Well, I have spent quite some time making this firmware do what I wanted. I have not upgraded since 2.07.17 because I always liked the movie display with the thumbnails across the bottom of the screen. But, I really wanted the new ability of the firmware to take multiple seperate drive spaces and make them look like one library. So, the following is what I found./worked around.
1. The WDTV Live Hub creates a SQL database file at the root of a library you add to the Media Library Manager. These are located in a hidden directory called .wd_tv and is called wdtv.cas2. This directory will be located at the same level as the individual folders your movies are in. This file can be viewed with the free SQLLite Database Browser from places like CNET.
2. In addition to these .cas2 files there is another one created on the WDTV itself, also in a hidden .wd_tv folder. This one has a long string on its name that may be unique to your box. This database will contain all the entries from the other databases.
3. When you use the built-in tool to create the information for one of your movies it populates these databases in addition to creating a movie.xml file, movie.metathumb file (really a .jpg for your thumbnail) and a .backdrop folder with images to be displayed in the background.
4. So, where did the thumbnails go? Things appear to be fine for a Blu-Ray file structure but not for a DVD file structure. The problem is that this firmware is looking for the thumbnails in the VIDEO_TS folder of a DVD folder structure and expects them to be named after the first .VOB file in that folder. So, for example: VTS_01_0.jpg. I used .jpg instead fo the metathumb and that is working ok for me. I ended up writing a script to copy all my thumbnail files to the VIDEO_TS folders and rename them. Typically you end up with either VTS_01_0 or VTS_01_1. These also just happen to be the exact same names listed in the name column of the video table in the database. What is the point of creating a movie.metathumb file that is not being used?
5. Searching. This is something that would be nice if it worked right. When you use the built-in tool to create your movie entry it populates tables in the SQL daabases with information in the video table like genre, directory, actors. There are a couple of problems. If after creating your movie entries and then later you select “Clear Media Library” to have the box rebuild your database files it will not read information like genre, director or actors from the .xml files and re-populate the table. These entries will end up being blank, ie. erased. You will end up doing what I did (write another application to read the .xml files and re-populate the table) or manually use the built-in tool to re-create each and every movie entry again, NOT!
6. Searching actor names. Searching movie names is ok but not actors. As there are multiple actors in a movie and only one field in the database tables to hold them they are entered into the field as “actor1 / actor 2 / actor 3” etc. When you do a search on an actor name that is what is being returned in your matches. REALLY? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to return a list of MOVIES that the actor who’s name I am searching on is in? The returned matches are actually clickable links to movies, you just can’t tell which movies they are. How about something more like: SELECT title FROM video WHERE actor LIKE “%cage%” ORDER BY title
7. NAVIGATING. This is one that I cannot replicate again, but on a few occasions after starting a movie and selecting Options and Menu (so as to skip to starting the movie). Once, I had done that I entered into a state where no matter what movie I selected it would only play that same movie. Anyway, if anyone from WD reads these things it would be nice if there was a navigator to say skip to the screen where the movies start with a particular letter of the alphabet.
8. A suggestion for the users. In the .xml files that are created there is a slement at the beginning and a element at the end. The element is the name of the movie as returned by the built-in tool while the element is being populated by the name of the folder your files are in. The movies appear to be sorted by what is in the element while the element determines what is being displayed. You can catch this information switching between the two on your screen as you navigate between movies. For my fix-it apps I ended up making these two as close to being the same as possible, removing “The” from all the movie entries that started that way etc. and fixing the directory names. This required a rebuld of the database, therefore the needed appls to re-populate the genre, directory and actors. Also, XML doesn’t like “&” characters at all so any app trying to read XML files that contain them will fail to load them. So I ended up deleting those from the XML files which makes it necessary to change some names and break some You Tube links.
I don’t mean to be all critical, There are a number of new and nice imporvements since 2.07.17, not the least of which is the merging of multiple sources into a single library. However, some of these issues should not be ignored and need to be fixed to provide a working product to the consumers of WD’s products.