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    Invelos Forums->General: General Discussion Page: 1 2 3  Previous   Next
The dream Profiler: A thought experiment
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorLJG
Registered: March 14, 2007
United States Posts: 940
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Quoting zappman:
Quote:
The third type of collection I would like  to track is my books.

I use two programs. One is Book Collector. I like all the fields and customization. That being said, the company is not great and required constant money to keep up with their updates. I ended up just using the 3rd version from when I bought it and stopped upgrading it. I wouldn't recommend it but there aren't many programs out there that I like better.

I did recently find My Library app (I'm on Android). I'm slowly adding in books. Not a ton of fields, but the app is totally free and on my phone. I have a small notebook I keep with all the books I'm looking for (series that aren't complete, books I'm looking for for my nieces...) and I hope to eventually get my collection all on there so it'll be easy and quick to use while out and about. I would recommend this app for any book collector that wants a basic program to help them keep track of what they have and want.

Sorry, didn't mean to totally be off topic!
Lori
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
Registered: March 14, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
Sweden Posts: 3,429
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Quoting mreeder50:
Quote:
I completely agree with removing the Other crap and having all languages and subtitle languages available including "country specific" Audio Descriptive, Audio Tracks and Subtitle Tracks.
Yeah, I would think that configurable lists of countries and languages would be nice. And since you mentioned audio tracks, I would like to be able to enter who's doing commentaries.

Actually, not having to relate to a common online database would mean less demands on compatability, so one could allow free text in the audio content field, like "Commentary by Bey Logan", rather than just "Commentary".
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar Contributormreeder50
I was out of bullets
Registered: March 29, 2007
Reputation: Great Rating
United States Posts: 2,118
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
Actually, not having to relate to a common online database would mean less demands on compatability, so one could allow free text in the audio content field, like "Commentary by Bey Logan", rather than just "Commentary".

I'd buy into that one also.
Marty - Registered July 10, 2004, User since 2002.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 5,306
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
Quoting mreeder50:
Quote:
I completely agree with removing the Other crap and having all languages and subtitle languages available including "country specific" Audio Descriptive, Audio Tracks and Subtitle Tracks.
Yeah, I would think that configurable lists of countries and languages would be nice. And since you mentioned audio tracks, I would like to be able to enter who's doing commentaries.

Actually, not having to relate to a common online database would mean less demands on compatability, so one could allow free text in the audio content field, like "Commentary by Bey Logan", rather than just "Commentary".

Whoa, careful! "Common Online" is not the culprit. It is the fact that people want to share profiles, and / or the metadata they contain. Otherwise, each person could design their own open, free-form data structure and store it in an Excel spreadsheet, and share it by sending a drop box link to the "online" CSV file for others to figure out.

Meanwhile, anyone who wants to add custom data and fields to existing profiles can do it today simply by:

(1) Custom fields supported by several plugins
(2) HTML app running inside notes (notes HTML option)
(3) HTML window app (might need a simple plugin to allow saving of json or other format into Notes)

My recommendation for anybody looking to undertake the development of a new program - standalone or not, FIRST attempt to get consensus on a common data model. Maybe even establish a forum / web site to support it. Then regardless of what happens, people will be able to still share, develop mobile apps, define transformations between other models and the "common" one, establish an online repository for those who want it.

To me. the real value comes from the ability to share and collaborate. IMHO, a standalone effort will be doomed as soon as (or if) we loose this free platform to talk about it (unless of course replaced by something else).
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar Contributorscotthm
Registered: March 20, 2007
Reputation: High Rating
United States Posts: 2,569
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
what would you want if you could just get any wish?

User defined fields
The ability to filter on any field
An easier to use/more flexible report writer

---------------
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorAiAustria
Profiling since 2004
Registered: May 19, 2007
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First of all: Standalone with no Online data base is no option for me.

But, if anyone is trying to get the rights from Invelos - or something else - and will improve this piece of software...

