If you want a streaming media solution for your home that not only catalogs, categorizes, and fills in all the details about the movie for you, but also gives you a slick interface so that you have far reaching ability to tweak to your style, then My Movies is the application for you!

My Movies – Media Center Movie Streaming Bliss

Tom Abell

My Movies – Media Center Movie Streaming Bliss

My Movies – Media Center Movie Streaming Bliss

Contribuitng Author: Tom Abell


If you want a streaming media solution for your home that not only catalogs, categorizes, and fills in all the details about the movie for you, but also gives you a slick interface so that you have far reaching ability to tweak to your style, then My Movies is the application for you!

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year!  There’s a different spirit in the air as people go about the business of doing good deeds for one another and as the excitement builds towards Christmas day when the opportunity to shower our loved ones with special gifts arrives!

That and waiting as patiently as possible until we get our hands on whichever technology, gadget, or software our good behavior throughout the year has won us!

With so many different technologies, gadgets, and devices coming out recently that center around the ability to stream movies throughout the home, I thought it would be appropriate for me to cover one of my most favorite applications in my Home Technology repertoire.   You see, as much as I tout the innovation of devices like the Logitech Revue featuring Google TV, the truth is that none of these new streaming media players like Roku, Boxee Box, or even Apple TV can come close to the power and flexibility of a properly configured HTPC (Home Theater PC).   The combination of a HTPC and Windows Home Server is indeed a very tough team to beat, especially when you add a program like My Movies into the equation.


My Movies

My Movies was created by a company based out of Århus, Denmark called Binnerup Consult and is headed up by none other than Brian Binnerup.  Originally started as a “spare time” project known as “My DVD Collection” for Media Center 2004, this suite of programs has over time become one of the “must have” add-ins for WHS and eventually started going by the name “My Movies”.  

The My Movies suite has three separate pieces that can work in tandem or separately to create an extremely solid Home Entertainment solution.  The three main software components of My Movies are:

  • My Movies for Windows Media Center
  • My Movies Collection Management
  • My Movies for Windows Home Server


My Movies for Windows Media Center

My Movies for Windows Media Center (WMC) extends the functionality of Windows Media Center, a standard app already built into Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7.   What we mean by “extending” is that it creates a whole new menu entry within Media Center (pictured below) that adds a number of new features over what the standard Movies tab in Media Center provides.  

Description: D:\Website Workspace\Website Graphics\My Movies\My-movies-wmc7-home.png

Not only can you experience your entire movie collection on your HDTV (or on any other PC or Laptop around the home) as you do in the normal Movies menu, but My Movies gives you significant control over how the movies are displayed on your screen!  This is truly a “tweakers’ paradise” with so many options of how many rows of DVD covers are shown combined with where / if / and how much of the synopsis shows! The more advanced control in “tweaking” your interface costs “points”, which I cover further down in the article, but suffice to say:

While the standard screen is already pretty sweet looking with a full screen of your DVD covers, My Movies gives you a wide range of options giving you the ability to create an environment that fits your personal style:

Description: D:\Website Workspace\Website Graphics\My Movies\My-movies-wmc7-options.png

By selecting the options that create the environment you want, you can start having your My Movie screen take on a whole new look:

Because of the rich metadata within the My Movies database, you will also have full access to the movie details like viewing the synopsis, browsing the cast & crew members, and checking out the extra features of the DVD / Blu-ray.   You can even play a trailer of the movie if you’d prefer to see a trailer over reading the synopsis.  With My Movies, it’s all about giving you the control over the system to create the movie viewing experience that you prefer!

All of that rich metadata that populates the movie details comes from a very important part of the My Movies suite:


My Movies Collection Management

As if the facelift for your Windows Media Center interface weren’t enough, the My Movies Collection Management application is an amazingly feature laden aspect of this software suite.  This product acts as a standalone data management product that not only supplies rich metadata content to your My Movies suite of products, but can also be used in conjunction with SageTV (discussed in my last Home Toys article), XBMC (Xbox Media Center), and even Windows Media Center’s standard movie library.

