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Author Topic: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)  (Read 3638 times)

Lunatique

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Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:00:46 pm »

I'm currently still on MC17, since the versions later didn't have features I really needed. Now, I have a feature I need and I'd like to know if MC20 has it (or maybe it's already in MC17 and I just can't find it).

Basically, when displaying thumbnails of videos and image, I'd like to have the option to rate or tag files in more visually obvious ways. In other media library software such as ACDSee, I have the option to tag with a visually very obvious orange check-mark, or add a thick colored square and line to the thumbnail. MC17 allows me to add information I want displayed with the thumbnails such as the star rating, but it's visually very hard to see clearly on a full page of thumbnails which ones have been rated or tagged. I'd like a system that's much more friendly to visual organization, with obvious visual tags/colors that's easy to see even among a screen full of thumbnails. Is this possible, and if yes, is it available in MC17, or in a later version such as MC20?

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Matt

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2014, 06:24:09 pm »

You can edit the thumbnail text to contain the rating:
RatingStars([Rating])
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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2014, 06:30:12 pm »

And the Tag Action Window is nicer (I think, I don't remember MC17 that clearly).  You can also have Checkmark fields now, so you can add "on/off" flags and visually check them.

You cannot add tags in "hover-over tagging controls" in the File Listing (like Lightroom and iPhoto can, for example).  This would be a pretty sweet addition for Image tagging purposes, certainly, but it can't do that now.

With the Tag Action Window maximized on the left, though, and your field order organized well, it works decently as it is for most tasks like this, though.
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dtc

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2014, 06:39:54 pm »

You can set the color of items in the thumbnail text and using conditionals you can set the color based on whatever criteria you want. So, for example, you could display the appropriate number of stars, with different colors for each rating. You can also set font size based on conditionals. You might be able to make a big fat colored line or other symbol in the thumbnail text. You should be able to build something that would be visual enough for you. Pretty sure the color and font size functions are not available in MC17.

You could also set up separate views for each star rating.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2014, 07:51:54 pm »

And the Tag Action Window is nicer (I think, I don't remember MC17 that clearly).  You can also have Checkmark fields now, so you can add "on/off" flags and visually check them.

You cannot add tags in "hover-over tagging controls" in the File Listing (like Lightroom and iPhoto can, for example).  This would be a pretty sweet addition for Image tagging purposes, certainly, but it can't do that now.

With the Tag Action Window maximized on the left, though, and your field order organized well, it works decently as it is for most tasks like this, though.

I just downloaded MC20's trial version, and I can't figure out how to add the checkmark field to the thumbnails. I'm looking in Thumbnails/thumbnails text/Expression/Insert Field, Function, Variables.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2014, 08:01:48 pm »

You can set the color of items in the thumbnail text and using conditionals you can set the color based on whatever criteria you want. So, for example, you could display the appropriate number of stars, with different colors for each rating. You can also set font size based on conditionals. You might be able to make a big fat colored line or other symbol in the thumbnail text. You should be able to build something that would be visual enough for you. Pretty sure the color and font size functions are not available in MC17.

You could also set up separate views for each star rating.

How would I go about doing that (set color based on rating)?
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dtc

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2014, 09:42:09 pm »

If you are not familiar with expressions, read about them in the Wiki. This section also talks about font options, bolding, underlining etc.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Expression_Language

Add the expression in the thumbnail text. For example,

if(isequal([Rating],2,5),<font color="0000FF">RatingStars()<//font>,RatingStars())

will show the number of stars and make them blue if the rating is 3 or greater.  The stars may be enough, even without the color. Lots of ways to customize this.



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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2014, 11:21:34 pm »

If you are not familiar with expressions, read about them in the Wiki. This section also talks about font options, bolding, underlining etc.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Expression_Language

Add the expression in the thumbnail text. For example,

if(isequal([Rating],2,5),<font color="0000FF">RatingStars()<//font>,RatingStars())

will show the number of stars and make them blue if the rating is 3 or greater.  The stars may be enough, even without the color. Lots of ways to customize this.


Thanks so much.

