It’s not always ideal to do maintenance and metadata tasks for a Media Center on the Media Center machine itself. For users of My Movies 3 there’s no need to. My Movies 3 allows for remote editing of collection data through an SQL database editing tool called, aptly, My Movies 3 Collection Management. The capability to remotely edit and sort through metadata for the entire movie collection is really quite handy. Though other programs like Media Center Master can save MyMovies.xml files (and My Movies Collection Manager will likely scold you for this upon starting up if you have) this tool saves the data directly to the database.
To get started you’ll need to have installed the server and client of My Movies 3 on your main Media Center machine. We’re installing the client and server on this machine so that we can use the client to browse movies in Media Center and the server will allow us to edit the data remotely. The server also adds the possibility of remotely accessing the same collection database from each PC on the network. Using a central database in place of flat files saves time and resources by not reloading flat files from the folders and downloading data to each client Media Center machine.
On the remote machine you’ll only need to install the client for browsing the My Movies 3 library. For editing the collection remotely, install My Movies 3 Collection Management from the My Movies download page. Unfortunately, the installation process doesn’t offer to change the firewall settings so that we can access the database remotely and it needs to be done manually. Start by opening up the Control Panel –> Safety and Security –> Allow a Program through the Firewall on the Media Center and press the Change settings button. Press the Add another program button and locate “Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Binn\” (64-bit users look in “Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Binn\”) and add sqlservr.exe. Also, locate Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Shared\sqlbrowser.exe and add it to the exceptions list (64-bit users need not use program files (x86) this time).
Now to edit the collection launch the My Movies Collection Management program and you’ll be prompted to enter the network location of the My Movies server machine (after logging in to the My Movies server, which is the same username and password as a My Movies forums account: register here).
It takes some time to access and load the database. To change the location of the My Movies server later access the File menu and select the Connect to Server option. Management of the My Movies collection should now be possible from the client machine.
My Movies Collection Management offers a fairly comprehensive ability to edit movie metadata manually and retrieve data from remote sources. To change the title or source of a particular movie select it from the left hand pane and press the small red and green arrow icon in the toolbar.
From this next dialog change the title, location and format to help narrow down the results and find the correct selection for the title in question. For instance, The Patriot regularly comes up as a Steven Segal movie when it’s in fact the Mel Gibson revolutionary war tale of the same name.
Simply select the proper title and format (type) for the movie and press the Change button to download the updated information. That’s all there is to it! You should now be able to use the Collection Management tool to edit your entire movie collection’s metadata remotely for My Movies 3. Have trouble or tips? Leave a comment below!