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  #1  
Old 12-23-2005, 09:02 PM
tooslow tooslow is offline
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Suggestions for improvement

There are a few things about Sage (4.0+) that need attention. Here's my list so far:

1: The Import Library
In it's current format, the import library is all but useless. It displays no show information (even if .xml files exist for the shows, and even if the shows were recorded with Sage in the first place).

The import library should work exactly like the 'archived recordings' section. If sage is unable to discover information about the show, then it should simply not offer any, but, if it is able to discover show details, then it should offer them! It should also show other details, has it been watched, is it HD, etc... In general, you could get rid of this library completely, and just use archived recordings (I don't mean to say don't import shows - just put all shows in the same area)

Further, it has some annoying bugs related to displaying the number of items inside a folder.

a: If a folder only contains one item, and you click on the folder, it will automatically select that one item and bring up the "Watch it now" menu.

b: It can't count. Quite often, the number of items listed for a folder is just wrong.

c: The counting does not appear to be recursive. (Or maybe it is, and this is just another issue with (b) above). If a folder contains sub-folders, the sub-folders themselves look to be counted, but not the recordings that they contain.

2: Sage is unable to recognize recordings that were recorded with Sage and then moved (outside of Sage) to a different folder. This causes several problems, not the least of which is that Sage will re-record a show!

This implies to me that no-one has given serious thought about how to manage potentially terabytes worth of recordings. Stick several thousand files in a windows folder and have a look at the performance of accessing that folder in windows explorer...

3: Favorites
If you select an actor as a favorite, then Sage will record a show, even if that actor did not actually act in it. If the actor was a producer, or is listed at all in the credits, then Sage will record the show. Now - while this may seem at first like a good idea, generally, it is not. Some options would be nice to control this. By default, favorites "by actor" should only get recorded if the actor is listed as being IN the show, but I could see an option to record the show if the name is listed at all in the credits, or better yet, options to let us choose which fields the name might be listed in.

4: .STV files.
Quite often, selecting an STV file other than the default causes ALL SORTS of issues. (like text not being cleared when you change selections or screens). Or nothing showing up at all. While this may be the fault of the .stv files, Sage should, at the very least, have some way other than manually editing the .properites file of restoring the defaults.

5: The 'Archived Recordings' section.
This needs to support archiving files that have been recorded by Sage, but moved by the user outside of Sage. *I* want to manage where my recordings spend eternity. I see no reason why, as long as the filename of the show has not changed, Sage cannot recognize the file as one that it has recorded and treat it appropriately (ie: move it to the archived recordings section instead of to imported videos - of course, if #1 above is addressed, then this goes away)

6: "System Information" should show, as the very top, which version of Sage Recorder is being run, and, if applicable, which version of the client.

7: Sleep mode.
frequently, Sage will appear to go into sleep mode - at least, black boxes (my desktop background is black) start appearing on the screen in what looks like a screen saver pattern. (I would expect to see the Sage logo in those boxes, just as if I put Sage into Standby mode)


Note: These remarks are based on observations made while using Sage v4.0 through 4.13.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2005, 09:20 PM
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aperry aperry is offline
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I particularly agree with all you've stated in item #1. I have a folder that Sage says has 2 items in it, but there are about 50. The other things you mention in item 1 bug me as well.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2005, 09:30 PM
Outvit Outvit is offline
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Here is my list.
  1. FM tuner support for the MCE variety of TV tuner cards. If there is no MCE variety card detected just hide the radio options.
  2. True Themes support. Maybe just a custom file extension registered with Windows/OS that when SageTV is running, or without it running will recognize as a Theme file like Meedio does, and just unzip the files for it in the proper themes directories.
  3. Better CPU/RAM management. Use less RAM especially
  4. On/Off switch for "new removable media inserted" crap. Oh God is that annoying every time I insert my USB flash drives, etc...
  5. The ability to set the sound output channels.
    • For example: 2 channels, 4 channels, 5.1 surround sound, etc...
  6. Native DIVX compression in some form of software.
  7. The interface lacks continuity and that bothers me, and I'm sure it has bothered others.
    • Source setup, channel lineup setup. When I'm selecting channels and stuff that are in my channel line up and I'm done I should not have to scroll up and/or down 800 channels to see the "finish configuration" option.
    • It’s not just the channel line up either. It affects a lot of parts of the program, including the configuration menus where you select options for the program. Each part of the SageTV system seems to use its own interface guidelines and doesn’t seem to follow any logical, standard of interface design that you have for “SageTV” as a consumer application.
    • Make the settings system more user friendly. It's friendly but none of the options have explanations that are readily available to the user. You need to make the system much more friendly. Have question mark boxes next to the options and explain what they do, etc... The setting system just isn't very user friendly right now and the interface could use some work as well. For example, when I'm in Detailed Settings, if I select a sub-category such as "Video/Audio," the video/audio tab does not stay selected as silver. And maybe a better system might be to take you to an entirely new sub-page without the left-hand menu when you select a category. I know this is a very far shot request but the GUI just needs some tweaking for simplicity and ease of use.
    • Folder select/navigation thing. It sucks when you're setting up media directories and stuff. The folder selector thing is a complete joke in my humble opinion. It takes me some serious thinking every time I open that thing on exactly what options I should be using to navigate back and forth. It's just kind of, no plain unusable.
I'll post more if I think of them.
I hope the Development team reads this seriously.

