[NEW APP] Typecast -- new application to search listings (use your Schedules Direct subscription)

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12noon

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[NEW APP] Typecast -- new application to search listings (use your Schedules Direct subscription)

#1

Post by 12noon » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:09 am

First, I apologize for posting this in the EPG123 forum. Typecast has nothing to do with EPG123--they're completely unrelated (except that I do, of course, use--and have donated to--EPG123, which is awesome). There didn't seem to be a better place for it though, and everyone here has a Schedules Direct subscription (which Typecast uses), so this seemed to be the least intrusive spot.

Second, Typecast is free, so this post is intended to be informational rather than unsolicited advertising.

Still, having said that, I'm happy to delete this post if TGB or members think it's inappropriate. :oops: If that's the case, please comment here or PM me.

In a nutshell, Typecast is a Windows application that lets you create and customize searches for programs in your television listings. It uses your Schedules Direct subscription (and doesn't interfere with EPG123 in any way). If you like grids, Typecast isn't for you. Grids have their purpose, but we're already well-served by other applications that offer grids (such as WMC). My goal is to create an application that displays only the programs I'm interested in, so I can set WMC to record them and confirm that WMC is recording the correct programs.

Searches can specify many properties: program title and description, episode title and description, season, episode, new, repeat, high-definition, only sports, only movies, cast and crew, advisories, genres, release date, start date, start time, etc. You can exclude specific programs from all results (e.g., after you've watched a movie), and you can update a search to display only episodes after a specific season/episode. Searches can also display reminders or send you an e-mail hours or days before a program starts.

I've been using DigiGuide (which hasn't been supported for years), and I'm looking forward to replacing it with Typecast. I hope you'll enjoy Typecast, too.

Read more about Typecast at 12noon.com. Give it a spin. Let me know what you think. Is there a feature you'd like to see? Did you find a bug? There's a Support page on 12noon.com.

Typecast from 12noon.com
Typecast displays a list of the television shows you want so you don’t have to crawl through an endless grid of channels. Typecast uses your custom searches and the television listings for your area to find the programs you want to watch instead of a seemingly-endless sea of junk. Whether you’re a serious TV viewer who DVRs and time-shifts everything or a casual viewer who watches TV before bed, Typecast finds what you’re looking for.

Typecast displays only programs that match your searches, from recent PG action/adventure movies during primetime with closed-captioning rated four or more stars to soccer matches between the Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution to new, HD episodes of Saturday Night Live with Whoopi Goldberg or Will Ferrell. No more wading through Paid Programming and reruns of Project Runway (unless that’s what you’re looking for).
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Last edited by 12noon on Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#2

Post by choliscott » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:37 am

First, the link is missing the ".com" at the end.

I don't suppose this can be updated to allow scheduling within WMC, since the Windows version of My Media Center is no longer available?

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#3

Post by 12noon » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:17 pm

Well, that's not embarrassing at all. ;-) Thanks for pointing that out; I've fixed it.

This is why I like publishing software: people see things I don't. That's a great idea! I was very disappointed that Ceton removed their apps from the various stores and don't seem to have even considered open-sourcing them. I happen to have some code lying around from a previous effort to do just that (using e-mail to a server app on a WMC machine). I don't know why it didn't occur to me. I'll put that feature in the queue. This is why I designed a plug-in architecture for Typecast: once I document it, :-) people can create their own "actions" like this. (But, yeah, I like it enough not to wait for someone else to do it. I'm just not sure how long it'll take me since I haven't done much networking in .NET.)

Thanks!
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#4

Post by jachin99 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:27 pm

While your just starting out, there are some features missing from current WMC tools that I believe would be really cool. I have always wanted to be able to add things other than TV programs to the guide. I know this isn't an easy task but giving users the ability to add things like Movies, Recorded TV, or podcasts to the WMC guide would be awesome. To some extent MS tried this with internet TV but the content was poor, and they abandoned the effort. If you could implement this consider giving users the ability to add custom channels for movies, or recorded TV for instance. I'm sure it goes way beyond the scope of your intentions but I thought it might be worth a try. It looks like you can already load MXF files into your program so hopefully modifying them won't be too much of a huge step forward. Thanks for hearing me out.

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#5

Post by 12noon » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:15 pm

That's an interesting idea. At the moment, Typecast gets its information only from the Schedules Direct server (via HTTP requests, not MXF files), so it would actually be a substantial effort.

If I understand correctly, someone has a set of "things that can be searched" (such as Internet TV, recorded TV programs, or podcasts) and Typecast would pull that into its database for searching. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how many sources are similar to TV listings. Recorded programs have presumably already been searched, recorded, and are available for viewing on a DVR. Podcasts don't have a scheduled time. (Well, I guess live ones like TWIT can, of course, but they're also on-demand.)

