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Page Revision: 2009/09/01 10:31


It is with great pleasure that we can now welcome you to the My Movies 3 Pre Release. This page will try to give you informations on what we expect to be the most important questions regarding My Movies 3.

Users who 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.

Ian Dixon on "The Media Center Show" at have an interview with Brian Binnerup, owner and developer of My Movies, which goes through most of the details of My Movies 3. This is a good listen if you are interested in the release: The Digital Lifestyle

Important Notices

Before installing the My Movies 3 Pre Release, please specifically notice the following:

  • Usage of the pre release will require 2,500 points on your account. This limitations have been made for two reasons, the main reason is that My Movies today have 60,000 registered users, where more than 30,000 have been using the system within the last month - one of the main ideas behind the pre release is to receive and listen to input from our users, which we are unable to do for 30,000 users at a time. By restricting the initial usage of the pre release to users with 2,500 points, we hope to be able to address and carefully review all incoming feedbacks. The initial restriction to users with 2,500 points also assures that we receive initial feedback from our most dedicated users, who's usage scenarios is initially the most important ones to ensure. The second reason for the limitation is that we would like to give something back to the users who have stood behind us, and helped our service to grow, either by contributing data, or by contributing economically.

  • Users who at the start of the pre release period does not yet have the 2,500 points, can at any time either contribute data to our service, or purchase the required points if they would like to participate in the pre release usage. Depending on the amount of feedback, the initial 2,500 point limit may be set lower, or fully lifted during the pre release period, but the only guarantee is that the product is available for anyone by October 22'nd for the final release.

  • The pre release is not considered to be feature wise ready. With few exceptions, all features from My Movies 2 is available within My Movies 3, while the amount of new features is few. My Movies 3 is mainly a fully re-designed user interface, that gives us the option to extend the functionality both during the pre release period, and afterwards. This means that the feature set for the final version on October 22'nd will depend a lot of the inputs received from our users.

  • Within Media Center, My Movies 3 is using the full screen for covers and details, to avoid the interface to be too "busy" with the navigation options. This means that the navigation menu is hidden, until you press the "Up" key from the first row of items in the list overview, while clicking the "Up" key, the navigation menu appears. We are looking at options to make this more obvious for new users, and the option to access the menu from a mouse, but for now, please notice that you access the navigation menu with the "Up" key on a remote or a keyboard.


While My Movies 2 contained seperate installers for Server/Client and Client, as well as seperate X86 and X64 versions, which meant four installers that the user had to choose the right one between, often given users of Standalone installations problems as they incorrectly choosed the Client only installer, in My Movies 3, there will only be one installer available.

The new installer in My Movies 3 lets the user choose between a Standalone, Server and Client or Client only installation, and SQL Server 2005 is no longer distributed as an integrated part of the installer. If a user chooses Standalone or Server and Client installations, and the installation is not an upgrade, SQL Server 2005 will be downloaded on-demand instead by the installer.

For X86 vs. X64 installations, the My Movies 3 installer will also operate on both systems, installing as X86 (Windows on Windows) mode on X64 systems. There are parts of My Movies that block the option to install as a native X64 installation, but the software operates well in X86 mode.

The updated installer should make things easier for everyone, and it will make the installation process easier and more smooth.

Start Menu and Extras/Program library

In My Movies 2, users were prompted if they would like to access My Movies from it's own start menu strip, in the program library or as an icon in the TV+movies strip under Windows Vista. Since we have tried to cut down on the amount of required configurations to make everything work, and to avoid asking questions to not advanced users that they may not be able to reply to, this integration question have been removed.

My Movies 3 will instead always integrate both into the Extras/Program library, as well as create it's own strip in the start menu, while the option to integrate into the TV+movies strip have been removed, also because this option is not available under Windows 7, and not having the option overall avoids confusion and is better for consistancy on both Vista and Windows 7. The extras/program library icon, and the start menu strip have been created as two seperate entries in the library, giving users who do not want the strip the option to remove it using the extras/program library editing.

My Movies does not replace the "Movie Library" strip in Windows 7 by default, but an option to remove it will be added during the pre release period.

The start menu strip will have a different look, with different icons under Windows Vista and Windows 7. Windows Vista's SDK does not allow the usage of the wide icons used by Media Center's own menu icons, which Windows 7 does. This means that the start menu icons under Windows 7 will look better, and more integration than we have the option to under Windows Vista.

Blu-ray and HD DVD Integrations

Users of My Movies 2 will remember that My Movies had it's own integration of HD players, which My Movies 3 only have to some extend. Previously, the ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 2 and PowerDVD 8 only had integrations that did not work well, or did not have integrations with Media Center at all - because of this, My Movies 2 had a HD Integration setting with it's own application as a middle layer.

The latest versions of these players, ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 and PowerDVD 9 have well functioning integrations for both inserted original discs, and image files (ISO, IMG, ect.). Because of this, My Movies 3 no longer creates it's own integration, but instead, ArcSoft and PowerDVD's own integration will be used directly by Media Center's autoplay, while My Movies detects and uses them automatically when you press the "Play Disc" button in the My Movies strip.

For playback of BDMV and HV_DVD folders (Blu-ray and HD DVD folders), My Movies 3 now automatically detects ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 2 or 3, and launches this player directly without the middle layer that My Movies 2 had.

The unfortunate outcome of this new approch is that My Movies is no longer involved in the playback process of original Blu-ray or HD DVD discs, and is only involved in mounting image files, not in the playback process of these. This also means that the option to unmount an ISO file after playback no longer exists, and the option disable AnyDVD before playback of a HD title is removed also. For image files, it will not be problematic in the user interface, as the image mounting drives will be ignored, and not be displayed as an inserted disc.

Image File (ISO, IMG, ect.) Integrations

Users who have previously been using image files in My Movies 2 will see some changes in My Movies 3. We recommend using Virtual CloneDrive for mounting image files, but the usage of Daemon Tools Lite is also possible. The major change from My Movies 2 to My Movies 3 is that the programs will now be identified on a per-usage basis, meaning that you no longer need to configure anything regarding these.

Should you try to play an image file, without having a supported image mounter installed, the system will simply let you know about this. Secondly, images mounted in Virtual CloneDrive or Daemon Tools will no longer show up as part of the "Disc In Drives" in the start of your movie title list, as they are considered as titles you can start from the title in your collection.

External Player Integrations

For playback of inserted DVD's, mounted image files (ISO, IMG, ect.) containing a DVD, as well as both VIDEO_TS and other file structure playbacks, My Movies 2 have had the option to integrate TheaterTek, but unfortunately not any other player for external playback, except for the Blu-ray and HD DVD disc integrations.

The option to integrate TheaterTek have been temporary removed in the My Movies 3 Pre Release, since it is during the pre release period being replaced by a new and more generic external player integration option, where the user is able to integrate more external players, and prefer the players based on the playback content. This integration was at pre release time not fully done, and is therefore not available within the first pre release.

Extenders and Transcoding

Just as with My Movies 2, My Movies 3 is supported to use on Media Center extenders. While My Movies 2 contained an option to integrate with Transcode 360, this option have been temporary removed in My Movies 3, due to Transcode 360 not being maintained, and because this integration is one that have given the most problems for our users in My Movies 2.

This means that you with My Movies 3 can play movies that the extenders natively supports, but transcoding options are not available. Depending on the amount of requests, we will be looking at native transcoding options during the pre release period, however it will only be made available if we find it to be consistantly stable and easy to use.

With the three keywords "Reliability, Stability and Speed" we will be avoiding options that we do not feel that we can ensure a certain quality of.