A touch of Home Theatre...!

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A touch of Home Theatre...!

Postby Casina » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:41 am

Hello!

To start off with I just want to say thank you for a brilliant software. Used TVersity earlier and I wasn't completely satisfied.
What really rocks my socks is the feature of actually being able to play RAR.

More simplicity for the people!
More options with easier environment

Looking at the user interface of Sony Playstation 3 called Cross Media Browser (XMB) you notice it's very easily navigated and using only your intuition you can basically master the menus without even knowing it. Combining something very easy with something rather more difficult can sometimes end in confusion, not only for users but perhaps developers as well. Here are some thoughts!

One example would be all the posts about not being able to see any movies where the answer would be as simple as:
"Please browse your MOVIES folder, not MUSIC". This is due to the fact that all "shared folders" are shown in each category of XMB.
So basically we just need a way of telling XMB what to show and what to hide. A way of designing the output shown in XMB somehow, meaning movies only become visible under the category Movies. This would result in less confusion, and also it would look better.
A new and improved tab in the GUI for managing shared folders and creating aliases for them:
First off you select at least one folder to share. It adds up in a list, much like the one used now. However, this list is editable so you can create aliases and redirections telling XMB to show what you want it to.


Another example would be the installation and setup process. It's remarkably easy to install, but there are a lot of settings and parameters to be set and configured for optimal usage.
A more user friendly installation process, a tutorial where questions like "Please select preferred subtitle language" are given and answers are the options to be inserted to the config. A more detailed and easy-to-use GUI for PS3 Media Server would be awesome.
Adding stuff such as a "hoover-over-this-to-see-what-it-is"-thing would help tremendously.



The touch
Enhancing the feeling of "media centertivity "

I'm personally using PS3 as my media center where I have access to Music, Movies, Pictures, Games and Internet. PMS is for me right now a service where you can share folders to your PS3 and make the PS3 play the files correctly using different methods. It intrigues the spirit of media centers, but not as much as the real deal.

Various thoughts (and do keep in mind that this is probably reaching a bit far but you get the picture):

    Step 1: Get information about music, movies and series using different methods:
    · Music: Extract information from ID3v1/v2-tags and/or with metadata such as Artist, Album, Title, Year and Genre.
    · Movies: Somehow get the movie name and what year extracting the information using the folder name.
    · Series: Name of series.


    Step 2: Use this information from Step 1 in various ways to get more information:
    · Music: Mini biography of artist, maybe some discography. Text. Information about current playing. Get the idea!
    · Movies: IMDB.com-rating, plot and what actors?
    · Series: Next episode is released: YYYY-MM-DD. Information. Can be collected from tv.com?.


    Step 3: Now, the enhancement is to display and embrace the world of PMS!
    Getting the information in Step 1, using it to collect data in Step 2 brings us to the displaying of the information.
    This is where the tricky part comes to play. Maybe you can use the built-in notifier in XMB? I'm not sure how you can solve this, but it would be a feature worth its troubles!

Well, you see where I'm getting at. Sweet interactivity. PMS has the potential of blowing our minds away even more than it does today. Get creative, use your imagination. More of everything and the options to choose what to show where. Perfect!

Well, I'm sure I've got loads of suggestions and what not. This was what came to mind in 5minutes. Hope you take some things in to consideration!

Best regards,
Casina.
Last edited by Casina on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A touch of Home Theatre...

Postby Gussi » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:26 pm

Good to see some well thought out points, I love every single idea you brought fourth. But I have to address some of them ;)
Casina wrote:So basically we just need a way of telling XMB what to show and what to hide. A way of designing the output shown in XMB somehow, meaning movies only become visible under the category Movies. This would result in less confusion, and also it would look better.
I assume that you're talking about, for instance, if you share a folder named movies only with movies and a folder named music only with music, both of them will show up in XMB under audio and video, but you would like only one to be visible according to where we are in the XMB. I'm afraid that it's a futile effort for mediaservers to "tell" XMB what to show and where, far as I know it's not within the DLNA protocol to tell clients what kind of content resides in folders. Maybe I'm wrong, but it would be a first far as I know.

Casina wrote:This is where the tricky part comes to play. Maybe you can use the built-in notifier in XMB? I'm not sure how you can solve this, but it would be a feature worth its troubles!
That's quite tricky indeed, I think the mediaserver doesn't have access to the XMB built-in notifier, however it might be possible to simply render all relevant information on one still picture, and then render that still picture to video so it would be visible while browsing your movies. It's a bit dirty, might want to add a #IMDB# folder for that alone so it wont clutter your library. But at least it's a potential working idea. ;)
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Re: A touch of Home Theatre...

Postby Casina » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:46 pm

Gussi wrote:Good to see some well thought out points, I love every single idea you brought fourth. But I have to address some of them ;)
Casina wrote:So basically we just need a way of telling XMB what to show and what to hide. A way of designing the output shown in XMB somehow, meaning movies only become visible under the category Movies. This would result in less confusion, and also it would look better.
I assume that you're talking about, for instance, if you share a folder named movies only with movies and a folder named music only with music, both of them will show up in XMB under audio and video, but you would like only one to be visible according to where we are in the XMB. I'm afraid that it's a futile effort for mediaservers to "tell" XMB what to show and where, far as I know it's not within the DLNA protocol to tell clients what kind of content resides in folders. Maybe I'm wrong, but it would be a first far as I know.

    You are correct. However, in TVersity this was accomplishable. And you can access the "root" of PMS via the WEB.conf using feeds/streams:
    [type].[folders separated by coma]=[url]

    If WEB.conf was to use for sharing movies and not streams, my case would be something like:
    root.Movies=[D:\DVD-R\,D:\DVD-Rip\,E:\PS3Blu-Ray\] containing all my movies no matter where they are physically on my computer. This way, you can practically "design" your own layout as you want it to be!



Casina wrote:This is where the tricky part comes to play. Maybe you can use the built-in notifier in XMB? I'm not sure how you can solve this, but it would be a feature worth its troubles!
Gussi wrote:That's quite tricky indeed, I think the mediaserver doesn't have access to the XMB built-in notifier, however it might be possible to simply render all relevant information on one still picture, and then render that still picture to video so it would be visible while browsing your movies. It's a bit dirty, might want to add a #IMDB# folder for that alone so it wont clutter your library. But at least it's a potential working idea. ;)

    Ah, you are right. It is a bit dirty. But if it works flawlessly, why not? Having an generated picture converted to video isn't such a bad idea after all.
    Let's say I'm in Series > Heroes > Season 3 > Episode 18 (current).
    Here I can choose to play this file, transcode it, or view information about it.
    Information in this case would be an image of a heroes poster, some short information from TV.com about this episode, and perhaps a small line telling you when next episode is aired. Sweet!
    You get the picture, this would rock.

Thanks for your reply!
Best regards, Casina.
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