My Movies Wiki

FireWire DVD Media Changer(s)

Modified: 2010/09/10 11:22 by admin - Uncategorized


My Movies is able to control one or more FireWire based DVD Media Changers and serves as an alternative to the included in “My DVD’s” within Media Center 2005 and “DVD library” within Vista Media Center - from now referred to as “DVD library”. The supported changers include the following models:

  • Sony Vaio XL1B
  • Sony Vaio XL1B2
  • Sony Vaio XL1B3
  • Niveus IceVault

DVD Media Changers functions as a relatively cheap alternative to DVDs stored on hard drives, preferred either by price, or because of legality in areas were copying DVDs to hard drives is not allowed by law. The limitations of the changers are mainly the access speed, and the fact that they will function only on the Media Center PC they are connected to; you cannot access these changers from Media Center extenders.

FireWire based Media Changers is highly recommended over RS-232 or IR based models, as they, when connect to your Media Center PC show up as a standard DVD-RW drive, meaning that your Media Center PCs high quality playback will be used, just as if you inserted a DVD into your ordinary DVD drive.

DVD Media Changers operates on DVD Disc Id’s, which is a unique number generated by the content of the DVD, allowing identification of the DVDs without the need for the user to do anything manually, given that the DVD is known by the service.

The Media Changers can be daisy chained, allowing for up to ten changers to be connected and controlled by My Movies.


Advantages over “DVD library”

Using your Media Changers with My Movies offers you several advantages over the build in “DVD library” in Media Center:

  • The Media Changers can be used in all countries supported by My Movies, and allows you to have data assigned to all titles in your collection, in contrast to the “DVD library” that will mainly identify only titles from United States.
  • For DVDs that are not automatically identified by the service, or backup DVDs that cannot be identified by their Disc Id, you can manually change the data source to the correct title using the Collection Management program.
  • If you are not satisfied with the quality of the automatically identified data, you have the option to manually edit it using the Collection Management program, and optionally contribute your changes to the service.
  • Titles that contains multiple DVD discs such as a movie disc and a bonus disc will be identified and added as a single title, in contrast to the “DVD library” that will add the title as two separate titles. When you play such title, you will be prompted which disc you would like to play.
  • My Movies combines the usage of titles in Media Changers, titles on hard drives or network storage devices and offline titles, and gives you many extended features on all types of titles.


Initial configuration

To use your Media Changers with My Movies, you must first close Media Center, then connect the Media Changers to your Media Center PC, and allow Windows to install the drivers for the changer.

When you have done that, start Media Center, and in about 10-20 seconds, My Movies will detect your Media Changer, and will prompt you* with information about what country your machine is configured to be located in – My Movies will use this country as primary source for data added to the profiles of the DVDs inserted into the changer, and will ask you if you would accept English spoken data if no data is found.

In some situations, your country is not supported by My Movies, and you will instead be prompted if you would like to use English spoken data instead – if you decline this, My Movies will disable support for your Media Changers.

  • If you have previously used My Movies folder monitoring, you have already received this prompt, and will not receive it again.

You will now be asked how My Movies should handle the situation when a title is ejected from your Media Changers – My Movies can either remove the title from your movie collection, or it can keep the title as an “Offline Title”, which would allow you to keep the title in your collection, and instead of My Movies playing the disc directly from the Media Changer when you ask to watch the title, you will instead be prompted to insert the disc into your ordinary DVD drive. If your title was originally added as an “Offline Title”, and then inserted into a changer, it will go back to being an “Offline Title” when removed from the changer again.

Notice that with the above mentioned prompts, there is an “Ask Me Later” option, which will temporary disable support for the Media Changers, but will ask you the same questions next time you start Media Center.


Indexing discs

For My Movies to index the DVDs in your Media Changer, load your titles into your Media Changer, and wait for My Movies to identify that you have loaded the discs. Notice that it will take up to a couple of minutes for My Movies to identify that you have inserted discs into the changer as My Movies does not receive an indication that you have inserted discs into your Media Changers – once every two minutes My Movies checks to see if you have inserted discs. When My Movies have identified that you have inserted discs into your Media Changer, it will prompt you to do a re-scan of your discs – this rescan process will go through each of the inserted discs, insert them into the drive of the Media Changer, identify them, and unload them again. If you answer no to let My Movies perform this identification, the Media Changer support will be disabled until you reopen Media Center and is once again prompted to re-scan your discs.

