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[Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post here to suggest ideas for future versions.
mikemack
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[Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by mikemack » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:28 am

Paul,

In your quest to make CMC a replacement of WMC have you considered adding features to manage Photos and Video?

One of the nice things about WMC was that my wife could use it to access all of our content; movies, photos, home videos, music, etc. It would be really nice to gain this ability with CMC.

She really liked being able to set a screensaver from WMC that tiled photos from our library and scrolled them across the screen. It would be desirable to have some flexible control of this; set screen saver to pull from specific directory, timing of pictures on screen, format of screensaver presentation: wipe, dissolve, rotate, snapshot, etc.

Having access to show home videos was also nice. WMC had a decent handle on this but there was room for improvement.

I know this would be quite a bit of work but thought it made sense to add to the roadmap.

Thanks again for all you are doing in making a great replacement for WMC. It has taken the pain out of losing it.

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Pauven
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Re: Photos and Home Videos

Post by Pauven » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:52 pm

Somehow I thought these were already on the roadmap, but I just checked and they were missing, so I added them.

Since you say WMC's ability to play home videos could be better, now's your chance to tell me how it could be better. Any ideas, examples and feedback on how home videos should look and work in CMC is greatly appreciated.
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
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lovehtpc
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Re: Photos and Home Videos

Post by lovehtpc » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:58 pm

So many thoughts come to mind for home videos/photos. Far more questions than answers, unfortunately. But here is what i have:

- Should there be separate video dashboards for produced movies and home videos? Perhaps a separate dashboard for both personal photos and movies? Maybe a two tile option before the current gui loads that says "Home movies" and "Hollywood"... something along those lines. With a menu option to disable/enable the home movie section.

- How will CMC pick a poster (fanart) picture for home videos? Screen grab? Force the user to make one for each?

- How will CMC read home video titles? Should there be a standard individuals adhere to that doesn't involve an xml file? (file name example: Title - date - people in movie .mp4 ). Maybe build this functionality into the metadata app...?

- Should photos be shown on the screen as full size? or as a waterfall like the music album art? Maybe larger tiles.

Lots of thoughts, questions and ideas to mull over. Thanks, Paul, for indulging us with this potential feature! I am going to have to convert my old vhs tapes to digital soon :shock: :lol:

mikemack
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Re: Photos and Home Videos

Post by mikemack » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:54 pm

Paul,

For Photos it would be nice to have the WMC behavior of the changing tile wall of photos where single photos were zoomed in on and then changed out at a preset time period. It would also be nice to be able to set a thumbnail for each directory; trips, events, family, friends, etc. and to choose a slideshow option for a folder that you want to show. For example, if I dump all my recent trip photos into a folder named for the trip it would be nice to select that folder and then choose to show its contents in a slideshow.

For Home Videos it would be nice to have the option to choose a frame from the video as a thumbnail. In WMC the transition between the player and the directory wasn't the smoothest. Better navigation of the directories would be helpful. I haven't used any other software for this purpose so I don't have any reference for how it could be better. It definitely should be a completely separate interface\library from the Movies library. I would not want to mix the two.

I will boot up an old drive with WMC on it and see if I can revisit it this weekend and take some notes on improvements.

Thanks for the consideration.

ScareDcrow
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Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by ScareDcrow » Thu May 28, 2020 1:44 pm

Plus one requesting this. Would significantly add to WAF if she could get this feature back

mikemack
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Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by mikemack » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am

My last remaining Win7 machine with WMC just died and we have my several birthdays coming up along with my niece's graduation from high school.

In the past we would use WMC to show slideshows and videos and use the photo tile wall as a way to entertain at these parties. Now I am scrambling to find another solution to do a slideshow for these events. I might have to upload the photos to iCloud and do something through the Apple TV platform... yeccchh!

It would be great to get some implementation of photos, videos, slideshows into CMC in some form, shape or fashion and then evolve it from there.

