ZX9 and slow loading posters

Discussion in 'HDD Media player(RTD 1619DR)' started by Darrinb, Nov 7, 2022.

  1. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    I've dealt with this problem for a while and just tried to get used to it. After screwing up and deleting the .Hometheater directory on my server, I pretty much lost all my art and will have to do a complete re-build.

    But deleting this folder helped me realize that I had my "storage" settings wrong, which most likely contributed to my slow loading posters. I'm connected to my server via SMB, and also have two 16tb drives connected to the box.

    Of course after checking, there are also .Hometheater folders in BOTH hard drives (surprise).

    I want to have ALL poster art and database info stored "locally" when I do the re-scan. I'll have to do a LOT of manual matching and changing of covers, which really sucks, because I've spent a LOT of time getting all my matching and cover stuff where I want it.

    My question is this: Firstly, is there a way that I could possibly restore all the covers and database info from the old .Hometheater folder on the server? And secondly, if so, how would I make sure to store things locally going forward...or at this point is it just best to do a complete re-scan and start from scratch?

    My slow loading posters has always annoyed me and I believe having the .hometheater folders spread across several devices was the reason why. Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    No, you can't restore all the covers from an old .hometheatre folder.

    I think you're going to have to start from scratch, and the first thing to take away from this is:

    1. Make a backup
    2. Export your art and NFO data locally

    This means you can either restore from a backup when you bugger things up or you can rescan from scratch with local assets which means everything is rescanned entirely correctly and with the art you want first time.

    In your case I would do the following, in this order:

    1. Make sure all your movies etc are named correctly - no superfluous stuff in there - just the movie name and nothing else. If you have two movies with the same name but different years, include the year in the later one (eg Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters (2016) ).

    2. Completely reset HT4 (HT/Settings/Library/Clear - when asked, completely reset)

    3. Delete ALL .hometheatre folders, including those in all in your individual sources and especially the one on the Zidoo in \\Storage

    4. Goto HT/Settings/Poster Folder and set to Custom Folder

    5. Set Poster View, Preferences, Wallpaper etc as you like them in HT

    6. Add your sources and scan

    7. Correct any mistakes - if your movies are named correctly, in my experience, this is be better than 90% accurate - and change posters to your preference.

    8. When you have the entire library as you want, export NFO and artwork (HT/Settings/Library/Export) and also make a backup (HT/Settings/Library/Backup)

    When you export NFOs and artwork, this creates files in each movie folder as below and you can use these to rescan from if you ever want to rest HT again (you have to set NFO and local art preference in settings)


    Once you get to grips with all this and understand how it all works you will become an HT Ninja and be able to reset, rescan and get back to where you were in about 5 minutes 30s.

    I know this because I just timed it and that includes changing widget icons and loads of preferences...

    It takes me 2.5 minutes to reset and get preferences as I want and the rest of the time is in scanning - this is for 463 movies.
    TV11 and Darrinb like this.
  3. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    WOW! Thank you again for the great info here Mark. I'm going to start working on this tonight.

    The interesting thing is I thought I had it as saving to custom folder...(Storage) but maybe I screwed it up because it saved on all devices.
  4. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    If at any time the poster folder is set to external devices, it will create a .hometheatre folder on each of those devices and that doesn't get deleted when you reset etc.

    If you then switch to a Custom Folder then a .hometheatre gets put there too and the others are ignored.

    These folders remain after a reset which is a bit of a PITA - so if you reset you should really delete these folders. If you're careful about it you can avoid .hometheatre folders being dumped on your external devices....

    This is what it takes to be an HT Ninja ;)
    Darrinb likes this.
  5. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    Ok, so I started the process yesterday. For the time being, I only scanned two of my attached hard drives. Process went pretty well. It's re-scanning the server that's scaring the heck out of me, lol.

    About 1400 movies on it.

    I'm going to work on adding/changing all the covers on the two drives (about 400 movies) before I start with the server. I'm kind of a stickler for having 4-K covers on all of my 4-K titles (both hard drives I just scanned are only 4-K movies).

    I remember one of the things I liked about the Zappiti (probably the ONLY thing, it was horrible) was being able to access my movie collection on my PC and make changes to cover art and matching that way.

    But one thing I noticed immediately was...no more lag on the posters populating! Lag at first, but after I scroll once or twice from top to bottom, they load almost instantly!!
  6. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    Yeah - when you have a new library you need to scroll the whole lot to let the posters populate. When you've done that once, they're cached and appear pretty much instantaneously.

