Update posters and fanart etc. on a regular basis

Some of the shows on here suffer from a "first come first saved" basis as far as images are concerned. Often the first images to appear on TVDB (and so, here) are shoddy 'paint' images that look really ugly/and are derivative of earlier seasons. Later on, better posters are often submitted. It would be nice if trakt refreshed images every so often from the TVDB servers so that the currently highest rated image is used instead of simply the first.
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  • I agree they need to be updated as easily as possible. I'll have to see if automatic updates makes sense. It's not quite that simple due to image caching, plus we try and use posters with the least amount of extra words and credits that we can. Automated updates could pull down a worse poster. If there are some really bad ones, an easy way to streamline it would be to provide the show link plus full links for the better poster and fanart so we can swap them out.
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  • I think you would generate so much work making it moderatable - there are hundreds of out of date posters on this site that i have noticed (must be even more that I haven't!). Updating automatically (if you could get past the cache problems) would generally work out well, the TVDB has a fairly effective ratings system so that the better posters work. If a worse poster did surface, you could be pretty safe in assuming the next time the posters were refreshed it would have gone.
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  • 2
    As someone else who regularly contributes to tvdb, I can also confirm that, especially for new series, the banners/fanart etc can change quite a bit. Often people will add a fairly crappy piece of artwork at first, just so that their media center has something to pick up. Later, after more official artwork becomes available, or just when more people contribute, you will get far better artwork. As petlion says, the "best" one is normally voted up so I don't see the harm in an automated update every now and then either. This does happen quite a lot so I also don't think relying on manual submissions to have them changed is very practical.

    Recently, for example, tvdb re-ordered the series Gintama, changing it from having 9 seasons of approx 24 episodes each, to 5 of 50 each, resulting in quite a few episodes having the wrong cached episode images.

    A similar, but smaller issue has occured for the series The Wire, where a lot of specials that shouldn't have been added, were removed. The remaining ones were re-ordered and now have the wrong episode images by them. You can look at my history for an example of this.
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  • Any news on this? So many things are out of sync / out of date. Episodes, posters, fanart - maybe 50 % of the database is out of date.
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  • Does anyone know approximately how it takes for a photoshopped poster to be replaced with a good one in relation to the premiere date? I don't really want to pull down new art every week since that is a ton of bandwidth and re-caching. One idea could refresh all art on a set schedule such as the day the show premieries, 1 week after (or whenever good art is typically added), then much more sparingly after that since presumably the art is good. Same thing when a new season starts up refresh the season and episode art. A similar schedule for movies could be theater premiere and bluray released date.

    A lot of the art is hand picked to be high quality and look good on the site. This doesn't apply site wide of course due the insane amount of data cached, but I want to avoid blowing away the art that already looks great on the site by going fully automated and unattended.
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  • It totally varies. Sometimes a whole set is produced, so everything is even, such as with the aforementioned Gintama. There's no real schedule.
    Like I've said before, the better art tends to get voted up. I don't think you'd be in danger of getting worse art up.
    I presume the real problem as you say, is bandwidth and re-caching.
    To use Archer as an example http://trakt.tv/show/archer-2009
    It's all over the place. The current top voted on the TVDB however are a theme and so all work together. They also avoid that disgusting season three one you have.
    As steven said above, images are often wrong, as things get moved about. Weekly updates are probably not needed. Monthly might be better. Could you give an example of a series that would be worse off if it defaulted to the highest rated poster on tvdb?
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  • In fact, what series would you say has great art that has been hand picked?
    Game of thrones was one of the biggest programs of last year, and look at it's season posters: http://trakt.tv/show/game-of-thrones

    I hope I don't sound too negative here, it really is a great site, I just haven't found one series yet with 100% great artwork, even though that artwork definately exists.
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  • When I say hand picked, I mean the show/movie fanart first, and main show/movie poster second. It sounds like most issues you see are with season posters and episode screenshots, is that correct?

    I agree that art helps drive the site (thus the summary page redesign earlier this year), so we all should want the best art possible.
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  • Pretty much correct, the posters at the series level aren't as bad - they also don't change as much. Saying that, there are still a few stinkers, like Delocated, Cougar Town, Parks and Rec, Community (just to mention shows currently airing) while Beavis and Butthead, Twin Peaks, Still Game could also do with a sort, just off the top of my head. (shows I've watched in the last week.)
    Season art isn't in a great state - that's the one to scrape more often I suppose.
    It's a fantastic site you've got here, if you could just get the refreshing data thing on top, i'd explode with joy.
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  • Again I'll just post to add my support to this. petlion has again said most of what I would with regard to posters.

    I'd also agree that episode images and posters are the biggest offenders, but fanart and banners can still suffer sometimes too.
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  • I saw the tvdb thread about this and just wanted to provide a bit more background what is going on. Every night, shows are updated if thetvdb indicates they need to be. This updated includes all textual information except the show title. This also includes cleaning up the episodes.

