1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Free Space Indicator Thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Suggestion Avenue' started by Samsara, Jan 12, 2002.

How Important is This to You?

  1. It's so important that I'd pay extra for it.

    158 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. It's important but I wouldn't pay extra for it.

    1,306 vote(s)
    75.5%
  3. Not important, but I'd probably use it if it was free.

    219 vote(s)
    12.7%
  4. I'd probably never use it one way or the other.

    46 vote(s)
    2.7%
  1. Mar 12, 2002 #21 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    I've never done user support for average-and-below users (just engineers and technicians, lucky me), but I can't imagine that this would automatically lead to a huge increase in stupid-user calls. Yes, I know there are plenty of incredible idiots out there. Has it been documented that TiVo gets lots of calls now from people who don't realize why future recordings won't fit? Is there reason to believe some large disclaimer like 'number given is for the CURRENT TIME ONLY and DOES NOT reflect any space to be used by future recordings" wouldn't be at least somewhat effective?

    This is a feature that a lot of people have asked for and genuinely feel would be useful to them (despite the vehement denials from others that anyone actually needs it), and wouldn't be at all hard to implement. Does TiVo stop adding useful features for fear of morons?
     
  2. Mar 12, 2002 #22 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,051
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    Well, if you think the number of people who know enough about how to use computers enough to post messages to this forum asking why on the forums as a gauge of the more intelligent users....

    I put it that it isn't useful, and can be harmful by its nature to be misleading.

    If you just want to have a warning when your TiVo drops below so many hours of space free, set up a recording at the desired quality and duration, let it expire, but don't delete it. If it ever disappears from Now Playing, that's your early warning system. DirecTiVo owners, pick something to record with average or maximum visual activity for bitrate estimation. (This is most effective if you don't let anything else expire.)

    In the meantime, the expiry system is a sufficient indicator of capacity usage.
     
  3. Mar 12, 2002 #23 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    93% of the folks who answered the poll here DID think it'd be useful at least some of the time, even if they weren't all willing to pay for it. I'll admit the forum here is way short of a good random sample of TiVo owners, but are they ALL mistaken?
    For you, no doubt it is. Declaring it so doesn't make it so for everyone else. Not everyone thinks the same way. I thought when I first got my TiVo that I'd come around to the 'not really needed' way of thinking as well, but I haven't. I still want a free/used space indicator. I don't want an early warning system, or a gut feeling of how much space there is from counting up suggestions, or any other kind of time-consuming work-around.

    They can put the thing on the system information screen, visible only if backdoors are turned on. Or if they open up the system enough in the development program I'll write my own - would you care to wager my app or someone else's like it wouldn't be among the top TiVo add-in downloads, with at least a 4-cows rating at Tucows?
     
  4. Mar 12, 2002 #24 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,044
    228
    Nov 12, 2000
    San Antonio
    JPriller, I think it's already been written, actually. I don't recall what it's called, but a search in the Underground forum should find it...
     
  5. Mar 12, 2002 #25 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    Yeah, I hadn't thought about the underground. But mine's going to be like this (only I'll get the colors right this time).
     
  6. Mar 13, 2002 #26 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,051
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    The poll has its own problems, including a presumption that there should be such an indicator. Where are the options for, "There should not be a free space indicator" and "What, are you blind? The expiry model is the free space indicator!" How many people have not voted because an option to choose to deny the creation of a FSI wasn't offered?

    And how many voters actually gave much thought to how they'd use such a quantified FSI and how useful it would be vs. those who would misinterpret its meaning?

    I have one TiVo that is reasonably full of SUID and non-SUID episodes of Red Dwarf with more recorded 4 times a week (scheduled non-KUID). I often push forward some episodes to expire later. I know that when it tells me a show will have to be deleted as soon as the next one in the To Do List is scheduled to record is telling me the TiVo would be full if I made this change and didn't allow it to make this other change.

    That TiVo is never truly full because it isn't straightjacketed and can always offer to delete something else earlier in order to record something.

    I don't need it to tell me there are 54 minutes free. It tells me what I need to know when I need to know it. I don't use it in ways that prevent it from determining the best way to accede to my wishes.

    Just what does a FSI tell you that you need to know that you can't get already? I'm not talking the feel-good knowledge of knowing you have so much space free; what practical benefit do you gain? If there's enough space to record what you want to schedule, what do you care how much there is? If there's enough space, there's enough space. There's no reason to quantify it.

