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  #1  
Old January 6th, 2010, 01:21 PM
lateforaa lateforaa is offline
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Default Want a perfect Boxee database ... I did it

I have been messing around with Boxee for a few months now and I love the application. I use it every day for hours at a time. There are a few problems with the application as I am sure you are experiencing and I am sure the Boxee guys are working to resolve.

I know the Beta will be released soon but I am ridiculously anal and wanted a perfect Boxee database with correct images but was having some trouble. I have over 2500 items in my database and I need it to be correct. Here are some items that I had problems with but was able to solve.
  • Movies/TV Shows not being recognized
  • Movies/TV Shows being duplicated
  • Movies/TV Shows being recognized incorrectly
  • Movies/TV Shows with no thumbnails
  • Movies/TV Shows with incorrect thumbnails

There were also a few things that I wanted to change.
  • Rename Movies to use english titles
  • Rename Movies so I can group according to trilogies
  • Change the thumbnails to images I am familiar with
  • Movie cannot be added to the database

So here is how I was able to accomplish this with a small amount of work. I am sure some of these items will be resolve with the beta and this may no longer work with the beta but if you are interested take a look.

I was searching through the forums as I am sure most of you have been and having some trouble finding how to resolve some of my issues. I ran across this post that helped me figure out the database. I just wanted to thank the author for their time.

http://forum.boxee.tv/showthread.php...plicate&page=3

You can solve all of these problems by editing the Boxee database. You don't need to be genius or even understand much about databases to get it done. You will need this application called SQLite Database Browser. You can download it here.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/sqlitebrowser/

You simply extract this to a folder and run the .exe. You can then open your Boxee Media Database. I am using Windows 7 and mine is located at c:\Users\(Computer Username)\AppData\Roaming\BOXEE\userdata\Database\ boxee_media.db.

You will probably want to make a copy of this database and put it on your desktop so you can have a backup incase of a mistake. You can simply overwrite the database file with Boxee closed. When you open Boxee again it will use your backup.
  • Movies/TV Shows not being recognized

Boxee does a great job of recognizing media as long as you have it named correctly. I would say it picked up 95% of my items correctly.

I have 2 separate folders, one for Movies and one for TV Shows. I have added each folder as a source. This makes it easy for me to determine if something hasn't been recognized. I can look at the Boxee movies list and see that there are 921 movies but when I open the movies folder there are 922 items. This lets me know I am missing a movie.

I also used an application called Virtual Dub to make all of my movie files a single file. I found that Boxee didn't do a very good job of figuring out that a movie consisted of 2 files. Here is a link on how to use Virtual Dub to combine avi files.

http://www.dvd-guides.com/content/view/14/59/

The key to getting your media recognized is having your files named properly. There are a bunch of posts regarding this but I wanted to share with you what works best for me. For movies I use the following format; MOVIE TITLE (YEAR MADE).avi, so for example; Animal House (1978).avi. This works for any file extension such as mkv or mp4. For TV Shows I put all episodes for each show in their own folder; TV SHOW NAME (language), so for example; 30 Rock (en). For each episode I use; TV SHOW NAME - S##E##.avi, so for example; 30 Rock - S01E01.avi. I am not going to lie, I didn't rename all of my TV Shows but I did make sure that they had the format above.

If you follow that format Boxee will recognize almost everything. I did have a few problems with TV Shows at times, I went through the manual recognize and typed in the show in the following format; TV SHOW NAME, (Season #), (Episode #), so for example; 30 Rock, 01, 01. This should recognize the show and allow you to apply it for the entire folder and Boxee will figure out the rest of the media. If you still have some episodes not being recognized you can simply close Boxee, move the episode out of the folder, open Boxee and then copy the file back into the folder. Boxee should recognize the new file and index it. You will have to play around with this a little bit.
  • Movies/TV Shows being duplicated

Ok so now Boxee has all of your media indexed but you have all of these damn duplicates. You can go through the menu on each file and have it remove the duplicates but that can take forever if you have a bunch. I found it easier to alter the database and remove the duplicates that way. the forum post I put above gives probably a better way to do this but I am dumb when it comes to databases.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select video_files.
Now you will see a list of all your video files. This is where all of your duplicates are.
Click on the magnifying glass and a new window opens.
From the first drop down select "strPath" and on the second drop down select "contains".
Now enter part of the name; i.e. Animal and click search.
You should see multiple records listed for your movie.
I found that normally Boxee uses the last one.
Click on the first one and close out of the Search window.
Then select Delete Record from the right hand side.
This should remove your duplicate.
If you reopen Boxee and the movie is completely gone, open the database back up and remove the other entry. Then manually recognize the file.

Also don't forget to save you database and close it before opening Boxee.
  • Movies/TV Shows being recognized incorrectly

I find it is easiest to resolve this by using the manual recognize feature.

