Scan dvd media and link files to categories

  • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

    A new feature I (and I believe a lot more users) would like to see.
    I know it's complex... but it would be extremelly powerfull and usefull.
    And I'm not expecting that every detail I describe below be implemented in a first version :p

    Scan media, save metadata (*) and allow the user to select a file (or the media device entry itself) and copy/move/link it to a new catalog type (for example in a movie catalog the file/media could then be updated for getting a cover, description, genres, actors, etc).

    (*) file name/size/attributes/resolution/bitrate, user selectable checksum (example: ed2k hash), image thumbnails (even in tar/rar/7zp files in a recursive way) for images, screenshots for videos.

    Example: you have a DVD with a couple of movies (among other things like jpegs, pdfs and mp3s inside rar files). You scan it (where each archive file is indexed recursively) and have it recognizable by its volume number (so it can be updated). Then you can link an .avi file as a new entry in the movies catalog. That item in the movie catalog can always be traced to that DVD. You can then update information for that movie through, for example an imdb plugin.

    I know this is a golias-sized feature, but it would be incredibly usefull for music and ebook files which can be scattered across dozens of cds/dvds... and make it possible to group them all in the appropriate category, nicely sorted and organized as a collection :D

    IMHO this is more usefull than the IM feature or even the web application. But this is my opinion and every user has his needs.

    Thank you very much for your hard work on DataCrow!

    @ all users, it's time to speak and convince Robert Jan van der Waals (I belive the only developer) to implement this one =p

    • Brunofs

      Brunofs - 2008-05-25

      I couldn't agree more.
      As I suggested (, that's what I want for datacrow, and would make the ultimate media cataloger

      User that want this functionality, raise your hand to support the idea =D .  \o

    • Robert Jan van der Waals

      I thank you for describing your request in such detail. As I stated in the thread mentioned by Brunifs, I can see the benefit of having this kind of functionality. Right now the only way to link media to a disc or another media container is by entering a free form location description. And that is just not enough ( I am wondering why almost nobody complained about this :)).

      If I am just thinking out loud, the following might achieve what you want:
      - Instead of using a text field to describe the location it will be possible to select a 'container object'(with a much cooler name ;).
      - This container object would also be selectable when importing items (and an option to create a new one).
      - The container object will of course have its own properties like total size (maybe derived from the imported content or just the plain CD/DVD/USB stick/.. size), a label (volume number), etc.
      - The container object will be selectable in a view and show all of its content (regardless of the selected module). From here each separate item (movie, mp3, jpg, ..) can be opened (item form).
      - The import functionality will be able to import any kind of media. Each and every item can be assigned the right category (software item/movie/book/..) by mapping the file type (extension) to a module. Additionally you can defined if a file type (like zip and rar) should prompt the user to select the category manually.

      One of the requirements would be to implement it in a way that the current functionality does not have to be rewritten.

      The other features like selecting the hash type (MD5, ed2k) is an altogether different kind functionality (not hard to do). Getting the images from a rar or zip file is of course also do-able and also a different request.

      Let me know if I am on the right track. No promises! :)
      Also, would you be so kind as to log this as a feature request? :)

      Robert Jan

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      Yes, that is a good idea and I think that we are on the same tune.

      However the file_extension<->category automatic addition should be an option.
      I wouldn't want for it to add all files. For example, if I have an mp3 album in a rar file (or in a directory), what I want is to manually select the rar file (or the directory) and add it to the "music category" and then use a plugin (for the music category item) to set the correct ISBN-alike thingy, cover, track list, etc.
      I rather scan the dvd/usb/dir/etc and get everything added as a container. Then (whenever I feel like it) I go there and manually link the items I wish to the appropriate collection.

      >> One of the requirements would be to implement it in a way that the current functionality does not have to be rewritten.

      Absolutely. However only you can say if something breaks or not... I'm not aware of the internals.
      But I think that this would require the addition of a new field for every category. This field would be the internal URI that would allow "travelling" from category2container and vice-versa.

      >> The other features like selecting the hash type (MD5, ed2k) is an altogether different kind functionality (not hard to do). Getting the images from a rar or zip file is of course also do-able and also a different request. 

      Agreed at 100%. This is secondary and can be done through the use of plugins (*) that would be called when the dvd/etc is scanned. This is what is done in the software Whereisit (this is what I used when I was on windows, but now I only use linux... that is why I had been looking for a new open-source tool for months).
      If you feel like it, give whereist a test... I believe it will give you some cool ideas.
      (*) Maybe even developed by users... When DataCrow gets a bit more well known ;)

      >> Let me know if I am on the right track. No promises! :)

      Yes I believe so.
      I made a sketch at
      Tell me what you think.
      I understand about not promising :)

      >> Also, would you be so kind as to log this as a feature request? :)

      Of course. What exactly do you want me to write? Can I copy-paste my first message of this thread?

      I think adding support for dvd/etc scanning will definetly make DataCrow a killer application.
      Most people have dozens/hundreads of cds/dvds scattered... Making possible to search for something with a couple of clicks is really usefull!

    • Robert Jan van der Waals

      Just a few comments on the container functionality:
      1) It will not be an option to change the category of an item at a later stage (after storing the item in the database) as this would break the current functionality. The category will have to be selected during the import (with the option to automate this process). It could be done in the following way:
      - Specify the drive / volume / module you want to import
      - Show, in a window, all files (including zip, rar, etc)
      - Offer the option for each archive to include content (files are added to the file list of the window)
      - Specify the category (divert from the suggested category / add new category) for each file / group of files.

