Version 1.7.1.2- Tool to scrape TV Show Information for the WDTV Live Hub [9/17/2012]

XML Fetcher Documentation

This utility is used to import TV Show "Metadata" from thetvdb.com database and convert it to a format usable by the WDTV Live Hub.

It also pulls the episode Thumbnails for you, too.

It will generate ONE or TWO FILES for EACH EPISODE SAVED:

(show name).SxxExx.xml

and, optionally,

(show name).SxxExx.jpg

Here's how to use this tool.

Make sure you have the Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework installed. If not, install it from HERE.

To install this application, unzip the ZIP file and double click setup.exe and follow the prompts.

Step 1: Find the Series ID you want to import by surfing the website www.thetvdb.com


This makes it much simpler and much more reliable than expecting this application to match the names of your files to a TV Show name... The Human is a much more reliable searcher!

For this example, we'll use the TV Show "Space: 1999"

When you search for that title, the TVDB Website will indicate the Series ID is 76366.

Enter that number into the blank titled "Enter Series ID: "

step1b.png

Step 2: Provide a File "Basename."


This utility assumes you have your files named according to the XBMC convention, such as:

step2a.png

So, the Basename in this example would be

Space 1999.

(notice the trailing ".") This is optional; you can also put a trailing SPACE in there (but it's not going to be visible in the blank, but it'll be there nonetheless.)

The SxxExx portion will be added automatically.

step2b.png

Step 3: Select a "Save To..." location


You can either press the button, and browse to the folder where you wish to save this data, or you can enter the path manaully. Do NOT provide a trailing "\".

c:\my shows\Space 1999\Season 1 is correct.

c:\my shows\Space 1999\Season 1\ is NOT.

Click the "Load XML" button, and the application will (hopefully) fill with all the specific information:

Correct any errors that may be displayed.

Step 4: Review the information


If there were any problems in steps 1 through 3, an error message might be displayed. Simply correct any errors and repeat that step.

Depending on your Internet Connection Speed, the speed of the TVDB Database, the size of the Series Database being downloaded, and other factors, this may take several minutes. You can see the current progress in the ACTIVITY LOG window.

If everything was correct in Steps 1 through 3, the screen should now contain...

... a SERIES DETAILS Block that shows the Name, Overview, Run Time, Genre, Rating etc for the SERIES. This information is not editable; it is only provided to help you ensure that the correct series was chosen.

... an EPISODE DETAILS block that contains the specifics for the first episode or record in the database. This data includes the Episode Name, the date of first airing, the Director(s) and Guest Star(s), an episode Synopsis, the FILENAME PREVIEW, plus an episode thumbnail and Season Cover Art if one was available.

Make any changes you wish to the Episode Details before proceeding.

Note that the DIRECTORS and GUEST STARS are separated by the vertical bar symbol, "|". If you edit those fields, make sure you properly separate individual names with that symbol.

Note the "File will be saved as" filename. You may change this name if you need, but it will only affect the ONE EPISODE DISPLAYED, not any other episodes saved with the SEASON or SERIES buttons.

NOTE: TVDB convention puts "Special" episodes in SEASON 0, so watch out for that. Sometimes Season 0 can be quite large, and you don't want to save that data unless you actually need it.

Step 5: Choose your options


Include Regular Cast in Actors List The TVDB maintains TWO separate lists of actors. The first is the "Regular" cast for the entire series, and the second is the cast for a specific episode, which is usually only the list of Guest Stars. If you wish to include the Regular Cast in the Actors list displayed by the hub, ENABLE this option. If not, leave it disabled.
Exclude EPISODE THUMBNAIL from Backdrops By default, this tool will include the Epsiode's Thumbnail in the backdrop list used by the Hub's Gallery View. If you wish to exclude that, ENABLE this option
Exclude FAN ART from Backdrops By default, this tool will include all the FAN ART included in the TVDB database for this series. If you do not wish to include it, ENABLE this option.
** NOTE: By DISABLING BOTH OPTIONS, you will DISABLE the BACKDROPS entirely.
Use SEASON ART as Cover Art (instead of Episode Art) If you ENABLE this option, then the "Cover Art" jpg file included will be the "Season Cover" provided by the TVDB for that season. If you DISABLE it, then the Episode's Thumbnail will be used as the cover art
Prepend Overview Text with Episode Title Due, most likely, to a bug in the Hub (as of Firmware Version 2.03.24), the TITLE generated in the XML is IGNORED and will not be displayed in the Gallery View. This can make finding a title difficult. If you ENABLE this option, then the episode's title will be included in the OVERVIEW TEXT visible in the Hub's Gallery View. This is ENABLED by default.
Don't save ANY JPG files to disk If selected, this tool will not save ANY JPG cover art at all. This is useful if you're only updating the XML data and have no need to update already-existing JPGs, or if you just don't want any JPGs for yoru files. If this option is selected, the "Use SEASON ART..." option will be disabled
Title Format Hopefully WD will correct the TITLE bug soon; and when they do, this option will take on greater weight... Be careful which choice you make, as it will likely affect how the Hub sorts the episodes when the TITLE is actually examined.

