Metadata cache keeps clearing!

Which is probably why we are here!

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I’m using Infuse Pro 6.7, have been using Infuse for years. The two features I like on Infuse are that I can get TV episode summaries (although they leave the title out for some reason) and that it tracks what I have and haven’t watched.

But the watched/unwatched feature is useless. I have a 32GB AppleTV. The only programs (other than Settings) that I have used in several months are Infuse and Channels. I know, having said that, the next thing I’m going to hear is, “It’s all Channels’ fault, they eat up memory space like crazy.” Because of that, I went to Channels’ forum first and asked about it there and one of their people explained how they use data onboard the AppleTV - including that ALL of it is released whenever I exit the program.

So whatever else is piling up data in memory at this point has to be either my screensaver or Infuse - unless there’s something that works in the background. I was using Aerial as a screensaver, but changed to the Apple Music album covers, since that should take far less memory space. I’ve also offloaded a number of apps I haven’t used in months or years. (And, referring to Channels as being the culprit, on one AppleTV, I have Channels installed, but we never use it on that system - just Infuse and streaming, like AppleTV+, Paramount+, Peacock, BritBox, and Netflix - which are the frequently used streaming sources we have.)

I find my watched/unwatched settings are deleted on what is now about a weekly basis. (That wasn’t the case before.) I’m at the point where I feel I’d be better off ignoring this feature since counting on it, instead of trying to remember where I was with a show, always leaves me wasting time trying to figure out where I am when the metadata cache is cleared.

And I am NOT going to upgrade to a new version unless I know a solution to this issue has been found. (For instance, is it possible for Infuse to use my iCloud space to store simply the watched/unwatched data?) On that note, I see an option in Infuse to toggle downloading of metadata. Any way to NOT store metadata on my AppleTV and have it always downloaded as needed? (On the iCloud sync, I have that off on most of my AppleTVs, since I don’t want what’s watched on one AppleTV to sync with others.)

In the past I looked into Plex and other services and went with Infuse because I prefer simple solutions. I just use Samba on my file and media servers and Infuse can read them. (Although it takes FOREVER to load directories compared to other media players on tvOS and iOS - and frequently says it’s lost the connection to a server and can’t remember the folder it was in last time I was using Infuse.)

This issue - continually losing my watched/unwatched data - is extremely frustrating and I’m finding I just cannot count on it. If a new version has that issue fixed (by storing the data on the iCloud or elsewhere), I’m okay with upgrading. But at this point, that data is being reset so often, I’m better of not counting on it and going to another app. (I know - the “Fix this or leave” thing sounds like a tantrum or threat everyone uses, but this has been going on a long time. I’ve complained before, others have complained before, and it seems like it should no longer be an issue.)

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I’m going to be quite honest here, because, bluntly, I’ve felt for years that Firecore has their own agenda (which is acceptable), but is more interested in following that agenda than paying attention to issues paying customers are concerned about. And a 633 post thread on an issue means customers WANT. THAT. ISSUE. FIXED. Not excuses, not reasons, not blaming others. They want it fixed - and clearly Firecore isn’t doing that.

Here’s what it looks like:

Many users: Losing metadata is a big problem. Fix it. Stop the “clearing the cache” issue.
Firecore: It’s not our fault. (Points fingers at Channels DVR and Apple, possibly among others.)

Consider this: You’re using sync with iCloud AND Apple has made it clear, in tvOS, to NOT store any more local data than necessary. There’s room for programs to keep a SMALL amount of configuration data for each program, but the OS is NOT meant for people to count on data being stored on an AppleTV. So with Firecore doing that, and writing Infuse in such a way that it encourages users to count on that data being kept, FIrecore is not only going AGAINST the OS owner’s direct statements about how tvOS works, but is creating a lot of ill will with users because of this.

The bottom line: That this issue keeps coming up is Firecore’s responsibility.

That means it’s up to Firecore to either drop it or fix it.

How to fix it: In a few words, store this data elsewhere.

My experience, and I use Infuse Pro 6.7, is that when you use “Sync with iCloud,” that the watched list is shared across all the ATVs using your account (except for the ones where that feature is turned off). However, once your cache is cleared, that watched list does not load back from the iCloud. I have noticed a delay in the episode/movie metadata loading, which makes me think that Infuse is downloading it, but I can’t tell if it’s downloading from the iCloud or from a site like the TVDB or something else. And if I have “Sync with iCloud” turned off because I don’t want the ATV in the guest bedroom syncing the watched list with the living room ATV, where my wife and I usually watch anything, then there is no hope - the watched list won’t last over a week.

