Every other DVR tells you how much free space is available, why doesn't Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Suggestion Avenue' started by Jay M, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

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    Sep 27, 2007

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    Are the Tivo gods just stubborn? Hasn't this been suggested a million times? It's usually suggested by someone who has owned another DVR.

    I would suggest a usage bar that is two or three colors

    first color: space that your recordings occupy
    second color: space that suggested recordings occupy
    third color: free space.

    If Tivo built a car would it have a gas gauge? Technically the data a gas gauge provides can be very misleading because of the difference between city and highway MPG. But I still look at it from time to time.

    ~Jay
     
  2. mindchaotica

    mindchaotica TiVo User

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    maybe they thought it would make for a good drinking game? you know. 1 shot if you have 20 hrs, 2 shots if you have 40, and 4 if you have 80... and so on. oh and you don't have drink anything if you lose your channel listings.
     
  3. socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Tivo thinks they are superior and are attempting to break us of our need to look at worthless tools.

    Seriously, I don't know why Tivo hasn't just given in on this request as it is relatively simple to do and won't really hurt anything. On the flip side the number is meaningless, because at default settings the Tivo will never miss a recording due to space. It will just delete the oldest one it has first. Now whether or not you had time to watch it before it gets deleted is another issue. So with this behavior there is no real measure of free space as things will automatically be deleted. I guess then free space is defined as anything that isn't marked keep until I delete. Now as for my own usage I used to be crazy about it an didn't want it to delete anything by itself (even worthless Tivo suggestions). I have now relaxed myself and to be honest I don't feel like I have to constantly turn on the TV now to see what the Tivo might have recorded to make sure it doesn't delete a show that there is a 1/10000 chance I will actually watch. Meh, in the end it doesn't matter either way but I guess it is fun to get into discussions about.
     
  4. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

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    The problem with deleting the old stuff first is that it's not necessarily the least important.

    It's very easy for me to decide what to delete after it's been recorded. I will only delete it if I need more space.

    On the other hand setting up rules and priorities before a recording is very difficult to do, and would be pointless if I knew I had enough space to keep it.

    My question to the Tivo gods - How would adding this feature ruin the Tivo experience?

    ~Jay
     
  5. gsspeace

    gsspeace New Member

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    I gather it's useless to add my voice in support of this suggestion. So, what's to be done?
    Gloria
     
  6. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    There's so many other important things that Tivo could do with their development efforts. I would really like to see cooperative scheduling.
     
  7. jbcooley

    jbcooley New Member

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    This app doesn't get much attention since it's only a sample app, but you could run the tivo disk usage app on your computer to get an estimate of free space displayed on your tivo.

    Note that it just estimates the amount of free space by recording the largest ever recording space used and displaying the difference between that and the current amount used.

    Download here
     
  8. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    My Tivo is full 100% of the time.

    Old recordings are always being deleted.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    IMO, the best thing to be done, is stop thinking of the TiVo as if it were other DVRs. It isn't. Then stop thinking of empty drive space as a precious resource. It isn't. If your TiVo is not essentially 100% full almost all the time, then you are wasting some of its potential. A 100% full Tivo is a happy TiVo with what should be a happy owner, not a worried one. If it isn't 100% full, then there also is no real need to worry, as it will eventually get there.

    I really don't want to go into a long dissertation on this topic again at this time, but the bottom line is an effective Tivo user does not think of his TiVo hard drive in terms of the amount of "free space" - an extremely nebulous and variable concept on the TiVo in the first place - but in terms of number of days of total capacity after subtracting out the KUID usage, which is not under management by the TiVo.

    How does this help?

