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Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:16 am
by delbocavista
First post here - please be kind.

I have a very large collection (1000's) of video files that I am attempting to serve through UMS. I'm struggling a bit to find the best way to manage and organize all of this and I'm turning to this audience for help and suggestions.

The true problem here is ORGANIZING. It it's native form, UMS does just fine to serve up these videos according to the directory structure respective to each file. What I'm really striving for is more of a dynamic catalog / library where a single file can appear in multiple directories. Functionality would be similar to what XBMC/Kodi offers where a files are grouped by genre, director, release year, imdb rating, etc.

So right off the bat, why not use Kodi? I really like the lightweight nature of UMS and many of the other configurable options it offers. I think Kodi could maybe be incorporated in my solution - via scraping, and/or the use of .NFO files - but I'm not certain how really. There's the Jumpy plugin but I have no idea what benefit that could provide for me, if any.

I initially started out with UMS-MLX. I still think this is likely the best answer for my situation but I'm running into some challenges there as well. Hopefully @taconaut is active and can assist! The Library Management works well file-by-file but seems to be a little buggy for me when attempting to apply tags in BULK to a number of selections. What I'm looking for a more efficient & systematic way to apply tags. If I could achieve this, I could use UMS-MLX to display groupings accordingly.
  • mediamelt initiated some really promising discussion here viewtopic.php?t=3355#p21432 that looks like my exact problem. Functionality described here would allow UMS-MLX to use .NFO files to populate metadata. I tried following along and it looks like @taconaut worked towards a KodiNfoImportPlugin plugin here but I'm a bit lost on how to enable (compile?) the plugin for use. The original .JAR file (which is what I think I need) is no longer accessible. The convo suggests that the plugin may have been added for public release but I'm unsure if that happened. Assuming I can get this to work, I'm not certain whether I could use this process to create custom tags or if I'm limited to the Kodi metadata structure.
I feel like I'm really close but I'm having trouble closing the loop on some of the discussions that seem to have dropped off. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read through and offering help/suggestions!

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:17 am
by SubJunk
Have you seen the "Media Library" folder? It attempts to do the dynamic sorting. It is probably not as advanced as what you're looking for and we are happy for suggestions

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:45 pm
by delbocavista
Subjunk - many thanks for everything you've done!

Yes, I have seen the "Media Library" Folder. And yes, I'm looking for something more advanced than what I think the native media library can offer. Just to make sure I'm not missing anything, attached are the default groupings I see. Is there any way to expand beyond these groupings, the A-Z option, and/or add custom categories?
Screenshot_20181006-200558.png (206.16 KiB) Viewed 8362 times
As for suggestions, it would be fantastic to possibly build off of what UMS-MLX offers. Essentially, that infrastructure allows for an effective infinite number of dynamic groupings, custom categories. Also the ability to nest groupings is very powerful as well. Ie, you could replicate your entire dynamic structure (Genre, Director, Actor, etc) within a top-level "Favorites" group, or Actors within Genre, Genre within Actors, so on and so on.

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:53 pm
by SubJunk
Your thanks are very appreciated, and your ideas are great too. Do you have any experience with programming? I would love to have help with extending the Media Library

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:44 pm
by delbocavista
Unfortunately I don't. I'm on chapter two of an introductory python book but I don't think that counts :D

That aside, I'd be more than happy to help test and offer any assistance wherever possible.

Assuming you aren't as familiar with UMS-MLX, may I suggest taking a closer look at what taconaut has accomplished? Developing what I described with dynamic libraries may be reinventing the wheel to a certain extent. Could be some opportunity to build off of that?

Thanks again for the attention and time Subjunk!

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:54 pm
by SubJunk
The python book is a good start! Java is a pretty easy language to learn, or at least to get OK at :)
I really would've loved the UMS-MLX code to get integrated into the main program, I agree taconaut has made a great thing. The last time I looked at it was a couple of years ago so yeah I should check it out again.

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:43 am
by delbocavista
It looks like ~2015/2016 may have been the most recent work that taconaut published. His last active date on the forum here was 'Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:48 am' so there's hope! ;) Would love taconaut's feedback on some of the DB, .NFO, and plugin questions in the initial post.

Moving forward - it looks like you have created a pretty extensible framework for developers to create custom builds off of mainline. I haven't explored this at all but I'd be open to experimenting and trying to isolate some of the custombits of MLX... Though, if I could do that, I likely wouldn't have the issues I'm having... Doh!

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:10 am
by SubJunk
If you're interested in a good way to learn Java and Git (which is our version management tool) you could try to synchronize UMS-MLX (which I'm guessing exists on GitHub as we do) with the latest changes in UMS. Could be a good way to learn, or not :)
Also if you want to make suggestions for UMS itself, please feel free to create "issues" on our GitHub repository at ... ver/issues

And yes please come back taconaut!

Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:24 pm
by grobinson
delbocavista, I too have a reasonably large library in the vicinity of 1,500 movies and I am working my way through populating the MLX media library with info from IMDB and TMDB using the inbuilt scrapers as often as possible. (I find that the IMDB one doesn't work though.)

Using MLX I have managed to create dynamic folders that pick up the genre and found that if you use "%overview" (instead of "%plot") you can include that in the information in the title that UMS presents. This has been a great help for the family in selecting a movie that previously would be passed over because it was "dad's movie". It presents the movie multiple times in multiple folders for each genre attached. I haven't included actors (yet) as I've struggled to extract that info using the scrapers provided.

I also haven't been able to get the transcoding working and my one attempt to upgrade UMS MLX with the latest version of UMS (which I know has transcoding that works) seemed to over-write everything, and so I started again just using the built in UMS version 5.3.2 of November 2015. Have you been able to get a later version of UMS installed to work with MLX? And have you got transcoding working? I simply get audio hiss when transcoding mkv's though the video is fine (and I have some mkv's with DTS which I'd like to play as DTS).

Like you I know a little about programming but I'm not about to go plunging in to learn another language from scratch just to select a good movie. But I really do appreciate the efforts of others (especially taconaut) in providing this functionality to the masses. It would be fabulous to include as standard as I've found it easy to set up the library and get it working. I had tried my hand at some other solutions but this has been the best and the simplest.


Re: Library Management Challenges (UMS-MLX, .nfo, kodi, confusion)

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:12 am
by delbocavista
thanks for adding to the conversation here Grant.

You mentioned -- "my one attempt to upgrade UMS MLX with the latest version of UMS (which I know has transcoding that works) seemed to over-write everything" -- are you referring to taconauts GIT instructions around master merging? I personally have not attempted this yet but I am thinking about trying. I actually bypass transcoding for most of my formats but if I get success with the merge, I'll try the transcode and report back.

does anyone happen to have the JAR version of KodiNfoImportPlugin that taconaut built and references @ Subject: ums-mlx [2015-11-25 v1.4]? or is anyone able to guide me on how to build (compile?) my own from the GIT code? I really think this ability to build a library via .NFO would be a game changer. I tried taconaut's instructions to view the DB contents again today, as described @ ... rs#view-db and failed yet again. Has anyone out there tried this? I was able to connect to the database just fine but I wasn'table to find any media library contents whatsoever. It looks like an empty shell of a DB without any tables. Either I'm doing something wrong or media library details are being stored elsewhere.

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