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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 22, 2002 #41 of 297
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

    7,870
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    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I don't get the argument AGAINST a free-space indicator.

    Let's see. Every COMPUTER I ever worked on told me how much disk space was free, even if I had kron jobs scheduled to fill it up later.

    My DIGITAL CAMERA tells me how many pictures I have left on my flashcard based upon the current quality rating (gee, you think that confuses non-computer people who are buying the cameras at an alarming rate?).

    My VCR (!) tells me how much room is left on the tape.

    None of these ANTICIPATE what I will delete (or rewind on) but they are all TOOLS for making decisions.

    The flaw in saying that TiVo knows what will be the disk space tomorrow or the next day is that you are ASSUMING that TiVo is doing all the deleting. I've got news for you: If I watch The Simpsons that recorded at 7 pm at 8pm tonight, I will delete it then. Not wait until TiVo deletes it for me three days from now. Maybe I just hate clutter; maybe I don't need to save it all; maybe I don't want to watch it again.

    So, there is no way TiVo can know what the conditions are going to be tomorrow. It can only "suggest" or tell you that without human intervention, something will have to give.

    So, give me the RIGHT to over-schedule but tell me that there is a potential problem like "Unless you make some free space before this program comes on, it will NOT record."

    And tell me how much free space is available now.

    Funny how every other technology will tell me in real space what I have left but somehow a TiVo (which is technologically advanced as are most of its users) thinks it is "confusing."

    Gimme a break.
     
  2. Mar 22, 2002 #42 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,016
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    Nov 12, 2000
    San Antonio
    Tony, here's why I think a simple free space indicator (without any other enhancements) would be confusing to many people, and not as useful as many others think it would be:

    A Tivo user checks the spiffy new free space indicator. It indicates that there are 10 hours free (at the default quality) right now. Or, if you prefer, it indicates there are X GB of space free right now.

    The user goes into the guide, and attempts to schedule the Academy Awards to record Sunday night.

    Possible Result #1: Tivo schedules the recording without complaint, user finds out Monday that 3 hours of recordings that were expired were deleted to make room for the Academy Awards. Why did this happen, if it said that there were 10 hours free? The user realizes the shows were expired, but assumed that with 10 hours free he wouldn't lose any non-suggestions. Oh yeah, the user's Tivo was busy recording other things between the time he checked the free space and the Academy Awards aired, and there wasn't enough space to fit the Academy Awards show. So the free space indicator didn't provide enough information to accurately judge if enough space was actually going to be available in the future.

    Possible Result #2: Tivo tells the user that there won't be enough room to fit the Academy Awards. Why, if there are 10 hours free? Oh yeah, the user has to take the upcoming schedule (aka To Do List) into account. So the free space isn't enough information to rely on to make decisions.

    These are two very likely possible results, in my opinion. Even if/when users figure out that the free space indicator isn't actually telling them what they initially thought it was telling them, users STILL have to figure out when the Tivo will run out of space, since what most people really actually want to know is when they will start to lose non-suggestion recordings.

    Now, I do completely understand the current Tivo's expiration-based system, and don't the fundamentals of that to change. But, unlike HTH, I would love if Tivo would predict when expired shows will be deleted, based on the current information Tivo has to base a prediction off of.

    The suggestion smak had would be acceptable to me.

    Basically, it doesn't/shouldn't matter how much free space you have right now... when will you lose recordings is a much better/more useful piece of knowledge I'd like have. Both would be fine, but I'd pick the latter if I could only have one.
     
  3. Mar 22, 2002 #43 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

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    Lincoln, NE
    AFAIK, yes, though I think it could only be derived from pre-2.0 software, due to the introduction of just-in-time deletion to accomodate the variable bit rates of DirecTV feeds.

    I'm glad I found it again. It gives me a chance to massage the same data into the pipeline model I have in mind, where recordings are at the bottom and extend to their expiry date and pending recordings descend from the top, with expired recordings, suggestions, and other free space between. Though I'd prefer to have access to some raw data which included expiration dates. (Modeling expiration is important for my graph. The consequences in terms of deletion become readily apparent in it without directly modeling them.)
     
  4. Mar 22, 2002 #44 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,049
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    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    Sure it can. You can tell it by adjusting the expiry to be within a 24 hour period after the time you expect to delete the show yourself. Once it has that information from you, it can reasonably predict availability in the future. If you refuse to give it that information, you have no business complaining that it can't reliably predict the future.

    The ability to manually expire things earlier is one of the features added with 2.0.
     
