Building a movie library for Windows Media Center

I‘ve always been curious of the Movie Library function in Windows Media Center, whenever I have gone into it, it just seemed to take forever to index my movies and never contain any more information that the pictures + video browser had.

Only recently have I decided to dig around to work out how to get this element of MCE working properly. As it turns out it’s not as simple as one would have thought, it requires external software to download the movie data and store it in the correct place, but is worth the effort setting it up as it brings a new dimension to browsing your collections.

The core issue is that Movie Libary needs an xml file in each of the movie folders, otherwise it needs to scan each folder, which takes so long, it’s really not worth even considering using this service.

Each movie folder needs to contain an image called folder.jpg, which should be less that 1000px high, otherwise the movie library won’t load the image.

Media center holds additional information for the movie synopsis, genre and year in a folder called DvdInfoCache that can be found by going to %AppData%\Microsoft\eHome\DvdInfoCache. This data must be on the local machine and can’t be stored on a remote server, the xml files within this folder contain a code that matches the xml file within the movie folder, this enables the local machine to pull all the details quickly, whilst not having to store the large movie files.

I ended up wanting to manage the process of creating the folder jpgs and movie xml files manually, so I used MetaBrowser a wonderful free app that I can manage remotely on my home server (via remote deskop).

I have paired that to the DvdInfoCache folder which I’ve shared from my media center, this means I can now manage my Movie Library without having to use my media center locally using an option within MetaBrowser.

MetaBrowser can be setup to automatically pull all the top rated movie details found, similar to another fully automatic application called Yammm, but this at least has some options for going back and reviewing and changing those details, it they are incorrect.

Only recently have I decided to dig around to work out how to get this element of MCE working properly. As it turns out it’s not as simple as one would have thought, it requires external software to download the movie data and store it in the correct place, but is worth the effort setting it up as it brings a new dimension to browsing your collections.

The core issue is that Movie Libary needs an xml file in each of the movie folders, otherwise it needs to scan each folder, which takes so long, it’s really not worth even considering using this service.

Each movie folder needs to contain an image called folder.jpg, which should be less that 1000px high, otherwise the movie library won’t load the image.

Media center holds additional information for the movie synopsis, genre and year in a folder called DvdInfoCache that can be found by going to %AppData%\Microsoft\eHome\DvdInfoCache. This data must be on the local machine and can’t be stored on a remote server, the xml files within this folder contain a code that matches the xml file within the movie folder, this enables the local machine to pull all the details quickly, whilst not having to store the large movie files.

I ended up wanting to manage the process of creating the folder jpgs and movie xml files manually, so I used MetaBrowser a wonderful free app that I can manage remotely on my home server (via remote deskop).

I have paired that to the DvdInfoCache folder which I’ve shared from my media center, this means I can now manage my Movie Library without having to use my media center locally using an option within MetaBrowser.

MetaBrowser can be setup to automatically pull all the top rated movie details found, similar to another fully automatic application called Yammm, but this at least has some options for going back and reviewing and changing those details, it they are incorrect.

http://themetabrowser.com/