First of all I think there should be a complete revamp of the data base structure: the already mentioned limits are only hot spots; media has to be separated from content; media types have to be much more flexible; subtables like cast and crew have to be much more comprehensive and flexible; there should be the possiblity to add local remarks (dorumentation) and graphics/photos to nearly every piece of data; the contribution should be much more granular; contribution notes should be locally managable; ...
Complete list of Common Names  •  A good point for starting with Headshots
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorAiAustria
Profiling since 2004
Registered: May 19, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
Austria Posts: 4,718
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Quoting zappman:
Quote:
The third type of collection I would like  to track is my books.

... off toipic...

I really apreceate Calibre for my books, no matter which format. A few custom fields and it work like charm for anything around books. The only anoyance from my point of view: no headshots for authors.

... but I am Windows centered...
Complete list of Common Names  •  A good point for starting with Headshots
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
United States Posts: 5,306
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Quoting AiAustria:
Quote:
Quoting zappman:
Quote:
The third type of collection I would like  to track is my books.

... off toipic...

I really apreceate Calibre for my books, no matter which format. A few custom fields and it work like charm for anything around books. The only anoyance from my point of view: no headshots for authors.

... but I am Windows centered...

Here is an old thread about books.

Pictures have been lost, but here was the process of making a wine "skin."

A Book Profiler - pictures are lost in the post. Maybe contact that user?

Oh wait, Gunnar, maybe that is one of the coolest features yet, and right down your alley - the notion of "skins" for UI and nomenclature customization??? Combine that with the filter / query of Profiler Query and you are closing in on a "profile anything"?
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorDJ Doena
Battle Troll
Registered: March 14, 2007
Reputation: Highest Rating
Germany Posts: 6,295
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Quoting zappman:
Quote:
The third type of collection I would like  to track is my books.


It depends on what kind of data you want to track for your books. For example, I track both my books and comics with DVDP. It ain't perfect but good enough for my needs.
Karsten
DVD Collectors Online
Amazon Price Observer

DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorMithi
Sushi Annihilator
Registered: March 13, 2007
Reputation: Great Rating
Germany Posts: 2,150
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Quoting AiAustria:
Quote:
I really apreceate Calibre for my books, no matter which format.

Aye! I even started using Calibre for Audiobooks[1] and a little backlog of paper-books. And inevitably I started using the XML-export for a "last read" list 

[1] I create a new profile for them and assign an empty MP3 respectively TXT file to it so I have the format.
Mithi's little XSLT tinkering - the power of XML
DVD Profiler Unlimited Registrantmovie_madness
Registered: August 7, 2007
Posts: 86
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Quoting GSyren:
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Sometimes I get the notion that I could write my own Profiler. Then of course I realize that without an online collection it would be no match. But what if Invelos shuts down its servers? Well, you could still use DVD Profiler, of course. But it would lose that advantage.

Realistically, developing a better, offline, profiling program is a pipe dream, of course. But it’s kind of a thought experiment for me. What functionality would I add or change to make a better program?

I would like to invite your thoughts on this. What would you like to see?

Personally, I can think of several things right off the bat. Unlimited entries for multi value fields like Country of Origin, Studios, Media companies, Genres etc. “Not determined” defaults for fields where that would be relevant, like Subtitles. Unlimited number of images rather than just front and back cover. And, of course, XML import from Profiler export.

This would be a stand-alone program, so things like separating film data from product data (which has been a long standing wish for DVD Profiler) wouldn’t make much sense. But with that in mind, what would you want if you could just get any wish?


