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This chapter is from the book

Creating a DVD Library with My Movies 2

Although you can play your DVDs through WMC, if you want to create a true DVD library, whether you flip discs in and out of your system’s DVD drive or copy discs you own to your hard disk, you’ll need some third-party software.

One of the most popular choices among WMC users is the My Movies 2 program. Developed by Brian Binnerup, My Movies 2 enables you to more easily manage and enjoy your DVD or Blu-Ray movie collection in WMC. In the following sections, I’ll provide some guidance for helping you use My Movies 2. However, for the most up-to-date information, be sure to see the My Movies 2 website at www.mymovies.dk.

Installing My Movies

My Movies 2 comes in two different versions, with separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Vista. You must have the Server/Client edition installed on the system that is used for watching DVDs within WMC. Despite its name, it is installed on both networked and standalone systems. The Client version is installed on other Windows Vista (or XP) systems that connect to the system running Server/Client, enabling you to use remote systems to manage your collection.

The Server/Client edition is about 75MB and downloads as a ZIP file you decompress with Windows Explorer before installing; the Client edition is about 9MB and is a self-extracting .EXE file.

My Movies Server/Client edition includes SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which is installed automatically during installation. After SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is installed, the installation process for My Movies begins. By default, the program installs to C:\Program Files\MCE\My Movies.

When you install My Movies, it creates a My Movies folder in the Start menu with the following shortcuts:

  • Collection Management (run this first)
  • Donate for My Movies (the program is free, but donations enable you to unlock advanced features)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (a useful resource for learning how the program works)
  • My Movies (the main program)
  • Uninstall My Movies (the uninstaller)

Getting Started

After you download and install My Movies 2 Server/Client, you must run its Connection Management program from the standard Windows desktop before you can use it within WMC.

Click the splash screen to configure your server. After the server is configured, you can start adding movies to your database, using a variety of methods:

  • If you have already copied DVDs to your hard disk, open the File menu and select Folder Content. Point to the folder that contains your DVDs, and My Movies adds them to its database.
  • To add movies on your shelf, select Add Titles, and choose By Barcode (you can type in the barcode or scan it in with a webcam), By Disc ID (insert your DVD and click Search), By Title, By Manual Typing (use this feature to add a movie that is not in the My Movies database), or by Upcoming Releases. When you add a movie, you can choose whether to catalog it as Online (stored on your hard disk) or Offline (run from your DVD drive), and you can categorize the movie thus:

    • Owned, For Keeps (the default)
    • Owned, For Sale
    • Owned, For Sale or Trade
    • Pre-Owned
    • Ordered
    • Wished
    • Rented
    • Pre-Rented

My Movies helps you keep track of your favorite films, whether you buy, borrow, or rent them.

When you add a movie, you might be prompted to add updated information from the My Movies 2 webservice. Select this option to get the most up-to-date information about the film.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Support

My Movies 2 includes support for these formats when you have a compatible decoder and appropriate hardware installed.

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To learn more about using Blu-Ray movies in WMC and My Movies 2, see “Watching Blu-Ray Movies in WMC,” this chapter, p. 162.

Adding My Movies to the WMC Interface

To add My Movies to the WMC interface, start WMC after you close the Connection Manager. You will be prompted where to place My Movies. You can add My Movies as an option to the TV + Movies strip or as a separate My Movies strip (the third option, as a menu option in the Program Library, doesn’t work in Windows Vista). Select an option (Figure 5.23), and you will be prompted to restart Media Center to apply the change.

Figure 5.23

Figure 5.23 Selecting how to display My Movies in WMC.

Figure 5.24 illustrates these options.

Figure 5.24

Figure 5.24 My Movies in its own strip (A) compared to My Movies as a menu item in the TV + Movies strip (B).

If you want to change how My Movies is displayed in WMC, follow this procedure:

  1. Exit WMC.
  2. Restart Collection Management.
  3. Open the Configure menu.
  4. Select Media Center Interface.
  5. On the Interface tab, click the Reset button next to Current Menu Program Interface.
  6. Click OK on the confirming dialog.
  7. Close the Media Center Interface tab.
  8. Close the Collection Management program.
  9. Restart WMC.
  10. Select the view you prefer when prompted.
  11. Click OK on the confirming dialog.
  12. Close WMC.
  13. Restart WMC.
  14. My Movies will be placed in the WMC interface as desired.

The Settings Menu

The Settings Menu in My Movie 2’s WMC interface provides options for configuring its user interface, the movie list (Views), parental control restrictions (this option requires that WMC’s own Parental Controls option be enabled first), DVD playback and copying, and managing your DVD collection.

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For more information about using WMC’s Parental Controls, see Chapter 4, p. 85.

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