I looked at the expressions page, and it just made my head explode. I'm terrible when it comes to any kind of scripting/coding, since that's not my background at all (I'm a visual artist, musician, photographer, and writer). I know a very tiny bit of HTML and CSS due to having to design my own website, but it's still largely a WYSIWYG process for me.

I would really appreciate it if you or anyone else can put together a string of expressions that does the following:

Exactly like what you did previously, except to have the star ratings each correspond to a unique color. I can pick the hex color code myself, but I have no idea how to string together an expression that addresses all five possible stars and a unique color for each.

Also, I have no idea how to add a check-mark to the thumbnail as glynor suggested. Is that done with expressions too?

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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2014, 12:24:27 am »

I just downloaded MC20's trial version, and I can't figure out how to add the checkmark field to the thumbnails. I'm looking in Thumbnails/thumbnails text/Expression/Insert Field, Function, Variables.

Just keep in mind, you can display them, but you cannot use the text there to set tags.  But, yes, the Thumbnail "caption" system is quite powerful now.

So, first of all, keep in mind that there are two "types" of Thumbnails you can caption:  Categories and File List Thumbnails.  Each "level" of Categories can have its own special display text, and the files themselves (if viewed in a Thumbnails type layout) can have their own too.  The expressions you use don't need to be complex, at all.  Start simple, and if you can't find quite what you want, ask for help and someone can probably tell you what to paste in.

An expression, at its simplest, just outputs the text you put in, and replaces any tags (Fields) where you put in their Field names in square brackets, like this: [Artist]

All text that isn't matched, passes through.  So, entering "xmUilBob[Artist] -" will output each artist name with "xmUilBob" smashed onto the front-end, and a " - " smashed onto the back end.  In addition to looking for Field names in square brackets, however, you can use functions in the expression language to "tweak" and format the output.

In any case, you change the text displayed for each Thumbnail using the Arrow control in the header of the View.  Let's start with a Categories style view, like this one:


click each image to embiggen.


That's a pretty standard kind of Music "Covers" View.  It organizes by Genre, then Artist, then Album.  Say you want to display the Average Rating in addition to the Album name, when you're looking at the Album level category.  Open up any item and "drill down" until you're looking at some of your Albums.  Then, select the Arrow control in the View Header and choose Thumbnails > Thumbnail Text.



In the Expression dialog that appears, you'll find only this item: [Name]

In this case, Name refers not to the real [Name] Field within Media Center (as in, the song or episode title), but to the name of the field for the current Category.  That's how it shows the Artist's name when you're showing the Artist category, and the Album name when you're showing the Album category.  In any case, this can be changed.  To add a very basic rating display, you can change it to:

[Name] - [Rating]

When you apply it, you'll see a view like I have shown in the screenshot above.  It shows the average rating for the tracks in the album below each Category thumbnail.  That's nice, but not very pretty.  For ratings in particular, there is a nice expression function that can be used to show the Stars instead.  Change the Expression to: [Name] - RatingStars(), and the result is a bit nicer:



But, that's still a little ugly, because it shows the "-" delimiter even for Albums which contain no tracks with ratings (Country Was in my example above, for example).  So, that's no good.  So, you can hide it if you get no result, like so:

[Name] If(IsEmpty(RatingStars()),, / ◦ RatingStars())

That first checks to see if the ratings stars result will be blank, and if not, only then shows the stars and delimiter.



Notice how I used a White Bullet character as the delimiter as well.  You can use any characters you find in the Character Map tool in these expressions.  As dtc indicated, you can do all sorts of things with Fonts as well, changing colors and whatnot using HTML styling tags.

So, when I'm done, it'll show the Average Ratings, using Stars, for any Album.  But, you'll notice if you go "back up" to the Artist "level", they don't show the ratings there.  That's because that "tier" of your Categories (in my example view, it is Genre > Artist > Album) gets its own, separate Thumbnail Text setting.



That's nice, so you can show one thing for Artists, and something else (more useful) for the Albums "tier".