    The only time the amount of free space should ever matter to you is if there's not enough to do what you're asking it to do. And it tells you that at that time already. More than that, it tells you how much is available in the future and how it will make more available for you at that time as it relates to what you're trying to do.

    Even if you do get a FSI that tells you exactly how many minutes of space you have available at the moment called "now" at various quality levels (or, in the case of DirecTiVo, best, worst, and average quality bitrates), you're still going to consume time trying to figure out how that relates to the contents of your To Do List for as much as two weeks of content to determine if you can record something. You're not saving yourself any work.

    But if you just use expiry correctly, don't overuse/abuse S/KUID, don't let anything stay marked yellow that you care about, and absolutely don't let anything you want to keep get marked with a bang, you'll know everything you need to know to maintain your TiVo's content, and will be informed when you make adjustments when complying with them requires TiVo to make further adjustments and what those adjustments are.

    I would have thought this subject settled long ago when a prominent FSI proponent practically argued in favor of even allowing such a FSI to display negative values (i.e. overscheduling)!
     
  7. Mar 13, 2002 #27 of 297
    SteakMan

    SteakMan New Member

    789
    0
    Nov 26, 2001
    Chicago
    I couldn't agree with this more, though I could care less if FSI were added or not. A FSI would be useless to me because it will alway read full, and that's the way it should be. My TiVo always has the maximum number of choices possible for me in the Now Playing screen.

    -SteakMan-
     
  8. Mar 13, 2002 #28 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    I don't know. Not many who felt strongly enough about it to complain about its absense. I'd create another poll, but I imagine the moderators are quite understandably tired of the subject. And maybe the people who wanted a "NO I DON'T want it!" option were as well.
    I don't know that either. Without asking them all individually I don't know how you'd get an answer to that. As for the posters here, I don't think any great percentage of them would misinterpret a 'how much space you've got RIGHT NOW' indicator.
    I don't see anything wrong with 'feel good' knowledge, but I can understand why TiVo would wish to devote its development resources elsewhere (to folders, say). And while I think a plain free-space indicator would be useful on occasion, what I really want is this.
    Maybe I'm not sufficiently TiVO savvy yet and have missed something - not impossible.

    A real-world scenario then. I'm going on vacation for a week and some, and my 118-hour SA TiVo is (how full? no idea, I suppose I could add up the shows in a spreadsheet) and a lot it is stuff I haven't watched yet and don't want to lose. There's another of TNN's ST:TNG marathons while we're gone and my wife wants to keep all of them, I wanna bump the 'keep' number of a dozen SPs from 3 to 5 and a half dozen from 5 to 'all', and set KUID on the few I and/or the wife really care about. I'm turning off suggestions, because I've been bit by the early-deletion bug and don't care to be again.

    I've got a nice big TiVo, I guess it'll all fit... but where do I look and what all do I do to determine whether or not everything I want recorded and kept will (barring the heartbreak of signal loss) be there when I get back from vacation? I can't think of any way that doesn't involve lots of effort, but I'd be thrilled to find out I'm being stupid.
    If I did it that way, no. But I want the TiVo to do all that for me and give me a graph. I know it's not ever going to be a high priority with TiVo, so I'm willing to write it myself once the development program gets going. I guess the reason I'm spending time arguing about it isn't to convince TiVo they have to give me one, or to convice you that you need one, but to convince you that even if you don't want one, I still do, and not just to feel good.
    Now that's just silly. :)
     
  9. Mar 13, 2002 #29 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,044
    228
    Nov 12, 2000
    San Antonio
    JPriller... you don't want a Free Space Indicator (at least not the classic "You have this amount free right now"). You (based on the chart you linked to) want to know when your Tivo will fill up (i.e., when will you start losing things).

    Am I right?
     
  10. Mar 13, 2002 #30 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    Correct. A pure free-space indicator would also be nice, but as HTH has correctly divined it'd be more of a feel-good thing. I want to be able to look at one thing in one spot, and be able to see fairly quickly when stuff I want to keep around is going to get zapped or when new stuff I want to get won't fit. My graph idea, an X-day-forecast of space usage, is my first approximation of that.

