DVD Title Information - on the disc? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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We were wondering (ATI that is) is there a RELIABLE (i.e. 90%+ accurate) method of obtaining the DVD title (i.e. an english (or whatever) text string which titles the disc - not an 8 character short form) from the disc itself.

We know about the TEXT data fields on the disc but are not so sure that they are reliable. There may be other places, but again I want one that is reliable.

Anyone?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 07:35 AM
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Do you *only* want to look on the disk? What about interfacing with an external app, like DVD Profiler? I don't know how you would do that, of course, but then you'd (probably) get not only full title info, but aspect ratio/anamorphic info as well.

DVD Profiler is free. http://www.dvdprofiler.com/

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 07:35 AM
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My Sony 200 DVD changer reads the titles and cover graphics right of the discs. Unfortunatelly these features are optional and only one in 20 DVDs actually have them. Worse yet sometimes they are not used properly, resulting in garbled titles. I don't think there is a reliable way to getting the title from the DVD or Sony would have used it instead.
What we need is an equivalent of CDDB for DVDs. A database where you could lookup the title, etc. based on the discs id.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 07:41 AM
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I really wish I knew what DVDdb.com was going to be...

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 08:23 AM
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What did the case-with-LCD folks come up with? This was discussed in depth. I'll see if I can find the thread...

Hepcat: that's been in the works for at least a year. I'm writing it off as vapor. It's a shame, considering the success of the CDDB. Really, setting up an online, easily parsable DVD db that keys off of the serial number would take all of about 2 or 3 hours.

edit: the thread is at
http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/009966.html

In that thread, people were wondering out loud if they could ATI feedback on this. This thread appears to be the opportunity.

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[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 06-08-2001).]

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay,

I interpret the bulk of this thread to say "no you can't reliably get this from the disc". As is traditional with you guys, you have managed to turn this into a request for stuff from ATI :-) Well as is also traditional we can deliver...

The current player supports a query mechanism (in SW) which allows you to Query for

Current time (32 bit value)
Playing now (T/F)
Stopped (T/F)
Paused (T/F)
Muted (T/F)
Current Chapter Number (32 bit value)
DVD Present (detected in a driver) (T/F)
Audio track 1 selected (T/F)
Audio track 2 selected (T/F)
etc..

We really should have a query for "What audio track is selected" which returns a number, but don't in the current SW (it will happen in the future). Aslo we don't have a Title # query, but that too will be added.

Now - as to how you guys can get to it. I propose that we extended the current Remote Control SDK (that is on the ATI Web site) to handle these queries. I can't promise it quickly, but sometime in the next month or so SHOULD be possible.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 10:59 AM
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WOW Stephen... Being a bit of a Luddite and having to rely on my HTPC for 110% uptime (and a GF who has no patience with these things and also want to watch TV movies etc) I have not yet upgraded but this little titbit has pushed me over the edge....

Your participation is appreciated http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif...

BTW the current method of getting title info is by reading Disc title... This works for things like YxY to identify a disc but is not pretty... EG its not unusual to see SCARFACE_4X3_LBX as a disc title...

Also I seem to have multiple copies of German Video in my YxY file... Go figure...

I had read a way of using disc title and a form of net check to get this better but have never tried implementation...

OK next stop pricewatch and LCD screen sales site.. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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post #8 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 11:21 AM
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This is now slightly off-topic, but would there be any interest in using an internet database that would take the Title # (from the query that Stephen mentioned above) and return a Title name and other information?

Like I said, it would take a trivial amount of time to set up on the web, but I would like to know whether people would actually use it...

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[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 06-08-2001).]

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post #9 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 11:25 AM
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Erm... Hell Yes !!!

How does the CDDB system make money ??

I dont think it would be as trivial as you may have indicated... Sounds pretty full time keeping up with new releases...

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post #10 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 11:30 AM
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Well, setting it up would be easy. Maintenance would take volunteers. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif Really, I bet there are many fewer DVDs than CDs and the bandwidth required would be less than 128 bytes per query (little cost).

Does anybody have a list of a hundred or so serial numbers and titles in flat text form to prove the concept?

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[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 06-08-2001).]

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post #11 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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er - when I saif "Title Number" I wasn't talking about DVD serial number, although that might be possible in a future product.

What I was talking about was the current playing Title (as in Title and Chapter). The query is there for Chapter but not for Title (yet...).
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dschmelzer:
Does anybody have a list of a hundred or so serial numbers and titles in flat text form to prove the concept?
Dan,

I tried exporting my DVDProfiler catalog to a csv file but it doesn't allow exporting the serial number (no selection in the export options) http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif . Truly a shame since DVDProfiler is already using the sn info.

