wmc-dedupe

This program (for Microsoft Windows) will identify all duplicate Windows Media Center recorded television shows (in either WTV or DVR-MS formats) and then either move them into a folder for duplicates or delete them. Recordings that are sitting in the duplicates folder can be automatically deleted after a certain number of days.

Why use wmc-dedupe?

Although the series link functionality within Windows Media Center is pretty good, unfortunately due to either poor programming by Microsoft or poor EPG data from the third parties that Microsoft use (or possibly both) it means that setting up a series recording of a show can often result many duplicate recordings. This is because Windows Media Center often just ends up recording every single time the show is aired.

The solution is for Microsoft to review their code and also to review the quality of the EPG data provided by their third-parties. However since complaints directly to Microsoft about this issue go largely ignored, wmc-dedupe temporarily "fixes" the problem by deleting duplicate recordings and saves you from drowning in repeats of a show.

To give you a real world example, in the 30 days between 30th Sep 2011 and 29th Oct 2011 my personal HTPC recorded 141 television shows of which 32 of them (or 23% or almost one in every four recordings) were duplicates. Those unnecessary duplicates took up just under 40 GB of hard drive space.

Features

This program has the following features:

  1. Highly configurable command line based program for running as a one off or as a scheduled task.
  2. Looks at WTV or DVR-MS files (with extensions wtv, dvr-ms or dvrms).
  3. Options to exclude examing WTV or DVR-MS files.
  4. Can delete duplicate shows or move them into a user defined duplicates folder.
  5. Only the larger duplicate recording is kept (meaning that HDTV or longer shows are prioritised)
  6. Can delete shows from the duplicates folder after they are older than a certain number of days.
  7. Test mode which doesn't delete or move files.
  8. Seven days worth of logs kept.
  9. Three levels of logging, from minimal to very verbose.
  10. Ability to pause after running to view the output.
  11. Can use the "Public Recorded TV" path or any other location.
  12. Automatically detects if a recording is occuring. Can be forced to ignore this if required.
  13. Pre-loading of meta-data for fast duplicate matching over a slow connection (such as a network).
  14. Duplicates identifed even if they have differing punctuation, capitalisation or accents.
  15. Descriptions with brackets (either square or normal) are handled correctly when comparing files.
  16. Common starting descriptions (e.g. "repeat", "premier" or "new") are handled when comparing files.
  17. Descriptions where the sub-title has been incorrectly placed into the description are handled when comparing files.
  18. Sanity checking to ensure that incorrect command line options don't destroy your recorded TV.

Screenshot

wmc-dedupe is primarily intented to automated to run on a regular basis. As such, the application is command line driven and the only output is an exact mirror of what is being saved in the logs.

Screenshot

Limitations and known issues

  1. Some duplicate shows are not identified as the descriptions are just too different.
  2. If the show is missing a description or title, then it cannot be compared with other files.
  3. wmc-dedupe does not stop future recordings of a show which has already been recorded.
  4. Using the verbose (/V) or very-verbose (/VV) modes slows down the running time considerably and should only be used for debugging.
  5. Shows that normally start with a common description (eg. "Comedy quiz show") aren't matched to the very same description of a show which has this common description missing.
  6. Shows that are the same but use different titles (eg. "CSI: New York" and "CSI: NY") are treated as two different shows.
  7. Only tested using Windows 7.

Licence

wmc-dedupe is distributed under the GNU GPL. In short, this means you get the code absolutely free. In addition you can freely make modifications to that code and redistribute it, as long as you use the same licence. For more details about the GNU GPL see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Requirements

In order to use this program you need the following:

This program is not recommended for people who are not comfortable with the workings of Microsoft Windows, command line applications and the scheduling of tasks.

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