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Topic:
DVD Database for help with PCF Creation
This thread has 7 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 10:01
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
I just posted this in Lowpro's DVD Jacket Thread:

[Link: remotecentral.com]

But I don't want to hijack his thread for help and support with this. Here is a copy of what I just posted there:

I like the update, very interesting ideas
you have in place. I am currently working on my
PCF and borrowing some of your ideas. I also use
DVD Profiler to keep track of my DVDs, as well
as two other ways. I have a DVD List in Excel,
that I keep more up to date for a quick and easy
e-mail to other people, and I just created an
Access Database to help "sort" my movies for my
PCF.

I think you might benefit from my access database,
provided you have Access installed. What I do
is export my DVD Profiler Database to CSV, only
dumping the following fields (only owned titles):

Title, Collection Number, Running Time, MPAA Rating,
Genre 1-3

Once I have this information in CSV format, I
then import it in to my Access Database (after
I remove all previous records). I have a few buttons
that help me sort and setup my DVD screens, which
all generate reports based upon your 9 DVD's per
page. So you click button "All Titles" and it
sorts the entire collection by Alphabetically
grouped by Alphabetical Letter, and again grouped
in to 9 DVDs per section, and continually borrowing
from you, placing a "A1" by the first group, "A2"
by the second page of A's, and so on. Basically
this builds your entire PCF structure. It's all
done in a report and based upon the information
from DVD Profiler.

Once I put the "pretty" on this, I plan on submitting
it here for other people to use to help sort and
create their PCF Page layout, but if you or a
few others would be interested, I would love another
person to test it and see if it matches their
collection, just to make sure.

I need someone with an existing collection to
try it to make sure it matches their current pages,
and you of course need Access (at least version
XP).

EDIT: It might be a while before I can send it,
I did find one flaw that I am working out. It
deals with the Multiple Disks in DVD Profiler.
I do it the same way that you do, create another
disk for the Supplemental/bonus/extra disks. This
will also use those on those pages. Right now
I am manually pulling them out, but I want to
change it so the database automatically pulls
the disk, and doesn't include it, but somehow
notes it next to each disk that needs a subpage.
I have a good idea on how to do this, but it will
take me a while to implement it.

Now to explain a little more. I have been looking for an easier way to get my DVD pages setup in my PCF. The maunal way just plain sucks, takes to long, and takes too much thinking. I miss the days of the easy Nudelist and how easy it was to create the list, but I want that with Lowpro's great layout and design for DVD Jacket Covers. I don't feel like trying to figure out how to do this programatically, as I just don't physicallly have the time to sit down and develop a program to do it, or the time to decode the XML page, but I did have the time to develope a quick and dirty Access Database to help sort out my DVD collection for an easier "layout" to help get the PCF structured.

Now I ran in to one problem, as noted above, the dreaded second disk/additional disk I have included in the DVD Profiler database, just like Lowpro has done. This is great in DVD Profiler, as it allows you to have each corresponding spot in your DVD labled with easy disk making the collection complete without gaps (for example Smallville Season 1 has 6 disks, and DVD Profiler, only makes it 1 slot and "collection" number, both Lowpro and I would have it listed in 6 slots, with 5 of them being manually entered). Now if you export your DVD Profiler collection to a CSV, as I mention above, it will pull all those extra disks that you maunally entered, or that you would want on a subpage in to the main pages, taking up space. We don't want that now do we?

So I have a solution in mind and am working on getting this database setup to use the solution and see how it works. It requires some manual changing of the discs to make them fall "under" the main disc, but it should allow for an "easier" layout setup for the PCF. Once I do a little more work on this, I will post some more information and a link to get the file.

Now I plan on keeping two different lists, one in DVD profiler, and a second in my Access database. Just adding the discs to each as I buy them, and using my Access Databse as layout guide. So you WON'T be exporting/importing from DVD Profiler every time.
OP | Post 2 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 10:01
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
Posting this so I can have a change log location.
Post 3 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 13:49
Lyndel McGee
RC Moderator
Joined:
Posts:
August 2001
13,016
Mike,

For this purpose, I use Catraxx and there's an updated version called CatVids.

