I'm all for this! I'd brought it up once before but reception was cool. But now that Live TV and DVR content is easily part of the MB3 experience, management automation would be a good thing. I was even thinking of writing a plug-in but time is not on my side. I have noticed that there's a "let this user delete content" setting for the user profiles, so maybe it's coming. In the meantime, for what it's worth, I'll share some of my ideas on this.
First this option would only apply to TV Show content, so movies are safe and would require a user to be in the file system. If you use that for a series to be retained always, it could be turned off for that media folder. I'd have it be "out-in" by default.
Next, I would want it to return the root folders/Series/Show name so that individual settings could be set. With that in mind, I'd also want a global setting to apply for anything not specified; anything specific to a show would override the globals.
Without getting too complex, some basic rules to apply would get the job done. I'd probably present simple checkbox options, something like
- Delete n Days after watched
- Delete unwatched if older than n days
So for David Letterman, I may set it to 1/7 respectively, which would give me one day to go back and see it again, like "oh you have to see the stupid pet tricks from yesterday." The 7 days would give me a week to watch and if I didn't, older content would roll off and be deleted.
For CSI, I may do 14/X, (X meaning disabled) keeping the last one I watched for a couple weeks if I needed a refresher and not enabling the Delete Unwatched option as I may watch these in a marathon in a couple months from now.
Local news might just be 0/1 so that it would be deleted immedately on the next delete cycle after watched and if not watched, it will only last for the day.
I'd thought of other options as well. One could be "Keep no more than n episodes", which would probably be best as a mutually exclusive option to the two settings above. That way if I set it to 5 for Letterman, I'll have the last 5 regardless of watched status; that may be a simpler option for daily type shows. That could be risky for a weekly series unless I set it to some large #. If that setting wasn't mutually exclusive, it could be fine but then a user might get confused about when a show will be deleted.
If no global options were set and a new series was added w/o retention specifics, then it'd just pile up safely until the admin set it up. If a global setting was in place, then it'd fall under that logic w/o intervention.
Again, my intent is simplicity and a way to keep my HDD's from filling with content that I will have to manually delete. Thirty days worth of Letterman just isn't my idea of fun, as my TV time is pretty light. Maybe if I give up that little bit of TV I could get a plug-in coded!