  5. Mar 22, 2002 #45 of 297
    jsoukeras

    jsoukeras Sleepy Member

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    Dec 23, 2001
    Gainesville,...
    I don't have anything against a free space meter. I just think it wouldn't provide any useful information. There is no perfect way to handle this. Most people want to be sure that something gets recorded if they elect to record it. The easiest (not necessarily the best) way to accomplish this is to prevent new recordings if, based on what TiVo knows right this second, the new recordings won't fit.

    Your analogies aren't appropriate.

    You can "ls >> foo.txt" a million times. Just because your computer will LET you do it doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    Your digital camera tells you how many pictures you have left but your digital camera doesn't know you have 20 pictures scheduled because you can't schedule pictures.

    Your VCR tells you you have 45 minutes left on a tape but it won't complain if you have 20 events scheduled to record that can't possibly fit on a tape.

    The challenge in telling a person (accurately) what free space they have left is the fact that season passes exist. If you have 10 season passes for shows that are 1 hour each and are on 5 times a week that's 200 hours. Even the largest TiVo will fill up eventually.

    I think the way they handle it is reasonable. Tell it what you want to record. If it projects that space won't be available mark something as save until space needed or delete it. What's the big deal?

    My TiVo is always "full." Everything is save until space needed unless I want to be sure it doesn't get deleted then it's SUID. I never run out of space because I either watch a show and delete it or TiVo deletes it because it needed the space. If it was SO important to me that I didn't want to lose it I would have either watched it before it fell off or I would have marked it SUID.

    I think the conflict between the "Who needs this feature?" people and the "Why don't we have this feature?" people because the people who want the TiVo to indicate free space try to keep their TiVos clean. You guys probably rapidly delete shows and try to get your space back. Other people, like me, just let TiVo manage the space based on what they told TiVo. If TiVo deletes an old show because it had to make room for a new show I don't really care.

    I'd like to throw a wrench into the works. Your TiVo has 1 hour of free space left. You want to record a show that is 2 hours. TiVo tells you" Well, I'll try. If I don't have the room I won't record it." So you watch two Simpsons episodes and delete them. Now you have 2 free hours. This 2 hour "I'll record it if I can" show comes on. TiVo records it. An hour later a show that you REALLY want recorded (it's part of a season pass) comes on now there isn't any space. So TiVo recorded your "I'll record it if I can" and no longer has room for your season pass. I see that as a problem.


    Jason
     
  6. Apr 8, 2002 #46 of 297
    rkcarter

    rkcarter Rick- Vorlon wannabe

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    Apr 8, 2002
    Ann Arbor,...
    I'm with those wanting TiVo to say it will try, even if no space (and in the To Do List it could have something next to them meaning "will tape if there's room but there's currently not going to be."

    To me, SUID means I might keep it a year, but I might get home tonight and watch it. And to me it means, if I haven't deleted it and there's no room left, FINE, don't tape stuff for me. But if I have deleted things why should I have to go back in and add things then, rather than when *I* want to?

    On a related note (I'll see if there's a thread and post elsewhere but while I'm thinking of it), sometimes a Season Pass will result in no shows being taped ... but that's only over the next ~10 days. And the only options are (from memory) "Record more shows" or "Delete this season pass." I'd like a third option -- "Keep this season pass even though it won't currently record anything."

    - Rick
     
  7. Apr 8, 2002 #47 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,049
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    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    For any repeating recording (Season Pass, Wishlist, or repeating Manual Recording), it will schedule the recordings into the To Do List when enough space becomes available. One-shot recordings (anything that would get a single-check icon, including movies and single-event Manual Recordings) must have enough space predicted to be available at the their time in the schedule when added to the schedule now, and will not make way for others if you try to record more. One-shot recordings aren't rescheduled, so you must have enough space available to schedule them in the first place.

    The question is unclear.

    The last question requests what is already the default when you do nothing.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2002 #48 of 297
    abatie

    abatie Title me this!

    5
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    Mar 6, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I've always had a Replay, and when I got a DSR-6000 to get the integrated satellite receiver, not knowing how much space I had was really frustrating. But after using for several months, the design of the user interface has yet again changed the way I use it. With Replay, I say "record these shows" and reserve space for them to make sure they will always be recorded. With that model, free space is critical. The Tivo, however, acts as a stack. The oldest shows drop off the bottom and the newest ones are pushed onto the top. A free space indicator is useless, because there's never any free space (save when I delete stuff that got recorded that I didn't want). I'm not sure what a good space management information system would look like, but a simple free-space indicator wouldn't do any good. I find that while I like many aspects of the Replay user interface better, and man I wish they'd improve the performance of the Tivo user interface!, I do really like the stack aspect of the Tivo --- it's much easier to find the stuff I haven't watched already.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2002 #49 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

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    Lincoln, NE
    Technically, it's a queue, not a stack. A stack adds and removes at the same end. A queue adds to one end and removes from the other. ;)
     
  10. Apr 25, 2002 #50 of 297
    vegaspl

    vegaspl Tivo'er since '99

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    Feb 20, 2001
    West Hills,...
    KUDOS to your simple suggestions!

