Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

Tips to Organize Your Movie Collection

by @ 6:15 am on March 21st, 2009 in media browser, metadata, movie library with 7 Comments

Media Center Movie Library
Getting your movie collection into order, especially when you’ve got a rather large one, can be quite the chore. Each movie needs to have it’s own folder, cover art and synopsis information. Getting these to cooperate with Media Center’s native AMG information grabbing can be equally tricky. These tips can get you on your way to a great looking movie collection inside Media Center’s native Movie Library as well as the popular movie plug-in Media Browser.

Get some structure

The first step to getting your collection into shape is to get your folder structure together. If all your movies are just clumped into a single folder there’s a simple .bat file that can get things into top shape. Just download this movie organizing .bat file and place it in your movie folder. It will take the filenames of your movies (and any extra subtitle or similar files), create a directory with the same name and place all the files inside.

Find cover art and details

Finding cover art and synopsis information for each of your movies is going to be slightly trickier. There are several tools which can assist in getting the proper files downloaded, though many of them don’t quite work as well as they did in Vista Media Center.

DVD Library Manager

The first such tool, DVD Library Manager, works fairly well for retrieving cover art and even editing the details of each movie. DVD Library Manager can automatically retrieve movie information from Amazon or IMDB, including the ability to save cover art as a folder.jpg file to each movie’s folder. This handy little tool can save quite a bit of time but the xml files created aren’t compatible with all features of Media Center, such as AMG information retrieval.

To get the most out of the native Movie Library you will need to use a resource like DVDXml.com. Sign up for DVDXml.com to be able to search for and download Movie Library compatible XML files for each of your movies. Downloading one of these XML and placing it in each movie’s folder will allow Media Center to automatically retrieve cover art and movie details, including AMG information. Though this method does produce better results in the native Movie Library it does not allow you to edit the details. Choosing the right solution for you, or a combination, is key to getting the best of your collection.

Media Center Movie Library Details

Extra tips for Media Browser

For those of us using Media Browser for our movie collections there are a few additional steps we can take to beef up our collection’s display. For instance, add actor images to the movie actors display inside Media Browser using ImagesByName and the collection of images already compiled by the group on Google Code. Go even farther and add encoding information to Media Browser by using the MediaInfo project and adding the right .dll to your Windows system directory.

Media Browser Actor Images

While you’re at it you may also want to take a look at your TV series  collection inside of Media Browser. Take a look at MediaScout, this handy program will help you retrieve all your series information in one easy to use application. Recent build of MediaScout even add support for movie collections, though it’s not as beefy as some other options.

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Once you’ve gone through these steps you should be well on your way to having a more enjoyable movie collection on your Media Center. Restart Media Center to find your newly organized movie collection along with cover art and synopsis information. Media Browser users of course will have a few added features over the native Movie Library. Either way you go you’re movie library will be looking good from now on.

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7 Comments


TIM
Comment #224 from TIM [Reply]

Michael,

Great Post!

My Movie folders are a mess. I can’t wait to try some of these tips! As soon as I can get my family off of my main HTPC so I can start playing with it. ;)

Comment left March 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm Permanent Link

MHealy
Comment #225 from MHealy [Reply]

Thanks, Had to do some work of my own today to convert all my old avi files to mkv. Managed to write a small bat script to do it automatically though. Hopefully, I’ll have that to post this coming week.

Comment left March 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm Permanent Link

Kevin
Comment #1920 from Kevin [Reply]

Thats all quite cool and I am going to do all the suggestions here ( I have already used the Organising.bat file) but what I really want to do is create different folders to match Genre with those movies in each one.

So one for Action with all those movies in there. Hopefully it would pull the Genre OUT OF THE METADATA xml file??

I knwo I can sort by Genre but when you have hundreds (or thousands) of movies then it is quite hard to scroll through them all.

Comment left June 29, 2009 at 6:25 pm Permanent Link

JP
Comment #5274 from JP [Reply]

Anyone know why the default dvd library does not properly alphabetize titles when sorted by Genre? Titles beginning with “The” get alpha’d as beginning with “T” instead of the word after “The”. Only does this when sorted by Genre.

Is there possibly a registry setting involved in this?

Comment left December 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm Permanent Link

Wonderm00n
Comment #23706 from Wonderm00n [Reply]

For all my movies organization needs I just use http://mymoviescollection.net/

The service is great and you can play around with several settings that we’ll make it be perfect for your needs, such as Movie location (like a folder or a shelf), format (such as DVD or digital copy), loaned or not, etc…

It now also let’s you manage which TV Shows seasons and episodes you already own (downloaded) and seen or not.

There’s also a mobile version that works like a charm on the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile http://m.mymoviescollection.net

Comment left November 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm Permanent Link

Anne
Comment #68910 from Anne [Reply]

my hard drive gets messy.I didn’t find a good way to organize these movie files, this really helps a lot:)

Comment left April 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm Permanent Link
Comment #106907 from Max Smirnoff [Reply]

As an ultimate solution for all the movie organizing needs, I can suggest our All My Movies program. With All My Movies you can download movie details from IMDb as well as from many other sources and manage your movie files.

Comment left February 27, 2013 at 2:05 am Permanent Link

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