It's been a while since I made feature suggestions, so I'm going to take a few minutes and throw some of notes together for things I'd like to see added in 2020. Many of these, I don't see as terribly complicated to program.
The following suggestions are largely intended to be Easiest to Hardest to implement with the exception of the first section which, IMHO, is a massive priority.
BIGGEST 2020 WISH - USER GROUPS
For those coming from the Windows NT environments and environments that borrow from this practice, you're probably very familiar with User Groups. User Groups is something that's VERY overdue for Emby.
Essential I feel Emby Server Owners / Managers need the ability to assign users to given user groups to be given at least the following:
- Administration Panel Rights
- Library / Channel Access Rights
- Library Management Rights
- Transcoding Rights
- Remote / Local Streaming Rights
- Device Rights
- Camera Upload Access
- Download Access
- Hide from Login Screen
Essentially, I feel that *A LOT* of the rights assigned based on user should either be outright moved to User Groups or at the very least transported over.
I realize there will be some migration issues for users. I'd recommend introducing this feature as an addon or at the very least 'ship' turned off with the option to enable.
Rollback Update / Recovery Mode
Over the years, we've had some serious server breaking updates that have crippled major parts of the server. While we *DO* have the backup feature for those of us with Premium Access, I think Emby is in dire need for a easy-to-access recovery mode that allows rollbacks to a point before updates.
Just about all the tools are already in place to do this, save the interface.
I believe moving forward, Emby should create a restore point before updates are applied regardless of your membership status.
The only "real work" needed to get this off the group is to create a simplified rollback interface and to drop it in the dashboard.
Additionally, Backup really needs a home in the Administration Panel without having to go look for it under Plugins. I'd probably agree this should/could remain a premium feature, but it probably should be moved away from the Plugins Panel with additional coding saying something to the effect of "Get Premium to access this feature"
Remove Devices / Assign Devices
The first part of this suggestion is probably super easy, the second part is probably a lot harder (though not nearly as time intensive as suggestions further down the list). This goes along closely with User Groups too.
First off, I don't know who looks at their Devices Panel often, but it has a very bad habit of accumulating a TON of devices that could be highly considered once and done devices such as logging into Emby from a browser in private mode.
There's no simple way to remove all the mess that accumulates. The simpliest fix would be to import the multiselect feature from the Library Management features and allow us to select a ton of unused devices to remove them.
However, while we are looking at this section of the interface, we really DO need some management tools here.
What I would like to see, in addition to the multi-select feature are the following:
- A default feature to auto remove the device after not being seen for 7 days.
- A feature to disable showing devices logged on from browsers in private mode.
- A feature to disable access Emby through browsers in private mode.
- Requirements that devices must be in a geographic location to login.
- A feature to disable the creation of new devices.
- The ability to assign a device to a group or user.
- This is to allow full control access to certain users while others may only have view access or no access to that device.
- The ability to disable access from certain devices (IE Browsers, Android Device or iPhone Devices).
Collections that appear only in one Movie Library
Some might recall (particularly Luke and EBR) that I've been up and in arms several times with library and collection changes.
After the last big update, I reworked my system by using some "trickery".
Here's the usecase:
I want to be able to group related media all in one place. Let's take something that has a lot of potential sorting issues such as the Star Trek Movies. By default, Emby is going to collect all those movie series into three different box sets:
- Original Star Trek Movies
- TNG Star Trek Movies
- JJ Verse Trek Movies
For those who don't know, currently, if you make your own Box Sets, even if they contain ONLY videos from the new Movie Library you made, they will always appear in the default Movie Collections Folder.
As someone who very much likes to try to pull everything together, I'd be inclined to let the Box Set Plugin keep all those movies in the box sets it creates, but I also want to have a Box Set that contains ALL those movies plus all the related series into their own Box Set but not necessarily congest the Movie Collections Folder with all the custom Box Sets I make.
To make looking for Box Sets I've made, I've made a library containing one "dummy" video that I had to each Box Set I would to show up in that Movie Library.
This would all be much easier if we had one option added to *ALL* box sets:
- [x] Appears in <NAME> Movie Library
This would give us the ability to actively assign which Box Sets appear where.
I think this is a quick and easy tool to implement.
Timed Access Library Access Automation / Parental Management
This is another suggestion I've been floating for a while and goes in very closely with User Groups and Library/Collection Changes I've suggested above.
I would like to see the ability to have a Library only accessible for a certain amount of time.
Here's the Usecase:
- I have a few library's that are HIGHLY seasonal such as Halloween and Christmas.
- Based on which user group someone belongs to, I want to make that someone only has access to these Libraries during those respective season.
I'd envision this to be a pretty simple interface change
- Under User Groups (of course, feature to be made by suggestion) next to libraries, you'd have a function that allows you to pick when particular library's are available.
I would also envision the work put into this to potentially also act as a parental lockout system that would allow certain libraries or collections to be available at certain times a day, certain days in a week or by temp password generated potentially by a authenticator such as Google Authenticator.
