Get text data and artwork from XBMC (.nfo and .tbn) files) is set. This also succeeds in populating some (all?) other fields from the nfo file.

    E.g. The following contents of a movie.nfo file or the tvshow.nfo file populates fields in the relevant movies as indicated:

    <homemovie> sets Category to Home movie
    <genre>GEN</genre> sets Genre to GEN
    <actor>ACT</actor> sets Actor to ACT
    <studio>STUD</studio> sets Production Company to STUD
    </homemovie>

    As I write (8/2/17) ...
    Movie filenames in the format YYYYMMDDHHMMSS, optionally followed by a text string, assign a Category of Home movie if the year begins with '20'. Movies prior to 2000 don't.

    No other filename format - which also includes a text string - receives a Category of Home movie.

    Movie filenames in the format YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS - without a text string - assign a Category of Home movie if the year begins with '20'.
    Movie filenames in the format YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS - with a text string don't assign a Category.
    Some files in the format 'nnn nnnn' lose the digits after the space.

    1.3 Populating the Subcategory
    --------------------------------------------

    Create an nfo file for the movie (giving it exactly the same name as the movie except for the file type).
    Enter the Subcategory in the Genre field in the nfo file. It must also have a <movie> parameter.

    e.g.
    <movie>
    <genre>Away Days</genre>
    </movie>

    Make Genre part of the Keyword Hierarchy.

    1.4 The Playlist
    ----------------------

    Smart Filter
    Category contains "Home"
    Play Count contains "0" (optional to select unwatched movies)

    Keyword Hierachy
    Genre

    2 Movies By Genre
    ---------------------------

    You need an nfo file for each movie, containing the <movie>, <genre> and <actor> parameters as follows:

    2.1 Populating the Category
    ---------------------------------------

    The presence of the <movie> parameter causes Mezzmo to allocate a Category of "Movie".

    2.2 Populating the Subcategory
    --------------------------------------------

    The Actor field is used to hold the Subcategory. So add an Actor called "By Genre" into each movie's nfo file.
    Movies are segregated by Genre within the Subcategory.

    2.3 Sample nfo file
    ---------------------------

    <movie>
    <genre>Thriller</genre>
    <actor>By Genre</actor>
    </movie>

    2.4 The Smart Filter and the Keyword Hierarchy in the Playlist
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Smart Filter
    Category contains "Movie"
    Category does not contain "Home"
    Artists/Actors contains "By Genre"
    Play Count contains "0" (optional to select unwatched movies)

    Keyword Hierachy
    Genre

    3 Movies By Star
    ------------------------

    Details are as for Movies By Genre but using the words "By Star" in place of "By Genre" and by entering the Star's name in the <genre> parameter.

    4. TV Series
    --------------------

    It is highly recommended that every folder which contains episodes of a TV series should contain a record with the name of tvshow.nfo

    It is also recommended that the filename of every file which contains an episode of a TV series should include the Series and Episode in the format SnnEnn. The number of digits - nn - doesn't matter, but there should not be a space in the middle of the string - such as S01 E01. THIS SEEMS INCONSISTENT. MIGHT BE WRONG. Season and Episode are sometimes generated within the movie's nfo file, and take precedence over those from the filename. These are only valid if purely numeric (e.g. Not "Season 1"). They are a possible source of confusion and should be removed.

    Nothe that, if Show/Season is specified in the Keyword Hierarchy, then it is displayed to the user as "Season nn".

    E.g. Blackadder S1E1.mp4

    4.1 Storing The Movies

    There are two possible ways of storing your TV Series movies, as in the following examples:

    - Blackadder
    - Series 1
    - s1e1.mp4
    - s1e2.mp4
    etc.
    - tvshow.nfo
    - Series 2
    - s2e1.mp4
    - s2e2.mp4
    etc.
    - tvshow.nfo

    OR

    - Blackadder
    - s1e1.mp4
    - s1e2.mp4
    - s2e1.mp4
    - s2e2.mp4
    etc.
    - tvshow.nfo

    Each of these is equally valid, but each folder must contain a tvshow.nfo file.

    4.2 Populating the Category
    ---------------------------------------

    (Version 5.1.1.0) The population of TV Show in the Category, during import or Maintain Playlist, if:

    - The 'Get text metadata from nfo files' option is ticked in Maintain Metadata. (It is not affected by the setting of the 'Get data from internet' option).
    - One of the following conditions applies

    The movie gets a Category of TV Show if:

    (a) Irrespective of the movie's file name, it has an associated nfo file containing an internal overriding parameter of <episodedetails>.

    e.g. must have header and trailer like this
    <episodedetails>
    <title>Episode 2</title>
    <showtitle>The All New Alexei Sayle Show</showtitle>
    <actor>
    <name>Angus Deighton</name>
    <role></role>
    </actor>
    <season>2</season>
    <episode>3</episode>
    </episodedetails>

    The movie also gets a Category of TV Show if:

    (b) It has no associated nfo file but its filename contains a Season and Episode in the format SxxExx, and its folder contains a tvshow.nfo file.

