In part one we looked at the My Movies for WHS installation and configuration, now we need to install the My Movies client software on your VMC PC so you can manage your movie collection.
You can download the My Movies Client from the download page here.
Make sure you get the My Movies Client Edition for either x86 or x64 and not the My Movies Server and Client Edition.
My Movies Client installation
Once you have installed the software launch the My Movies Collection Management program. You should be prompted to enter the server name you want to connect to. Enter the name of your WHS box.
Note: I already had the My Movies Server and Client Edition installed on my Vista PC, so first I had to remove it from add/remove programs, I also removed all the MS SQL components as these were no longer required as they are now hosted on the WHS. And then just installed the My Movies Client Edition.
Once in the Collection Management program, my movie titles were then all listed on the left hand side. If you are doing a refresh installation with no previous database having been restored then you will see no titles listed here until some new ones have been added.
Setup Folder Monitoring
Select the Configure menu and then Options. Select Folder Monitoring. In here you add the paths to the folders you would like My Movies to Monitor.
Also select an Operating Type and Operating Location. I personally normally choose Confirmative in Collection Manager. But you may want the notifications to appear in Media Center when new titles are added, so you would change the Operating Location to Media Center.
My Movies will then auto detect the movies in the monitored folders and try it’s best to add a matching title in to the database.
I find that it is not always 100% accurate which is why I set it to Confirmative, so it asks me first before just adding an incorrect title.
I will now briefly run through adding a new movie title manually, you may do this if you are not using folder monitoring or you want to add titles for some of your movies that have not been detected.
Click the Title pull down menu and select Add Title or just click the Add Titles button the menu bar.
Go to the By Title tab enter the name of the movie or if you have the original disk you could use the By Barcode tab, select the country, I normally leave it on United States and select the type, DVD or Blu-ray etc. Then click on the search button.
Choose a title from the search results and click Add Online
Then browse to the folder where this movie is stored.
Once it has been added click Add to Owned for keeps button.
Note: I always use UNC paths rather than local ones like D:\Movies
For example: \\WHS\\Movies\HD\Gladiator
The Progress is then shown as My Movies downloads the information and adds the title to your database.
The title is then added.
Tip: Click the Disc(s) button you may find it has added more than one disk if the movie was listed as a two disk edition, when you only wanted one as you don’t have the second disk on your system. You can simply remove the second disk and save the title.
My Movies in Media Center
This is the My Movies version 2 user interface in Media Center, it is looking dated now as it’s HTML based and not a native MCML Media Center application, especially when compared to the likes of Media Browser.
However I am hoping that the new My Movies version 3 due for beta release in September, will be a suitable replacement to Media Browser as it goes commercial, I know I would prefer to use My Movies if I can.
Disk ripping process on the WHS
After installing AnyDVD HD on the WHS, I inserted an Audio CD. I could see that the light on the DVD Drive was flashing away and I could hear it had spun up. After a few minutes the CD was ejected.
On my PC, I then browsed to the folder I had told My Movies for WHS to rip my audio CD’s to and in there I could see that it had created a folder for this artist with a sub folder with the albums name. In here I had WMA files and even a 500×500 resolution folder.jpg for the front cover sweet! This particular CD was 171 MB in file size that’s using WMA Lossless.
I then went in to my music library in Media Center but I could not see the new album. So I opened WMP11 and refreshed the library to add the album. My newly ripped album then appeared in WMP11/VMC. Man that was pretty simple. I guess if I was more patient the album would have eventually just appeared in Media Center of it’s own accord.
My Music Disc Copier in the WHS Console – Completed rip status Done.
DVD / Blu-ray / HDDVD:
I then dug out a DVD movie (The Big Lebowski) and inserted the disk in to the DVD drive on the WHS machine.
In the WHS Console you can go to the My Movies Disc Copier to see what’s happening.
I have to say I am pretty impressed with the ripping features in My Movies for WHS, I won’t be able to test a Blu-ray disk however as I don’t have a Blu-ray drive on the WHS box. But it makes it very easy for any family member to insert a disk in to the WHS and add it to the collection and for it to appear in Media Center.
Two things I would like to see however, support for ripping DVD’s to DVR-MS and the option to specify individual shared folders for DVD and Blu-ray. Rather than only being able to choose one folder for both.
I really like My Movies for Windows Home Server. I think if you already have a WHS in the house and you are also a Media Center user, it seems a no brainer to also have the My Movies database installed on the WHS for central access by all HTPC clients and to also take advantage of those easy to use ripping features. So simple anyone in the house can add content to the system.