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Page Revision: 2011/03/01 09:31


Welcome to the My Movies 4 Pre Release - with this document we will try to answer some of the questions about what My Movies 4 is and is not, compared to our prior My Movies 3 version.

My Movies 4 brings extended TV Series support to My Movies for Windows Media Center and My Movies Collection Management. You have with My Movies 3 always been able to add TV Series on DVD, Blu-ray or HD DVD to your collection, and users of TV series in online single file structures have been able to have their TV series supported to some extend by using the Series/Box set functionality along with the option to add multiple discs to a disc title profile.

With My Movies 4, we are extending this functionality to what some will refer to as proper TV series import, monitoring, management and browsing. The pre release is intended for users who would like to participate in reviewing, testing and giving us feedback for My Movies 4. The pre release requires 2,500 points or a licensed installer license file to participate - this is done to limit the amount of participating users to a level that we are able to handle support wise.

The functionality implemented for TV series is similar in requirements to what was originally created in XBMC, and today is used in various projects.

We have created a forum specifically for the My Movies 4 Pre Release, allowing you to report issues, post requests or discuss the release in general. You can find this forum here.

Important Notice

Before you install the My Movies 4 Pre Release, create a backup of your database in the Collection Management program. This is very, very important, because if there is any bugs in the pre release that affects your database, you are sure to have a backup from prior to the Pre Release.

Service Changes

For products such as XBMC which currently supports similar functionality for TV series, with few exceptions, the meta-data for the TV series is loaded from an open source service As it has been a priority for us to be able to ensure both stability and speed, as well as handle some management things a bit differently, we have per agreement with created our own structure for the data and have loaded the data available from into our own services.

This means that during February, we inserted a new database server, transferred the prior database server to become a new webserver host for our disc title webservice, while the TV Series service was placed on the prior webservice host. These changes were made to ensure that our capacity is good enough for the load the TV series service will gain.

We expect that these changes, along with the structure and hosting capacities will ensure a high speed of operation on managing TV series.

File Structure Support

The TV Series functionality made available in the pre release is created for users who have a structure of files in online folders. The structure is aimed to follow the specifications used by XBMC and products that follows it's specification, to ensure that users with existing structures can use these.

Due to the large change it has been to create a new structure for the TV series data on our service, including changing the technology around searching for series and episodes, there can be existing structures that function with XBMC and other products, which for some reason do not import as expected into My Movies 4. One of the main purposes of the pre-release is that such situations are solved.

If you are having structures that does not import as expected, it is recommended to remove all the TV series from the database, and use the import functionality again - this will re-import your file structure, and create a "TVSerieLog.txt" into the My Movies debug directory, which you can open from "Help", "Debug" in the Collection Management program. By sending this file to along with a description of what is not imported correct, we will be able to reproduce the import of your structure in our systems.

You can read a detailed specification of the required file structure for TV series support here.

Disc (DVD, Blu-ray, HD DVD) Support

The My Movies 4 Pre Release does not bring extended TV Series support to DVD, Blu-ray or HD DVD disc titles, including offline titles, or titles in VIDEO_TS or BDMV folders, or ISO image files. Disc titles that are marked as having "TV Serie" content will be placed in the "tv serie library" section of the application, but otherwise will be browsed the way they have always been in My Movies 3.

It has been a priority for us to ensure that the TV series structure functions correct for file structure usage, which is expected to be the primary usage for this functionality, and then once we are sure that everything is correct here both in regards to the structure, data and interface, we will extend the functionality to disc title usage as well.

This means that to help this process you can mark your TV serie disc titles with the "TV Serie" content type option, and then in the disc editing dialog edit titles and chapters on the discs to map these to season and episode numbers - this will allow for the disc title to be handled correct by the TV serie functionality when extended for disc title usage.

Interfaces Supported

While My Movies primary interface is for Windows Media Center, our Collection Management today stores meta-data for both Dune, Popcorn Hour and other products that allows for TV serie support. These other front-ends will not initially be supported by the update to My Movies 4 - once we are sure that the interface and background functionality is as required for Windows Media Center, we will be looking at extending the support to these front-ends as well.

This will be either during the pre release period, or soon after.

Windows Vista vs. Windows 7

Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 is currently supported by My Movies 4, however some functionalities are only available in Windows 7, such as the extended configuration options for the start menu.

There are changes in the Windows 7 SDK for Windows Media Center that we currently do not make use of, but consider making use of. Due to this, we are also considering if we whould make My Movies 4 a product exclusively for Windows 7, and deprecate support for Windows Vista.

This is something we would like to hear your thoughts of on our forums.

