Introducing AMV Tracker v1.0.0

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CrackTheSky, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    AMV Tracker v1.0.0

    Hello! I wanted to share with you a program I've been writing for the better part of the last six months or so, as I think at least some of you will find it useful. To keep myself from getting too wordy (as I tend to do), I'll skip all the boring stuff about what motivated it and direct you to my blog if you care. Suffice to say, it started as something related to my AMV Genome Project, but it became something that any AMV fan can use, regardless of whether or not you care about that.

    What this is is basically a tool you can use to track, rate, and categorize the AMVs you watch. It's pretty straightforward, I think, but I've provided detailed instructions here if you need them. For the time being, it is something that is stored locally, on your own machine, rather than on a server somewhere else. Depending on how the Genome Project develops, that may change in the future, but that's still a long ways off, if it happens at all.

    It's written in Python, which (as I learned after the fact) is not the greatest language ever for developing distributable executable files to the masses. Sparing you the technical reasons for this (which I don't fully grasp myself), what this means is that the download is quite a bit larger than something written in, say, C++ would be. Sorry for that, but it's the only programming language I know! And given that we're only talking tens of MBs here, hopefully it won't discourage you from taking a look.

    Anyway, please check it out! All the details, along with a link to the download, can be found here:

    If you do decide to look at this, PLLEEEeeeaAAaaSSSeee leave feedback! I don't care if it's good or bad or neutral or whatever, I've spent quite a lot of time working on this so I'm eager to hear what you think! This is still in development, so if you have any suggestions for things you'd like to see in future releases, bug reports, LITERALLY ANYTHING, please post here and let me know!

    I hope you all like this, and thanks for taking the time to give it a go if you decide to!
    Pic4 and mittoh! like this.
  2. Ok so I've taken a loot at this for a bit, and I quite like your idea of creating a tool to keep track of the loads of AMVs.
    However, in it's current state, it doesn't seem useful enough for me to use it. Let me give you a few suggestions that I personally would like to see:

    - Distinction of database and "my amvs"
    I think if we could have a distinction in the app between the AMVs that exist (your huge database) versus those that one personally has watched (just like with, for instance) It would encourage a lot of people to go through the database and then add the already existing entries there to their own list. This would spare them the hassle of adding all the information of a video oneself while creating their own managable list.
    - "add amvs from folder"
    It could also be useful if we could create the amv list based on a folder of amv video files. If you kept a coloumn "filename", the user could then try to infer the rest of the Information himself, or search for the according entry in the database and import it to the own entry. The dream would be that the tool could automatically cross check the files with the database, but that would probably be very ambitious to implement.
    It would of course be sensible to add the option to add a local path to every video entry individually as well.
    - "Watch now"-button
    This button would either start MPC-HC to play the video, if it exists locally, or open the video URL in a browser. Maybe let the user decide whether they want to watch it locally or online. I know that you currently have the URL in the URL coloumn as a hyperlink, but I think it's not prominent enough in the app layout.

    Suggested general Tweaks
    - the overall layout of the app feels too loose right now, with all the individual windows opening once you click a single thing. It is quite annoying that the search dialogue always opens at the same spot, which is even the wrong monitor in my case. It should at least remember it's position for the future or always spawn in the vicinity of the main window.
  3. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    First, thanks for checking this out lolli -- really appreciate it! This is great idea, my thinking is that I can insert a button on each video entry that would transfer that video from one database to another. This would be really simple to implement and I like it a lot, I'mma get going on this right away.

    I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking here, could you elaborate?

    I like this one too, and this is also pretty straightforward to add. I'll have to do some experimenting but I think you're right in that this would be really useful.

    Yeah, the position thing bothered me while I was developing it, and for whatever reason I never thought to address it. Working on that as we speak actually, so that'll be fixed in the next update!

    Really appreciate the detailed feedback!
  4. Dr. Derpface

    Dr. Derpface Make AMV's Great Again Staff Member

    I approve of this thing you have done. Not something I have anywhere near enough AMV's to actually need, but impressive nonetheless. Definitely keeping an eye on it.
  5. ZoroIttoryu

    ZoroIttoryu Pirate Hunter

    Seems like a cool idea/project, would like to see the ideas loli suggested implemented too!
  6. I'm talking about a button "add amvs from folder". If you click on it, you can specify a local path. The tool would then scan this folder for video files (*.mp4, *.mkv, ...) and create one entry for each file, and store the filename so the user can easily recognize the videos. It also stores the local path to each video so that the "watch now" button properly loads the local file.
    The user is then able to cross check these new entries with another database and import the information from there. I suppose it would be very difficult to have some algorithm in place that would automatically do that, based on loose information from the filename.
    The idea behind this is that everyone can easily create a list of all the videos he has on his hard drive.

