My Movies 3.10 Pre Release 1

by Damian on December 10, 2009 · 26 comments

in Reviews

Nearly 2 months ago we had a look at the new MyMovies 3. Yesterday, an update to My Movies 3 (noted as 3.10 Pre Release 1) was made available for download. Some of the changes with the current Pre Release are as follows:

  • The release brings two new views, one “Cover Strip” that is created to match the look and feel of Media Center’s own Movie Library, and a “Cover Row and Details”, which lists covers in one row, with or without details. The cover row view can be configured as a flat style, or as a cover flow look.


Cover Strip View


Cover Row and Details View


Modified Movie Details Page


  • The release also brings a new “Intro and Trailers” feature, allowing playback of one or more locally stored intros or trailers before the actual movie playback.
  • Third, is a new “Cover Style” functionality, which gives additional cover looks, and can be customised by the user. Included with the release is a “Plastic” look.

MM3 PlasticBefore installing a pre release version, you must make a backup of your database using the Collection Management program. There are no guarantee that a pre release version functions as expected, and it should therefore only be used for evaluation purposes. The database backup ensures that you can revert back to the latest stable version.

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Addonlooker December 10, 2009 at 8:55 am

Damian, do you know if this can be use to manage AVI, DIVX, MPEG movie files instead of ISO/DVD rips; on a mediasmart server ex480? For instance, I want to have those Covers for all my movies files and be able to see/browse them on a media smart while streaming. Let me know

Damian December 10, 2009 at 9:05 am

@ Addonlooker – yes you can. A majority of my movie collection is either avi, mp4, ts, or mkv. The key is to make sure that each movie is in its own folder, so if you have Bad Boys.avi, you want to have a folder labeled “Bad Boys” and in that folder you would have the avi. You would then use the MyMovies Collection Management software to gather all your metadata/covers (if you take a lot of the MM3 writeup I did which I referenced at the start of the post you will see what I am talking about). Just keep in mind, that right now MyMovies3 can only be used form playback on an HTPC running WMC or a WMC extender such as the Xbox360. You can use the Collection Management software to manage you movie collection even if you do not use MyMovies. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.


Addonlooker December 10, 2009 at 9:49 am

Damian, greatly appreciated all your write ups as well as your quick response to my earlier question. As i mentioned i’ve an ex490 as my media server and it used to stream all my media- movies (mainly avi aka divx format), music (mp3) and some photos- throughout the house. Addtionally I’ve a couple of HP MediaSmart Connectors x280N for media play back on my LCD TVs. So, essentially what would be nice for me is that if this allows me to see the DVD covers list instead what is now- it sorted by folder or file names. But the more I think of it, I dont see how this possible within the x280N GUI, it perhaps may be possible if I use the Windows Media Center capability that comes with the x280N. However my only problem is that I want the ex490 to store and stream all my media files directly instead of having an additional HTPC to house the Windows Media Center connector and etc. So, I’m trying to see if there’s a way to install or enable Windows Media Center connector gui on a Windows Home Server, specially on a ex490.

Damian December 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

Unfortunately no. To get My Movies on an extender both the “streamer” and the “streamee” need to be running WMC. Since WMC is not fully integrated into WHS you will not be able to get this. If the x280N is WMC capable you would still be forced to have a separate PC running WMC on as well which really defeats the purpose of the EX490. Until WHS gets full WMC integration and/or you get a different media player you are stuck with the x280N GUI

Jason December 12, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Do you still have a preference of Media Browser over My Movies after this update? (Just curious).

Damian December 13, 2009 at 3:42 am

As of now I still prefer MediaBrowser for these reasons:

1) TV Episode support, very important to me
2) The ability to create virtual folders
3) Although not critical the music plugin that was created is very convenient

Now that being said I do still use MyMovies in some capacity. For instance, I am a big movie trailer fan. The Trailers plugin for MediaBrowser is unreliable, so I use the MyMovies trailers section. I also still use Collection Management for my covers, as I prefer to have the actual movie cover instead of posters. Also, I am still waiting for the December MediaBrowser release to find out exactly what the paid model will look like.

Stephen December 20, 2009 at 4:53 am

Damian, I am interested in building a home server with movies that can be streamed to my TV along with my music collection. I have 3 drives with a total of 4 TB I am going to use. I also have a tower with windows server 2003 installed to use also. Anyway, what software would you recommend for this task?

Damian December 20, 2009 at 5:19 am


WHat device are you going to use for playback of your movies on your TV (i.e. do you plan on having an HTPC connected, get a dedicated media extender such as a SageTV HD200 or Popcorn Hour). That will help me determine some setup ideas.


Stephen December 20, 2009 at 7:11 am

Damian, I was going to look into the Xbox360 or PS3, which would also allow games to be played. Wouldn’t either of these do the same as those items you mentioned?