Infuse is ONE APP and most of us use many apps, so to start telling people to remove other apps and do this and do that because Infuse has issues and other apps don’t is absurd. Bluntly, if I had that attitude when I was running a software business, I would have failed. My attitude was, "Give my clients what they want. Do it. Don’t make excuses, whine, or blame others.

Clearly, though, this shows that Infuse has access to the iCloud. As for metadata, 1024 to 2048 bytes should be enough for any file. That includes keeping a time index for how much of a file was watched. At that size, a user with over half a million files would need 1GB of data, total. Up it to 4K per file and that’s still 1GB for a quarter of a million video files. Not enough? What’s in there, other than text?!?

So, Firecore, here’s what you do:

  • Use a UUID for each ATV device.
  • On each device have the following options for the user:
    • Store user data (the watched list) on iCloud
    • Sync user data with other devices on account
  • Use intelligent caching: Keep metadata for the last, say, 64 files looked at on the device. Get data for other files as they’re browsed through or selected. (By the speed I see data load, I think much of the time Infuse is downloading that data and not keeping it locally.)
  • Keep user data locally BUT also on the iCloud (if they pick that setting) If the cache is cleared, re-download it. (As I’ve mentioned, I never see my user data, the watched list, resync after a cache clearing.)
  • Unless testing shows improved speed for downloading metadata from the iCloud over retrieving it from the TVDB (or wherever the source for that data is), then saving metadata on the iCloud is a waste of resources.

This would limit the data Infuse stores on an ATV or other device. I don’t know how much other apps store, but my experience has been that Infuse is the ONLY program with this issue. So, first, limit what’s stored so it’s not big enough to trigger a cache clearing. Second, don’t store data you can easily retrieve. Third, make sure user specific (and device specific) data IS stored OFF THE DEVICE somewhere, preferably the iCloud, but I’m betting many users have a network shared drive on their LAN where Infuse could store data.

Also, using a UUID for each ATV (or also mobile) device means data individualized for each device could be kept on the iCloud.

At first I really liked Infuse. I liked that it gave me episode summaries (but not the title - never the title, just the summary - that is just weird) and kept track of what I watched. That’s why I’ve been using it over VLC and some other players. But with those features being unreliable, there’s really no reason to use Infuse over, say, VLC, which also plays audio files. There are other issues, some that were supposedly cleared up, but still happen. (Like Infuse saying it’s lost the connection to a Samba server when it could just reload the directory it was pointing to on last use.)

But this metadata/cache issue is making me feel like it’s a struggle to keep using the program. If it can’t do what VLC can (or does it unreliabily), then there’s really no reason for us to stay here and use it instead of VLC. (And I’m betting it just might be someone could write VLC plugins to handle some of these issues.)

You’ve just been given a roadmap to make this issue go away. So, please, either tell us what’s wrong with that solution or fix it and stop making excuses.

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I’m 1000% with you regarding this issue and at the same time, I don’t understand why you don’t install Plex or an OSS media server.

Not to fix your read/unread issue but to benefit from all their features.

When you add a media, it is immediately analyzed in the background, so you don’t wait the first time you open Infuse (actually you do but that will change with the direct mode - it is immediate today with Plex’s app)

You have a partner, children? They will benefit too without waiting.

Finally, managing your library is so much easier with a web interface.

I was late to the game (switched to Plex 9 years ago) but what I used before (hardware similar to Infuse) felt retrospectively like a toy.

And you then use Infuse for what it excels at, playing media.

Don’t get me wrong, Plex (and I bet the others too) has lots of problems but that still a much better experience.

I looked at Plex years ago and felt it was WAY too complicated for what I wanted. Basically I wanted a local TV viewing/DVR program that worked with a decent tuner (I use a Silicon Dust tuner), and something I can use to watch local videos. Also, one concern I had for years was that I’m in the boonies and had to start out here with Viasat, which is terrible internet service - really, you don’t want to know how bad it is. So I was looking for minimal - minimal data download, minimal resource needs, and so on. Plex was too much. Right now I’m trying it out and I’m finding problems and bugs with it. For instance, just trying to use Live TV/DVR - no way to access DVR stuff at all to record what I’m watching. I can pause and rewind, but no actual DVR function. (Maybe that’s a premium feature?) Also, no sound now on every channel I check and the movement is odd - kind of dreaming.It worked fine for a few hours, then I test a few items and BOOM - no sound on any live TV channel. When I swipe up on my remote (AppleTV, so Apple remote), the episode info is always for when I started watching a channel - it doesn’t get updated when a new show comes on. There’s more, but it feels glitchy. Also - started adding local movies and I can’t find ANY way to play them through Plex.

