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Cross Series Naming and Playing


Echuir
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Yes, I have.  To recap:

Flash and Arrow have had a crossover.  I make a STRM of the The Flash video file, name it Arrow, and move it to the Arrow directory.  The the same for the Arrow video file.

The STRM do show up in the other series, but due to how Emby scrapes for metadata, it will either crosslink the STRM with the local episode with the same #, or on occasion get the sorting wrong.  But the STRMs do work.

Could the software developers make a special case in the Library Scan routines to treat STRM differently than regular video files?  Could Emby be coded to use the information inside the STRM file to scrape for, or even have Emby look in the original files home location?

If so, you've for the most part fixed the crossover episode problem.  It just requires the user to make the STRM files in the first place.

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Ok so this is not related to strm at all. It's really about putting an episode for a different series into the series folder of another series. That's something that is currently not supported.

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WJCuffe, essentially NO because that would break current STRM functionality.

What I was getting at as a way to possibly handle this in the future and I think is similar to what you want.

Instead of using the extension STRM, we use CROSS or CROSSOVER extension which has special (NEW) meaning.  So it could be something like:
S02E01.CROSS

Inside that text file would be something like:
\\EMBYSERVER\f\TV Shows\Ongoing\Arrow (2012)\Season 3\Arrow - S03E04 - The Magician.mp4

So the filename let's Emby know this is a cross over view file and the crossover in this case is BEFORE Season 2 Episode 1 (cross over starting the season).  Emby then reads the CROSS file and matches the file up with the actual episode (taken from the detail screen of that other episode) and uses the TRUE meta-data from the other series for this cross over episode.

@Luke would something like this be doable?  If so I could write up a feature request for it.

 

 

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Yes, I know it's not supported.  But does this seem like something possible, as a feature request, for the software devs to look into?

On further thought, you don't even need to change the functionality of STRMs at all.  Could a new extension be made that operates the same way as STRM, say "XOVER", that Emby uses to indicate a streamed file, but to search for metadata based on the information inside the text file, or located in the indicated directory therein?  This way  you don't even have to worry about breaking functionality -- you're creating a new feature from scratch.

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4 minutes ago, cayars said:

WJCuffe, essentially NO because that would break current STRM functionality.

What I was getting at as a way to possibly handle this in the future and I think is similar to what you want.

Instead of using the extension STRM, we use CROSS or CROSSOVER extension which has special (NEW) meaning.  So it could be something like:
S02E01.CROSS

Inside that text file would be something like:
\\EMBYSERVER\f\TV Shows\Ongoing\Arrow (2012)\Season 3\Arrow - S03E04 - The Magician.mp4

So the filename let's Emby know this is a cross over view file and the crossover in this case is BEFORE Season 2 Episode 1 (cross over starting the season).  Emby then reads the CROSS file and matches the file up with the actual episode (taken from the detail screen of that other episode) and uses the TRUE meta-data from the other series for this cross over episode.

@Luke would something like this be doable?  If so I could write up a feature request for it.

 

 

Exactly!  That's all I've been asking -- consider it as a possible future feature.

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pünktchen

Put the strm file that points to The Flash into a Season 00 folder of Arrow and name it to a special episode that doesn't exist yet, eg. S00E20. If you use nfo files, also copy over the nfo of The Flash, so you have the description also. Than in the metadata editor, correct the season and episode numbers, fill in the needed values for Airs before season or Airs after season and Airs before episode.

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6 minutes ago, pünktchen said:

Put the strm file that points to The Flash into a Season 00 folder of Arrow and name it to a special episode that doesn't exist yet, eg. S00E20. If you use nfo files, also copy over the nfo of The Flash, so you have the description also. Than in the metadata editor, correct the season and episode numbers, fill in the needed values for Airs before season or Airs after season and Airs before episode.

I'm pretty sure I've tried this but the next up skips these episodes?  Have you tried this, do you use this technique?
Definitely need to retry this.

Thanks!

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pünktchen
12 minutes ago, cayars said:

I'm pretty sure I've tried this but the next up skips these episodes?  Have you tried this, do you use this technique?

No, i didn't tried this. If it doesn't work then it's a bug, because otherwise the setting "Display specials within seasons they aired in" is useless.