    If you're about to tell me I can get all of that information now in some simple way I've overlooked, I'll gladly sit here while anyone who wants to calls me an idiot. :)
     
  11. Mar 13, 2002 #31 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,044
    228
    Nov 12, 2000
    San Antonio
    Nope, not going to tell you that you overlooked something...

    What I've long suggested is some sort of indicator of when, based on the current information available to the Tivo, the Tivo will have to delete a non-suggestion recording. I don't think any charts are necessary (not that I'm criticizing your chart! :))

    Usually, this is the recording at the bottom of Now Playing, right above any suggestions. If my Tivo could tell me (pretty accurately) that it will have to delete that oldest expired recording next Friday at 7:00 pm, I don't really care about current free space at all. Of course, there is some debate as to how accurate a Tivo could keep this deletion date. Every time you would add/remove things from the To Do List, this date could change. I think that even current Series1 standalone Tivos have enough horsepower to keep it up-to-date... just simple arithmetic, basically, right? Sure, we have VBR issues to worry about, but I bet that Tivo can make the estimate pretty accurate. It should be conservative if it has to guess a little.
     
  12. Mar 13, 2002 #32 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    That could work very well, if it were all available in one spot - say you pressed some combination on the remote in Now Playing and an expanded view appeared. I think this has been presented before (by you?) but:

    Star Trek 3/11
    will be deleted approx. 3/28 6:30am to make room for
    New Yankee Workshop

    Battlebots 3/10
    will expire approx. 3/29 10:00pm due to 'keep at most' setting (3)

    That provides detail the graph does not, I'd just have to look over everything I care about (maybe it could sort by inverse deletion date).
     
  13. Mar 14, 2002 #33 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,051
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    A version of a graph was successfully made for 1.3.0 and earlier, but TiVo's behavior changed with 2.0 and the introduction of just-in-time deletion. Unfortunately, I can't find the reference to the png image. (If I had it, I'd do a visual example of my pipeline model.)

    You find out by doing just what you said you'd do in the earlier paragraph. It will tell you when what you're requesting is getting to be too much to expect. Then you can choose to change some of the upcoming To Do List entries to record at lower qualities (where applicable).

    I've done this myself in relation to a trip to a football game. I pushed forward expiries of existing shows, changed scheduled shows to one-shot recordings with more than the default 2 days of retention (changing them to one-shot recordings also divorced them from the Keep At Most rules), and when it started saying others I'd wanted to keep would expire sooner, I reduced some of the To Do List recordings' quality levels until they'd all stay until I got back.

    It works. I did it, and it told me everything I needed to know to get it to keep want I wanted it to keep for the duration of my absence.

    What would really help in that situation though is some kind of Vacation Mode so that the TiVo could do all that work for you, that would say, "Assume everything that isn't expired and everything scheduled are things I want to watch before they get deleted. I'm going to be away until this date. What adjustments would need to be made to keep all that 'til that date? Offer recording quality adjustments according to show category and thumb ratings."

    Unfortunately, for a FSI or usage graph, the amount of information it would need to communicate exceeds the amount of information the average consumer can understand at once. So I agree with TiVo's expiry model and need-to-know notification.

    Historical note: did you know that, before 2.0, it was not possible to mark recordings to expire earlier? You could only Save Until I Delete or Save Longer, and SUID was literally until you deleted it because you couldn't convert it back to an expiring recording. Now you can make things expire sooner, allowing you to construct queries like, "If this recording were to expire on Friday, could I then save this other recording 'til Monday?"
     
  14. Mar 14, 2002 #34 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    I didn't realize that, thanks. I've never run into that before, and while I was doing all my vacation changes (which was last week) the TiVo accepted each quietly. Well, I think it did complain when I bumped ST:TNG from 'keep 5' to 'keep all', saying (if I remember correctly) that it couldn't really get me ALL episodes because of conflicting SPs that outranked it.

    The bad news is I still wish I had my graph (or at least a pure free-space indicator for a gut feeling) to determine how quickly I have to watch the collection of recorded stuff.

    Okay, 10 minutes with the remote and a spreadsheet later, the answer is... it's still only about half full after a week's worth of shows, so no hurry. Maybe I'll just leave it in my 'vacation mode' for good.
    I guess I don't know what one can expect from an average consumer, but I have to agree that it'd be better as a power-user kind of add-in.
     