    Hope this is more clear now. Good luck with the further development. You might've inspired me to continue working on my little app-development project as well.
  7. mittoh!

    mittoh! Guest

    Finally got the time to play with it (im so sorry i didnt give back some pre-release feedback >.>) and ive gotta say its pretty cool!
    Lolli put most of my concerns to rest in his post, so i back up what he said too.

    The help for what each button does on mouseover is neat but rather user unfriendly.
    Now this really kills me to say as i love high levels of english, but the language you use is very dense, so non-native english users may be rather confused.
    [​IMG] For example this nice popup is very well written, but for some readers may take time to digest. It could prehaps be written something along the lines of
    'this window will make sure your data is compatible with the genome project, requires all fields bar comments and URL are filled and there are no errors!'.
    Again here- [​IMG] I love the use of 'pseudonyms' (what a fun word to say, am i right guys?) but when i saw the first window i assumed it was asking for my name i put as an editor rather than my real name. And as pseudonyms isnt usually a word most non-native english speakers may immediately know, it could be confusing to some.
    These arent 'issues' with the issue more than UI optimisation though, the program itself Ive been having fun popping stuff into my database.

    Oh yeah, I really have to thank you for the layout, its really concise and easy to understand The shorter fields in the 'enter a video' windows are a godsend.

    A little inconvenience that i accidentally discovered- at the very start of the setup, the program will NOT DIE unless you set up the database. When I opened it and went back into an overwatch game the first time, it had a bit of an effect on my preformance as i run on the worst laptop youve ever seen, so i went to close it. However pressing cancel just seemed to loop between the windows and the close window button didn respond ect so i spent a bit of time trying to kill the damn thing when i should have been on the payload. I'm sorry for being stupid. But regardless that's a pretty minor thing.

    In conclusion, thank you!!!!
  8. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    I love you guys. This is all fantastic feedback and I'm working on implementing a ton of cool new features. Should be ready in the next day or two!
    mittoh! likes this.
  9. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    Ok! Pretty big update is live! Check out the release notes here:

    ...and download is here:

    I'll give a summary here as well. First of all, @lolligerjoj, I was able to implement pretty much every suggestion you made.
    • AMV Tracker now remembers the window positions. All window positions are based off of the last position of the home window (not necessarily the last open window), so if you want to permanently change the position of any window, move the home window to roughly the center of where you want all other windows to appear.
    • You now have the option to copy a video from one database to another. On the video edit page (which I now realize may not be obvious to everyone where that is, so I'm going to bold it here: After doing a search, click on a video title to pull up the edit page), click the bottom-right "Copy video" button to copy that video from the current database to another. The Genome Project database will be very helpful to you, as there are over 1,500 videos in might not have to enter a video from scratch, as it's possible I've already done all the dirty work!
    • "Local file" button added on data entry. You can specify the file location on your computer if it exists here. The reason for that will become clear in a couple bullet points...
    • "Add AMVs from folder" -- super excited about this one, this was a great idea and was not nearly as difficult to put in the program as I thought it would be. On the home window there's a new button, "Add from folder" -- click it and choose a folder on your computer that contains AMV files. You'll be presented with a list of all those video files. Click any one of them and one of two things will happen:
    1. You will be presented with a blank data entry window with the "Local file" field already filled in. You can then enter the video as normal.
    2. AMV Tracker will parse the file name and search the database to see if that video may already be entered -- if it finds any possible matches, it will show them and if the video is indeed already in the database, you can click it to pull up the already-populated data entry window, with the "Local file" field populated as well. You can then just click "Submit" to update the entry with the new file path specified. This is pretty sweet and people should take advantage of it -- I would recommend doing this with the AMV Genome Project database selected as the working database to see if your videos are already entered. If so, follow the instructions above and before pressing "Submit", click the "Copy video" button to get it into your own personal database. Why double the work? Please note: The parser is very imperfect, and may not work in all cases, however if the editor name and/or video title is anywhere in the file name, it *should* find a match, if one exists.
    • "Watch", "Go", and search buttons added on video edit pages -- if you've specified a local file, simply click the "Watch" button to start it in your default video player. Also, you can click the "Go" button to pull up the video online (assuming you've input a URL to the YouTube page or whatever). AND, two buttons added in the upper-right that will automatically conduct searches for the given video on YouTube and
    • Similar search buttons added on each editor's profile page (accessible by clicking on an editor's name after running a search), only these searches will pull up all of the editor's work on YouTube or the .org.
    • Custom Search window now includes the option to specify existence of local file in database as a search criteria.
    @mittoh! -- Thank you for your input as well! I struggle with writing in a non-technical way for stuff like this, and the wording for many of the things in this app was really killing me so thank you for confirming that this needed to be worked on. Surprisingly, you aren't the only one who expressed confusion at the "Editor name" fields, so I changed those to "Editor username", hopefully that will stop the confusion. Also, I updated the "Pseudonym(s)" line to read "Additional usernames (pseudonyms)", hopefully that also helps. As for the loop when you start the program, that was intentional...not the best way to do it but a spreadsheet needs to be selected so I wanted to kind of force the user to choose one. Maybe not the most intuitive way to do that...haven't changed that for this release but I'm going to continue to think on it.