As for servers or anything like that, I started setting DLNA servers, and had issues. I often have sleep issues and use old TV shows that I’ve seen a million times playing in the background to distract me and help me sleep. I have a bluetooth sleep mask for this. So sometimes I’m tired and go to bed and need to easily start playing old shows through my phone, so I hear them on the sleep mask. (Don’t need to watch - just hear 'em.) I started by using a DLNA server, but found Infuse had trouble with it on my iPhone. (Infuse, on my iPhone, has troubles with a lot of things, so I don’t use it on there anymore at all. It could take, and I timed this, 3 minutes for me to step through 4 folder levels on my media server to get to a show I was going to play that night.)

I’m trying Plex now and if I can use it as a video player and shufflplay a directory and it can keep up with what I have and haven’t watched and provides metadata on movies and TV episodes, I will drop Infuse completely. I use programs to make life easier and better. I don’t pay for and use programs because I want to spend time fighting developers to get a program to work.

I don’t believe this is a fair characterization of the situation. We have been experimenting with a handful of options to help those being affected here, and this was described in a recent post.

People use Infuse in many different ways, and there is a wide array of library sizes, content types, and other factors which means it takes time to find a reliable solution. Work has been ongoing and we are tentatively planning to have some of these changes available in the coming weeks in a 7.6.x update as outlined in the upcoming features thread.

Also, for those using Emby, Jellyfin, or Plex (in particular those with very large libraries) the situation will be improved with the addition of the new direct mode features described here.

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Can you please elaborate on the following new item?

  • Expanded tag support for films when using NFO files

Happy to see the whole slew of long-teased features currently listed as 7.7.x reunited on the to-do list, but terribly frustrating to see them continually being pushed back update after update. :frowning:

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Okay, I get that from the developer side. I also want to point out that I know you spend a lot of time on this forum answering questions, and I know we all appreciate that. But, again, I point how long this thread is, and that your post was July 31 and is over 60 posts ago. That highlights part of the issue. This thread is unwieldy, so it’s impossible for a user to keep track without spending hours going through it. That it’s so large and unwieldy is a clear indication of this being an important issue for users - which indicates the need to solve it sooner rather than later. Also, the age - it’s been going on for over 3 1/2 years.

You may not feel it’s fair, but I know when I’ve brought it up before, the response was to blame Channels DVR and say that’s what’s forcing the cache clearing. It’s not. (I can go into it more.) More recently the focus has been on how bad it is that Apple does the clearing. I would say this is a good chance to step out of Firecore and see what it looks like from outside. I’m not trying to be mean, but that is what it seems like to someone dealing with this issue over several years and seeing it get to the point where it’s better to just say, “That doesn’t work. It’s buggy.”

I know developing and continuing to improve a program like Infuse is not an easy job, and I’m not trying to slight or insult anyone, and that this is not an issue that makes a program unusable (like not even streaming video properly), but this is a serious issue that impacts usability for many users. To see it drawn out like this, including other apps and the OS being blamed does make it look very much as I described.

I hate to say that from the outside that’s what it really looks like, because I know all the developers are working hard, but something in this sitaution is broken. Whether that’s because Firecore decided to offer this feature as a fully functional feature without seeing this as an issue or thinking the cache clearing wouldn’t happen at all, or it’s because it’s been allowed to go on this long, something is just not working with this.

I used to run my own software company. My clients were paying at least $1,000 a month - and this was 20 years ago - for service. I didn’t have the luxury of saying, “I’m trying but that’s not working and it’s because of something someone else did.” That would have led to serious income losses. So, while I am not trying to say anyone is a bad person, or even a bad developer, I find it hard to have too much sympathy for a company with their app in the App Store to continue to give reasons for a feature not working than in just making it work.

I’ve casually looked for other options in the past. I’ve stopped using Infuse on my iPhone and iPad because it would take 3 minutes (and that’s a timed 3 minutes) to just read folders on my server through wifi. VLC didn’t have that issue. But now getting my watched list reset weekly (I think it’s more like every 5-6 days), this is too much and the result of something that should have been fixed years ago.

You’re talking about all the testing and different methods - again, when I was working as a dev, I didn’t have that issue. I had to make it work, and do it quickly. (In fact, the program I released to my clients had fewer than 5 bugs in the first 5 years it was in use before we moved on to a new version - that’s because I was merciless in my testing phases.)

Right now I’m testing other solutions and, honestly, hoping I find one that does what I want, but if I don’t, I’ll stop counting on Infuse to track what I’ve watched - and when that happens, I might as well just shift to VLC.