Open Boxee and browse to the file.
Select the Read More option instead of Play.
At the top will be a wrong video option
Select that it is a movie and if your file is named correctly you will see the movie with the correct year behind it.
Select it and you are done.

Check IMDB to see how they have it listed.
  • Movies/TV Shows with no thumbnails

Sometimes IMDB or THETVDB don't have a thumbnail for the media. This is simple to solve. Open up Google and do an image search; poster MOVIE TITLE, so for example; poster Animal House. Click on the poster you want to use, then select the See Full Size Image link at the top. This will give you the URL to the image you want to use. Now we need to tell Boxee to use that image instead.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select video_files.
Now you will see a list of all your video files. This is where all of your duplicates are.
Click on the magnifying glass and a new window opens.
From the first drop down select "strPath" and on the second drop down select "contains".
Now enter part of the name; i.e. Animal and click search.
When you select the Animal house record it will take you to it.
Close the search window and go over to the strCover column.
Double click on it, delete what is entered, paste the URL and click Apply.
Save your database and reopen Boxee, it will download the image you specificed.
  • Movies/TV Shows with incorrect thumbnails

If you have already specified the image you want to use or IMDB already has the right image sometimes Boxee will cache the wrong image for a movie. For example Animal House could have the 500 Days of Summer image. I have no idea why it does this and I am sure they are working on it. A simple fix I have found it to just delete your thumbnail cache and reopen Boxee. It will download all of the images again and you won't have the cache problem.

Close Boxee
Browse to your profile thumbnail location
C:\Users\(Computer Username)\AppData\Roaming\BOXEE\userdata\profiles\ (Boxee Username)\Thumbnails\Video
You will see a bunch of folders.
Delete everything except for Bookmarks and Fanart
Open Boxee and the images will download again
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  #2  
Old January 6th, 2010, 01:22 PM
lateforaa lateforaa is offline
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Default Sorry, had to break into 2 parts

So those few items will get your database accurate but you may want to customize a few items. This is also very simple to do.
  • Rename Movies to use english titles

IMDB list some movies by their forgien titles. How in the hell are you supposed to remember that "A Fistful of Dollars" is actually listed as "Per un pugno di dollari" in IMDB. This is a very simple fix.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select video_files.
Now you will see a list of all your video files. This is where all of your duplicates are.
Click on the magnifying glass and a new window opens.
From the first drop down select "strPath" and on the second drop down select "contains".
Now enter part of the name; i.e. Per and click search.
When you select the Animal house record it will take you to it.
Close the search window and go over to the strTitle column.
Double click on it, delete what is entered, enter the name you want and click Apply.
Save your database and reopen Boxee, it will now have the new name.
  • Rename Movies so I can group according to trilogies

So you have all of the Dirty Harry or The Omen movies but they all start with different titles. If you want to watch the series in order you have to go find the movie through your list plus remember the order. You can use the steps above to change the Title to something like this; Dirtry Harry: Dirty Harry, Dirty Harry: Magnum Force, Dirty Harry: The Enforcer, etc.
  • Change the thumbnails to images I am familiar with

Some IMDB thumbnails are a different movie poster than what you remember. You can simply find a link to another poster you want to use and update the database to use that one.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select video_files.
Now you will see a list of all your video files. This is where all of your duplicates are.
Click on the magnifying glass and a new window opens.
From the first drop down select "strPath" and on the second drop down select "contains".
Now enter part of the name; i.e. Animal and click search.
When you select the Animal house record it will take you to it.
Close the search window and go over to the strCover column.
Double click on it, delete what is entered, paste the URL and click Apply.
Save your database and reopen Boxee, it will download the image you specificed.
  • Movie cannot be added to the database

You have probably seen some posts where some movies can not be added to the database even though they are recognized. One of these movies is 500 Days of Summer. I am sure the Boxee team is working to resolve this but I found a temporary work around.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select video_files.
Now you will see a list of all your video files. This is where all of your duplicates are.
Click on the New Record button on the right hand side.
Open up IMDB for the movie that won't add and one that has.
Go through each column and enter the correct IMDB data.
Save your database and reopen Boxee, it will now have the new name.

One last problem that I had was House added Season 2 twice for some reason. If you are comfortable with the above steps then this was an easy item to correct.

Open the Boxee database with the SQLite Database Browser.
Click on the Browse Database tab.
From the Table dropdown select series.
Now you will see a list of all your TV Show series.
Find the problem series and locate the idSeries number. For me House was 15.
From the Table dropdown select seasons.
Browse through the idSeries column and locate the series number.
You will see next to it iSeasonNum.
Here I found 2 records with iSeasonNum with the value of 2.
Select one of the duplicate records and click on Delete Record.
Save your database and reopen Boxee, it will now only have one of each season.

