My Movies 3.0

My Movies 3.0
Hello! I’m CrAzY, a moderator of TheGreenButton.Com and former Media Center MVP. I’ve been using Media Center since its release in 2002 and still using it to this day (now on Windows 7 Media Center, of course), but find my needs vastly different than when I first entrenched myself in the HTPC world. When I first started, my goal was to build a DIY Tivo box because I was not going to pay subscription fees for a service that I knew I could accomplish myself. Now, I host my recorded TV shows on a NAS and watch them from my desktop in my room or the HTPC in the living room when I have time.

Over the years I have ripped my DVD library and compressed them to ISO’s and no longer have a standalone DVD player set up in my home theater–I now use My Movies almost exclusively to watch movies on either Media Center.

I’ve been using My Movies since the original version of Windows Media Center Edition and have never felt like I was missing out on anything until Mike’s review, Battle of the Media Center Movie Managers. It had me thinking it might be time to consider a new solution for managing my DVD library. Mike, however, personally convinced me to stick to My Movies and not sacrifice the simplistic management that I have become accustomed to for the frontend aesthetics of its MCML competitors.

With the release of Windows 7, Brian and the gang of Binnerup Consult present My Movies 3.0 to the Media Center Community!

Click Read More to continue reading the review!


I am not going to fluff things up, dumb things down or blow any smoke– I don’t have time for all of that, my time is valuable to me, and I’m not going to pretend yours isn’t as well, so I’ll give you what I have and spare the speculation of what I don’t know. I’ll share my experience with My Movies 3.0, the user interface changes from 2.x and a few things that I felt were shortcomings for Version 3. And to make things simple, I tested the Standalone version of My Movies 3.0, so I won’t be touching on any of the Server-Client functionality in this review.

Here are the key changes from 2.x:

  • A Single Installer
  • Updated User Interface (MCML)
  • Addition of “Similar Movies”

All I keep hearing the back of my head is, “One ring to rule them all.” And that’s exactly what 3.0 has done here – one installer for them all! A single installer for everything – One file for either OS Version; 32-Bit or 64-Bit, and the same for the installation of your choice; Client, Server-Client or Standalone. All of that in a lean 35MB package – How is that possible!?! It’s pretty simple actually, it no longer includes the SQL Server installer within the package. If you already have SQL Server on your system the installer detects it and proceeds to install everything else. If you don’t have SQL Server on your system, not to worry, it automatically downloads it within the Setup window and then completes the My Movies setup. Including the download of SQL Server, the installation of 3.0 clocked less than 5 minutes. A very simple and quick process for newbies and experts alike.

My Movies 3.0 My Movies 3.0

My Movies Collection Manager appears to have maintained the same look, feel and construction as 2.x and because of that, I didn’t have a problem finding my way through my collection and importing new titles. However, one thing you should note with My Movies 3.0 and the Collection Manager: if you’re running Windows 7 64-Bit and using images, be sure you download SlySoft’s Virtual CloneDrive–if you’re not using it already–as 3.0 does not work with Daemon Tools Lite, even if you were using it with 2.x.

My Movies 3.0

My Movies 3.0 is installed and the Collection Manager is all set up, so let’s see what we’ve been waiting for…

The user interface has finally received a much anticipated face lift while many of the options remain unaffected; sort (By title, By star rating, By production year, By cinema release date, By disc release date, By parental level and By published date) and section (Movies, Movie Genres, Movie Trailers and Cast & Crew) are now accessed through a top panel with search and view.

Ushering in MCML so you can look upon your movies in a whole new way, 3.0 gives you four ways to adore your collection; Covers full screen, Covers and details, Covers centered and List and details.

Collection Views

My Movies 3.0

Covers full screen Covers and details

My Movies 3.0

My Movies 3.0

Covers centered List and details

My Movies 3.0

My Movies 3.0

I’ve taken a liking to “List and details” – staying on one selection long enough takes away the list and gives you a full screen background image with movie description on each one (this is achieved in other views as well).
My Movies 3.0
Select a movie and you’re given a bevy of details and movie options, not to mention the full screen background image of each movie. For movies that did not have a background image, the background remained blank.
My Movies 3.0
I was expecting the UI changes in 3.0 and was completely ecstatic with the eye candy my movie collection now provided me, yet I wasn’t expecting the last thing I discovered…

My Movies 3.0 now brings the and Netflix concept of, “You may also like,” with Similar Movies. If you are in the mood for a comedy, but maybe not the one you were just looking at, you can easily check out what else might tickle your funny bone without having to go back out to your main collection.

My Movies 3.0

I am pleased with 3.0. I plan to move my environment to a Server-Client solution shortly and I’ll give you a more in-depth look at how it performs along with the Collection Manager of My Movies. If you are an existing user of My Movies 2.x, there is no reason you should not already be downloading 3.0 by the time you read this. It is everything you have loved with a new paint job and that new car smell. If you have never used My Movies before, 3.0 is the perfect opportunity and enticement to get started. There is no reason you should not already be downloading 3.0, it brings everything you need in reliability for your collection and the track record of a Camry. Brian has been developing My Movies for more than five years and a number of system integrators and builders leverage this exceptional tool. You can put aside your hesitation if you are worried about maintaining an unsupported library, Binnerup and My Movies will not be leaving the community any time soon. While I’m happy to get an updated user interface to my beloved movie manager, there were a couple of shortcomings. While not deal breakers or showstoppers, they are things I hope to see addressed in the very near future:

  • SQL Server 2005: We’re stuck using a database technology that is nearly 5 years old. SQL Server 2008 offers better performance, especially on 64 Bit systems. From what I understand, it may be possible in the near future for expert users to install SQL Server Express 2008 themselves and utilize it for their collection.
  • More…:  Similar movies is great! It was like an Easter egg when I discovered it – And now I want more! Similar actors, similar producers, similar movie butter popcorn… Okay, the titles could use some work, but you get the idea.

My Movies 3.0 is an excellent addition to the Media Center Community, thanks Binnerup!