    You can access the Zidoo library from a browser too. It's a bit funky but it works:


    Or look on the Zidoo in HT4 Settings/About
    Darrinb likes this.
  7. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    That's good to hear. I remember you mentioning this in another thread (scrolling the lot);)

    I tried to login from a browser but it asked for a password. Strange, I never set one.
  8. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

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  9. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    Thanks Mark!
  10. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    Perfect! I was able to get in that way and man, you ain't kidding. It's clunky as heck. Most of the covers that were scrapped look great, it's just that I like the 4K on the covers. Would be great if there were a way to automatically have the 4K style cover assigned to 4K movies as an option. I know Kodi had a feature like this when I used it back in the day.
  11. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    That should get picked up on scraping but I have a feeling it uses the vertical resolution so may get confused with cropped content. Not sure. Can check tomorrow.,
    Darrinb likes this.
  12. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    I never have corner badges on, but just tried and all my 4K movies, whether cropped or not, appear both in the 4K category and with little 4K corner badges on.
    Darrinb likes this.
  13. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    Sorry man, I think I wasn't clear. I was talking about the actual 4K Cover art (with 4k High Def at the top, like the retail covers). At this point, even though the desktop UI is clunky, I started changing covers that way.

    I'm going to still to changing covers for all of the movies on my hard drives (a few hundred), save my setup, and then add my sever to scan. This should take me a while but at least I now know how to do it right from the beginning :)
  14. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    Gotcha - I just prefer clean covers with nothing on them - hence why I don't even have corner badges switched on...
    Darrinb likes this.
  15. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    I am exactly the same way. That was one of the first things I turned off.
  16. HDGuy

    HDGuy Active Member

    Hmm. I’m also wondering why it takes my posters forever to load. I have them all saved to a separate share on my NAS so there really is no reason why it should be so slow. They are 7200RPM drives as well.
  17. Markswift2003

    Markswift2003 Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Beta test group Contributor

    I've said it before - I just can't figure out why you guys and a few others have this problem. It's something I can't replicate at all.

    Firstly, always use "Custom Folder" for the Poster Folder and leave it on the Z9X in Storage - that's the fastest place for it to be.

    There's no reason to put it in the source folders and every reason not too. The problem is this is the default location and default should the Custom.

    Secondly, once the whole library is scanned, choose which poster view you want and then go to the poster page and scroll down slowly through the whole lot to let the posters populate and cache.

    Now there will be posters that aren't cached yet - those in collections - and that happens once you open a collection, but again, you only need to do that once.

    After you've done this one, the poster page loads pretty much instantly - ok, if you page down through the lot, the caching takes a split second.

    Once caveat to all this is that database housekeeping is pretty ropey and the location of the poster folder is a hidden folder called .HomeTheater and unfortunately it never gets cleared out, even if you reset HDT4 - This is messy and I can see issues arising from this. I've suggested these folders be deleted on a reset a few times - it'd literally be two lines of code, or in fact one line.

    I reset HT4 quite a lot in testing and I always delete .HomeTheater (and .Poster3 if I have custom widget images) but this should really happen automatically.

    Another thing I do is use local images - so once you're happy with your posters, export local images from settings/library then if you do reset, you get to keep all the same posters by selecting Use Local Images First in Preferences. Similarly I use local NFOs as well.

    If you use local images, the .Hometheater folder isn't needed for images although it does still contain settings. The exception to this is that if you add a movie without local artwork and it gets dragged in from the internet - in that case, that particular poster will be cached in the poster folder. But then you export art again and it's there ready for next time.
    B0RN and Darrinb like this.
  18. HDGuy

    HDGuy Active Member

    I do all that and it’s still slow every time. As I said I use a custom folder for them on my Unraid NAS which is a totally separate share. There is no reason why it should be so slow. When I page through my catalog it loads the graphics like molasses. I have no problem with ZDMC or anything else. I’ll take some video of it with my phone to show you what I mean..
  19. Darrinb

    Darrinb Member

    I've dealt with this problem for a while myself and have tried much of what was suggested on this forum. That said, when I tried what @Markswift2003 suggested and changed where poster art was stored (from Nas straight to device), my problem was 100% fixed! You still have to scroll through images once but now, they load lightening quick. Almost instantaneously.

    I would suggest giving that a shot.
  20. HDGuy

    HDGuy Active Member

    The whole point of having it on my NAS is because my catalog is quite sizable and it makes it more manageable plus I have a backup. The Z9X has limited storage and eventually is going to run out of space. This really needs to be resolved.

    Edit- I see now I need to scroll though my entire catalog once after a scan to get the posters loading faster. Also an annoyance when you have a rather large catalog.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022

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