    In the case of top gear, some specials were removed and re-added which gave some episodes new tvdb episode ids but with the same episode #. The logic on our side needs an update to account for that since it was assumed that unique episode id would never change, but it apparently can. If the episode info was updated and retained the ID it would have updated fine on trakt.

    In terms of images, there will be an update to refresh season posters and episode images more regularly. Show level posters and fanart likely won't be as automated for the reasons above. I need to look into a way to handle show titles more automatically as well. Basically it will consist of updating the name but keeping an alias on our side for people with out of date info in their media center.

    There isn't reluctance to refresh data on trakt, we of course want the most update to date stuff. I didn't realize some shows were that out of date, plus we just need to be smart about it so we don't pull down images for 400 shows every night and defeat the purpose of image caching.

    Site speed is definitely a concern. Updates have been pushed over the last week that sped things up alot from my testing. The next step is doubling our server costs, so further optimizations are on deck before we get to that point. If a message isn't responded to immediately, it doesn't mean we're ignoring it, it just needs to be prioritized along with the ton of other requests coming in every day.

    Long story short, we appreciate the passion our community has and all the suggestions to make the site better. I'll never have a problem with constructive threads like this one.
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  • After more research, the tvdb API is returning those special episodes so that is why trakt has them still. Once their API is fixed to return the correct episodes, trakt is already setup to clean it up accordingly.
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  • I have a function written to refresh the season posters and episode images (check archer and game of thrones for examples). My question is, what sort of limits does tvdb have for pulling down these images?

    We currently cache about 15000 series, so to do a monthly refresh that is 500 series each night which translates to a huge number of images. Looking at http://trakt.tv/show/gintama that took about 4m to refresh 250 images. So, the time to refresh that many shows each night is also way too much even assuming 4m is the worst case.

    Ideas?
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  • Justin, I can ask szsori if he can give some feedback here too if that helps? Not sure about the details behind the API unfortunately.

    Thank you for taking the time to look into this though, it's definitely appreciated and will definitely improve the situation.

    On the subject of changing episode details but retaining the IDs, I'm not sure if you currently cater to this either, but occasionally a series as a whole will be renamed. It's more common in Anime series I'd say (as sometimes someone will put in the Romanised Japanese title, and later we'll change it to the English-translated one) but can happen to other series to. Does trakt currently cater to that?
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  • 2
    To be completely honest, pulling 500 images a night for a project as large as trakt pales compared to requests we get from other software. I'm not saying that you should just go apeshit on our API and not think about caching in an intelligent way, but rather that I'm not nearly as worried about popular websites pulling data to refresh their caches as I am with software with thousands of users that doesn't cache properly. For example, XBMC does a decent job of not destroying our API, but if you have 2-3 users updating their entire collection each day you'll exceed the bandwidth that you'd use.

    Now, a few things to consider to make it more efficient...

    1. Episode images will almost never change. I'd say only about 1% get replaced. You could realistically just cache those indefinitely or even for 6 months. An on-demand system triggered by users would be even better... if the last update for an episode image was at least a week ago, allow the user to force a re-cache of it.

    2. By excluding episode images, I can't see a full update of a series' images taking 4 minutes.

    3. Actively airing series get their artwork updated far more often than completed series. You can also base it on the created date for the series in our database. A simple approach would be to update completed series only once every 3 months and active series once every 2 weeks, or something like that. I would also guess that series completed within the past 10 years will get more updates than series finished before that. Using some simple logic you should be able to minimize your requests.

    I'm currently working on our new API which should simplify things at least a little bit. No ETA yet, but progress is going well. I'm now considering adding a 1-10 indicator that will estimate how soon a record will be updated. 10 would mean it's a permanent record while 1 would mean it's a record for an episode that hasn't aired yet. If you manually calculate something like that yourself right now then later on you might be able to more easily implement the number coming from me.

    I'm open to additional questions, but it's best either posting on TheTVDB's forums or sending me an email, since I'm trying to juggle communications with a couple hundred different apps and sites.
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  • Cheers Justin, great work, much appreciating the time you are putting into it. Scott - thanks as well, good ideas.
    Fist bumps all round
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  • 2
    Any news on this? Sorry to bump, but there's still a lot of gaff episode images and old out of date posters hanging around :)
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  • there was a thread about a "flag to rescrape" button: https://getsatisfaction.com/trakt/top...

    something like this would be welcomed.. or maybe a refresh when searching with the ID. after checking through movies in my watchlist / collection that are missing artwork I've found many of them which have the artwork on TMDB but never got refreshed on trakt (and the artwork was added well over a month ago). this would also reduce the amount of threads asking for refreshes.
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