    It helps because the user, knowing the minimum number of days a program will stay on the TiVo before being deleted, can simply sort the NPL by date (with groups off) and see if any of the programs nearing the deletion age are ones he needs to take into consideration. Thus, I know all my TiVos have large enough hard drives to allow any of the programs - no matter how they were recorded - to easily stay at least 4 weeks before being in danger of being deleted. So every 2 or 3 weeks I can fire up the NPL, turning off groups and sorting by date, and look for any "important" non-KUID programs which are more than 2 weeks old or so. I can then either transfer them to the video server, make a note to watch them in the next week or so, or make them KUID until I get the chance to watch them*. If your TiVo drive is too small to hold your average recording volume for more than 2 weeks, then you need to upgrade your TiVo drive. With 1TB drives selling for under $130, there's really no excuse for having too small a hard drive.

    *Actually, I say I can do this. In practice I don't ever bother. I already know I will have watched any "important" programs within 4 weeks, so in reality I don't even need to check. If I were truly concerned about it, however, I could take a few minutes every 2 or 3 weeks to check on the oldest programs.
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    A "free space" meter won't help determine how important a program is, either. Unless one has either truly erratic viewing habits or a hard drive that is pathetically undersized, the relative "importance" of a video and its age should normally be managed automatically by one's viewing habits. That is to say, if it is "important" then why has it taken the user so long to watch it? Now of course there can be any number of perfectly valid answers to the question for specific cases, but those specific cases can be handled by simply setting the program to KUID. That way it will never be deleted until the user says so. That, or one can offload the video onto an external PC for longer term storage. While I don't personally recommend setting KUID indiscriminently, if one's hard drive is anywhere nearly large enough then the odd case where an old program is both important and not watched should be a fairly unusual exception. The salient point, however, is that no matter what, a "free space" indicator will not tell the user an important program is about to be deleted. That can only be determined by sorting the NPL by date, and having done so one does not need the "free space" indicator to determine the program is or is not in danger of being deleted. The age alone is sufficient.

    You are wasting your time. The only good reason to delete something is that you have already watched it and do not wish to watch it again. It's not even particularly useful to delete a "bad" suggestion, although you should definitely give it a Thumbs-Down. If it is really bad, and it gives you some sort of virtuous satisfaction to delete the nasty thing, well, then go ahead, but the Tivo will delete it soon enough. Anything else will be automatically deleted by the TiVo without your having to lift a finger. You paid good money for the little elf sitting inside your TiVo. Let him do his job, so you can worry about more important things.

    No, it isn't. Or rather, setting the defaults is generally more than sufficient, assuming the original default settings are inappropriate. Your fixation with the (very poor) notion of "free space" is causing you to make things more difficult for yourself. The amount of "free space", however that might be determined, is unimportant. The total hard drive space expressed in number of days of recordings is what is important (and simple) and cannot be measured by a "free space" indicator.

    It wouldn't ruin it, I don't think, but attempting to use it most certainly would take unnecessary resources and require unnecessary intervention on the part of the user to accomplish something far more easily accomplished with the utilities already available. Determining a proper metric for "free space" is difficult, and once established, doesn't really tell the user anytyhing he should want to know. The answer to "how much free space is on the Tivo?" should always be, "Zero". If not, then you aren't making the best use of your TiVo, and having a "free space" meter won't help that.
     
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Because users of other DVRs often develop bad habits necessitated by their use of crappy DVRs.

    The TiVo's hard drive is nothing like the gas tank of an automobile. If you designed an automobile whose gas tank was always full, would you bother installing a gas gauge? On an automobile, a gas tank nearing empty requires some major consideration on the part of the driver, or else there's going to be trouble. If the TiVo's hard drive is nearly empty, the TiVo is of little use at the moment, and the user might be well suited to take steps to have the TiVo start filling the drive, but such a situation does not require a "free space" indicator to notify the user, and although the Tivo in such a state is of little use, it doesn't speak of any impending failure. At the other end of the spectrum, a full gas tank represents a maximally useable vehicle, and while a full hard drive represents a maximally useable TiVo, unlike the automobile, the Tivo is perfectly capable of filling up its own hard drive with out ceasing operations.

    Logically, the TiVo is much more like an overflowing spring-fed cistern than an automobile. New material is constantly fed into the system and old material constantly exits the system. Being full is a continuous, normal state of operations.