  15. Mar 20, 2002 #35 of 297
    smak

    smak TV MA SLV

    20,118
    185
    Feb 11, 2000
    NoHo, CA USA
    Yes, tivo knows everything....Tivo can calculate right now, that if i don't watch anything, that it will need to delete X show at X time. I think there's no doubt it knows this...Why not tell us. I'm not sure we need it on every item in now showing. Just a simple line at the bottom. The next show to be deleted is X on X at X..Simple enough. We don't need a free space indicator really. We need to know "Should i go to bed now, or watch a few hours of TV. Should i delete some flim-flam, or am i ok, because i have until tuesday, and will watch a bunch of stuff by then...etc.."

    At the very least, and it's something that cannot confuse, and will not hurt anybody is just a "You currently have 22 hours of recordings in now playing". That's a good start. Leave it to us to figure out the rest, if they don't want to get into the you have 1 hour of best, 2 1/2 of medium conundrum, just go with that.

    I mean in 5 years, hopefully Tivo will be going strong, and i know the standard tivo device will be at least 80 hours. Stuff is going to get harder to manage. They need to start getting into the managing of stuff already recorded segment, since they've done really well with the managing of stuff i want to record in the future. The management of stuff already recorded is one of the weaker aspects of Tivo right now.

    I know on my 146 hour tivo, i have suggestions turned off....I have a lot of stuff on there. If i don't watch anything for a day or 2, i have to turn suggestions on, and see what it's going to do...If after a day or 2, it only has 5 suggestions there, i know i need to watch/delete stuff. If 30 suggestions show up, i know i'm ok, but than i have to go delete every suggestion by hand. (How about a delete all suggestions click, that would be cool too.)

    -smak-
     
  16. Mar 21, 2002 #36 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,051
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    Well, it's there anyway. And in the To Do List too. It tells you exactly when it will expire. If you're so low on disk space that it's less than 48 hours from the date it was recorded, or even just not at the same time of day/night as it was recorded (modulo local observations of DST (soon)), then you have reason for concern.

    Of course, if you foolishly let things expire that you don't want deleted, it won't help you. Gotta use the tools correctly to get good use out of them.

    And while they're still in the To Do List, you can even find out when Suggestions will delete. In Now Playing it's a bit more difficult to find out and the result is a bit fuzzy.
     
  17. Mar 22, 2002 #37 of 297
    jsoukeras

    jsoukeras Sleepy Member

    3
    0
    Dec 23, 2001
    Gainesville,...
    I didn't read all of the other threads but I have an idea what the people against a free space indicator have to say on the subject: What is the point?

    In many cases a TiVo is always full. Exactly what purpouse would a free space indicator serve?

    I'm curious. If you think it's a good idea to have one please explain a practical application. Let's assume the counter exists. You have, say, 20 free hours right this second. Now what? I don't see how this is useful since that doesn't take into account the fact that some of this free space will be used for future recording so you don't REALLY have 20 free hours. That's like saying you've got $2000.00 in the bank but you have to pay your mortgage in three days. Should you go shopping and spend $2000.00 because you have money right this second?


    Jason
     
  18. Mar 22, 2002 #38 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    Yes, but full of what? I want to know how much available space I have now and over time, with 'available space' to me meaning what's left over after my requested recordings, not counting suggestions.
    All of that is true, which is why a free-space NOW counter is only useful if you just have to know what is available NOW. I and some other people have had a different idea, for a X-day forecast graph of space usage (thread here, again). This takes into account all recordings the TiVo knows it's going to make and what it knows it's allowed to delete. By just glancing at the graph it'd be simple to find out what I want: when any of my requested shows will start disappearing, and how much space I'll have available at any point in the forecast.

    (Where's that developer's program package? I want to start writing this!)
     
  19. Mar 22, 2002 #39 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,051
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
  20. Mar 22, 2002 #40 of 297
    JPriller

    JPriller just some guy

    5,854
    0
    Nov 21, 2001
    Lansing, MI
    It's not quite broken up into the categories I'd like, but the idea's the same. The 'deleted' space being included is interesting, though I can't think of a use for it. I'd only complain about the aesthetics, I'd want each color category bar to be contiguous and the suggestions bar coming down from the top seems odd.

    That's from TivoWeb?
     

Share This Page