There are five options, as they're listed, I will include an example title that would be the result of that choice.

ee- Episode Title
01- Breakaway

SssEee- Episode Title
S01E01- Breakaway

SeriesName- ee Episode Title
Space: 1999- 01 Breakaway

SeriesName- SssEee Episode Title
Space: 1999- S01E01 Breakaway

Episode Title
Breakaway

Step 6: Make your choice of how to proceed.


You can save ONE EPISODE by selecting the button marked "Save THIS EPISODE Only." When you click, the JPG and XML files will be saved to the location you specified in Step 3.

You can save a whole or partial SEASON by pressing "... the SEASON" button. The program will begin wih the episode currently displayed, and then continue to the LAST EPISODE of the SEASON specified.

You can save the whole or partial SERIES by pressing "... the SERIES" button. The program will begin wih the episode currently displayed, and then continue to the LAST EPISODE of the LAST SEASON.

The STOP button will be activated when you select SEASON or SERIES. If you need to abort the process, click that button until it stops. It may take two or three tries.

Usage Examples:

If you have your TV shows all lumped together in one folder, you should probably select the "Save To..." location for that folder, and then click "The SERIES" button.

If you have your TV shows divided by SEASON, you should select the "Save To..." for the FIRST SEASON, and select SEASON ONE (or whichever season you wish) and click "The SEASON" button. Then, change the "Save To..." location to the next season, select the next season from the Episode Details button, then press "The SEASON" button again, and repeat as often as necessary.

If you simply want to review all the data and make minor changes to the details, or only have a few TV episodes, using the SAVE THIS EPISODE ONLY button is probably the best choice.

When you are done, you may go back to Step 1 for additional TV Series, or just click QUIT.

That's all there is to it!

DOWNLOAD HERE!

12 Likes

Good job! will try it now

Awesome Awesome Awesome, this is going to save me SOOO much time

One Suggestion i would make though is…

In the Base filename you have it set to add the " . " after the name

such as if i put in Dexter, the app automatically makes it Dexter " ." s01e01

I would leave this up to the user, because i have some shows that are just s01e01 no showname which outputs filenames with a period at the beginning like .s01e01 .s02e02, and some are Dexter - s01e01 – Which means i have to go back in and erase the “.” from each filename-- if you jsut leave it out and make the user put in DEXTER"." adding the period, or hyphen or sometimes _ an underscore as was my breaking bad episodes, rather than forcing the renaming of each file to match the set up of the app. Just a recommondation.

Other thing, which i kinda like-- but havent tested yet is the JPG’s that match each episode, right now just have the season cover for each episode so basically i have 15 of the same jpg renamed to match each episode… I like the concept of having a screenshot from each episode to match, but the dimensions are not that of a dvd cover, so i’m not sure how this will look when i view it on my hub… again i haven’t tested it yet so maybe it works but if not possibly add an option for creating individual episode jpgs, or just the season cover for all 15 episodes

Other than those two quirks… the app runs flawlessly, and was extremely well desgined with simplicity… i really like the idea of using thetvdb’s 5 digit number to grab the info, rather than scanning the filename and it pulls a match… really like setup and fast and easy ability to complete entire seasons… i literally finished two seasons in less than 1 minute, when before i had to use thumbgen which constantly froze on me, then i would have to rename all the plots to overview, blah blah blah and it took like 15 minutes per episode and was extremely daunting and frustrating

you get an A+ !

Nice one Tony, many thanks

Pulazki:

Don’t go any further.   I’ll have a fix in a little bit.  

:slight_smile:

Your first request is done.   Download link changed on the top post.