Regards -- Steve



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post #13 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 01:25 PM
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Steve: that's fine. Could you send an export of what you have to dschmelzer@schmelzer.org. I'll take a look at the structure, etc. We probably couldn't use most of the information in the DVD Profiler database, anyway, considering that it's copyrighted.

Many thanks.

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[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 06-08-2001).]

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post #14 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by klimekt:
My Sony 200 DVD changer reads the titles and cover graphics right of the discs. Unfortunatelly these features are optional and only one in 20 DVDs actually have them. Worse yet sometimes they are not used properly, resulting in garbled titles. I don't think there is a reliable way to getting the title from the DVD or Sony would have used it instead.
What we need is an equivalent of CDDB for DVDs. A database where you could lookup the title, etc. based on the discs id.
Tomasz
I had one of those (I have the 860 now). There is a better way, Sony just doesn't use it. The Pioneer changers get most, if not all of the information right off the disk. Sony's user interface for their changes sucks in a lot of ways so it doesn't surprise me that they screwed this up too. See my review at my website for more detail.

The upcoming progressive scan Kenwood 400 disk changers does download information from Gracenote (was CDDB). See the thread I started in this forum for more info.

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post #15 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 01:35 PM
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Dan,

You've got mail...

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post #16 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 06:01 PM
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The disc volume label is all uppercase with underscores. It tends to abbreviate and often has extraneous information (I have one from A&E that ends with _FIX to distinguish from the same title whose audio is screwed up). It is really only a last resort source for a title.

The PCFriendly disk.id file does contain a user-visible title. It is only spottily supported (I don't seem to have one with it here). I have also heard that it is sometimes just plain wrong.

Although there is circumstantial evidence that one is coming, there is no CDDB-like public network database yet for DVDs that I know of. Gracenote makes money by licensing its SDK for use in commercial applications; it's free if the use is free.

All this pretty much leaves us forced to use a local database for mapping the disc serial number into a title. The discussions elsewhere have so far stalled on reaching a consensus on what this database ought to be.

One possibility would be the flat file used by YxY, YXYPlay.dat, which has a simple enough format. However, there are people whose display hardware does not require them to use YxY at all.

Another possibility would be data taken from DVDProfiler. The underlying DVDProfiler network database is valuable intellectual property in the eyes of its authors. The CSV flat file export function from the local database of owned DVDs does not include the crucial serial number field. And that is where the discussion on the DVDProfiler forum stopped. I do not know whether they are reluctant to add it, or just too busy.

It seems like inventing a new database just for title display is a waste. I'm open to new suggestions, too.

As for the other information that goes to the LCD, it is possible to extract some information about the elapsed time when playing by hooking windows messages. It sounds like there is a commitment to enhance the ATI player to provide a formal interface. Hopefully in time this will set a good precedent for the other players.

Similar things are also possible when watching TV. The display can show what program you are watching, when it started, when it will be over, what comes on next. Here again, this is less obtrusive than taking over the whole screen.

Of course, PVR software and EPG databases are also lacking in supported interfaces for this kind of hooking. And it all really needs to be integrated with an IR blaster (like Slink-e) for tuning the STB to premium channels.

All of which gives it the signature HTPC combination of coolness and fragility.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-08-2001, 09:53 PM
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Stephen,

To save you reading the other thread, what we are trying to do is to grab the information that the software players already have like Title, chapter and time information and output that to an LCD display. Right now we have it kinda working on WinDVD by snooping the windows messages. What we would REALLY like is access to a DLL or API of some sort that would allow a more reliable direct link to the software player.

Obviously our first choice of player, the ATI player, would be cemented as such if we could do this http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Little help?

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post #18 of 20 Old 06-09-2001, 09:07 PM
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I have put together a proof of concept for an online DVD title database. In order to reduce work in getting a clean, workable database, I have allowed web submissions of yxyplay.dat files.

Since this is now slightly off-topic, I've created a thread about it.

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post #19 of 20 Old 06-10-2001, 02:00 PM
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Guys...

Just my 2 cents (Canadian equivalent $10.00), in regards to the database issue.

How about taping into some of the data that is already out there... eg. Amazon.com, or any other on-line retailer. They might look at it as a way of advertising and they have already invested a lot of time in descriptions, reviews etc.

No sense in someone doing it twice... Of course a programmer could "retreive" this information them selves but that might be wrong http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

Of course I understand the issue of "selling our souls" to a corporation like that.. but it's an idea just the same.

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post #20 of 20 Old 06-10-2001, 09:23 PM
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Stephen,

That information about the chapter and time stuff is really great news. I wait for the formal SDK.

dschmelzer,

I love the idea of the database and will talk more on the porper thread.

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