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Mixing conversion tasks with pure archiving "tasks"

Nov 17, 2015 at 12:38 AM

I have searched and read through the docs, but it's still not clear to me how I would achieve the following.

I would like MCEBuddy to perform 2 tasks:
  1. Convert Recorded Movies to mp4 (new file on drive D, and delete the original)
  2. Move Recorded TV Shows (no conversion) to drive D only if older than 5 days.
So, task 2 is really just a simple kind of archiving for recorded TV shows that are not watched soon after recording or are kept for some reason (in our household, we delete most tv recordings after watching).

But I can't find a way to set the "archiving" rule for just TV shows - archiving is done on a monitoring task level, and I have just one monitoring task for all files in the recorded TV location of WMC. Is it possible to use say, the %ismovie% variable to filter monitoring location?

Nov 17, 2015 at 2:59 AM
Create 2 monitors tasks, one for 1 and one for 2 (your condition above), on 1 select delete original on 2 select archive original

Then create 2 conversions tasks and links the first conversion task to monitor 1 and the second conversion task to monitor 2 (Advanced settings).'

Now create a filter in your 2nd conversion task to only process TV shows. The 2nd monitor task will feed to the 2nd conversion task only and if it's processed it will then archive the original.

Similarly set your filters for conversion task 1 and it will fed files by monitor task 1. Any file processed by the conversion task successfully with then have the original deleted.

Nov 17, 2015 at 4:40 AM
Many thanks - I forgot that conversion tasks can be assigned to specific monitor tasks.

Makes for a tangled set-up, but should work!
Nov 17, 2015 at 2:12 PM
True and I agree, something we have been grappling with, the increased complexity.
The alternative is to do away with monitor tasks and build them into the conversion tasks. The downside is that some flexibility will be lost in terms of one task and multiple conversions.

Nov 17, 2015 at 8:53 PM
Well, I think what you're missing is the concept of "jobs".

Monitor task + conversion task = job

Settings such as schedule and file archive or deletion could be set at Job level.

Many jobs could be scheduled

A good Ui to visualise the jobs and their status.

Many sync programs work like this
Nov 17, 2015 at 9:03 PM
We get it. The initial design was to provide more flexibility in having multiple conversions per single file.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:58 AM
I would like to follow-up on this...

I am using latest Beta (Nov24) of MCEBuddy2x

I have set up the 2 monitor tasks and 2 conversion tasks as above (Conversion 1 linked to Monitor 1, and Conversion 2 linked to monitor 2).

Both monitor tasks search for *.wtv files only in the RecordedTV directory (monitor 2 is configured with a 5 day delay).
Conversion 1 is profile MP4 normal, selection filter with Show type "Movies"
Conversion 2 is profile WTV unprocessed, selection filter with Show type "Shows/Other"

When I run MCEBuddy, TV shows never seem to get processed by conversion 2.

I have checked a lot of settings and gone through the logs.
It seems to me, all files are picked up by Monitor1, then conversions are processed (only conversion 1, since conversion 2 is not assigned to monitor 1).
But no files seem to be picked up by Monitor2, and as a result conversion2 is not executed.

If I delete Monitor1 from the monitor tasks (and leave both Conversion tasks as is), then all files are picked up by Monitor 2 and conversion 2 is properly run.

So I do not think my Conversion Task is incorrectly set up - is there something in the set-up of the Monitor tasks that I need to do so that both monitor tasks are run?
Dec 2, 2015 at 3:30 AM
mcebuddy.log please or post your settings from it (starting bottom up from the of the file)

Dec 2, 2015 at 4:45 AM
OK, I have deleted history and log file to make things easier (this is a test machine anyway).

I placed 3 recorded TV shows (copied from real HTPC machine) into RecordedTV directory of test machine running MCEBuddy2x.

None of the TV shows get picked up for conversion....

I have uploaded the log file to the server here.
Dec 2, 2015 at 5:14 AM
Is it the case that if a file matches a monitor task, then it is no longer processed by any other monitor tasks??

Both my tasks will pick up the same files in terms of filters, the second task just delays conversion for 5 days. In reality, I would like just movies to be picked up by the first monitor tasks, and all non-movies by the second monitor tasks, but this is not currently an option for monitoring...

I notice in the log files, that the only file processed by the 2nd monitor task is "desktop.ini", seemingly because it did not match the filter for 1st monitor task.
Dec 2, 2015 at 1:55 PM
If you open the log file and work your way backwards from the end you'll find your answers, it's all in how your configured it:

> 2015-12-02T15:18:32 MCEBuddy.Engine.QueueManager --> Skipping Conversion task Recorded TV for file E:\Recorded TV\Little Lunch_ABC3_2015_07_24_16_25_07.wtv since Monitor task Recorded Movies does not match the list of monitor tasks in the conversion task.

> Monitor Tasks Selection -> Old Recorded TV

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:25 PM
Hmmm - but the way I configured it is exactly as you suggested...

My interpretion of the logs:

Monitor Task "Recorded Movies" looks in \RecordedTV\ for *.wtv files
Monitor Task "Old Recorded TV" looks in \RecordedTV\ for *.wtv files, but as 5 day delay in it (actually doesn't matter if I put 0 delay, result is the same)

Conversion Task "Movies to MP4" is linked to "Recorded Movies", and has filter for Show type = Movies
Conversion Task "Recorded TV" is linked to "Old Recorded TV" as has filter for show type = Shows/Other

The file "Little Lunch.wtv" lands in RecordedTV, with a modified date more than 5 days ago.