At the minimum being able to browse photos and videos directories would be good and then a feature to select a folder\directory with photos to use in a simple slideshow would be a great start. And if possible if there would be a way to create and select a playlist of music to accompany the slideshow would be remarkable. I have had to cobble a solution together for this need on several occasions and they were all clunky. I have yet to find an elegant and simple way to create a looping slideshow with accompanying looping music playlist.

I hope this is something that could be easily accomplished. If it is then it could be on its own a reason for people to purchase even if they aren't in need of CMC for watching movies. Which brings up the idea that if this becomes a reality in CMC then there should be an option to launch CMC right into the Photos or Video library.

Thanks again Paul for letting us have some input and taking our feedback.
Let us know how we can help you.

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Pauven
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Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by Pauven » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:58 am

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
My last remaining Win7 machine with WMC just died and we have my several birthdays coming up along with my niece's graduation from high school.

In the past we would use WMC to show slideshows and videos and use the photo tile wall as a way to entertain at these parties. Now I am scrambling to find another solution to do a slideshow for these events.
Nice use of sharing your plight to elicit empathy. Good tactic. Seems to be working. :(

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
I might have to upload the photos to iCloud and do something through the Apple TV platform... yeccchh!
Interesting and unexpected turn, straight from empathy to fear. How could I live with myself if I let anyone use an Apple product. :o

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
It would be great to get some implementation of photos, videos, slideshows into CMC in some form, shape or fashion and then evolve it from there.

At the minimum being able to browse photos and videos directories would be good and then a feature to select a folder\directory with photos to use in a simple slideshow would be a great start.
Bartering, and cutting straight to your lowest price. Seems reasonable. :mrgreen:

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
And if possible if there would be a way to create and select a playlist of music to accompany the slideshow would be remarkable.
Ahh, the old switcheroo. Now that you got them hooked, sell them on extras. Let's talk floor mats and undercarriage weather sealing. :ugeek:

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
I have had to cobble a solution together for this need on several occasions and they were all clunky. I have yet to find an elegant and simple way to create a looping slideshow with accompanying looping music playlist.
Bookending with justification and potential praise. Perfect timing too, to help distract from the upgrades. 8-)

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
I hope this is something that could be easily accomplished. If it is then it could be on its own a reason for people to purchase even if they aren't in need of CMC for watching movies.
Placating too. Nice, you are a negotiation pro. You in sales? Need a job? ;)

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
Which brings up the idea that if this becomes a reality in CMC then there should be an option to launch CMC right into the Photos or Video library.
Ooooh, soo close to pitching a perfect game. Never close on last-second add-on. :roll:


Okay, I had my fun. Please don't take any offense, I was just busting your chops - what else you gonna do when they come begging. By the way, studies have found that using the word "because" in your justifications is especially endearing to the pleadee (did I just make up a word?), because it causes them to personally sympathize with your plight and you are more likely to get your way. :idea:


Alright, you sold me. What kind of timeline do I have to work with? :?:

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:10 am
Let us know how we can help you.
I need answers to all of the following: :!:

The movie screensaver is easy, because every FanArt.jpg picture is already 16:9 landscape formatted. Your home pics won't be. What do I do for each of the following scenarios?
  • Portrait picture? (Black bars on sides? Crop top/bottom to fill screen?)
  • Landscape picture that isn't wide enough to fill the screen? (Black bars on sides? Crop top/bottom to fill screen?)
  • Landscape picture that is too wide, isn't tall enough to fill screen? (Black bars on top/bottom? Crop sides to fill screen?)
  • Lower resolution pictures that don't fill screen? (Don't enlarge just center with black bars all around? Stretch to fill with black bars if necessary? Zoom to fill screen?)
  • Higher resolution pictures that are too big for screen's resolution? (Don't shrink just show actual resolution cropping borders as necessary? Shrink and apply border rules same as above scenarios?

What about timing/speed of the slideshow. Static 3 seconds, 5 seconds, configurable?