    I'm tired of hearing about using Record Suggestions as a method for judging available space. Over the past year, I have heard of many complaints about Suggestions causing deletions of wanted programs.

    Yeah, I know it's not supposed to happen, but obviosly there are some situations where it can happen...ie: Timing.

    Anyway, I might consider turning on Suggestions, if TiVo would simply provide a re-occurring statistic on the total current space used by those suggestions. That instead of my having to add them up myself.

    I suggest this as something interim until a true FSI could be introduced.
     
  11. Apr 30, 2002 #51 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,049
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    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    Why oh why did this topic have to suddenly explode as a thread in the Coffee House?
     
  12. May 1, 2002 #52 of 297
    martinp13

    martinp13 YHTBMABIITY

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    Fort Worth, TX
    You know how kids are these days...

    Actually, I think it happened because of RB's comment.
     
  13. May 29, 2002 #53 of 297
    vegaspl

    vegaspl Tivo'er since '99

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    Feb 20, 2001
    West Hills,...
    I understand the thread"Free Space Quote From RB Interview" has had postings on that extremely popular subject, MOVED to here.

    As RB stated on 4/30 on THAT thread, before he left .....

    "I'm going to ask the "User Experience Team to take a look at this thread. And then I am going to step away from the keyboard!

    I sure hope the "User Experience Team " will consider looking at THIS thread as part of his request to them.
     
  14. May 29, 2002 #54 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    A little further in that same thread he implied that they (the programming team) had responded, and that some sort of decision had already been reached...
     
  15. May 29, 2002 #55 of 297
    vegaspl

    vegaspl Tivo'er since '99

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    Feb 20, 2001
    West Hills,...
    I must have missed that (or misread it). Any Idea what that DECISION that had been reached was?
     
  16. May 29, 2002 #56 of 297
    Deven

    Deven New Member

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    Feb 6, 2001
    Greenhills,...
    HTH, your arguments always seem to rest on the notion that the user should know in advance when they'll watch a program, and adjust the expiration times accordingly. Well, maybe you plan out your TV watching schedule in advance. I know I don't, and I'm guessing most other TiVo users don't either. I know I'll watch (and delete) something, but I don't know what.

    You also seem to have this bizarre notion that you can "abuse" the SUID/KUID functions by using them too much. This is ridiculous. I may not know which programs I will watch-and-delete in the near future, but you can bet that I'll free up a few hours from watching and deleting something tonight. Whichever programs those are, I'll delete them when I'm done with them. But I mean SUID/KUID as exactly that -- save/keep this program until I delete it, not until I think I'll probably get around to watching it. When it's time, I'll know it. Until then, it should never be deleted. Period, end of subject.

    I should be able to mark 100% of my recordings as SUID/KUID without crippling my TiVo. As long as I delete enough programs in time, it wouldn't be an overrun situation, so there's no reason I should ever miss a recording for doing so. (If I'm not watching enough, I'll miss something now -- something that will get randomly deleted to make room. How is that any better?) And since I don't know in advance what I'll choose to watch, I can't tell the TiVo in advance which shows should be expired when. (And life may interfere; if I don't get a chance to watch what I intended, I shouldn't lose it as a result.) Even if I record 100% SUID/KUID, that's not an overrun situation as long as I keep deleting enough programs before the space is needed. Of course, without a free space indicator, that's much harder to do.

    Let's not forget that TiVo's tagline is "TV Your Way". Well, my way is that I watch whatever I feel like watching at any given moment, from the selection of programs available in my Now Playing list. I do not watch programs in a FIFO queue where I always watch the oldest program. In fact, I'll often watch the lighter half-hour comedies first and save the heavier dramas for later.

    In practice, I regularly find that I've fallen several weeks behind on a given program, even if it's one of my favorites. But I sure as hell don't want those episodes deleted, even if they're weeks old. Typically, I'll sit down and watch a mini-marathon of a particular show to catch up. Properly, they should all be SUID/KUID. In practice, the TiVo's design doesn't allow this.

    SUID/KUID means that a program should be kept indefinitely. The fundamental flaw with the TiVo's implementation is that it assumes this means infinitely, which is unlikely to be the user's intent. However, since there's no "Save Forever" alternative to "Save Until I Delete", this distinction is undifferentiated.