Related, I'd also envision the ability to claim a certain user group or user belongs to another user group or user so that parents could potentially have some moderation rights over said user or user group.
Highlight Changed Features / Change Log
Sometimes its hard to track what has actually changed from version to version. While I'd expect this to be a more complicated ask, it would be REALLY nice if we could get a feature similar to Window's "Highlight New Programs" feature. I'd probably argue that this should be a premium feature initiated by a plugin.
Closely related, I think we really should have a TXT of the change log downloaded or updated with each new version and accessible from the Dashboard Panel in the Administration Panel.
A Solution to eBooks
eBooks has fallen into a void. Its been broken for YEARS now (Hell, I think its been broken for over 5 years now).
I floated a suggestion a long time ago that had some traction, but I'd like to see if we can look at tackling this one again.
My suggestion is pretty simple and probably highly doable with some scripts that already exist.
While eBooks have been broken for a very long time now, a very similar feature that isn't is the image viewer.
My suggestion is to use some of the existing scripts that exist (a lot around the RAR formats) to unpack PDFs, CBRs and a few other easily manageable formats and place all the pages in a directory as jpgs/pngs.
This seems like a really strong way to fix this problem. While a bit better interface would needed for eBooks compared to the embed image viewer, this shouldn't be a hard feat to check out a few eBook readers (such as Calibre) and plan out the mission critical features.
Play All New Series
This is particularly an addon I was hoping to make myself, but simply found myself not having any time to even begin working on it.
The idea is pretty simple: you'd have a button accessible from the main screen probably next to "Latest TV Series". You would have the option to play only the newest added episodes or the newest released episodes in a playlist format.
This part of it, to me, seems pretty simple and straight forward from a development point of view, but in later versions I would like to see the ability to create more advance play lists.
An advanced playlist format I would envision is dumping together multiple series into a playlist and set it to only play only one episode at a time in a round robin format.
- Add 'Family Guy S1', 'American Dad S2' and 'Southpark S5' to a play list.
The play list would play the following:
- Family Guy S01E01
- American Dad S02E01
- South Park S05E01
- Family Guy S01E02
- American Dad S02E02
- South Park S05E02
- Family Guy S01E03
- American Dad S02E03
- South Park S05E03
Other advanced features could include:
- Add bumpers between each episodes or every other episode (from a local folder)
- Add coming soon from movies a la cinematic mode.
- Add Commercials (if someone would actually desire --- these would be from a local folder)
- Continue from last episode in the round
- Start the next round (skipping any episodes not viewed)
- Play multiple episodes of one or more series per round
Edit Navigation Bar
Another potentially harder feature I would like to see is the ability to remove or add more options to the navigation bar.
A strong usecase would be to add TV Series, Movies and Music to the navigation bar.
Additionally, you should have the ability to hide items added to the navigation bar (such as the aforementioned TV Series, Movies and Music).
I envision this to be a harder to implement feature as a new interface would probably need to be made for this.
Another big one that goes along with User Groups is the ability to set standard templates.
Whenever I make a new user, I tend to go update their interface by copying my default user profile to the new user's folder (which means I need to keep track of which user is which in the Emby\programdata\confi\users folder (this is a pain in the butt btw).
What I would like to do is to be able to create a template with all the user settings and libraries pre-configured and then apply that to a user or every user in a user group.
I would anticipate this being more difficult due to the need to design an interface for it.
Defineable Browsing Formats
I'd imagine this is a long time wish from a number of users.
There are many times when you are setting up special folders or libraries and you have a REALLY hard time getting it to use the Primary Image versus the Banner or Thumb. Even if you use all Primary Images in some of these cases, it won't convert to the Primary Size and instead will squish the Primary Image in a Banner sized image.
We really do need a method to force the browser function to show a specific type of image.
I'd anticipate this one being a harder one to implement because they design isn't necessarily super straight forward.
This should be purely an administrative definable item.
By default, if you are looking a given series, it doesn't always make sense to have the series on a scroller as opposed to primary image thumbnails. A good example of some series where this becomes a problem are series in excess of 7 seasons such as Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad or Power Rangers. All these series can end up being fairly monotonous to scroll through to find what you're looking for. This should be something that can be set in User Templates or by the user themselves.
Number to Show per Page
Probably a long overdue feature is the ability to define how many movies or tv series to show per page. Show All should be an option with continuous scrolling allowed.
Related to this, updating the jump to by alphabet could use an update in design too.
Finally, I would like to see the ability to straight up remove all the Emby Branding for a nominal fee. I image you can already do this via the Custom CSS but an easier update for the branding would be very nice.
As with ALL CMS packages, I would expect this to cost a substantial fee. Packages such as uBulletin cost around $200 to remove the branding. I think this is fairly in line.
The option really should be available for those looking to parle Emby into novel usecases. For instance, I setup an emby server for a local fitness club so that they could stream music play lists and their own workout videos.
Edit Navigation Bar
Another potentially harder feature should be the ability to Edit Navigation Bar
Another potentially harder feature should be the ability to