    The movie does NOT get a Category of TV Show if:

    (c) It has no associated nfo file containing the overriding <episodedetails> parameter, and there is no tvshow.nfo file in the folder.

    So each TV Series folder must contain a tvshow.nfo or each movie must have its own nfo file.
    In Maintain Playlists my Keyword Hierarchy consists of Actor, Series, Season. Individual movies are distinguished by their Episode.
    So, with my Keyword Hierarchy, Actor, Series, Season and Episode must all be non-blank on every movie on the database. Otherwise, the movie won't appear in the playlist.

    4.3 The 'nfo file' (e.g.Blackadder S1E1.nfo)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    The <episodedetails>. This should be the overriding parameter within this file.

    <title>. The file may contain a <title>. This is moved into Title and Sort Title on the database, and may then appear in the Display Title. In the absence of an nfo record the movie filename goes into Title and Sort Title

    <season> and <episode> in the nfo file are very important. These fields may also appear in the movie's filename. If present in the nfo file, these populate the Season and Episode in the database and so take precedence for use in the Keyword Hierarchy of the playlist. Otherwise those from the filename are used to populate the Season and Episode in the database, and therefore the Keyword Hierarchy.

    <season> and <episode> must contain digits only. Presence of alpha characters will make them invalid for use in the Keyword Hierarchy. So the movie won't appear.

    Actors from the nfo file go into Actor on the database and are of equal standing to those off the tvshow record. See more under tvshow.nfo.

    Example of a minimum nfo file.

    <episodedetails>
    </episodedetails>



    4.4 The tvshow.nfo file
    --------------------------------------

    It is recommended to have a file called tvshow.nfo in every folder which contains episodes of a TV series.
    This record is important to cause the Category of each movie on the database to be set to TV Show and to supply the Series Title etc.

    <tvshow>. It is important to have an overriding parameter of <tvshow> to cause the Category of each movie on the database to be set to TV Show.

    <title> The field in this parameter populates the Series on the database, and subsequently may appear in Album/Series in the Keyword Hierarchy. I encountered a bug when I mistakenly had <title> and <studio> both specified in tvshow.nfo. This resulted in duplcate files appearing in playlists, even though the Title wasn't mentioned in the filter or the Keyword Hierarchy.

    <genre> should be specified on this record if it is part of your Keyword Hierarchy.

    <year> etc. Any other components which you may have specified in your Keyword Hierarchy, and which refer to the Show or Series - rather than an Episode - should be specified in the tvshow file. e.g. <year>

    <actor>. The contents of any Actor(s) or Name(s) parameter goes into the Actor field on every movie. From there it is treated as Artists/Actors and Album Artist in the keyword Hierarchy, which subsequently controls where it appears in the Mezzmo user interface for the playlist. Actors and Names may also be specified in movies' nfo files. These are treated identically to those in the tvshow file. I specify Actors in the tvshow file in capitals preceded by a . (period). This makes them appear at the start of the playlist and appear emphasised. Actors who make guest appearances in individual episodes can be entered in normal font in the episode's nfo file, without the period, and appear lower in the list.

    Example:

    <tvshow>
    <title>Blackadder</title>
    <genre>Comedy</genre>
    <studio>{TV Show Name such as "Blackadder"}</studio> Goes into Production Company on database, and then Production Company in Keyword Hierarchy
    <actor>
    <name>.BLACKADDER</name>
    </actor>
    </tvshow>

    4.5 The Playlist
    ----------------------

    Smart Filter
    File Type "Video" (Mezzmo puts this in automatically)
    Category contains "TV Show"
    Play Count contains "0" (optional to select unwatched movies)

    Keyword Hierachy
    Genre
    Artist
    Album/Series
    Disc/Season
    Last edited by SolihullRog; 02-22-2017 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    Thanks for this information, we will add this to the wiki.

    Mezzmo Android: Install it on your tablet, smartphone, Android TV or Amazon Fire to browse and stream files from your Mezzmo library to all your devices. Full details at http://www.conceiva.com/products/mez...mo_android.asp
    Mezzmo for Kodi Add-on: Install it into Kodi to stream files from your Mezzmo library directly in Kodi. Full details at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...odi_user_guide
    Mezzmo for Roku App: Install it onto your Roku to stream files from your Mezzmo library. Full details at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki/doku.php?...oku_user_guide
    Wiki: User Guides & Reference Manual at http://www.mezzmo.com/wiki
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mezzmo.DLNA.Server
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/conceiva_mezzmo
    Web: http://www.mezzmo.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Rosevears, Tasmania.
    Posts
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    Default

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks for the info. I've sent an email as you suggested.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Rosevears, Tasmania.
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Thanks SolihullRog. Great info. I'll have a potter about and see what happens. I've also emailed Support for the Export Metadata patch which should also be helpful.

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