Not a pipe dream at all, because I've done it.  I've made my own movie database that can be accessed online anytime anywhere, includes special BD/DVD features like short films and audio commentaries (and the people who did them), includes extra info like reviews by Leonard Maltin and Pauline Kael, etc.  If you have experience in database design and programming then it is definitely doable.  I use Microsoft Access and ASP, which uses BASIC, the easiest programming language there is.  The trickiest thing is to design a "database structure" that works for you.  DVD Profiler uses what I would consider a very inefficient database structure that wastes space (my DVD Profiler database with only 5,000 titles uses 400 megabytes with no images, but my own database wiith 13,000 titles only uses 150 megabytes with no images), and has a lot of shortcomings such as no unicode, duplicate names, blank cast and crew (lack of contributions), etc.  The database I designed makes things efficient and it can do a whole lot more things a lot better.  I still use DVD Profiler, but mainly for its covers, because that saves me from having to scan the covers myself.  But even that is becoming useless because I'm finding more and more discs with no covers.  E.g. Criterion makes Blu-rays and DVDs for its titles, but DVD Profiler has only Blu-ray covers for a lot of titles, because no one is buying the DVD versions so no one is scanning the DVD covers!

The biggest feature of my own database is that it can instantly import all cast & crew of a title from IMDb with just a mouse click.  DVD Profiler doesn't use IMDb so someone has to manually put in the cast & crew, either a contributor or (increasingly common) you yourself.  Even with that popular Cast Crew Edit 2 plugin (which also relies on IMDb), you still have to spend a whole lot of time copying and pasting.  In my database, one mouse click, a few seconds later, you see the whole cast & crew.  Not 10 names, not 20, or whatever the limit is, but the WHOLE cast/crew list.  Whatever is on IMDb cast & crew page, I get.  That is the single biggest time-saver a software of this kind could have, and yet DVD Profiler wastes the most time on it.  Other cataloguing software like All My Movies, Collectorz, Ant Movie Collection, Eric's Movie Database, My Movies Collection (and I've used them all) are also iffy in the completeness of cast & crew and expediency in manually entering cast & crew.  The cast & crew is the BULK of data of every movie title, and yet most of these programs do a poor job with it.  Your database is only as good as your data.  If data are incomplete and unsearchable, they are as good as not existing at all.
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorGSyren
Profiling since 2001
Registered: March 14, 2007
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Quoting movie_madness:
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Not a pipe dream at all, because I've done it.

That's nice, but it's not what we have talked about here. The "pipe dream" was to create a desktop program that rivals DVD Profiler's user functionality, including customization.

If creating the database structure was the trickiest thing for you, then you haven't even scratched the surface of the problems involved in replicating all Profiler's features. It can't be done in ASP.

But, if you have created a program that works better than DVD Profiler for you, that's still quite impressive. I wish we could see it.
My freeware tools for DVD Profiler users.
Gunnar
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
Aim high. Ride the wind.
Registered: March 18, 2007
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United States Posts: 5,306
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:

... The "pipe dream" was to create a desktop program that rivals DVD Profiler's user functionality, including customization.
... you haven't even scratched the surface of the problems involved in replicating all Profiler's features. It can't be done in ASP.

Wow, those words made me reflect on how much we miss the creative genius of Ken Cole, and how much we still enjoy the results of his efforts. I, for one, am grateful to whomever it is that is allowing this Forum to proceed in his absence, and wish him and his family well. Sorry for the off-topic. Just got a little misty-eyed, that's all. 
Thanks for your support.
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 Last edited: by mediadogg
DVD Profiler Unlimited Registrantmovie_madness
Registered: August 7, 2007
Posts: 86
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Quoting GSyren:
Quote:
Quoting movie_madness:
Quote:
Not a pipe dream at all, because I've done it.

That's nice, but it's not what we have talked about here. The "pipe dream" was to create a desktop program that rivals DVD Profiler's user functionality, including customization.

If creating the database structure was the trickiest thing for you, then you haven't even scratched the surface of the problems involved in replicating all Profiler's features. It can't be done in ASP.

But, if you have created a program that works better than DVD Profiler for you, that's still quite impressive. I wish we could see it.


But the wish list features in your top post (unlimited countries, media companies, screenshots, etc.) DO require a database structure re-design!  In database lingo, the re-design needs to accommodate more "one-to-many" relationships (anyone who has database experience knows what that means).  The current database structure doesn't have the "many" relationship for things like countries, media companies, and screenshots, and that is why you can't have a disc linked to unlimited countries, companies, pictures, etc.  And you will never be able to do that UNTIL the database structure is re-designed to accommodate such one-to-many relationships.  A re-design after the fact would be difficult and may even be impossible.  That was why I designed my own.

