alternative open screen for dvdlobby

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gregoryx
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Postby gregoryx » Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:26 pm

Probably just me, but that's pretty vague. what do you want it to look like?

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Postby dbarker » Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:36 pm

i guess i was being vague on purpose. i like to get things complete and working correctly before i open my mouth too much.

this image is taken from a flash file i have been working on.

the large image rotates revealing the back cover of the dvd box, or what ever else you may want. while the thumbnails show an image of your choice. but right now if the large image rotates so does the thumbnail because dvdlobby uses the large image (front cover image) to create the thumbnail.

and if the large image has audio like mine then the thumbnail and the large image play the audio at the same time but not syncronized. so it can get very annoying with two audio tracks playing at the same time.

click on the trailer button and it automatically dloads the trailer file from an online source and plays it in the player i designed for dvdlobby on the right. (actually i just redesigned one of microsofts players)

click on another button, thumbnail or an image of choice and it automatically dloads a trivia file and displays it where ever you want.
the list can go on and on. it just depends on the users needs and likes.

i think the biggest problems i have right now is 1) i can't modify everything in dvdlobby to get it to do it all just yet. the commands that dvdlobby and mlserver accept also are limiting progress.
and 2) my abilities and experience in commands and programing in general are very limited.

so with a lot of hope and trial and error i am slowly but surely getting it to do what i want.

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gregoryx
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Postby gregoryx » Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:14 pm

Neat ideas!

So the large image is actually a flash movie on a button sitting on top of that section of DVD Lobby? If so, it must be using something to know which JPG to show, right? What method is it using to show it? How does it know what to show as the front and back?

Or is it a motion GIF?

Very interesting ideas... though I'm still pretty unclear on what you have working versus what is just an idea... and almost completely unclear on how you're doing whatever it is - with the exception of the player... got that.

Back to the "can't modify everything... " statement: what do you want to modify? You're probably right, of course, but it's impossible for us to tell - or to learn from your experiences - if you don't offer more details.

Need IN-PUT!


:D

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Postby dbarker » Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:59 pm

no, actually the large picture and the back cover are part of the flash movie that is called up from the database when you click on the thumbnail.
since i cannot acces the code that the thumbnails use, i cant tell dvdlobby to use a different image for the thumbnail. so dvdlobby is using the flash movie for the thumbnail as well as the large image. the rotating image is nice but if all the thumbnails rotate as well i think it would drive me nuts after while;

i thought the player was a good idea but it is not working the way i want, yet. i want the player to be embedded in the dvdlobby background image.
right now it just opens when i click on the trailer button and dloads the trailer from an online source, and because i have it positioned correctly it looks like it is part of dvdlobby.

i would like to set up a button for trivia( or any number of other movie info) that would work alot like the one for "overview" so that when you click on the trivia button dvdlobby will access the trivia info in the database, go online to maybe "imdb", dload the info and display it the same way as the overview is.

i would also like to be able to adjust the thumbnail views so that it would display more of them or maybe make them sizable or even display them in defferent locations.

it would also be great if the whole dvdlobby gui was sizable in the same way that other windows are like for example, media player.

lets suppose that the first thumbnail is actualy the default "my home theater" presentaion movie. you click on the thumbnail and instead of an image coming up in the large are it actually loads the users "my home theater" presentaion flash movie that provides onfo on how to use the system, explains the functions available and how to acces the different parts of the gui. like the remote for example is hidden and not always easy to find if you havent used dvdlobby before. (my parents visit once a year and watch movies all night and it would be nice to make the whole this as simple as possible)

this movie can be as big or small as you want. it can also be playing your favorite audio clip to enhance the whole thing. i know that that works because i already had the music working but the thumbnail also plays the music and with two audo clips playing at the same time with a real bad delay on the 2nd one i was going nuts.

so you can see the need, for this application, to be able to edit the thumbnail properties and other button properties, so that you can have one file called from the database for the thumbnail view and another for the large image view.

i guess what it comes down to is that everytime i use dvdlobby i come up with another option i would like to see added.

i am running two sony cx777es (and running out of room quick), the yamaha v2400 and a 42" plasma and would really like to get the whole setup running seamlessly. right now i use a laptop to access dvdlobby most of the time and it is a pain in the butt. i have to put the plasma monitor on rgb to see the laptop running dvdlobby and then chose a movie, then use the remote to change the monitor to component video and the yamaha to the correct dvd player. some one is working in a plugin for the yamaha so, when its ready ill be able to use it to eliminate most of those steps.

im thinking of building a movie server with a whole bunch of harddisks so that i wont have to buy anymore of the dvd players.

well i hope i answered you questions. porbably raised more though. unfortunately i have a tendency to ramble. i could go on forever about the ideas i would like to see incorporated into dvdlobby.

what do yah think?

