Is there any remedy for this kind of filename problem?

In years past, I recorded virtually every Men's NCAA Tournament basketball game using Windows Media Center. I could always see the teams that were playing, the network they were on, and the date and time they were recorded.

Women's College Basketball_BIG10WH632_2022_03_04_17_59_00_Big Ten Tournament- Michigan vs. Nebraska.wtv
Women's College Basketball_ESPNUHD621_2022_03_11_08_59_00_Big 12 Tournament- Kansas vs. Oklahoma.wtv
College Basketball_PAC12HD628_2022_03_10_18_00_01_Pac-12 Tournament- Washington State vs. UCLA.wtv
College Basketball_ESPN2HD624_2022_03_11_18_29_00_Big 12 Tournament, Second Semifinal- Oklahoma vs Texas Tech.wtv

It was a simple matter to organize these into sortable names that had the most important details in the name, which was especially invaluable when filesizes were 15GB+ for most games and I would need to offload them to another drive for the sheer size of the month's recordings.

With Channels, I have no idea how I'm going to manage all these files, as just this past week I've been getting filenames such as:

College Basketball Big 12 Tournament TBA vs 2023-03-09-1200
College Basketball Mountain West Tournament 2023-03-09-1200
College Basketball Pac12 Tournament TBA vs U 2023-03-09-1200
College Basketball SEC Tournament TBA vs Ten 2023-03-09-1200
College Basketball Pac12 Tournament Washingt 2023-03-09-1430
College Basketball Big East Tournament DePau 2023-03-09-1600
College Basketball Big Ten Tournament TBA vs 2023-03-10-0900

Just to list a few. When I offload these to make room for my usual programming, I have no idea how I'm going to know which teams were in these games. Is there any way to rename the files while they're still in the recording library?

Thanks for any suggestions!

File names are written with the guide data that exists at the time. When it comes to basketball tournaments, there’s sometimes a 24 hour turn around on who’s playing who. So the guide data might not be updated yet.

Go to your recordings that are set to TBA in your Channels DVR Server web admin and use the action item to refresh their metadata. The recording may pop in the team information.

If this happens, the file name won’t change, but it will be updated in Channels.

If you’re offloading somewhere else, it will be up to you to edit the file names anyway you want. Channels does its best to write informative filenames but the concern is not with filenames, it is with the database and visual representation. The whole point of a media center application is to not worry about files.

Of course you realize that media center applications are useful for much more than simply indexing and managing recordings. I used Windows Media Center for over a decade as simply a TV recording engine - barely touching its library capabilities at all.

I moved over to Channels to gradually wean myself off of needing WMC for that purpose, and I've been 100% off of WMC since right after last year's March Madness. I'm really hoping I can navigate this year's Madness with Channels, but there are some hurdles to clear that I don't know how to.

In the coming week alone, I hope to record as many games as I can of the the Men's and Women's NCAA and NIT tournaments, along with a handful of CBI Tournament games. It looks like I will have little choice but to offload them if only for the purpose of giving them more meaningful filenames for viewing with my tablet.

Maybe I'm the only one on the planet who does this, but I like to fast-forward (not skipping) through nearly every game to see what I deem to be the best portions. Nobody has time to watch them all, but I can experience a more complete story in my mind by seeing a little of everything, so I use our TiVos and my tablet (using MX Player over the network) to essentially "scrub" the videos. I really only do this with sports.

As much as I like the Channels media center for recording and watching standard content, it just doesn't give me a way to scrub through a game effectively, so for sports - yes, I need to use the media center as a recording engine, but prefer other means of viewing.

A script might be able to help. As a first step, see if you can go into channels and refresh metadata on one fo these (while it is still in Channels control), as @maddox said.

Then in a browser on your network (same network as channels dvr), hit: (replace with the local network ip of the channels dvr server).

This should then allow you to see a json format of various data for each file (in my Firefox, it is displayed in a nice human readbale way), and search/scan for the one you updated.

Within that section of JSON for that item, see if there is anything that shows a good description of the game.

If there is, then a script or batch file could easily be made to gather that piece of data, the actual current filename, and spit out a list of filenames and their "description" (at least you'd have a reference cheat sheet). Of course this still involves trying to refresh the metadata and hoping it comes back with useful description of the game.

Of course you could even automate the refresh of metadata, collecting the json data, and then automating a copy of the file, renamed with the json data to another location.

I actually have scripts I run to scan channels files like this, match to a Mysql database I setup to translate to plex paths, and copy the file to plex and initiate a plex scan, then removing the file from channels (via API so as to properly trash it in channels), And I bet the meta refresh could also be set to trigger... of course this gets more complex, but is doable.

That sounds like it would work, but I think I'll try something "easier" (for me) first, just in case it works as well.

I'll start with one file, copying it to a local folder and giving it a name that looks a little like this:

"2023 NCAA wBB 107KIRODT_20230317_1200 First Round TeamA vs TeamB PID SH000000000000.mpg",

pulling the ProgramID from the recorded file's original Library Entry's View Details->FileID->ProgramID EP value.

This way I'll have the original recording's ProgramID in the filename which I can use when I do a Fix Incorrect Match on the Local Content file when it's brought into the Library.

Do you think that might work?

(edit: I wonder if I might have to put "College Basketball" or "Women's College Basketball" at the front of the filename to help Channels out.)

I'm not sure Channels can use the SHxxxxx identifier in helping it match to any metadata (I would guess not). If there was any chance at matching metadata, I believe it would have to have a name that would match.

I maybe wrong, and maybe someone can expand on this.

After importing, I believe you can use that identifier in the search field of the "Fix Incorrect Match" option. However, it will not be used upon initial import.

The indexer will not use that. It uses the title of the show and season episode info. Scanning in sporting events doesn’t work well either as they don’t have season and episode info. It’s tuned for shows, not events.

Best to import sporting events as videos and add the metadata yourself.

I'm beginning to connect the dots.

During football season, I moved numerous games to Local Content folder(s) and ended up copying the metadata from the original event in the library to the relocated file's metadata before deleting the original.

That was a fair amount of work, reminding me how amazingly convenient it was in the past to use Dan F's VideoRedo Auto-Processor program to extract the metadata from .wtv Windows Media Center files. Is there any way to export an entry's metadata from the Channels library into a portable format?

Not really. If you know the fileID of the recording:

GET /dvr/files/${fileID}

That ought to return a JSON object will the complete database entry for that particular recording, including the metadata. You could additionally filter through jq to put it into a more readable format.

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There's the new API endpoint that should be able to output the same/similar.

Thanks. I totally forgot about about certain endpoints being publicly documented now.

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