What about manual control? Do you need the ability to pause, go back, advance? If so, what keys/buttons do this?


What order do the pictures play? (Filename Alphabetical Ascending? Filedate? Random?)


What file format are your pictures? JPG? (fingers crossed...)
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
Author, Chameleon MediaCenter

mikemack
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:38 pm

Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by mikemack » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:08 pm

Ha ha! Too funny. No worries I can take the ribbing ;)

1. Portrait pictures in WMC filled as much of the screen as possible. Black bars on the sides.
2. Landscape pictures should fill the whole screen but no cropping just black bars to fit.
3. Landscape cinemascope pictures should be sized to fit width and black bars top and bottom. (Any chance for zoom feature?)
4. I cannot think of any real low resolution pictures that I have come across but they should be treated like any other photos and sized to fit the screen as best as possible and then black bars to fill in.
5. Higher res pictures should be scaled to fit and preferrably not cropped.

Slideshow timings should be configurable as they were in WMC. Slideshows should also have an option to select an accompanying playlist and to loop them in parallel.

I can provide some screenshots of the WMC Photos feature if that would be helpful to visualize what was there. Any ideas how I could provide them to you without making them public? Some of the screenshots have family pictures contained in them.

mikemack
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Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by mikemack » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:15 pm

BTW - I need this all by next Friday for the graduation and birthdays. No problem, right?

JK - no pressure on the timeline. I would not expect something to be developed that quickly and released in time. I will just have to resort to an Apple product solution... sigh.

Anyway - I think it would be a complimentary feature to what you have built so far and keeps in line with what we had in WMC but with potential to be much better.

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Pauven
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Re: [Added to Roadmap] Photos and Home Videos

Post by Pauven » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:30 pm

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:08 pm
(Any chance for zoom feature?)
Let's not worry about icing the cake just yet. I haven't even mixed the batter.

And a good looking zoom is very hard to accomplish. I spent weeks upon weeks writing custom scaling algorithms and speed controls on the music screensaver, all in effort to remove some annoying flickering lines and scaling artifacts on the CD covers, and those baby's just scroll, not zoom. It could literally take months to get a production quality zoom programmed.


In general, it seems like you want 100% of each picture to be viewable, but sized to fill the screen, and with black bars to fill any gaps. I think that is very doable, and probably the easiest thing to program.

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:08 pm
Slideshows should also have an option to select an accompanying playlist and to loop them in parallel.
To be clear, this initial version will not be a proper configured slideshow. A slideshow suggests a control file that directs the order, duration, speed, transitions, and soundtrack of the presentation. That is not what I am offering at this time.

What I am offering for now is the ability to select a directory, and have it automatically cycle through the pictures and display them. And because CMC already allows you to browse your collection while listening to music, you would be able to start music playing, then start the pictures showing. It will be very basic, but if you want to see pictures while listening to music, that will be do-able even if it is a bit manual to start, and will lack the polish of a prepared slideshow using professional software.

I'm not saying it won't get more advanced in the future, but I did want to set your expectations on what I can do for now.

mikemack wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:08 pm
I can provide some screenshots of the WMC Photos feature if that would be helpful to visualize what was there. Any ideas how I could provide them to you without making them public? Some of the screenshots have family pictures contained in them.
Not at this time, but thanks. For this initial version I will be just doing very basic functionality, and not trying to emulate WMC... not yet at least. And I do have WMC here on a couple Win7 PC's in storage, so when I'm ready I can fire them up to do some research.


Also, you missed some questions.
Pauven wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:58 am
What kind of timeline do I have to work with?
Pauven wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:58 am
What about manual control? Do you need the ability to pause, go back, advance? If so, what keys/buttons do this?
Pauven wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:58 am
What order do the pictures play? (Filename Alphabetical Ascending? Filedate? Random?)
Pauven wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:58 am
What file format are your pictures? JPG? (fingers crossed...)
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
Author, Chameleon MediaCenter

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