Damian December 20, 2009 at 7:16 am

Both of those can be used as extenders but are more limited in the formats that you can play, so you would need to either install a program like PS3MediaServer which would transcode your movies to the PS3 or Xbox360 for playback, or you would need to make sure your movies are in a format that the PS3/Xbox360 can play

Stephen December 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I am going to first use Microsoft Media Center to organize all my movies and music. Then I think I like the idea of Popcorn Hour or SageTV HD200. The HTPC looks a little pricey for me and also sounds like it is a regular PC from what I saw except for a few extra external connections. My son said he can compress the movie films down to 1GB. I think he called it something like DVIX or something like that. Would any of these items play that type of file?

Stephen December 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Damian: My movies that I am recording to my disk are in iso. How do I add and get them to play on my windows media center? I not only want to stream them to the TV, but watch them on my computer. Thanks for any help.

Damian December 21, 2009 at 5:06 am

Hey Stephen,

Your son is talking about encoding your movies (DIVX is one method, but more popular now is h.264). It is really your call if you want to go this route. What I would recommend is to encode a few movies but also keep the originals. Watch both back and see what your feelings are about quality (can you tell a difference b/w the encoded and original, if you can see a difference are you still ok with it, etc…). Since hard drives have gotten so cheap I generally don’t encode anymore and prefer to keep an exact 1:1 copy of my movies. DIVX, h.264, etc… will all play on the HD200 or Popcornhour

Damian December 21, 2009 at 5:35 am

I don’t use ISOs so I can’t give you too much info on. Here is a good article that talks about mounting ISOs in Windows Media Center:

Also, keep in mind that if you use ISOs for your Blu Ray movies you will need a 3rd party player such as TMT or PDVD for playback on your PC. I use Clown_BD to throw my Blu Ray/HD DVDs into a ts container for playback with the internal Windows Player.

Stephen December 21, 2009 at 11:07 am

For my Blu-ray i just burn the movie to a DVD using Nero and they look great. It will take me a little time to get all this done because I am experimenting with all of it little by little to see what best works for me and do appreciate all your help. Oh, one more thing, my son is putting together an SS4200-E home server for our movies, are you familiar with this device?

Damian December 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Never heard of the SS4200-E but I did find this info ( Hard to tell but it looks like it possibly runs WHS, so if that is the case it would be no different from the HP MediaSMart series or the DIY WHS that I have (once again, though I am assuming it woudl run WHS).

Really the key to encoding is just go with what you believe works best. There are some people who are so against encoding they act like you committed some sort of crime the moment you mention. Don’t let anyone convince you of what is/isn’t right. For any encoding I do I use Ripbot264 or Handbrake, and create an h.264 mkv which looks great.

Stephen December 24, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Do most DVD converters also compress the files. My son was saying when he converts to Divix, the DVD’s go from 4.5 GB down to 1 GB. I want to look at various converter software, but only the one that will compress.

Damian December 25, 2009 at 5:24 am

Most do. Some (such as AnyDVD, Clown_BD, etc…) will only grab the original copy without compressing. Handbrake and Ripbot264 and two of the more popular encoders.

Stephen December 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm

My son seems to like to use Fair Use converter. It does a pretty good job. We set up his new PS 3 to our TV and it plays all the movies so far with real good picture quality. Also, I have been recording my records using Record Now-10, but the software doesn’t seem to show the tracks. Any idea why or maybe a better software to get the job done? I will be putting them on my home server in MP 3 format.

Damian December 26, 2009 at 5:10 am

I have never recorded a record to my PC so not really sure what the best software is out there. So you have to basically sit at your computer, wait for the track to stop, stop recording via the pc, and then start again for each new track?

Stephen December 26, 2009 at 7:23 am

I have thought about doing it that way, so that is the route I will take until I learn something different, Thanks

rstevenp January 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Can I upgrade to My Movies 3 from an old version of My Movies 2.3 (my old version users MS Access database and not the MS SQL database)

EPF January 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

As I add movies to my server, they are stored in drive d:, however, as time goes on, I’m seeing my c: drive getting fuller. Is there a portion of the movie or coverart or something that is automatically stored on drive c: ? Having c: drive carrying the OS, I don’t need it getting full and causing issues w/ the overall functionality of my server. Any clue as to what’s going on?

Damian January 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm

@ rstenevp – yes, you should be able to upgrade

@ EPF – all the metadata/artwork is stored in the folders of your movies, which are on the d: drive. The only thing I can think of that would be mymovies related is that the SQL DB it uses expands as you add more data, and that could possibly be installed on the C: drive. Very interesting observation though, i will look around and see if anyone else has noticed this.

EPF February 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm


Have you found anything regarding this issue w/ c drive memory, while ripping movies to my d drive? Thanks again.

Damian February 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

@ EPF,

I searched around but didn’t see any specific mention of the c drive memory issue. My c drive appears to be pretty steady, but I haven’t added much new movies of late

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