Moving on, to actual file Thumbnails, that works the same exact way.  If you are showing the file listing (for a set of albums) in Thumbnails mode, you could show ratings for each item.  In this case, you use the Arrow on the header for the File List portion of the view:



You have to have the file thumbs set pretty large for this to be useful, and I generally don't look at my music that way (I keep the File Listing always in Details mode).  I do find this more useful for Photos and Movie covers, where you often look at views with many different files all together in Thumbnails view, however.  Like this:



Which uses this expression:
Code: [Select]
ListBuild(1, / <font color="#797979">◦<//font> , [Name], [Year], RatingStars())
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2014, 12:40:10 am »

Thanks glynor. I think I understand what you have posted. What I'm struggling with now, is what I asked dtc in my previous post.

I tried to take his expression and tweak it, so that from 1 to 5 stars, each star rating will show the stars in a different color (or another option is to show a different background color but keep the stars the same color), but I end up with multiple rows of star ratings, except they are different colors due to the color tags for each rating. I can't get it so that the stars only show up once, but colored differently according to the rating.

I suck as any kind of programming and I'm probably the only Asian kid who flunked math twice in school (I was always drawing and writing screenplays in math class instead).  :P
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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 12:53:58 am »

Here's the same expression I used for the movies above, modified so it shows the stars Blue only when the Rating is 4 or greater:

Code: [Select]
ListBuild(1, / <font color="#797979">◦<//font> , [Name], [Year], If(Compare([Rating], >, 3),<font color="#0066FF">RatingStars()<//font>,RatingStars()))


If you explain logically what you're trying to accomplish, I'm sure someone can tell you what to use.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 01:12:50 am »

If you explain logically what you're trying to accomplish, I'm sure someone can tell you what to use.

What I'm after is basically this:

I currently have my thumbnail view for videos showing the following information under each thumbnail:

File Name
Dimensions | FPS | Duration
Date Modified
Date Created
File Size

What I want, is to have the star rating displayed under File Size, and with the following setting:

If 1 star = red
If 2 stars = orange
If 3 stars = yellow
If 4 stars = blue
If 5 stars = green

It could either be the stars themselves that are colored, or just the background for the stars that are colored (I tried that, but I got both the star and the background in the same color, and I don't know how to set the star to a different color).

Also, I would like to have a checkbox show next to the star rating, to function as an indication of whether a file's been "tagged," in the sense that it's been selected, such as when I'm picking which files I want to upload/sync to another device. I could use the star ratings for that function but I prefer a separate indicator (like how I do it in ACDSee).




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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2014, 01:26:40 am »

Yep.  You can do that.  You're going to need an IfElse() function, to check the rating for each color.

So, in your existing Expression, at the end, where you'd "normally" (to just get black stars) just put in RatingStars(), put this instead:

Code: [Select]
IfElse(Compare([Rating], =, 1),<font color="#FF0000">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 2),<font color="#E68A00">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 3),<font color="#E6E600">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 4),<font color="#0000FF">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 5),<font color="#009900">RatingStars()<//font>)
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2014, 01:37:37 am »

Yep.  You can do that.  You're going to need an IfElse() function, to check the rating for each color.

So, in your existing Expression, at the end, where you'd "normally" (to just get black stars) just put in RatingStars(), put this instead:

Code: [Select]
IfElse(Compare([Rating], =, 1),<font color="#FF0000">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 2),<font color="#E68A00">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 3),<font color="#E6E600">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 4),<font color="#0000FF">RatingStars()<//font>,Compare([Rating], =, 5),<font color="#009900">RatingStars()<//font>)

Thank you so much! I would never have figure that out on my own (or it would take me forever).

What about the checkmark? How do I add a checkmark to the thumbnails? Basically, I just want to be able to put a checkmark on a file that I'm tagging to be uploaded/synced to another device, or during assessing/selection process to pick out my favorites.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2014, 02:01:34 am »

And it doesn't have to be actually a checkmark. As long as it's some kind of visual indicator that's very clear, so I can see which files have been selected/tagged. A custom field of some kind could maybe do the same job. For example, it can be just a repeating string of symbols like +++ or something easily visible, and could be set to on or off, and each state will have a distinct color (for example, orange for on, and gray for off). That way, I can easily see that any file with orange +++ is tagged, and gray +++ is not selected.