Last edited by Outvit; 12-23-2005 at 09:59 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2005, 09:41 PM
blade blade is offline
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Last I heard Sage didn't check the forum for feature suggestions.

Quote:
6: "System Information" should show, as the very top, which version of Sage Recorder is being run, and, if applicable, which version of the client.
BTW....Sage Recorder and SageTV are 2 seperate products. The first thing at the top of my system information page is the version of SageTV that the client is using.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2005, 10:22 PM
tooslow tooslow is offline
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How could i have forgotten about DIVX support?!?
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2005, 10:24 PM
Outvit Outvit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow
How could i have forgotten about DIVX support?!?
With a username like that it's little wonder.
Mind if I join you on the short bus?
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2005, 10:54 PM
DavidFeinzeig DavidFeinzeig is offline
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Quote:
[*]The ability to set the sound output channels.
  • For example: 2 channels, 4 channels, 5.1 surround sound, etc...
I COMPLETELY agree with this. Having to constantly screw around with 27 different audio decoders and STILL not getting proper 5.1 surround from my HD recordings to my SPDIF to my receiver is a real pain in the butt.

As a followup to my previous posts in this thread about tearing, updating the NVIDIA drivers to the latest December build seems to have solved the problem! yay!

Dave
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2005, 02:06 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow
There are a few things about Sage (4.0+) that need attention. Here's my list so far:

1: The Import Library
In it's current format, the import library is all but useless. It displays no show information (even if .xml files exist for the shows, and even if the shows were recorded with Sage in the first place).

The import library should work exactly like the 'archived recordings' section. If sage is unable to discover information about the show, then it should simply not offer any, but, if it is able to discover show details, then it should offer them! It should also show other details, has it been watched, is it HD, etc... In general, you could get rid of this library completely, and just use archived recordings (I don't mean to say don't import shows - just put all shows in the same area)

Further, it has some annoying bugs related to displaying the number of items inside a folder.

a: If a folder only contains one item, and you click on the folder, it will automatically select that one item and bring up the "Watch it now" menu.

b: It can't count. Quite often, the number of items listed for a folder is just wrong.

c: The counting does not appear to be recursive. (Or maybe it is, and this is just another issue with (b) above). If a folder contains sub-folders, the sub-folders themselves look to be counted, but not the recordings that they contain.
Firstly, Sage does not support imported metadata, period. All the video file metadata support is from user addons (not that I wouldn't like to see it ). But the official STV does not even look for metadata. You should really try some of the user STVs that have metadata support.

Quote:
2: Sage is unable to recognize recordings that were recorded with Sage and then moved (outside of Sage) to a different folder. This causes several problems, not the least of which is that Sage will re-record a show!
There's quite a bit of information about this in the FAQs IIRC.

Short answer is that if you retain the number at the end Sage will "find" it an retain the metadata (this is a rather recent change).

Quote:
3: Favorites
If you select an actor as a favorite, then Sage will record a show, even if that actor did not actually act in it. If the actor was a producer, or is listed at all in the credits, then Sage will record the show. Now - while this may seem at first like a good idea, generally, it is not. Some options would be nice to control this. By default, favorites "by actor" should only get recorded if the actor is listed as being IN the show, but I could see an option to record the show if the name is listed at all in the credits, or better yet, options to let us choose which fields the name might be listed in.
Sounds like a possible bug, report it.