The My Movies Collection Management product not only lets you maintain and manage your entire movie collection, using SQL server as its database infrastructure, it lets you add your moves with high quality metadata from Binnerups’ online service. The database lets you add movies by various means like: scanning the barcode on the DVD case via your webcam, by Disk ID, by Title Look-up, or by simply typing in the title and doing a search!  The Title look-up works great from my experience and usually when I add a DVD into the drive, the disk is scanned, identified, and you are given the option of copying it onto your hard drive and entering it into the movie database.  The disk is copied using embedded AnyDVD software which, after the trial period runs out, you will need to purchase if you want to continue adding movies to your database in this manner.  When you use the My Movies Collection Management Copy Disk function, which as mentioned uses AnyDVD, you will be reminded that “copying protected disks is illegal in some countries”.  Please be aware of the laws in your country so that you are keeping things in accordance with those laws.   It seems that movie companies are starting to embrace digital copies and are providing them with purchased Blu-rays now; hopefully soon we will be able to make digital copies of our legally owned DVDs / Blu-rays so we can stream them to our mobile devices without fear of breaking a law.   

With a plethora of features, included hooks into IMDB (the Internet Movie Data Base website), and even the ability to share details about your collection with other My Movies users, the My Movies Collection Management product is a very powerful and essential part of the My Movies package and really is what sets it apart from what any standard UPnP NAS solution can provide.  


My Movies for Windows Home Server

Rounding off the suite is the “server” portion of the package.  While you don’t need a Windows Home Server to use My Movies as you can combine the client and server functionality on your HTPC, even with your media content residing on a UPnP supported NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, there are some nice features that come with the My Movies for Windows Home Server program. 

The most obvious use for this package is to act as a server for all of your My Movies clients, allowing for a centralized storage of all of your media content.  Also, as mentioned above; when acting as a data management / provider platform, My Movies server can provide its metadata to a wide range of media streaming applications and players such as Dune, TViX, XBMC, Media Portal, SageTV, Niveus Movie Library and more!

From within Windows Home Server, you will see some new tabs in your Windows Home Server Console: My Movies Disk Copier, My Movies Monitor, and My Music Disk Copier.  These allow you to rip movies (where legal) and music right from your Windows Home Server and into the database.  The My Movies Monitor will keep an eye on “watch folders” to detect new media and then will attempt to match that media with an actual movie by using the title from the file / folder.

Description: D:\Website Workspace\Website Graphics\My Movies\My-movies-WHS-settings.png


Hands down, My Movies is my favorite add-in for my Windows Media Center 7 / Windows Home Server setup!  Some of these more advanced customization features mentioned above are what come with purchasing “points”, touching upon one of the really great things about My Movies, it’s free!  What I mean is that you can download and use all of the software to create an amazing streaming media solution in your home without paying a dime.  The ability to really start tweaking the interface, as well as gaining access to some other really powerful features such as copying disks, using external players, and many others require the accumulation of points. Points can be accumulated either by purchasing them or by contributing meta-data to the services.  The company will even start you out with the maximum 2500 points for 21 days so that you can experience the product in its entirety, all you have to do as ask for a trail!  More information about that can be found here.

Beyond all that I’ve touched upon above, My Movies also offers Android, iPhone, and iPad programs to use to catalog your entire movie collection.  From these recent additions to the family, to the constant updates that come out to make My Movies a better product, it’s easy to see that Brian Binnerup realizes not only that the home system integration industry is rapidly growing and changing, but also that he’s got an amazingly high quality product that is positioned perfectly for the impending growth!

Once again, I feel like I’ve written a ton and have barely scratched the surface of yet another really amazing product!  As I’ve briefly covered these three parts of the My Movies platform that Brian Binnerup has created, I hope that I’ve been able to do justice to what truly a great product it really is!

If you want a streaming media solution for your home that not only catalogs, categorizes, and fills in all the details about the movie for you, but also gives you a slick interface that you have far reaching ability to tweak to your style, then My Movies is the application for you!

Give it a shot, you will be amazed!  Learn more about and download My Movies right here!




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