It is picked up by Monitor Task "Recorded Movies"
Conversion task "Movies to MP4" is not executed because "LittleLunch.wtv" is not of Show Type "Movies"
Conversion Task "Recorded TV" is not executed because it is not linked to Monitor Task "Recorded TV".

Then the log stops!

I was expecting the next step would be:
It is picked up by Monitor Task "Old Recorded TV"
Conversion task "Movies to MP4" is not executed because it is not linked to Monitor Task "Old Recorded TV"
Conversion Task "Recorded TV" is executed because "LittleLunch.wtv" is of show type "Other"

BUT, it seems if a file is picked up by a monitor task, it is only processed in that context and not processed again by any other monitor tasks.

If this is the case, then I cannot achieve my goal of converting only movies to MP4 and converting all other recordings only if they are "old"

I will just have to process all files only if they are "old" (including movies). That is I will only have one Monitor task....
Dec 2, 2015 at 8:53 PM
A file will processed by all monitor tasks as long as it passes their filter tests (and assuming that they both point to the same folder).

In your case you had limited your conversion task to only process files from a single monitor task hence the file was dropped by the other monitor task.

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:09 AM
So then it's not possible to do what I want.

I limited that conversion task, because I only wanted to convert non-movie files that are more than 5 days old.

I will just have one monitor task that looks for all recordings that are more than 5 days old.
I will keep the 2 conversion tasks - one for movies and one for all others.

Thanks for your patience.
Dec 3, 2015 at 2:10 AM
I"m sorry I didn't understand what you were trying to get at. I just said that there is interdependency between monitor tasks. No one monitor task can affect another monitor task, they are completely independent of each other.

Dec 3, 2015 at 3:51 AM
rboy1 wrote:
In your case you had limited your conversion task to only process files from a single monitor task hence the file was dropped by the other monitor task.
rboy1 wrote:
No one monitor task can affect another monitor task, they are completely independent of each other.
I guess these two statements seem contradictory to me.
Why should the file be "dropped" by the other Monitor task if monitor tasks are completely independent of each other?

If my file was not dropped by the 2nd monitor task, it would get converted by my Conversion Task 2 (conversion task 2 is limited to Monitor Task 2)
Dec 3, 2015 at 5:10 AM
Your file was dropped by the conversion task because you had only linked the conversion task to one monitor task.
The second monitor task picked up the file and passed it to the conversion task which dropped it since you had told it not to accept files from any other monitor tasks

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:14 AM
I don't see what's so complicated, it's pretty straight forward.

Every monitor task picks up files in directories it's monitoring and that matches it's name filters. Then each monitor task hands EVERY shortlisted file to EVERY conversion task.

Conversion tasks then apply it's own rules and filter on which files to process and how to process.

In your case you told the conversion not to accept files from any other monitor task so it didn't and dropped the files.

Dec 3, 2015 at 5:24 AM
Edited Dec 3, 2015 at 5:29 AM
I am clearly missing something!

According to the log, My configuration for the Conversion Tasks is:
Task -> Recorded Movies to MP4
Monitor Tasks Selection -> Recorded Movies

Task -> Recorded TV
Monitor Tasks Selection -> Old Recorded TV
So I believe I have clearly assigned a Monitor Task to Conversion Task #2!

I see in the logs that the file is picked up by Monitor Task "Recorded Movies":
 MCEBuddy.Engine.QueueManager --> Monitor task Recorded Movies
But I cannot see in the logs anywhere where the file is picked up by the Monitor Task called "Recorded TV". EDIT: I mean by the monitor task called "Old Recorded TV"
Dec 3, 2015 at 3:36 PM
So Okay I went over your logs again to relook at this.

I think I see what's happening, when the first monitor tasks picks it up matches it to the conversion task it adds it to the queue, when the second monitor comes along it already find the file in the queue so it skips over it (the same file can't be in the queue twice). This is to avoid a situation exactly like what you've setup here.
You have 2 monitor tasks pointing to the same directory, one is set to archive and the other to delete. That's 2 different commands for the same file, it's a recipe for disaster, hence to avoid this MCEBuddy will ignore files if they are already in the queue.

I see what you're trying to do but it's not a good idea to have 2 monitor tasks pointing to the same directory. Instead use one monitor task, 2 conversion tasks and set your filters in the conversion tasks and don't link the conversion task to any monitor task.

Dec 3, 2015 at 9:50 PM
OK, thanks for continuing to follow this through.

I have to unmark "answer" then, since it is not possible for me to achieve my requirement without enhancement to MCEBuddy2x to either:
  1. Allow Monitor tasks to filter by ShowType (I suspect not possible, since requires obtaining metadata first...)
  2. Allow Conversion tasks to have a "Delay" option (so that my "Recorded TV" conversion task will only act upon files older than X days....)
It's fine for me if this is not possible or very low priority - I know MCEBuddy2x is about conversion, not really archiving and file organisation, but I would prefer not to have to install more utilities to handle the file management side!
Dec 3, 2015 at 10:32 PM
We are absolutely open to enhancing it, we'come a VERY long way in the past few years. However the KEY thing is to keep it simple for the user. As you can see it's already in grey areas. So how do we incorporate this use case and yet keep it simple to understand/use.

Dec 3, 2015 at 11:39 PM
Well from my perspective, the simpler / easier to use option is #2 from my suggestions.

But, I believe my use case is moving the program further away from its original purpose (and perhaps, with all the changes over the last few years, the challenges for simplicity are greater). The program probably needs a revaluation and new architecture - but that is a discussion maybe for MCEBuddy3x, in a pub with lots of beer and schnitzels.

For now it's doing fine and I'm glad for it!