I'll keep it in the back of my mind, but at first glance, I think it's outside Typecast's scope. Please feel free to contact me via 12noon.com's support page if you want to give me more details.
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#6

Post by jachin99 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:11 pm

Email sent

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#7

Post by Gripweed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:03 pm

Any chance you could come up with a Win7 version? I don't do Win10 and I intend to hold out as long as possible.
I'm also salivating over the idea of a My Media Center replacement.

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#8

Post by 12noon » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:23 pm

I know a lot of people still use Windows 7, but since mainstream support for Windows 7 ended almost a year ago, it's increasingly difficult to support it. (I really respect Gary's efforts on EPG123!) It would also be very time-consuming to support multiple versions of Windows and take away time that I could spend enhancing (or fixing) Typecast.

However, having said that, Typecast works fine on Windows 7. I just don't want to guarantee that I won't (unintentionally) do something to break that someday. At this point, I'm not sure what I might do to break it, since I've implemented about 90-95% of what I planned to (except for the remote-recording feature). Still, I don't want to lead people on by saying that it supports Windows 7. Still, I should probably mention that on the Web site. :-)

FWIW, I also love the idea of sending recording requests to WMC, and when I write the WMC component, it will definitely support Windows 7. (As I said, I run 7MC myself.) ;-)
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#9

Post by Paint » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:30 pm

thank you for this app - looks really cool. Have a few questions:

1: How do I specify a program title that excludes a string (e.g. exclude all titles that have "First Look")?

2: How can I create a search filter that displays any premiers (aka new series)? This option is available in WMC via categories-> Premieres

3: How does typecast update its guide details? Is there a scheduled task?

4: Can you also elaborate on how the "lead time" functionality works for email actions? When do these actions get triggered/updated?

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#10

Post by 12noon » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:33 am

1. You can't. I'd like to support more (as long as the performance is decent). The only supported regular expressions are the % and _. SQLite supports extended regex functions, but I haven't yet figured out how to add it using .NET.

2. Well, you can specify only New shows but, of course, that'll catch a lot of things. Maybe Premiere is an Advisory keyword that you can search on. Perhaps the Original air date or Movie release year could be used, too. My concern would be that your search would find hundreds if not thousands of schedules and performance would suffer. For this reason, the default maximum # of results is 1,000 (but you can change this in Settings).

3. Typecast performs updates itself. It automatically does an update 24 hours after the most recent update (whether it was automatic or manual, using the Update command). Typecast performs updates in the background, and they take only a minute or two, so they're barely noticeable.

4. Yeah, I really need to document the Mail plugin better. Lead time is my horrible way to say "how long before the program starts" do you want to send an e-mail (or display a reminder). (I'm very open to a better label for that field!) Hopefully, that answers the second part of your question: The "lead time" is how much time before each schedule's start time Typecast will perform the action (sending an e-mail or displaying a reminder).
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#11

Post by garyan2 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:02 am

#2: EPG123 creates the premiere category based on the information provided by Schedules Direct.

@12noon: As part of the schedules response, there is a field "premiere" for movies and miniseries and a field "isPremiereOrFinale" for series' with possible values of "Premiere", "Finale", "Season Premiere", "Season Finale", "Series Premiere", or "Series Finale". I don't know if it will be a challenge to be able to search against that field since it is part of the schedule and not the program itself.
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#12

Post by garyan2 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:03 am

Also, the poorman's method would be to call anything that is episode 1 and NEW would by definition be the premiere (for the most part).
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#13

Post by 12noon » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:01 am

Typecast ignores the isPremiereOrFinale field (at least for now), so it's not available for searching. For movies, the New property works, and as you pointed out, "Episode 1" works for series. I also set New if the premiere field is true. (It's more complicated than that, but that's the gist.)
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#14

Post by Paint » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:46 pm

12noon wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:33 am
1. You can't. I'd like to support more (as long as the performance is decent). The only supported regular expressions are the % and _. SQLite supports extended regex functions, but I haven't yet figured out how to add it using .NET.

2. Well, you can specify only New shows but, of course, that'll catch a lot of things. Maybe Premiere is an Advisory keyword that you can search on. Perhaps the Original air date or Movie release year could be used, too. My concern would be that your search would find hundreds if not thousands of schedules and performance would suffer. For this reason, the default maximum # of results is 1,000 (but you can change this in Settings).

3. Typecast performs updates itself. It automatically does an update 24 hours after the most recent update (whether it was automatic or manual, using the Update command). Typecast performs updates in the background, and they take only a minute or two, so they're barely noticeable.