    Since the TiVo can't know if a SUID program will be deleted soon or kept forever, it shouldn't refuse to schedule new rew recordings on the arbitrary assumption that SUID means "forever". Since keeping a program forever would permanently reduce the amount of disk space available, it should be obvious that this won't be the norm.

    If there's an abundance of SUID programs on the system, chances are that most of them will be deleted, sooner or later. Which ones will be deleted? Who cares?!? Disk space is eminently fungible. It doesn't matter which program gets deleted, as long as the requisite disk space has been released for re-use. And if something's going to be deleted unwatched, I'd rather pick the victim myself than have the TiVo pick at random, thank you very much. I can't count the number of times when my TiVo has blown away something very important to me when I could have deleted something much less important, given the opportunity and sufficient warning to do so.

    I want to keep every program I care about indefinitely. And I mean precisely that; there is no definite amount of time for how long I will keep a given program. Often, I'll watch and delete the program within 24 hours. Sometimes I won't get around to watching it for weeks. Either way, I don't want it deleted without my say-so. Automatic expirations operate on the theory that a definite amount of time should apply, which is incredibly arbitrary and makes a mockery of "TV Your Way".

    Because SUID/KUID can't be used properly (to mark ALL programs that I want to keep I'm forced into a nightly ritual of spending (literally) 15-20 minutes adjusting the expiration times on nearly every program I have. This is wasted time that would have been better spent watching and deleting programs instead of trying to protect them from the axe.

    If the TiVo were to offer an FSI and handle SUID more elegantly, I could get down to the business of watching TV instead of having to get bogged down in administrivia like expiration times. And isn't that the ultimate purpose of the TiVo in the first place??
     
  17. May 29, 2002 #57 of 297
    vegaspl

    vegaspl Tivo'er since '99

    169
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    Feb 20, 2001
    West Hills,...
    Deven

    Don't get me wrong. I agree with 95% of what you have expressed!

    However, I am a bit confused by what you said regarding SUID's having been deleted by TiVo.

    I have been under the impression that SUID's cannot, under any circumstances, be Arbitrarily deleted by TiVo.

    Even if ALL your recordings were earmarked SUID, and you ran out of space, TiVo would just "Not Record" the next scheduled recording. Those next scheduled (from SP/ TDL) or an immediately requested recording.

    That would be shown in RH as "Wont Record"

    If I am wrong, someone let me know.

    In any case, it is a totally unacceptable situation, that could easily be avoided if either or both of the following simple solutions were implemented by TiVo:

    1) A Dynamic warning stating something like the following:

    "WARNING - SPACE MANAGEMENT MAY BE NEEDED. Based on your NP and TDL, certain programs will either start being deleted or recordings thwarted at approximately XX/XX unless space is freed up"

    The above would eliminate the wasted premature efforts to start prioritizing Save until dates by MANUALLY calculating the NP & TDL when
    not needed.

    2) A Dynamic FSI (As requested by many) that simply indicates how much space is either used or available.


    BOTH would be ideal!!!
     
  18. May 29, 2002 #58 of 297
    rbird

    rbird uses tivo "wrong"

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    Centerville, GA
    Deven, thanks for summing it up so nicely (again).

    I've discovered the root of my problem. I don't use suggestions, and when I tell Tivo I want to see a show, I WILL watch it. So there's NEVER anything on there that I don't plan to watch at some point. Ideally, like Deven, I would mark everything SUID. Unfortunately, Tivo stops functioning properly when you do this. So I end up taking time out of my schedule quite often (every day, when the Tivo is "full") to save things longer. It really gets annoying after a while.

    Of course, some will say I'm using Tivo "wrong". (Please see my new user title to the left! :)) Or that I don't "get" the "Tivo philosophy". But isn't Tivo supposed to be a PERSONAL video recorder? I can choose to use or not use functions as I see fit (at least until Hollings and Kellner get their way).

    IMHO, Tivo needs to realize that maybe their vision of how the software should work isn't how most people actually watch TV. (I'm not saying that's true, just that it MIGHT be true). Building in functions like an FSI or an expiration system that actually makes sense, while possibly never used by Tivo employees, could be useful to a large percentage of their user base.

    There's a reason why one of the most asked questions in the Help Forum is "how do I tell how much space I have?".

    Bob
     
  19. May 29, 2002 #59 of 297
    BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    San Antonio
    By "crippled", you mean that Tivo won't let you over-book the space with any new single-recordings, right? You can still create new season passes and auto-record wishlists, and they'll show up in Recording History as "Won't Record", if I recall how it works.
     
  20. May 29, 2002 #60 of 297
    HTH

    HTH No Avatar Selected

    4,049
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    Aug 28, 2000
    Lincoln, NE
    I'm sorry, were you saying something?
     

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