There are probably other alternatives to this, and I'm open to all suggestions--as long as it does the job of allowing me to quickly select and tag a file and then show it visually in the thumbnails.
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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2014, 02:07:48 am »

I gotta go to bed.  I can explain how to get the checkmark tomorrow.

In the meantime, read about the new Check edit type fields:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=92678.0

Which can let you make a field that you can toggle on and off in Details View with a checkmark.  That's how you can actually tag your files with a checkmark to flag them as "favorite" or whatever.  Unfortunately, Check edit type fields do not (yet, I hope) show the checkmark when displayed in captions.  The check on/off control currently only shows in Details View.  Instead, to display it in a caption, you have to output it yourself using a "checkmark character".  Look at this where I explained my custom Watched calculation, which does something similar:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=85974.5

It is along those lines.  I can write it up better for your specific thing tomorrow if you don't figure it out yourself.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2014, 02:28:12 am »

I gotta go to bed.  I can explain how to get the checkmark tomorrow.

In the meantime, read about the new Check edit type fields:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=92678.0

Which can let you make a field that you can toggle on and off in Details View with a checkmark.  That's how you can actually tag your files with a checkmark to flag them as "favorite" or whatever.  Unfortunately, Check edit type fields do not (yet, I hope) show the checkmark when displayed in captions.  The check on/off control currently only shows in Details View.  Instead, to display it in a caption, you have to output it yourself using a "checkmark character".  Look at this where I explained my custom Watched calculation, which does something similar:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=85974.5

It is along those lines.  I can write it up better for your specific thing tomorrow if you don't figure it out yourself.

I'm a complete idiot when it comes to anything to do with programming, so I definitely will need a lot of hand-holding (or spoon-feeding). My brain just doesn't work that way (I'm much better at storytelling, visuals, and music).

Also, like I said in my last post, it doesn't actually have to be exactly a checkmark--it could be anything that behaves like a toggle on and off switch, with visual identification (ideally with color) so I can easily see in the thumbnails that it's been toggled on.
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dtc

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2014, 10:17:29 am »

Another option for finding files that are not fully tagged is to build a smartlist checking for tags that are empty. That will give you a constant list of all untagged files. Right click on Smartlist under Playlist and add a new one. Use the pulldowns to create your logic, like Episode is Empty. That may be easier than trying to write your own conditionals.
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glynor

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2014, 02:15:45 pm »

I was too wiped out last night to do this, and I'll likely be too buzzed to do it tonight.

I'll give instructions soon though. If I forget, bump this thread.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2014, 07:40:37 pm »

Another option for finding files that are not fully tagged is to build a smartlist checking for tags that are empty. That will give you a constant list of all untagged files. Right click on Smartlist under Playlist and add a new one. Use the pulldowns to create your logic, like Episode is Empty. That may be easier than trying to write your own conditionals.

That's not what I'm trying to do. What I need, is simply a checkmark (or toggle) of some kind, so when I'm looking through the videos I've shot, I can place a checkmark (or any kind of visual toggle identification) on the ones that are favorites, or to be selected for converting/syncing to another device.
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Lunatique

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2014, 08:01:54 pm »

Okay, I tried one very simple approach, which is to simply use the "genre" field that's already in the tag window for the video files, and by simply using a name that's visually very obvious, such as "@@@@@@@@@@ToUpload" or "@@@@@@@@@Selected" or something along those lines, I can visually see some kind of indication in the thumbnails which videos I've picked. A better addition would be to give that name a distinct color, like orange or something. But I have no idea how to do that. Maybe tweaking the first expression dtc posted might work? I know diddly squat about programming and I tried the following (educated guess), and of course, it didn't work:

if(isequal([Genre]@@@@@@@@@@ToUpload),<font color="ce8500"><//font>,Genre())

EDIT: I figured it out. I don't need the qualifier--I just need to color the font of the genre, so I tried this and it worked:

<font color="ce8500">[Genre]<//font>
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fitbrit

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Re: Can MC20 do these things (I'll upgrade if yes)
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2014, 08:47:22 pm »

Great work, glynor. That was surely a lot of effort to make and post all those screenshots.
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