    The most effective, efficient, and desirable state for a TiVo is for its drive to be completely full. Otherwise, there are programs the user could have available for viewing, but does not. This, regardless of how the "free space" was obtained.

    Yes, but if the car's gas tank is nearing empty, the gauge tells the driver very specifically that he must take steps to rectify the situation. With the TiVo, the FSI tells the user nothing useful at all.
     
  12. westside_guy

    westside_guy Annoyingly ephemeral

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    Yeah, I'm not sure of the utility of this either. Unlike other DVRs, with Tivo you don't have to worry about running out of room. If you're worried about the order in which things are deleted, you can always flag those "important" recordings as "keep until I delete".

    If you're really concerned, you could treat the number of recordings sitting in the "Recently Deleted" folder as an ersatz disk space indicator - if there are a lot of shows in there, your disk isn't anywhere near full. If there are only a couple, then you're probably close to full.
     
  13. jbcooley

    jbcooley New Member

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    I certainly don't managed free space since it's unnecessary as you described. But people regularly ask for this feature. In my opinion, it's better for people to learn how to use their tivo on their own than tell them they are wrong. Either way, I hope those asking the original question are able to get the most out of their tivo.
     
  14. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

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    Sep 27, 2007
    I have had a tivo for 16 months, before that I had a Motorola DVR for 2 years, before that I had a Dishplayer for 5 years.

    Tivo constatly does something that the other two never did- delete shows when I didn't expect it to.

    My guess is that some of you have never had anything other than a Tivo so you can't even fathom how useful a usage meter is.

    It is very easy to start deleting stuff if you know the machine is about to do it for you. The machine has no idea what of the things I have asked it to record that I might be able to live without. there is no way to set up rules either because I might change my mind about what's important.

    I can't imagine a usage meter taking more than a day to add. If the Tivo programmers can't figure it out maybe they can hire someone from Dish, Direct, Motorola, Microsoft, or sony and let them do it.

    I would venture to guess that this feature is the most requested, and has been for many years.

    I have never heard an official statement form Tivo about why they choose to thumb their nose at so many subscribers.

    Do any of you know of any posted response from Tivo and this feature request?

    ~Jay
     
  15. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    I believe they won't add it for 2 reasons:

    1) There are other more important items to be done.

    2) If they added the meter, it is likely that someone will complain that they added a new drive and expected X hours and only got Y hours.

    Or why did the Tivo delete X recording, I still had Y hours left?


    I think if it's that easy and is needed so badly that YOU could add the functionality.

    You do realize that there is a deleted items folder that you can undelete from?
     
  16. Jay M

    Jay M New Member

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    The deleted items folder only holds things for a short time.

    I still think there is no good reason to exclude a usage meter.

    ~Jay
     
  17. SeanC

    SeanC ECT

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    My Deleted Items holds items indefinitely (well, until it needs the space anyway).
     
  18. nirisahn

    nirisahn Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I use my Deleted Items folder as a free space indicator. If there are 50 programs in my folder, I have room for approximately that many new recordings. I don't generally use my TiVo for long term storage. I'm a watch and delete person. If I want to keep something for a long time I offload it to my computer.

    I've noticed that if I look at the info for a show, it tells me how much space and what % of the hard drive's space that show takes. Don't know if that helps anyone.

    I had Dish for a while, and I've had TiVo since 2000. I don't really miss the free space indicator.
     
  19. WayneCarter

    WayneCarter Active Member

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    If "Suggestions" and "Recently Deleted" are both zero, TiVo is about to delete some stuff for you (the deletions will occur before each recording to make space for it).

    So tell it (by setting KUID for the "important" items). Just remember to tell it when you're finished with each item by clearing its KUID or deleting the item manually.

    Producing a "Free space" indicator might be easy, designing one that will be seen as "reasonable" by most users could be much harder.
     
  20. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    And I still think there is no good reason to include one.

     

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