      2) Newly created items can be added to existing containers or to a new container.

      3) I like the layout as you proposed in the screenshot.

      I am beginning to get a good feeling about this feature. It will definetly be benificial to the product as a whole. I even think the impact will be rather limited as most things are already in place. The database upgrade will be the 'most' challenging but I have had good experiences with this thus far.

      I'll log the requests after we have finished discussing the functionality.
      Let me know if you like the above approach.

      Comments on the plugins:
      1) Right now general plugins are supported. This is limited to creating your own general tool with full freedom of what to program. This is nice but undocumented. Something that will be done for the 3.5 version.
      2) Additionally I am going to allow users to create plugins for the import process.
      3) The online services will become plugins, allowing users to create new online ones.

      The nice thiong about Data Crow is that a developer of plugin is already able to create additional fields. Again, its undocumented how to do this. A packaging utility should take care of this.

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      I read this so many times, wrote such a lenghy text, then I finally started to understand what you mean, and then my message got all confused with more text... So a short message first.

      1) What you say is that:
      - You can't change an item from category A to category B.
      - You can link a container element to a category A at any time. But after you link it it's bonded to eternity. Although you can always delete that link and create a new one linking to a category B (and fill any required field by hand again).

      So whenever you feel like it, you can explore the scanned dvds/usbs/etc in the container view and link new container elements to categories.

      I'm ok with this :)
      But if it isn't :'( feel free to explain a bit more of how things break since I know a bit of Java and SQL myself (although it has been a while)

      2) mmh... Maybe I'm missing something but this feature is irrelevant to me. I can see it being potencially usefull to already existing users of DataCrow who already have their collections, but you say it's "newly created" so it doesn't seem to apply to them.

      3) Nice :)

      I like where the plugins are going :)
      I think it's very important to have things plugin based here because as a "collection manager" you want to have information for your collection, and that information is accessible from many websites (imdb, mobygames, wikipedia, anidb, manganews, epguides,, and so many more), although in many cases a simple URL suffices.
      With plugins (and documentation) it's easier for users to create their own get-info-from-website plugins.
      From a collection point of view, for a new user, who doesn't has specific needs, it may all be a thing of "which is the program with the most import-from-web-site plugins".


    • Robert Jan van der Waals

      1) 100% correct. The reason you can't change an item from being a software item to a movie item is that this would mean you would loose a lot of information as the fields they both have differ.
      2) Ah yes, of course existing items can also be linked to the container at any time. My bad :)
      3) Yes :)

      I'll log the feature requests.

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      Cool! :D

      * thumbs up *

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      Great news about Data Crow 3.4 functionality and release date ^_^

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      Hello rwaals,
      how are you?

      I have bugged you so much about this feature, but ended up being away for such a long time...

      Anyway, I have tried the new version of DataCrow (3.4.1), but wasn't able to scan a dvd/drive/dir for its contents.
      I start a "New Container", select a directory and press "Save" but nothing is scanned and I end up with a empty element in my "Container File Structure".
      I also tried the "Drive Scanner" but in the "Drives to scan" I can only either select or not my root directory (I'm using Linux), that is, I can't really choose a directory because the widget doesn't expand.

      Another issue which seems not to be working is in the "Container File Structure", where each item has its name and between () the number of elements it contains. The value for the number of elements is incorrect.

      Am I missing something in all this?
      Is this feature unfinished?

      BTW, is there any "Look and Feel" like QT (as in KDE). I see there is a gnome and motif, but that's it.

      Once again, thank you for you amazing work with DataCrow.

    • Robert Jan van der Waals

      Hi There!

      Yes, the feature is unfinished, the global importer is not in place and some other minor details are still missing.
      The modules however now use the containers instead of the location field and all modules have gained a file system view (still needs some work though).

      So again it is not finished, there are a lot of things which still need to be implemented. However so far it has improved Data Crow in the sense that I finally got rid off the location field :)

      Ermm.. rambling..

      When will it finished? I am currently working on improving the current functionality of Data Crow, fixing up what needs to be fixed and improving what needs to be improved. One of the versions there after will contain updated functionality for this container module.

      There should be a Look and Feel simulating KDE :) Somewhere :)

      Hoping you can wait for a while longer,
      Robert Jan

    • the.real.monkey.d.luffy

      Thanks for your reply.

      Yes, of course I can wait... How couldn't I for something that is free and open source =)

      Maybe you'll give us a nice Christhmas gift this year :)

      I just wished I had the time to look into DataCrow source code myself, especially because I would like to have a way to import my WhereIsIt catalogs (xml files) to DataCrow.

      Once again thanks for your work.

      Monkey D. Luffy

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous - 2012-06-02

    New Data Crow user here. I'm very impressed with the power and flexibility, but sadly my needs are exactly reflected by this thread - I have a large collection of mixed-media DVD-ROM and CD-ROMs, and I need to catalogue them, Like others, I found WhereIsIt to be the only tool offering this functionality, but I'm tired of maintaining a windows box just to run it.

    This thread is years old, though. What is the current status of this feature request? Is it being tracked elsewhere?

    Thanks for your time.


Log in to post a comment.