Importing TV Series

It is recommended that you use the Collection Management option "TV Folder Import" in "File", "Import", for your initial import of TV series, as this gives you an overview of imported episodes and series. After your initial import, we recommend that you enable folder monitoring in "Tools", "Options", "Folder Monitoring" for your TV series folder(s), allowing it to automatically keep your tv structure updated.

At the time of adding a TV series, My Movies will add a full structure of the TV series, including both seasons and episodes in your collection, and all known season and episodes in the server, even when they are not in your collection. For episodes and seasons not in your collection, only the structure marker will be downloaded - no data will be downloaded for the episodes and seasons, and these will also not be featured in the Windows Media Center interface. You can at any time click on an episode to download data for it - even if it is not in your collection, you can then select a file for the TV episode manually.

The reason that not only download episodes and seasons in your collection is to give you a good overview of the full tv series, and giving you the option to later on handle data on episodes you do not have in your collection.

The tv series, seasons and episodes are given different icons in the Collection Management tree structure, depending on the status of the element. It is recommended that you become familiar with the icons below:

Image - TV Series

Image - TV Episode that is not linked to the online service (local). This TV Serie is added during import if your collection contains a TV Serie that is not known by the service.

Image - TV Season

Image - TV Season that is not linked to the online service (local). This TV Season is added during import if your collection contains a TV Season that is not known by the service.

Image - TV Season where data is not downloaded. This TV Season will not be visible in Windows Media Center.

Image - TV Episode

Image - TV Episode where data is not downloaded. This TV Episode will not be visible in Windows Media Center.

Image - TV Episode where the link to a playback file is missing. This TV Episode will be visible in Windows Media Center, but not playable.

Image - TV Episode that is not linked to the online service (local). This TV Episode is added during import if your collection contains an episode that is not known by the service.

Media Center Start Menu Changes

In My Movies 3, the menu items in the Media Center start menu were not configurable, and there was only an option for having one strip. To better support the requirement for TV series, My Movies 4 by default contains two strips - one called "Movies" with the movie library functionality, and another called "TV Series" with the tv series library functionality. These sections devide movies and tv series into seperate libraries.

You can in "Collection Management", "Tools", "Options", "Media Center Start Menu" configure how you prefer the start menu, which means you can configure it for either one or two strips, you can name each of the strips to your own preference, and you can choose which items you would like in the start menu.

One thing to notice specifically is that there are three default entry options for the start menu, which is the default used "Movie Library" and "TV Serie Library" and the alternative "Media Library" which combines all your media intro one start menu item. This allows you to configure one strip with only one entrance instead of the default devided two strip functionality.


My Movies for Windows Home Server 1.6.*.* and My Movies for Windows Media Center 4

My Movies for Windows Home Server is at the time of the pre release of My Movies 4 not updated for the TV Series functionality. It can however with one exception still fully function as a back-end for My Movies 4. The exception to this is that since the Windows Home Server software does not know of the added folders used for TV Series, it's backup functionality will not include TV Serie graphics. This means that any backup during the pre release must be made from the Collection Management side.

We will during the pre release period release a Windows Home Server version where it's backup will be able to backup TV Series as well, however we do not know yet when a release will be available where folder monitoring will function with TV Series functionality.

Virus Scanner Notice

During the pre release, My Movies 4 is by default configured to write process information to it's debug log. This means that a lot of informations is being written into the file "log.txt" in "C:\ProgramData\My Movies" - some virus scanners, including Microsoft Security Essentials scans files each time they are written to.

If your virus scanner is not set to ignore this file, you will find that My Movies will be slow in everything it does. You must open the configuration of your virus scanner, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, and configure it to not scan the "log.txt" file in "C:\ProgramData\My Movies".

Providing Feedback

We would like as much feedback as you can give about the pre release - including malfunctions, improveable items or general ideas on how to improve the release. Depending on the workload, we will be spending the pre release period to solve any issues with the implementation, and if the time allows it, implement functionality that can be improved.

Please use our forum for feedback - there will be a "My Movies 4 Pre Release" forum available for the purpose.

Discussing My Movies 4

While we require 2,500 points on a users account to participate in the My Movies 4 Pre Release, the content of it is not a secret to the public. You are allowed to post any screenshot, thoughts or anything else you might have from March 1'st where the pre release is available. This includes both posts on our own forums and on external websites and blogs.

Notice though that the product is available in a pre release version with the purpose of improving the functionality for the final product. We ask that you do not judge the product exclusively by the functionality provided in the pre release - there will be various improvements in the pre release period based on user feedback, and the correct time to fully review the product will be at the time of the release.

We expect the final release of My Movies 4 to be available in the first week of April, but based on the amount of feedback and the workload this gives, this date can change.