Quote:
4: .STV files.
Quite often, selecting an STV file other than the default causes ALL SORTS of issues. (like text not being cleared when you change selections or screens). Or nothing showing up at all. While this may be the fault of the .stv files, Sage should, at the very least, have some way other than manually editing the .properites file of restoring the defaults.
STVs are the one and only thing that defines the SageTV interface. Most of the released STVs are quite well made, and if you follow the instructions work fine. That said, if you load one that's broken, being that that's the whole interface, there's not much Sage can do. Although with Studio you can start that to an load STVs from there (Ctrl+Shift+F12)

Quote:
5: The 'Archived Recordings' section.
This needs to support archiving files that have been recorded by Sage, but moved by the user outside of Sage. *I* want to manage where my recordings spend eternity. I see no reason why, as long as the filename of the show has not changed, Sage cannot recognize the file as one that it has recorded and treat it appropriately (ie: move it to the archived recordings section instead of to imported videos - of course, if #1 above is addressed, then this goes away)
You can, it does. Search the FAQ.

Quote:
6: "System Information" should show, as the very top, which version of Sage Recorder is being run, and, if applicable, which version of the client.
At the very top is "Software Version", first thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFeinzeig
I COMPLETELY agree with this. Having to constantly screw around with 27 different audio decoders and STILL not getting proper 5.1 surround from my HD recordings to my SPDIF to my receiver is a real pain in the butt.
FWIW, this would be nice, but it would be a LOT of work. Each decoder has it's own intricacies for how it works, where it looks for settings. Sonic and nVidia are pretty good, WinDVD, and PowerDVD are horrible IMO.
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  #9  
Old 12-25-2005, 10:02 AM
tooslow tooslow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
Firstly, Sage does not support imported metadata, period. All the video file metadata support is from user addons (not that I wouldn't like to see it ). But the official STV does not even look for metadata. You should really try some of the user STVs that have metadata support.
It should be easy for Sage to support imported metadata, that it does not is just bad planning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
Short answer is that if you retain the number at the end Sage will "find" it an retain the metadata (this is a rather recent change).
Not true. When Sage records a show, all I do is move that show to a different folder. I do not rename it. Sage imports it to the import library, where it shows no information about the show. Worse, Sage will re-record the show, thinking that it has never recorded it. This makes sense if what you said above is true, that Sage ignores all metadata.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
STVs are the one and only thing that defines the SageTV interface. Most of the released STVs are quite well made, and if you follow the instructions work fine. That said, if you load one that's broken, being that that's the whole interface, there's not much Sage can do. Although with Studio you can start that to an load STVs from there (Ctrl+Shift+F12)
Well, I have tried using several STVs on several different machines, and sometimes they seem to work ok, but mostly they dont. The biggest issue I've seen is that when using a 3rd party STV, the background is not cleared properly when displaying the UI, so you see UI elements on top of UI elements. It makes using the STVs impossible. I should say though, that I have not done any research on why this is, or how to fix it. It could very well be in a FAQ somehwere. I posted it originally because it seems to be a bug to me that needed addressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
You can, it does. Search the FAQ.
Not according to tech. support. Here is what I was told:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TechSupport
Gary,

You can't remove archived recordings like that. That's not how Sage is designed. You probably won't be able to get them back. But to try to get them back you can try to put them back into the original recording directory and see if that helps.
I will check the FAQ though - it would be wonderful if you are correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
At the very top is "Software Version", first thing.
Yep, your right. The 'feature' that remembers your place in a textbox was hiding it from me.
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2005, 11:23 AM
DavidFeinzeig DavidFeinzeig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
FWIW, this would be nice, but it would be a LOT of work. Each decoder has it's own intricacies for how it works, where it looks for settings. Sonic and nVidia are pretty good, WinDVD, and PowerDVD are horrible IMO.
Ok, I can see that. Then how about making the Sage MPEG decoders that much better, so there is no reason to use anything else? ;-) Then we can have the options to choose the various sound settings.

Dave
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  #11  
Old 12-25-2005, 12:34 PM
blade blade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFeinzeig
Ok, I can see that. Then how about making the Sage MPEG decoders that much better, so there is no reason to use anything else? ;-) Then we can have the options to choose the various sound settings.