I am sure that other people have had other odd things happen with their database. For me deleting my entire database wasn't an option as I have over 2500 items. This will allow you to correct those few items that Boxee messed up.

I hope this helped someone. It may take a little time but it gets your database exactly like you want it.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks to the guys at Boxee for a great application!
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  #3  
Old January 7th, 2010, 11:15 PM
jbholts jbholts is offline
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Posts: 3
Default

Great info! Hopefully, manual editing within Boxee will happen soon but this definitely helps for now.
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  #4  
Old January 7th, 2010, 11:19 PM
kristallin kristallin is offline
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Posts: 104
Default

Wow, talk about a comprehensive post! Cheers for this!
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  #5  
Old January 7th, 2010, 11:28 PM
JPDeckers JPDeckers is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 57
Default

Thanks for your post!

This is exactly what I've been doing too the last year for getting everything organised Including sometimes (as I use .iso rips from my DVD's) having stuff like "Godfather II - part I" & "Godfather II - part II"

Hence my holdback on moving from alpha to beta, as it seems that the database format has changed, and needs to rescan everything. Knowing how much time it took to have the current setup correct, I'll wait out a bit for now...
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  #6  
Old January 8th, 2010, 04:12 AM
lateforaa lateforaa is offline
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Default Boxee Beta Update

So I upgraded to the beta today and I love it. Obviously it is not perfect but there are some really nice enhancements and I would recommend that you look at upgrading.

I am not an expert but you should be able to copy your userdata out to a safe location. You can then uninstall the alpha and install the beta. After it finishes indexing your media you can see what it looks like for you. If you don't like how it turned out then you could uninstall the beta and reinstall the alpha. You should be able to copy your userdata back and be back to your exact same alpha setup. (again I haven't tried this but it seems logical)

I am really glad they are using just the IMDB database now as there were significant improvements on media recognition.

There were some changes to the database but it is still pretty simple to figure out if you understood the post above.

The database has been renamed and my database is located here on Windows 7.

C:\Users\(computer username)\AppData\Roaming\BOXEE\userdata\Database\ boxee_catalog.db

They kept the same tables for video_files, series and seasons as I listed above. There were additional columns included but is still simple to figure out.

Again this is an assumption but I would recommend that you post your media that wasn't recognized correctly so they can figure out why it happened. Here is a link to the form they requested that we use.

http://support.boxee.tv/forums/97444/entries/90018

I was able to go through and correct media files, information and images as I described above.

I also ran into the same problem of thumbnails being cached but you can use the same fix as I listed above.

Out of 2500+ media files it only messed up 30-40 files which is a great improvement over the alpha.

If you have more than 2000 media files there is a button at the bottom of SQLite to move to the next page for the media_files table.

I did have to change the folder names of a few TV Shows. I believe this is due to the change to using IMDB instead of thetvdb.

You may notice that some items will be completely left out when it scans your media. I found that if you have Boxee scan the folder again it should pick up the ones it missed. I had to do this a few times. Here is how you do this.

Open Boxee
Go to Settings
Select Media
Select the type of source - mine are all local
Select the source folder
There will be an option on the right hand side for Scan Source
This will cause Boxee to rescan the directory

For me this wasn't much work to correct as I really wanted to use the beta features.

The only other problem I have run into with the beta is I would get a black screen when playing local media. Running the latest Directx update resolved this for me. Here is a post that has more details.

http://forum.boxee.tv/showthread.php?t=14205

I will spend a little time over the next few days to really review my media and catch anything else that is messed up.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way. Oh and thanks for responding. I figured I wrote all of that mess for nothing.
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  #7  
Old January 8th, 2010, 05:33 AM
DPK DPK is offline
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Wow, great work! Stickied topic.
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  #8  
Old January 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM
vdubeau vdubeau is offline
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I done the same thing, but I haven't gotten the beta to recognize additions to the table. Must be something in a column that it's looking for that doesn't have a description I can determine how it's used.

Mods/devs? It would be helpful as I map the DB and write an editor if I know the purpose of every column .
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  #9  
Old January 8th, 2010, 01:09 PM
lateforaa lateforaa is offline
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What table are you modifying and what column? So far it has taken all of my changes.

I did run into what you are experiencing when I was first playing around with it. I had Boxee open and so I think it was overwriting my database changes. Make sure the database isn't in use when you edit it and when you open Boxee. I am sure you are already aware of this but thought I would toss it out there.
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  #10  
Old January 8th, 2010, 04:06 PM
vdubeau vdubeau is offline
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I'm editing the video_files table and filling all of the columns that I can based on the information filled in the other records. It just doesn't show up in Boxee. And I don't have Boxee open when I do the editing.

I did find one way to get around it is to duplicate a record and then change the data.

If you have any additional insight to adding a record, let me known.
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