I posted about my database here a long time ago and showed screenshots of my website that has my online collection.  As I said, the biggest time-saver is auto-import IMDb cast & crew with just one mouse click, which is accomplished with web-scraping, the same method used by the Cast Crew Edit 2 plugin.  Then I have "quality of life" features such as having all reviews by Leonard Maltin and Pauline Kael in my database, saving the time to look them up on the web.  In addition to cast & crew credits, I also have "media credits," which include people who did work for the discs (i.e. media) instead of the movies: audio commentaries, visual essays, featurettes, etc., things that aren't listed on IMDb that I wish to include.  That allows me to search for such work by person.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile Registrantmediadogg
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Registered: March 18, 2007
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Quoting movie_madness:
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In database lingo, the re-design needs to accommodate more "one-to-many" relationships (anyone who has database experience knows what that means).  The current database structure doesn't have the "many" relationship for things like countries, media companies, and screenshots, and that is why you can't have a disc linked to unlimited countries, companies, pictures, etc.  And you will never be able to do that UNTIL the database structure is re-designed to accommodate such one-to-many relationships.  A re-design after the fact would be difficult and may even be impossible.  That was why I designed my own.

It would be great to see the "ideal" schema for a DVDP database re-design. Out of curiosity, in your opinion, could some of the aspects of a many-to-one relationship for the fields in question be simulated by using hidden child profiles using custom profileIDs?
Thanks for your support.
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DVD Profiler Unlimited Registrantmovie_madness
Registered: August 7, 2007
Posts: 86
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Quoting mediadogg:
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Quoting movie_madness:
Quote:
In database lingo, the re-design needs to accommodate more "one-to-many" relationships (anyone who has database experience knows what that means).  The current database structure doesn't have the "many" relationship for things like countries, media companies, and screenshots, and that is why you can't have a disc linked to unlimited countries, companies, pictures, etc.  And you will never be able to do that UNTIL the database structure is re-designed to accommodate such one-to-many relationships.  A re-design after the fact would be difficult and may even be impossible.  That was why I designed my own.

It would be great to see the "ideal" schema for a DVDP database re-design. Out of curiosity, in your opinion, could some of the aspects of a many-to-one relationship for the fields in question be simulated by using hidden child profiles using custom profileIDs?


Adding a profile in that manner would waste space because each profile contains a whole bunch of other fields that you likely won't need.  To obtain a "many" field in an efficient manner, you need a one-to-many relationship set up only for that field. 

And if you don't need that many items for your "many" field, a "multi-value" field would work too.  A multi-value field only requires changing the data format of that field, and most likely doesn't require re-designing the database structure.  DVD Profiler DOES have a multi-value already in use: it is the "Regions" box that lets you checkbox A, B, C for Blu-ray or 1 to 6 for DVD.  So we know this data format is supported in the software.  A single field (regions) that could contain multiple values is the very reason of having a multi-value field.  The same could conceivably be done for country, genres, and studios.  But as you see, those are entered in separate boxes.  The software treats them as distinct entities: country #1, country #2, genre #1, genre #2, etc.  Mr. Ken Cole might have his reasons for having such a design (perhaps for easier filtering?).  But a case could be made that those fields could be set up as multi-value like Regions. 

The advantage of a multi-value field is that there is no fixed limit in the number of items within it: you could have 1 country, 5 countries, 10 countries, etc., instead of the fixed 3 countries currently limited by DVD Profiler.  The country field would be a prime candidate for switching over to a multi-value field.

But a multi-value field does NOT offer unlimited storage; there is a limit to how many values you can put in it.  The OP says he wants "unlimited countries."  If he is thinking of a really high number, then it probably needs to be done with a one-to-many relationship, which does accommodate a really high number of values: millions, even gigs.  The only one-to-many relationship used in DVD Profiler is that for the cast & crew data, which can hold an untold amount of data as we know.
 Last edited: by movie_madness
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