Dave
If creating a good decoder was that simple then every decoder would be great.
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  #12  
Old 12-25-2005, 01:10 PM
tooslow tooslow is offline
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Well, I finally found the right FAQ to read. (Note: It would be a good idea to combine the FAQ on the forum (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...3771#post33771) with the FAQ on the main page and have them both link to the same location)

Anyway, it appears that you can KINDA control where to place archived recordings.

Sage supports multiple recording folders, and supposedly <i've not tested it>, moving a file from one recording folder to another works.

What does not seem to work, is having sub-directories inside those folders. Sage does not want to recognize files inside those sub-directories.

IMHO, this is not a good solution. Here's the problem:

I have several hundred recordings, spanning a terabyte of drive space, spread across 4 different hard drives. The way Sage works currently, I *could* have four different 'recordings' folders, one on each drive, and when i select "Archive Recording" from the "Sage Recordings" menu, Sage will pick the hard drive with the most space available to move the recording to.

So, what you will end up with (using CSI as an example), is CSI files in all four folders.

Maybe I'm a nut - but I like things to be organized. I want all of my CSI recordings to be in folders like this;

recordings\tv\csi\season1
recordings\tv\csi\season2
recordings\tv\csi\season3
...

Surely, it would be a simple matter to support regressing into each sub-folder.
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  #13  
Old 12-25-2005, 01:21 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooslow
It should be easy for Sage to support imported metadata, that it does not is just bad planning.
Not that it's not possible, but it's just not included. Sage is (as it should be IMO) focused on the PVR aspect. And with Studio released they seem to rely on users to develop the library aspects (right or wrong).

Quote:
Not true. When Sage records a show, all I do is move that show to a different folder. I do not rename it. Sage imports it to the import library, where it shows no information about the show. Worse, Sage will re-record the show, thinking that it has never recorded it. This makes sense if what you said above is true, that Sage ignores all metadata.
http://forums.sage.tv/forums/showthr...17&postcount=4

Quote:
Well, I have tried using several STVs on several different machines, and sometimes they seem to work ok, but mostly they dont. The biggest issue I've seen is that when using a 3rd party STV, the background is not cleared properly when displaying the UI, so you see UI elements on top of UI elements. It makes using the STVs impossible. I should say though, that I have not done any research on why this is, or how to fix it. It could very well be in a FAQ somehwere. I posted it originally because it seems to be a bug to me that needed addressing.
No offense meant, but that means you didn't install them right, and they can't find the background image they're looking for.

Quote:
Not according to tech. support. Here is what I was told:
See above, it does support retaining info, but shows you move will appear in the Library, not in the Archive section.

Quote:
I will check the FAQ though - it would be wonderful if you are correct.


Yep, your right. The 'feature' that remembers your place in a textbox was hiding it from me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFeinzeig
Ok, I can see that. Then how about making the Sage MPEG decoders that much better, so there is no reason to use anything else? ;-) Then we can have the options to choose the various sound settings.

Dave
The biggest reason is that there are a number of very good decoders out there, it would not make sense for them to spend precious development time to build their own that are capable of competing with the likes of nVidia.
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  #14  
Old 12-25-2005, 02:39 PM
Outvit Outvit is offline
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Any devs seen this yet?
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2005, 02:46 PM
tooslow tooslow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
Not that it's not possible, but it's just not included. Sage is (as it should be IMO) focused on the PVR aspect. And with Studio released they seem to rely on users to develop the library aspects (right or wrong).



http://forums.sage.tv/forums/showthr...17&postcount=4
Well - thanks for the link. It's a hack, but if it works, it'll be better than nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
No offense meant, but that means you didn't install them right, and they can't find the background image they're looking for.
None taken -- It's certainly possible that I unzipped them into the wrong directory. I'll check.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89
See above, it does support retaining info, but shows you move will appear in the Library, not in the Archive section.
Not that I've seen. Shows in the library have no information whatsoever. About the only thing it shows is the file path.
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  #16  
Old 12-25-2005, 03:17 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outvit
Any devs seen this yet?
It's been requested by SageTV that feature requests get sent directly to the support email, so that they can be more easilly tracked.

Not to say it's not a good idea to check here first, just in case you miss something
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