Sorry, but I’ve brought up issues and seen them “fixed” and not work and just spent too much time fighting Infuse rather than being able to just trust it to work.

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You’ll find the Infuse player better than the Plex player (and way better once they release the direct mode.). That is if you have DoVi / HD tracks videos. Plex ATV is always a little bit behind.

I don’t use at all the livetv stuff so I don’t know.

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Well seeing your results would be interesting.
See if you see the stutter issues or lip sync issues?
The whole reason why many of us are using Infuse in the first place.
Hopefully you don’t own HomePods or AirPods because no Plex devs own them either so they won’t be fixing the issues using Apple devices with another Apple device. If you really want to move away from Infuse then you’re probably better off looking at Emby or Jellyfin as a solution. Emby’s Apple TV app was fairly reliable last time I used it and Jellyfin are building a player from the ground up (though I haven’t tested that in a while.)
Plex will not be a solution for better playback. At least not on Apple devices.

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Now there’s an understatement :joy:

You are making this confusing:

The idea is NOT to move away from Infuse as a player, it’s the best one and backend agnostic.

The idea is to switch to a much better backend solution which Infuse is not and that’s totally ok (servers serve this purpose).

So

Plex / Emby / … + Infuse clients.

What?
How does the op saying this…

…translate to anyone anywhere as “I’m gonna start using Plex and keep using Infuse as the client.

It may be better to assume that if I quote someone else, I’m talking to them and not you perhaps? It may be your idea but clearly not the ops.

That’s not a good idea for reasons you yourself explained (the plex apps are mediocre).
We might save this person some time by explaining what is a better solution.

(it’s not an opinion, it’s how every IT system works, whether because the client is light or because there are multiples clients - this very forum javascript client isn’t reading/writing from/to a fileshare).

My point was if he’s really determined to drop Infuse then Emby or Jellyfin are currently better options.
Thats with or without Infuse.

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Plex has “fixed” the sync issue by allowing you to set an offset on the Plex ATV app. I’ve mine offset at 250ms and a/v seems to be in sync now. Though, I’m still experiencing a judder issue on the latest ATV 4k. Interestingly, it seems to only happen on this newest generation ATV 4k. My previous generation ATV 4k doesn’t experience the judder. Once Plex figures that out, that’ll be my client 100%.

I have the latest version of ATV 4k (128GB) and I’m not experiencing the caching issue in Infuse, but I have a previous version ATV 4k (32GB) that is constantly having this issue. They’re identical in configuration and they both use the same Plex server. It’s only a matter of time when the 128GB version will experience the same caching issue as my library will continue to grow.

Looking at the Upcoming Features post

Improved recovery times for rare cache issues (tvOS)

This doesn’t read to me like Firecore is looking to actually fix the underlying issue in a future release, but rather make fetching metadata faster after a clearing. I also would describe it as “users with larger libraries” instead of a “rare” issue. And if my understanding is correct that the solution is just a band-aid, then it’s unfortunate because I really like Infuse, but I’m not going to continue to wait for a proper solution when other alternatives exist. I won’t be able to justify continuing my subscription for issues like these. For the folks with lifetime subscriptions, I feel your pain.

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Sorry but that’s not a fix. It’s also not even in “my” top three issues with Plex. But we’re going off topic to be fair.

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Do you think that other programs don 't have problems that the developer can 't fix for a long time ? :slight_smile: Yes, a lot of problems! Infuse developers have already made two decisions in future updates. So those who are faced with this problem have to wait a little.
I have a lifetime subscription. Absolutely do not suffer :slight_smile: The best player so far :slight_smile:

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Remember that every post pings the rest of the users that may be following this thread.

If you wish to discuss the pros and cons of other solutions please start a thread in the other gear and services forum. :wink:

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  1. I have had ongoing and serious lip sync issues with Infuse. It’s so prevalent I was going to use ffmpeg to re-sync audio on files (haven’t had time yet), but after reading this, I replayed some of my files on my Mac with VLC and found they’re not out of sync - but they are when using Infuse on AppleTV. (I have seen that Plex lets me adjust that.) I see @Hitsville says Plex has fixed that - I’ve never seen a fix in my version, unless it’s somewhere in settings. It’s not something I can find in 6.7. (With a paid Pro, supposedly I get free updates, and my ATV is set to update, and that’s the latest. I haven’t checked if I have to pay for version 7 and up - if I do, at this point, I won’t unless I know this metadata issue is fixed - and, at that, there are still bugs that have been frustrating me for years.)

  2. Thanks for the info on Emby and Jellyfin. I’ll be checking those out.

  3. Choppy video on Plex? Not seeing that at all. Have had a serious issue with that on iOS.