Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

My Movies 3 Remote Collection Management

by @ 9:00 am on May 19th, 2010 in metadata, movie library with 12 Comments

movie-icon 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.

my movies remotely

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).

mediacenter connect

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.

connected to collection

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.

change title source

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.

choose title

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!


Comment #11274 from Anonymous [Reply]

When trying to edit the data of a particular movie my Collection Management program freezes up every time. I cannot seem to get it to work properly.

Is there something that I am doing wrong. I have followed the directions exactly as you have them in this guide but cannot seem to add or edit movie data.

Comment left May 20, 2010 at 9:29 pm Permanent Link

Comment #11318 from roger [Reply]

great review….couple of questions

1) can the metadata be used with media browser?

2) where did the background come from in the first image?

Comment left May 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm Permanent Link
Comment #11344 from BobO39Brien [Reply]

When using this program, do I need to move my movie files into individual folders or can I leave them in one folder. I’m currently using media browser, which is slow but it is easier to manage a large collection on one folder.

Comment left May 22, 2010 at 6:39 am Permanent Link
@Reply #11528 from BookReport [Reply]

Bob – aren’t your movies already in individual folders? I had media browser for a long time and had to have them set up that way to house all the covers and backdrops and so on.

I think I will be moving away from Media Browser due to the slowness. My Movies has been working perfectly for a couple weeks now and am very happy.

Comment left May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm Permanent Link

@Reply #12351 from Ken [Reply]

try deleting your MB cache, can’t say i’ve experienced slow media browser. im using 2.2.4 now and everything is snappy just as ever. i never liked the layout in my movies and found the themes in MB much more user friendly.

Comment left June 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm Permanent Link

Comment #11598 from $-dRaG [Reply]

i tried to installed plugins on my w7mc and get the error message invalid applications, cannot load application click to disable.

This happens to all third party apps? does this conflict with more than one installed?

is there a fix to this?

known error?

Comment left May 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm Permanent Link

Comment #11679 from PeTa [Reply]

Invalid Application – ERROR MSG


not sure if this is a common error,
i got two setup that i tested this on w7 RTM build 7600 32bit and 64bit same error.

When i install the heatwave plugin or
Invalid Application
unable to launch “program name” application
check box to click to disable application -

This happens to all apps, e.g I’ve installed
Media Control,

When i try to do something they all appear with same error message,

Am i missing something out that i need to install in order to get the applications and plugins to work?

Comment left May 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm Permanent Link

Comment #16324 from Isaac [Reply]

Just tried this setup on my machines. Had to setup a user account the same on both machines before it would work

Comment left August 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm Permanent Link

Comment #27569 from derek [Reply]

just a quick one .media browser v my movies 3 and why?

thanks a bunch!

Comment left December 28, 2010 at 8:28 am Permanent Link
Comment #30288 from Lean Education [Reply]

I would like to see details of the user interface can see a set of screenshots in the bottom of this page. You are free to use all the details and screenshots on websites, blogs, forum posts ect. Each of the screenshots can be clicked to open the full version…

Comment left January 20, 2011 at 7:37 am Permanent Link

Comment #34928 from gz [Reply]

One gripe I have with this app is that it removes my title from the database when I remove the video from my harddrive.

How do I keep the database growing while having few or no movies on my harddrive?

For example, my purchased DVD collection. How do I keep the database?

Comment left March 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm Permanent Link
Comment #43238 from Actress Photos [Reply]

The movies collection seems very funny and good. could you please email me if you have any thriller genre movies? actress photos

Comment left May 25, 2011 at 10:53 am Permanent Link

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