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CMC v3.0 & CME 1.1 - Here's What's New!

Latest news and release announcements from Chameleon Consulting.
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CMC v3.0 & CME 1.1 - Here's What's New!

Post by Pauven » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:50 pm

After several months of development and testing, I'm happy to announce that Chameleon MediaCenter v3.0 has just been released, and it includes a new version of its companion product, CMC Metadata Exporter v1.1. As always, these are free upgrades for all users.

CMC v1.0 was originally released 10/31/2017 - known as Halloween here in the US. Halloween 2019 is CMC's second anniversary, and to mark the beginning of the 3rd year the version number has been increased to 3.0 (yes, CMC version numbers actually mean something: the last two numbers are the Date the version was released).

Both have lots of boring bug fixes, essential but not fun to talk about (they'll be listed in the changelog below). Instead, let's jump right into what's new! There's definitely some Halloween Treats in here...

Advanced Filters
Since the early versions of CMC (known as MM Browser back then), there has been a filter icon on the top icon bar that does absolutely nothing. This was a placeholder that served primarily as a reminder to me to figure out what to put there.

A short two years later, and I've figured it out. Welcome to the Advanced Filters, which allow you to filter on Disc Type, Video Format, Audio Type, Parental Rating, Star Rating, and Year.
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Most of these Advanced Filters reset to the default values upon start-up. The exception is the Disc Type filter, which you can set to a default start up value by going to Settings > Startup & Logging Options > Default Disc Type Filter:

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Parental Ratings Enhancementsj
In addition to allowing you to filter on the Parental Rating, we've added a new 'Region' setting (Settings > Display Settings > Region) so that you can display the local Parental Guidance Rating name for your locale. A couple things to note on this: For now, this only affects the Rating text on the Advanced Filter and the Movie Screensaver setting lower on this setting page, but in the future, this will control the rating icons that are displayed next to all titles. Also, the available regions are as defined by My Movies, so in theory this should suit My Movies users pretty well.

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Movie Screensaver Enhancements
The Movie Screensaver has a couple enhancements in CMC v3.0. One is related to the Parental Ratings Enhancements above. You can now restrict the slideshow to movies at or below the Parental Guidance Rating limit you set (Settings > Display Settings > Movie Screensaver Max Parental Rating). Also, please understand that both "Unrated" and "Not Rated" movies will be disabled when the limit is set at or below [5] PG-13. To include Unrated/Not Rated wallpapers in the Movie Screensaver, you'll have to have this setting set to 6, 7, or 8.

The other big enhancement for the Movie Screensaver is that you can now restrict it to only showing wallpapers from Unwatched movies. Now you and your guests can sit back and watch a slideshow of all your unwatched films to pick one out for movie night.

You can see these settings in the screenshot above for Parental Ratings Enhancements.

Similar Movies Recommendations
Speaking of picking out the next great movie to watch, CMC v3.0 now includes a Similar Movies feature. To access it, open any movie's Details page, and scroll right to 'Similar Movies'. CMC uses a custom formula that I have developed to identify similar movies based upon Genres, Cast & Crew, Parental Rating, Star Rating, Release Year, and Runtime. It also includes some built-in logic to only show age appropriate recommendations when viewing a movie with a low Parental Guidance rating - so viewing the Similar Movies list for a G movie won't be showing PG-13 movies as recommendations for your children.

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Chapter Based Episode Support
TV Episodes on Blu-rays are indexed by an MPLS #, and most (but not all) TV Episodes on DVD's are indexed by a Title #. The exception is that for some DVD's the Episodes are indexed by a Title & Chapter #. Previously, CMC did not support Chapter indexed Episodes.

That changes with CMC v3.0, which adds full support for Chapter indexed TV Episodes. Not only will the Episodes display in the GUI, but you will be able to directly play each episode for DVD ISO's and DVD Folders. The one limitation is that the only player that supports Chapter based Episodes is MPC - this is a limitation of the other players and is beyond my control, though I have reached out to various companies like Cyberlink and DVDFab asking for them to add this capability to their players.

Improved External Player Support
CMC v3.0 adds support for the brand new DVDFab Player 6, which was released less than a week ago - how's that for rapid product improvements!!!

CMC v3.0 also greatly improves integration with VLC. Previously, use of VLC with CMC was restricted to 'Other Encoded Media' only. Thanks to one of our new users (thanks Dan!!!) who graciously shared a solution, CMC now supports playback of DVD and Blu-rays with VLC. And most amazingly, VLC can display Blu-ray Menus, which might make it the one and only free solution to do so!

And as mentioned about, CMC can now start playback at a specific Title & Chapter # using MPC.

Video, Audio and Subtitle Details
For years now users have been asking for the video and audio details to be shown on the Movie Details pages, much like WMC did. Well the wait is over, CMC v3.0 now include video details on the movie "Details" page (including Disc Type, Codec Info, Format, FPC, and Aspect Ratio), and on the "Audio + Subs" page you can view the audio details (Format, Language Flag, and Channels) and subtitle info (Language Flag).

