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pimp my mythvideo: coverfiles made simple

his being my third patch to fix some mythvideo nags, I’m actually starting to get comfortable going in there and trying to find this stuff. It’s still incredibly difficult to try and figure this out, since there’s little documentation and I vaguely understand C++, but it’s fun to attempt and cool to succeed.

This patch fixes an annoying problem I’ve had for a long time — it’s a royal pain setting a cover file for a video. A cover file would be the actual image that shows up in the gallery view for a media file. Without one, you just see a blank little icon which is pretty boring.

Folders are really simple — you just add folder.jpg (or .gif or .png) to the directory, and it will show that. Individual files are a bit tricker. If you were just using the interface, you’d have to first go into the Video Manager to let Myth scan the directory of files, create an entry in the database, then go find the file, edit the entry, and set the coverfile manually.

I originally wrote a script to do that part for me. I would just create a JPEG image for each media file, usually with the same filename, but a different extension, and code in a check to see if both exist, update the videometadata table. All the time, I kept thinking though, it would be so much simpler if Myth would just check to see if the file existed like the folders, and display it. That’s exactly what this patch does.

I pretty much just copied the same code from the part where it looks for the folder icon, and did the same thing. If, for example, you have movie.avi, just create movie.avi.jpg (or .gif, or .png) as the coverfile and you’re done.

Actually, you do have to put the file in the database first, since it still checks to see if there is any metadata for it at all. That is extremely simple, though, either by script or UI navigation. The UI will just add new ones quietly, and you can quickly exit out. The patch will still use your coverfile in the videometadata table too, if there isn’t a similar filename that it can find, so you can apply this and it won’t break your existing setup.

As usual, the ebuild is in my overlay. This one is mythvideo-0.20.2_p15087-r3.ebuild. I’m going to eventually document these a bit better and file bugs with upstream. I know I’m using an “old” version to patch it onto, but the reality is that SVN hasn’t changed at all since that revision, so even the latest version bump is the same code.

I also spent the weekend working out a number of small kinks in my system and setup. I drafted up a new “wishlist” that I have of stuff I’d like to eventually get fixed, and it’s getting smaller all the time. Right on.

As far as mythvideo patches, though, I only have one last small annoyance that, while it doesn’t really bother me, does kind of throw me for a bit of a loop so I’d like to see if I can fix it. The bug is that folder names and file names are sorted differently. I can’t remember which is which off the top of my head, but one of them will ignore prepositions like “The”, and “A” on the front of titles and sort by the second words. So “The A-Team” would show up near the top of the list. Maybe it does that on both file and folder. Anyway, I don’t like it. It’s a bit confusing. I tried looking for where it does that, but I haven’t had much luck yet.