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pwhodges
1 hour ago, cayars said:

So the filename let's Emby know this is a cross over view file and the crossover in this case is BEFORE Season 2 Episode 1 (cross over starting the season).  Emby then reads the CROSS file and matches the file up with the actual episode (taken from the detail screen of that other episode) and uses the TRUE meta-data from the other series for this cross over episode

No need for that.  Whether you use a STRM file or a copy of the video file, the name is used for lookup - so have an extension of the name syntax that allows something like [cross -- series name -- s0xe0y], or whatever works.  No need for special file formats, or making it work only with re-directed files.

Paul

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That was actually my first thought Paul. But it's hard enough now to get people to follow our naming conventions I just can't see that working. :(

In that example you would also need an additional SxxExx as well. You need to know the place for the cross over to appear (one set) and the file itself that's is the episode (2nd set).

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rbjtech

So the only way I have found to do this where it actually plays in order / lists the crossover episodes is to insert fake mid season 'specials' into the season.

As an example - for 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' (a 5 way crossover..) - then I see the following 

You need to create fake episodes in Season 0 - and then modify the 'Special Episode' details to get it to show mid season.  Obviously depending on which show you are watching, some specials will play before, others will play after.

edit - it is important to create fake specials that do not exist - so I just create s00e101 > s00e105 - each corresponding to the crossover order so I don;t lose track of what's what.

Having a 'crossover' function in Emby would be far easier !

I didn't bother playing with symbolic links - I just copied the files each time - it's 4 extra MKV's (per show) in this instance, normally it's less than this.

 

crisis1.PNG

 

crisis2.PNG

crisis4.PNG

This is where the 'magic' happens -

'Airs before season' is actually incorrect - this is just the season you want the Special to show 

'Airs before episode' is correct - this is the episode AFTER where you want the special to be listed.

So depending on which show it is - some will be 9 and some will be 10 in this particular case.

crisis3.PNG

edit - .strm files work fine as well (just tested) - so you don't actually need copies - you can just name the .strm files as specials which link to the real media file.

Edited by rbjtech
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On 12/14/2020 at 5:14 PM, Happy2Play said:

These crossovers are problematic as they assume we watch all these shows are being watched.  But I would make a collection or playlist for this crossover event.

This is what I did for all the DC superhero crossover episodes on the CW, and it works great.

 

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rbjtech
6 minutes ago, chef said:

This is what I did for all the DC superhero crossover episodes on the CW, and it works great.

 

.. if you watch them in isolation - then yes - but if you watch the season of 'Arrow' for example - how do know there are no pre-episodes and no post-episodes for a particular 'crossover episode' ?

THAT is the issue emby needs to solve as that is I believe how most people will view their media post the live tv events.

I've fudged it and can see the other episodes as 'specials' - but it's a lot of work for what could be a simple change - or a plugin .. 🤪

Edited by rbjtech
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37 minutes ago, rbjtech said:

.. if you watch them in isolation - then yes - but if you watch the season of 'Arrow' for example - how do know there are no pre-episodes and no post-episodes for a particular 'crossover episode' ?

THAT is the issue emby needs to solve as that is I believe how most people will view their media post the live tv events.

I've fudged it and can see the other episodes as 'specials' - but it's a lot of work for what could be a simple change - or a plugin .. 🤪

Yes, that was an issue I found, especially for the Crisis crossover, because the production team for the shows didn't  tell you which series, the next episode was a part of. They did for Elseworlds, and Crisis on Earth X, but not for Infinite Earths. That did make things harder to initially watch. 

Infact, I accidentally skipped one if the episods and watched out of place because of that very issue.

However, tvbd didn't have info at the time for the crossover event when it aired. I had to compile the metadata from wikipedia LOL.

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rbjtech

:(

So - as has been mentioned above (which I've only just checked out rarely do I actually watch an entire series back to back..)  - emby skips the specials in the playback sequence !!

So you go to the bother to allow specials, allow the positioning of the specials with in a series - but then fail to add them to the playback list ?

Is this an oversight ?  By design ?

More and more TV series are doing crossovers - Arrowverse, Chicago PD/Fire/SVU/Med etc 

Short of concatenating all the members of the crossover into a single file and then using a STRM to access a copy of it - is there no other way to do this ... ?