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Genre & Category Filter Navigation Improvements
While most of us are casual HTPC enthusiasts, there are those among us who are professionals using CMC as part of their job. For these power users, some navigation improvements were sorely needed to help them spend less time selecting movies and more time watching them.

Luckily, we all get to benefit from these improvements. For the Genres filter, now when you open the filter panel the default cursor location will be at the very middle of the list - this should minimize the number of button presses to get to the Genre(s) you want to select. Additionally, you can now press the [PLAY] button on your remote or keyboard, and the currently highlighted Genre will be added to your current select and immediately run the 'Match All Selected Genres' filtering, so you don't have to navigate back down to that button. And if Genre Filtering is currently active, opening the filter panel will still highlight the bottom selection to "Clear Filter & Show All".

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The Categories Filter gets the exact same enhancements, with one difference: Instead of starting in the middle of the Categories list, the default highlighted selection will be the first Category (alphabetically) so you can use naming tricks to place all your most used Categories at the top of the list.

Box Set & TV Series Watched Status Improvements
In previous versions of CMC, the Box Set and TV Series "Watched" status was independent of the contents of the Box Set or Episode Watched Status. CMC v3.0 fixes this, and now the Box Set Watched Status correctly shows as "Watched" only when all films inside of the Box Set are also Watched. And similarly a TV Series will only show as "Watched" if every Episode of every Season is also flagged as Watched.

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These new Box Set and TV Series Watched Statuses are automatically maintained by CMC, and update if reflection to changes you make. For example, if you add a new Season to an existing TV Series that was already Watched, CMC will now update the status to Unwatched to let you know that there are Unwatched Episodes inside.

Free Version Title Limit Improvements
CMC is free to use (always has been) with one constraint - the free version will only display 101 titles. Recently, I noticed that TV Series were counting too aggressively against the 101 title limit. For example, the 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory was counting as 12 Titles, not 1.

So with CMC v3.0 this has now been changed, and all Titles and Discs that all belong to the same TV Series will only count as 1 against the 101 Title limit.

This does not change Box Sets, for which each movie inside of a Box Set will still count as 1 towards the 101 Title limit.


Changes for Chameleon MediaCenter (CMC) v3.0.2019.1031:
  • New: Advanced Filters for filtering by Disc Type, Format, Audio Type, Stars, Years and Parental Rating
  • New: Configuration option to set the Default Disc Type Filter used at Startup
  • New: Region setting to control display of Parental Guidance values
  • New: Movie Screensaver option to show images from Unwatched Titles only
  • New: Movie Screensaver option to restrict images based upon the Title's Parental Rating
  • New: Similar Movies recommendation feature is now implemented
  • New: VLC can now be used for DVD & Blu-ray playback
  • New: Support for the newly released DVDFab Player 6
  • New: Added tracking of Box Set Watched status based upon Watched status of Titles in each Box Set
  • New: Added tracking of TV Series Watched status based upon Watched status of all episodes
  • New: Added video info to movie Details screen, and audio and subtitle info to Audio+Subs screen
  • New: Use PLAY button on Genres & Categories to immediately filter on highlighted selection
  • Fixed: TV Series backdrop is not using the Local Artwork Cache
  • Fixed: Cannot updated Watched/Unwatched status of Movies while in the Box Set view
  • Fixed: Updating Watched/Unwatched status of Box Set Movies loses Box Set Perspective View
  • Fixed: Movie Screensaver never shows artwork of the last title in the database
  • Fixed: Incompatible Movie DB Not Loaded info did not show when a new CMC version requires a Full Sync
  • Fixed: 4K UltraHD covers were not being shown for the My Movies default Cover Profile.
  • Fixed: CMC_Watched.txt flag files were not removed for ISO episodes after updating MMCM Watched Status
  • Fixed: DVD Cover Glow effect didn't work for My Movies stock profile
  • Fixed: Movie Details background panel was solid instead of translucent
  • Fixed: My Movies default Cover Profile still shows as available even after uninstalling My Movies
  • Fixed: Corrupt umlauts in Parental Ratings map
  • Fixed: List of Genres didn't display correctly for Titles in a Box Set
  • Updated: Applying the WatchList filter with out any flagged titles now gives helpful guidance and navigation
  • Updated: TurboActivate components are now the latest version
  • Updated: TV Series now only count as 1 title against the 101 title limit for free/trial versions
  • Updated: Improved navigation for Genres & Categories filtering
Changes for CMC Metadata Exporter (CME) v1.1.2019.1031:
  • New: Made the API Connection and Read Timeouts configurable in the settings
  • New: The Watched Status Sync now exports Episode metadata too (addresses a MM API bug)
  • New: Export Episode metadata for Chapter based Episodes
  • New: Option to Suppress Offline Episode Error Messages
  • Fixed: Revised XML file prefix, making it longer than 256 bytes, so that XML files can be posted to forum
  • Fixed: Changed export logic to skip export of Episodes on Offline Discs and log an Error
  • Fixed: Removed duplicate backslashes when selecting the root of a drive, for example D:\\
  • Fixed: CME now responds gracefully to API timeouts
  • Changed: Greatly improved logging
  • Changed: Console window font to Courier New
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
Author, Chameleon MediaCenter

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