It’ll take some doing to do the thing with the the thumbnails;   that’s a good idea.  I’ll work on it as time permits!

Looking forward to the development of this.  Very promising.  Thank you! 

Just had a go, VERY impressed.

A suggestion

Any chance of it downloading backdrops from fan art rather than banners? or even allow a choice between the 2?

GREAT tool, really nice :smiley: One question: I’m not familiar with the whole API-stuff, but are the regular actors (not the guest actors) also somewhere included in the API?

Ferio87 wrote:
… are the regular actors (not the guest actors) also somewhere included in the API?

Yes, but I am not including them.   The lists get REALLY long if the regular cast and Guest Stars are both included.

 Plus, on many shows I’ve seen, people put the regular cast in as Guest Stars, so the lists get duplicated.   

Yeah I figured it would get too long :stuck_out_tongue:

Besides even manually copy-pasting the regular actors into the guest stars in your program is still much faster than thumbgen, so works for me :slight_smile:

firstable, thank you for this wonderful application

my question :

is it possible to manage the language option included in thetvdb.com

in the url, I can see  it’s the lid parameter

lid=17 for french

lid=7 for english

thanks

Another thing is the backdrops

You have it choosing for it to use the individual episode pictures (the same ones that are downloaded and used as the jpgs for the xml)

But these pictures are very small and low quality to be blown up to fit to the size of your screen

A better option would be to use the high quality fan art that is listed on the main page when you go into the tv show

The fan art photos are 1920x1080 and would make for much better backdrops than the pictures for each individual tv show that’s only like 400x280

would really to see this small change

Seconded!

Pulazki wrote:

Another thing is the backdrops

 

You have it choosing for it to use the individual episode pictures (the same ones that are downloaded and used as the jpgs for the xml)

 

But these pictures are very small and low quality to be blown up to fit to the size of your screen

 

A better option would be to use the high quality fan art that is listed on the main page when you go into the tv show

The fan art photos are 1920x1080 and would make for much better backdrops than the pictures for each individual tv show that’s only like 400x280

 

would really to see this small change

… an even better option is to vote for the TVDB option for them to allow 1920x1080 for Thumbnails!   :slight_smile:

Love the series tagging, really a timesaver.

… an even better option is to vote for the TVDB option for them to allow 1920x1080 for Thumbnails!   :smiley:

Thumbnails = the individual episode screenshot jps that are downloaded with the app?

even still they’re not going to be sweet backdrops like the fan art would be… they’ll just be dull random screenshots from the show, rather than slick poster-like backdrops like the ones gathered for movies by the hub’s get info option

I actually like the screenshot jpg’s used with the XML’s as the dvd cover… i didn’t think they would look right because of the size and shape but i like them because it helps me to differentiate between shows… But i thinki it would look better to only use them as the dvd cover’s and have the poster-like high-res photos from the fanart as the backdrop, or at least give the option on which one to grab possibly?

I’m mulling that over.   I might be able to work some of that up; 

The SCREEN-SHOT thumbs were easy, as they’re referenced as PART of the TV Show EPISODE DATA.

The Fan Art and other stuff is ad-hoc, and is NOT included in the TV Episode Data, so it’d require substantial additional logic to determine which to use if there are multiple images.

By the way, Version 1.0.1.7 is now online (Posted at the first post.)

I probably should have mentioned this before:

This utility does NOT CHECK to see if there are EXISTING XML or JPG FILES.    If there ARE, it will OVERWRITE THEM WITHOUT ASKING!!!

-----------------Release Notes

Release 1.0.1.7
  -- Added more information to Activity Log
  -- 4:3 Thumbnail images are now properly scaled in the 16:9 window
  -- Activity Log now scrolls automatically
  -- Added option to included Regulars in the Actors List
  -- Added option to disable the inclusion of backdrops

Release 1.0.1.1 1/26/2011
  -- No longer enforces a "." between the filename and the SxxExx portion.
     NOTE: You can't see the trailing space if you type it in the Base Name, bit it's there.
           Look Carefully at the "File will be saved as:" text to ensure that's what you
           expect.

Release 1.0.1.0 1/26/2011
  -- Initial Release

Oh, wait a sec.

I just had a “Slap myself on the Head” moment.

I oughta be able to get the FanArt in there by the weekend.   Don’t hold me to it.

Heck, being the first Windows-based program I’ve written, plus being in a language I’ve never touched until Last Week, I think I’m ahead of the game.  :)