Grrrr... frustrated 😒.

 

 

 

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rbjtech

thanks @cayars - So I've done a bit of digging on this - and according to Luke this functionality will be included in Emby 4.6

It does work today if you select 'Play All' but of course, unless you watch the entire season in one hit, then this is not particularly useful.

Include "Specials" on Next Up - Feature Requests - Emby Community (last post - Dec 30th)

I run the 4.5 release - so I'll try the Beta to test it out and report in the testing thread.

If it works, then while not an ideal, it does somewhat solve the 'Crossover' issue. 

I've also written a script to auto create and place the .strm files from an input file, but what we really need is a reliable metadata source for the crossover data..

 

 

Edited by rbjtech
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@rbjtech Yes I'd agree this isn't the most ideal way but should work quite well.  I had it working correctly viewing everything with the cross overs inline but as mentioned before didn't play in that order making it a bust for actual use.

The other valid method is the Playlist approach but then it's a different view and not intuitive unless you KNOW there's a playlist.

Either way it will be great to have specials play in the correct order of where you have them regardless of use!

It's a shame we don't have access to a database or meta-data provider that accurately tracks cross over episodes as this could all be automated.

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rbjtech

Nope - the 4.6 Beta does not fix this issue ... :(

It still ignores them unless played via 'Play All' - tried both web and FireTV client.

@Luke - Can you kindly confirm if this has been included in 4.6 or was this dropped for a later release ?  If yes, then I'll raise in the testing section.

edit - in the release notes for 4.6.0.10 you specify -

  • Fix some items not showing in Continue Watching

but I'm not sure if 'some items' includes 'Specials' ...

Edited by rbjtech
added release note details
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rbjtech

Does anybody know where in the API I can find the 'Special Episode Info' from the episode metadata that is added on 'Specials' ?

I've hunted high and low and can see/change all the other metadata, but I just cannot seem to find this ..

I need -

Airs before season:
Airs after season:
Airs before episode:

I've written a noddy script to auto create the .strm files (from a manual 'input file') and place them as 'specials' in the relevant area but now need the API to edit the metadata so they get the correct placement - ready for the incoming fix ..

Any help appreciated...

 

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I might add, that could be nice to have a way to sync playstates from items from different libraries/series. As in this use case if you watch a series on one season 0 folder in won't register the item watched on the other side. In my case i'm more interested in Anime OVAs where sometimes a movie could be in both movies libraries and Season 0 of the anime, another example could be the case of Futurama tv series and their movies, where the movies are also listed on the season 0 in the tv series.

Maybe i should create a new feature request for this, but i was thinking that this feature could be of interest in this post too.

Edited by Mibok
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Happy2Play

The issue with adding these items to a specific show is they will not have proper providerids and can not be maintained as watched if you ever have to rebuild a new database as they will have only a databaseid.  I really don't see a workaround for these Crossovers unless a provider provides a true method of linking these.

 

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That's the real key Happy2Play.  We need meta-data provider support and this could be much easier all around!

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rbjtech
10 hours ago, Happy2Play said:

The issue with adding these items to a specific show is they will not have proper providerids and can not be maintained as watched if you ever have to rebuild a new database as they will have only a databaseid.  I really don't see a workaround for these Crossovers unless a provider provides a true method of linking these.

 

Watched status is recorded for specials ?  My idea would be to mark ALL the associated specials as watched if you watched all of the crossover episodes in whatever show you first watched it from.

as an example - say I watched a series of 3 crossovers in Chicago Med - consisting of the extra two 'specials' made up of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.  In those two shows, I also mark those 'real' episodes as watched and I also mark the specials in those shows as well.    That way, when I get to those shows, the 'crossover' is already marked as watched in it's entirety and will skip accordingly.

 Yes you need to keep a local db of the members of the crossover, but unless the metadata is available, what other options do we have ?

I think this is a prime candidate for a 'Crossover' plugin - as long as we have somewhere to store the crossover details (manually added by the user - by ID number) then it can easily create the .strm files as specials and a nightly scheduled task will cover the playstates.  I've got some of this working already, but have only just started playing with the API so leaning as I go ... 🤪 

Edited by rbjtech
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