If you have “AnyDVD” running in the background to remove copy protection, region protection or similar, My Movies will automatically disable it while identifying the discs, and re-enable it afterwards. A program that runs at driver level and manipulates the content of the DVD, such as “AnyDVD”, “DVD43”, “DVD Fab Decrypter” or similar also changes the Disc Id of the DVD, causing it to be unidentifiable, therefore it is very important that no such program is running, unless it is “AnyDVD” that My Movies is able to disable during the re-scan process. Because of this, it is also important that you use My Movies to re-scan your discs, and not use the “Manage Discs” or the “DVD library” function to do so, as they are unable to disable “AnyDVD”. Both “Manage Discs” and “DVD library” will identify the discs just as they normally do, even though My Movies performed the re-scan process.

After the re-scan process has finished, you will be prompted about it, and shortly after be prompted that My Movies will start to index the DVDs in the changer – while the re-scan process read the Disc Id from each of the discs, this process will load data from the service and add the DVDs to your collection. Once this process has finished, you will be prompted about it, and all your DVDs is now available within your collection.


Correcting unidentified discs

The data added to the DVDs you have inserted into your DVD changer is added from the My Movies Webservice – which is a user maintained database, and depending on your country and the popularity of your DVDs, either all, some or only a few titles have been added with data. If you titles are backup titles, the Disc Id will be different from the original disc, and these have not been added with data.

Adding data to unidentified discs is a manual process, and there are generally two ways of doing this.

For original discs:

As you have an original disc that is not identified by the service, it is highly recommended that you by using the Collection Management program contribute the information about this title to the My Movies Webservice, so that not only your own title will be identified correctly in the future, but also allow the same title to be identified automatically by the service for other users in the future.

To do this, start by ejecting all the discs that were not identified – unidentified discs are the ones that are displayed with My Movies’ default blue cover, and does not contain any description when opening the title information – you should eject the discs individually using the “Eject” button on the title information page within My Movies. When finished ejecting discs, all of the ejected discs are the ones you need to handle manually.

After ejecting discs, wait for the message that My Movies gives you about it updating your library, and wait for the message about it having finalized this process, then close Media Center. Find the original covers for each of the titles, and one by one add the titles as “Offline Titles” in the Collection Management program by their barcodes – some titles may not be known by the service by their barcodes, in which case they needs to be added manually. Please read the Contribution Guide on how to read and contribute Disc Id’s, and/or contributing manually added profiles.

When you have read and contributed the Disc Id’s for your DVDs, the discs are now known by the service, and you can either delete the titles from your Collection Management program again, and re-insert the discs into your Media Changer, in which case they will be removed from your collection when removed from the Media Changer, or you can keep the titles in your collection and re-insert the discs into your Media Changer, in which case the titles will be kept as “Offline Titles” when removed from the Media Changer.

Notice that any information you change in the Collection Manager for the title is stored on the local machines temporary directory as well as in the database, which means that in multi-zone environments, any information that is not contributed to the Webservice will only be kept when a disc is removed and reinserted into the changer, if you edit the information on the local machine.

If you do not whish to contribute your titles to the Webservice, and by doing that help improve the service, you can use the below method for backup discs to change your titles.

For backup discs:

As backup discs have Disc Id’s that differ from the original title, and differ for each backup, depending on which program that created the backup, and what parts of the disc that was kept, these discs cannot be automatically identified.

After My Movies have indexed these discs, they will be displayed in your collection with My Movies’ default blue cover, and no description besides the disc label. As it can be hard for you to identify the discs by just their labels within the Collection Management program, it is suggested that you use the “Change Data” button* on the title information page within My Movies in Media Center to change the data to the correct title – by doing this, you do not need to eject the titles from your Media Changer, but can use the “Watch” button to start playback of the title, allowing you to identify which title it is. You may from the “Change Data” guide change the data to another title by either a barcode or by a manual title search.

* The “Change Data” button is not displayed by default, to ensure that family members do not change data on titles in your collection by accident. To display this button, from the My Movies main screen go to “Settings”, “Collection Management” and click the “Switch to edit mode” button to enable editing mode.

My Movies stores information about the change you have made, causing the backup disc to autoidentify as the correct titles after making the above change in “Change Data”, even if you unload the disc from your Media Changers and re-insert it later on **.

** This information is stored on the local machines temporary directory, which means that in multizone environments, the updated information will only be stored when editing on the local machine.


Further instructions and support

If you require any further instructions, have questions or in other ways require additional support, please use the forum on the My Movies website to receive free support. My Movies registered installers and System Builders may write an e-mail or post in the System Builder priority support section of the forum to receive high priority support.