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Postby gregoryx » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:40 pm

So you're using an SWF file for the front cover art instead of a JPG?

FWIW, the thumbnails are the same filename but with the PPC extension in them - at least with the JPGs that's how it works.

WRT trivia, if it's info that's currently in the database, davevans' DVDQuery plugin should be getting that data soon from what he posted. It currently pulls from the DVD table only, but he suggested that he should be able to hit the other tables as well soon.

The "old" way of building Main Lobby scenes involved VB scripts to generate new scenes by building the XML code... I suppose you could go that way if you're looking to invent your own DVD Lobby equivalent with other views and such.

The DVD Lobby GUI is sizeable, BTW: just put the dvdlobby.swf on a button and it's sizeable... but only as a whole, of course... not sizing one pane versus another.

You can absolutely do the "how to" as long as you make the JPG of the thumbnail and/or cover art (they don't have to be the same) tell someone "please press the 'PLAY MOVIE' button for full instructions". Just put that on the JPG and when they hit the "PLAY MOVIE" button, you run whatever "stuff" you want - such as switching to another scene with lots of cool details.

There are other ways to go about this similarly: I use the standard "PLAY MOVIE" function to "SELECT" the movie, which allows me to provide feedback / options to the user, such as informing them whether this selection can be "EJECTED" or if there's a TRAILER for it and telling them what to do to get them.

So... following your logic and post info... you CAN have a different cover and thumbnail... and do a bit more customization than it seems you've done with DVD Lobby so far.


Two words for the "get the whole setup running seamlessly": TOUCHSCREEN TABLETS. Everyone figures them out quickly and they love them. My four year old can choose and start a movie on the big-screen projector; it's just a touch-screen choice and it all "goes" as it should (lights, screen, projector, processor, etc).


K... movie server is another deal... my take on that is posted many times... but the gist is this: it's CHEAP to run changers compared to storage on drives; the PC-based stuff allows for higher quality pictures (unless you're comparing to an awesome video processor... and money's not an issue then, eh?) and allows for simultaneous playback on many PCs (or other similar IP-based devices) throughout the house. If one does not have need of multiple-playback and ultra-high-quality modes, it's really hard to beat a good changer or three.


I'm interested in that first SWF / JPG question. I hope the cover art / thumbnail part makes sense. Cheers!

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Postby dbarker » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:23 pm

i know that when i use a jpg for the front cover that the thumbnail is assigned an image with the .ppc. addition but it dosnt seem to do that when i use a flash movie. ive searched everything and cant seam to find any addition in the image folder to suggest that a new image or flash movie is made for the thumbnail

give it a try and see if you come up with the same result. zure would like to solve this one.

when you say "just put the dvdlobby.swf on a button" im not quite sure what u mean. are you saying that it would result in dvdlobby can becaome as resizable as putting the mouse on the border and being able to resize with the click of the maouse and dragging?
keep in mind that i dont know a damn thing about this stuff ive just been lucky so far

the "how to" part would be alot easier for me if i could get the thumbnail idea figured out. i want the thumbnail for it to be a jpg but the presentation to be in a flash movie.

VB script? i used to do alot of stuff in cgi script (pearl) and java script but that was a long time ago and the best i could do was take some that someone else made and redo it to do what i wanted. i never really did get the languages into my head. same thing with html and the rest. i could build web pages that were great but always had to find the code that was close to what i wanted and the re-write it to fit my needs.

probably would have been easier if i had the time to learn it all.

i may end up going with the touch screen. been thinking about it alot. but the main thought has been to use the screen for everthing visual. so that dvdlobby is on the big screen.

i love the sony changers but with the thought of ending up with 4,5 or even six changers eventualy and the price of hdds dropping all the time it is a thought. also there is the need for multiple access points. i have about ten pc's networked now. and there is always someone or two that want to watch whatever they want in another part of the house.

ive been playing with ripping some dvd's and alot of them are coming in at about 5-7gbs. with that in mind a 250 gb hdd can hold alot of movies and before we know it the capacity of hdd's will be upto a terabyte and be affordable. sooner or later the hdd wil be cheaper to hold movies than the changers

back to the swf/jpg idea
if we could break the dependency of the thumbnail on the cover image we might have something to work with.


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