Rest assured, I'm working on a bit of a layout that differs slightly from LowPro's. Still 9 per page but there are some really cool things I'm doing. For example, LowPro's info pages are full page BMP captures from Netflix. Way too much memory use for those pages. I've got a MS Word Document with flowing columns that I cut-n-paste text only from Netflix. Then, I screen capture, crop and generate a PNG. What I've found is that the 2-color PNG file to use for the movie description is usually < 3KB. So, with my memory improvements by using PNG-256 (8 bits), I can pull in both movie jacket and description for under 12KB.

When I get all this done, I will definitely be looking at how to programmatically pull it together. However, as I work through the details, I'm formulating layouts for what will be the next generation of SNL.

FYI, my wife like to be able to lookup by Text as well so my PCF has both SNL textual lists as well as DVD Jacket Covers like LowPro's. Hence, my need to ensure that I conserve memory by reducing colors/transparency to cut down on PNG memory requirements. FYI, I have over 800 Jacket pictures loaded and have started putting full-page descriptions into my setup. Right now, without the Textual SNL stuff, I'm at 55% free on the remote.

Don't get me wrong. Lowpro gave us a great pattern to follow and imitation is the "BEST" form of flattery.

However, I was concerned about the amount of memory he was using for graphics. He and I both still have 7000's (you haven't upped me with a 7500 have you FD?) and we are both conscientous about memory. Fortunately, I've been able to come in and create my own Jacket Pics that come in at usually 75% of what LowPro's file sizes are.
Lyndel McGee
Philips Pronto Addict/Beta Tester
OP | Post 4 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 14:35
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
So CATVids stores all the DVD information in an Access Databse, including the image of the DVD cover. What can't we use that Access Database to pull the information out and then in to SuperNudelist and have it generate the pages with the images?
Post 5 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 14:46
Lyndel McGee
RC Moderator
Joined:
Posts:
August 2001
13,016
Mike,

If you have not noticed, very few want to contribute donations to the SNL effort. The latest version has very few downloads since it was released and has even fewer donations. To date, I've only received somewhere in the neighborhood of around $1300 USD for all my efforts on SNL. I spent a significant effort working to add the 'Favorites' support and sorting capabilities to the latest release. No one likes to work for free. It would seem that 1) people don't understand the migration mode or 2) people no longer see the value in such a program. As a result, no new features except those that "I" want.

The legacy SNL will NEVER have Access database and jacket picture support. Why? Because you only have a remote with a max of 8MB of memory. I can hear the complaints now. "I've got 850 DVDs and simply want to put in Jacket pics and an episode list. However, when I do this, I get the error that my CCF is XXXX bytes too large. Why?"

Besides, the older remotes only support BMP/GIF (GIF through CCFCompiler/Decompiler) and to really squeeze memory requirements, you have to use PNG.

I've been using Catraxx for a long time now. CatVids is recent. You can download a trial simply by search for CatVids or Catraxx on yahoo.

I use a VB script to pull data from Access and inject data into my SNL Lists. It's been several years since I've entered data into SNL directly. I only do so for lists such as Favorite Channels or FM Radio setups. All my DVDs and Music are in Catraxx and are generated on the fly into the SN_Library.xml file by a VBScript program.

Lyndel
Lyndel McGee
Philips Pronto Addict/Beta Tester
OP | Post 6 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 14:53
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
So what kind of work has been done on decoding the XML file in the PCF, and possibly generating a PCF file directly? Is anyone working on this and possibly how could I help.

I knew that the Legacy SNL can not generate this kind of file, but I was thinking if there is a way to possibly convert the same concept, but to generate the PCF instead of the CCF. I know the process now first generates the CCF and then you convert to the PCF, but what about bypassing that phase?
OP | Post 7 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 14:54
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
I am not asking you to do it directly, but am interested in helping do this, or doing it. I haven't followed the boards like I did back in the day, as I had a working remote and didn't update any equipment. But now that I have the 7500, I am interested in doing some new things and want to help get this going.
OP | Post 8 made on Saturday February 25, 2006 at 14:57
mrailing
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2002
70
I have been reading the forums about the schema, but didn't know where this ended up...


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