Actors, Series, Trailers and why you can’t use them (yet)
A few months after the first release of WPMovieLibrary came the first requests for big features like actor pages and filmography, Trailers and TVshow support, lending process, advanced user ratings, scheduled auto-import… To this day none of these features has made it to the core, a couple of them barely existing as experimental extensions. Here’s why.
- Actors: will be implemented, but no deadline, probably 3.2 or 3.3
- Trailers: not planned as a core feature, probably an extension at some point when the rest is done
- TV Shows: will be implemented at some point, form and date unsure
- Lending system: will be implemented at some point, probably after actors (3.3 or 3.4)
- Scheduled autoimport: not planned
- Advanced user ratings: will be implemented, probably along with the lending system
- External ratings import: not planned
- Metadata auto update: will be implemented at some point
Actor pages and filmography are probably the first item of the above list that will be developed and integrated to the core. The main reason why it was not part of the plugin from the start is simply that I did not see any use to it; I want to manage my movie collection, not create a local Wikipedia width the hundreds of actors that took part in one single movie I watched two years ago. But on a second thought, there is a pretty good interest in having the filmography of an actor at hand, at least to extend other functionalities like movies suggestions. So, expect actor pages to join the core in a future 3.x version.
One of the first requested features too. The main reason why it was not part of the plugin from the start is I found trailers to be way too subject to fluctuation to be of any real usage. Even if the YouTube links provided by the API were correct when the movie was imported there is no control over the validity of the links through time; videos can be moved, deleted… The solution would be to use a dedicated API for trailers, which means and yet another third-party service with the inherent maintenance difficulties. That may be fit for an additional plugin, but not for the core.
Maybe the most requested feature so far! It always puzzled me − and that’s the reason why it’s not implemented yet − that so much people would expect TV Show to be supported in a plugin explicitly named WPMovieLibrary. I never needed TV Show support in my own movie library, and most of the requests I got actually concern series websites, either review or streaming, and not personal collections; but still, it’s a fair request, at least for those who own series DVDs and want them in their collection.
I’m not sure yet about the form this will take, dedicated plugin or part of the core; either way it’s something that requires a bit of preparation to be sure to make the good technical choices from the start. Where movies only need one post type and a set of metadata, TV Shows can need up to three post type (series, seasons, episodes) each with its own set of metadata… I’ll probably make a public brainstorming when I have time to start working on this, to see what people would like to have in terms of features and their implementation.
Something I do want to have from the start, but couldn’t really implement due to the permissions limitations of the plugin. The plugin features being only available to administrators it was not possible to build anything I had in mind and that would benefit a lending system (user management, user ratings, user suggestions…). Since the permission issue should be solved with version 3.0 I will try to find room for a lending system in a future 3.x release.
Recurrent request to, a way to automatically import movies on a scheduled basis. Now this can mean two things, actually. If we’re talking about a way to automatically re-fetch metadata to make sure they’re up to date, that’s fine by me and that’s something I’d like to have as a feature. But if we’re talking about a feature allowing sites to automatically fill themselves with the latest movies and artificially build dynamic content, that’s not going to happen. There already are a couple of WordPress plugin out there that does exactly that, so I won’t build the same feature for free.
Advanced user ratings
An interesting feature that was mainly requested by streaming sites owners, which tend to repel me a bit, but it will also benefit the aforementioned lending system; these two features will probably be developed at the same time.
Yet another request I’m reluctant to implement. Ratings are present in WPMovieLibrary and are meant for you to give your own impression of the movies you saw; import external ratings as metadata could lead to confusions as either rating would look like a duplicate of the other one. Not to mention the problem of a useless external imported months ago; that feature would require an auto-update process for metadata, something very interesting but also quite complex to implement. That feature still requires some thinking.
As for the rest
The above list is not exhaustive and I haven’t listed every features that’s been requested, only those that were requested the most; feel free to complete that list in the comments!