    Everyone else: Thank you for checking this out and for giving your feedback. PLEASE take a look at the new release, it's significantly improved and is of much more immediate use to most people now, as it's starting to become a kind of one-stop program for all your AMVs -- you won't have to go searching through folders and stuff to find the video files, you can search online with the click of a button, etc. I intend to continue to develop it in this direction, because I think it's usefulness lies as much over there as it does where I originally intended it, i.e. as a GUI specifically for the Genome Project.

    Finally, if you download the latest version, and you have already started to add videos to a database with v1.0.0, please note that you will need to make a backup of the working database and select it as the working database when you launch the new version. However, you will first need to go to "Database Management" > "Make spreadsheet compatible" and choose your old v1.0.0 database in order to use it with the new version.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
    mittoh! likes this.
  10. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    Cool! Definitely going to play with this~
  11. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    After this I'll probably stop posting updates in this thread until the next major release, but I did just release another update, this time though it's just a minor bug fix. I want to take a short (~1-2 week) break from developing this but I noticed this bug tonight and wanted to make sure it got fixed. Details on

    Actually, I'll probably post one more update after this, as I intend to make it so AMV Tracker will alert you on startup if there's a new update, and download it for you automatically, rather than relying on you checking back here or the program's website or wherever. Probably should have done that to begin with, but be on the lookout for that one so that I don't have to keep bumping this thread :p
  12. mittoh!

    mittoh! Guest

    That would be super useful!! : D
  13. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    HOKAY new update is live, check out the changes here. Most significant is the fact that AMV Tracker will now do an automatic check to see if a newer version is available. There were also some important bug fixes and a couple minor but fun features added. Strongly recommend you download this so that you don't have to keep checking here or the AMV Tracker website to see if there are updates. Also this way I can stop posting minor updates in this thread :p

    For those just tuning in...please let me know what you think!
    mittoh! likes this.
  14. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    I think I am falling in love with this tool
  15. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    random idea @CrackTheSky Could this software search contest videos? ;3
  16. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks! Glad you're getting something out of it! It's pretty serendipitous that you posted this today, as I just started working on the next big update yesterday. I considered adding something for contests, but have so far decided against it because adding another field would mean that anyone who downloaded a new version of AMV Tracker would have to take another step to make any existing databases they have compatible with the new version. It would be trivial to code but a potential source of confusion to the user.

    I may go that route regardless though, because I know that contests are an important thing for a lot of editors and it might be worthwhile to provide a means for users to track which AMVs were in which contests. As a stopgap, you can use the "Comments" box to track this for now. Just type in the contest and year (for example, type in "Japan Expo 2016" on a video entry) and then you can use the "Comments" search box in the custom search feature to find all videos you've entered from a specific contest.

    Let me know if this doesn't make sense, as I know I'm not the best at explaining things. Also open to any more specific ideas you have, if you were thinking of something different!
  17. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks! ^^
  18. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    I am shamelessly necroposting because I just posted a new update for AMV Tracker -- read all the changes made here and download the new version here.

    (One of those changes is the ability to log contests, @Replay!)
  19. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    awesome :3

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