4. Yeah, I really need to document the Mail plugin better. Lead time is my horrible way to say "how long before the program starts" do you want to send an e-mail (or display a reminder). (I'm very open to a better label for that field!) Hopefully, that answers the second part of your question: The "lead time" is how much time before each schedule's start time Typecast will perform the action (sending an e-mail or displaying a reminder).
1. I'd love support for this... if possible

2. I agree with Garyan... please try and use this flag to help me query

3. What triggers the update in the background? A scheduled task? Where is this defined?

4. I was able to find the sample mail.config file and get this working with my mail server.

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#15

Post by 12noon » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:11 pm

1. It's on my list, but the .NET implementation of SQLite that I'm using doesn't support it--yet.

2. One concern I have is that adding every possible property of every show, program, movie, or episode will balloon the user interface and make it impenetrable for users who don't have such extensive requirements. This is why I combined the New, Repeat, and Premiere properties into the New property. I understand, of course, that New will capture more than just premieres, but do you really want to find all premieres of all series and movies? It might help me figure out a solution if I understood what you're searching for. For example, do want to know only about a show's premiere and not its subsequent episodes? Are you looking for movies the first time they air? (This sort of information really helps me because I only know how *I* want to search for stuff, which is definitely not the same as everybody else.) :-)

3. It's not defined. Nothing triggers it except the passage of time. It really is as simple as Typecast updating the listings data every 24 hours. If you perform a manual update (using the Update toolbar button or F5), Typecast restarts its "24-hour timer" for its next automatic update. If you exit Typecast, the next time you open it, Typecast will check to see if 24 hours have elapsed since the last update and perform one if necessary.

4. Excellent!
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#16

Post by Paint » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:19 pm

12noon wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:11 pm
1. It's on my list, but the .NET implementation of SQLite that I'm using doesn't support it--yet.

2. One concern I have is that adding every possible property of every show, program, movie, or episode will balloon the user interface and make it impenetrable for users who don't have such extensive requirements. This is why I combined the New, Repeat, and Premiere properties into the New property. I understand, of course, that New will capture more than just premieres, but do you really want to find all premieres of all series and movies? It might help me figure out a solution if I understood what you're searching for. For example, do want to know only about a show's premiere and not its subsequent episodes? Are you looking for movies the first time they air? (This sort of information really helps me because I only know how *I* want to search for stuff, which is definitely not the same as everybody else.) :-)

3. It's not defined. Nothing triggers it except the passage of time. It really is as simple as Typecast updating the listings data every 24 hours. If you perform a manual update (using the Update toolbar button or F5), Typecast restarts its "24-hour timer" for its next automatic update. If you exit Typecast, the next time you open it, Typecast will check to see if 24 hours have elapsed since the last update and perform one if necessary.

4. Excellent!
1. Great!

2. I like to go into Media Center, Guide -> Search -> Categories, Premieres and then choose from all, miniseries premiere, series premiere, or season premiere. This allows me to see any new shows or miniseries that are coming out in the next 21 days. Since I remove commercials from most of the content I record, I find this is the best way to discover new shows! I'd love to take your tool to email myself this list on a weekly basis.

3. Got it. So it only refreshes every 24 hours if the application is open, running all of the time? Can you create run-time flags to refresh the gui, refresh all checked filters, and perform any actions (send email)? I'd like to schedule this to run. Thank you!

4. Love the email template too!

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#17

Post by 12noon » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:33 pm

2. Thanks. I understand now. Does Gary's suggestion to search for all "New," "Season 1," and "Episode 1" programs find what you're looking for? Those are just episodic series, of course, so if you're also looking for movies, you could create another search for "Movie release year 2018" to get those.

3. Typecast doesn't need to run all the time. It remembers when it updated last, so if it updates on, say, Dec 1 at 10 AM, then you close it and run it again on Dec 2 at 11 AM, Typecast will update right away. I understand that you want Typecast to run, do its thing, and then exit. I designed it to run pretty much all the time though, so it has a very small footprint. (My machine says about 60M of RAM--well below DigiGuide's 260M--and 0% CPU unless it's updating, of course.) I'll consider your request, but I can't promise anything. :-)
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#18

Post by Paint » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:36 pm

12noon wrote:2. Thanks. I understand now. Does Gary's suggestion to search for all "New," "Season 1," and "Episode 1" programs find what you're looking for? Those are just episodic series, of course, so if you're also looking for movies, you could create another search for "Movie release year 2018" to get those.

3. Typecast doesn't need to run all the time. It remembers when it updated last, so if it updates on, say, Dec 1 at 10 AM, then you close it and run it again on Dec 2 at 11 AM, Typecast will update right away. I understand that you want Typecast to run, do its thing, and then exit. I designed it to run pretty much all the time though, so it has a very small footprint. (My machine says about 60M of RAM--well below DigiGuide's 260M--and 0% CPU unless it's updating, of course.) I'll consider your request, but I can't promise anything. :-)
I'll check if filtering like that accomplishes the goal

If you designed for it to run all the time, can you kindly implement "minimize to tray" and start minimized so I can schedule this app to start with my PC?

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#19

Post by 12noon » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:42 pm

Minimizing to the notification tray is definitely on my list.

You can create a shortcut in your Startup folder and specify the Run Minimized option to run Typecast on startup and minimize it.
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#20

Post by Paint » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:08 am

Filtering for new, minimum season 1, and minimum episode 1 does not accomplish the goal. This is because minimum allows for other new seasons or episodes >1.

Id like the ability to filter on the premier flag that SD provides.

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