One iPad App that I have been anxiously awaiting (even though I don’t own an iPad but do have access to one via a family member) is the My Movies App. I have been using the My Movies Pro App for my iPod/iPhone for some time and it has been a great compliment to my current movie collection. The My Movies iPad app is used to manage your movie collection. The App can also be used to launch a movie from your Windows Media Center PC. However, it will not play back your content on your iPad (like what AirVideo does).
A few days ago the iPad App was released to the public, so let’s take a closer look under the covers to see what is in store.
- My Movies account (free) – you can create a new account here
- iPad (of course)
- My Movies iPad App – USD 6.99
- My Movies Collection Management (required if you plan on maintaining your movie library on a PC)
When you first run the My Movies iPad App the welcome screen will launch asking you to log in.
Once logged in a message will appear asking in your want to synchronize your collection. If this is the first time setting up the synchronization can take a little long (took me about 3-5 minutes with about 400 movies). If you are using Collection Management and don’t want to wait you can export your entire collection to an export package which can then be loaded on the iPad.
With your library now loaded this is where the fun begins. There are five sections that you can view, Collection, Persons, Releases, Trailers, and Settings.
The default view of your movie library is the “bookshelf” view. All movies are sorted by title
The view can be changed to a list view (although I think the bookshelf view is optimized for the iPad).
You can further filter down your movie collection based on various available filters such as Genre and Group.
Using the search feature you can easily locate a specific title in your movie collection.
For those who don’t want to use Collection Management you can manually add titles either by searching by title or entering in the Barcode. I believe if using an iPhone/iPod you can actually scan in the Barcode.
Once you select a movie you will be taken to the movie details page. From this page there are a few interesting things that can be done.
Want to get a closer look at the front and back cover, simply tap on the thumbnails which will bring up a fullscreen view.
Looking for a more information on the movie. Simply click on the “IMDb” logo and you will be taken to the IMDb site for that movie.
Another excellent feature, if a trailer is available for the movie selected you can view as well.
You can view a list of all Persons (Actors/Directors/Crew) in your collection (I just noticed that Al Roker is in my collection, haha)
When you select a Person you will get a thumbnail image as well as a full biography.
Scroll down past the Biography and you can see all movies in your collection that the Person is associated with
Curious to see what new DVD/BluRay releases are on the horizon.
This is probably one of my favorite features. I unfortunately have very little free time to get to the movies, so watching trailers has become my movie experience (pathetic, I know, but that’s the life with two young boys at home!). You can see trailers based on what is now showing, coming soon, and the latest trailers.
You can also filter out by a handful of countries.
In this section you can adjust several of your settings. I won’t go into many of the settings since quite frankly they are boring . However, there is one item in particular I wanted to highlight and that is the “Connect to My Movies for Windows Media Center” option. I have a feeling this will be a big winner for Windows Media Center users. Using the iPad App you can start a movie on any PC in your network that is running Windows Media Center + My Movies (if you are looking to set up My Movies with Windows Media Center make sure you check out my writeup that I did last year)
To be able to connect to your Windows Media Center you will need to know the IP address of your PC (you can easily do this by opening up a command prompt on your PC and typing in the command “ipconfig” without the quotes). One item to note, Windows Media Center must already be running on your PC to connect. This may be a slight inconvenience but the folks over at My Movies are aware of at looking at some options to streamline this down the road.
After connecting to your Windows Media Center the next time you select a movie in the iPad App you will now notice at the top right of the screen a new “Play” button. Once you have found the movie you want to play simply press the button and the movie should now launch on your PC.
I tested the “Play” feature on several movies and it worked flawlessly, launching 3rd party apps for playback if necessary. Keep in mind that currently there are no controls to navigate around in Windows Media Center so you still need to have your MCE remote handy for all operations. A fully functional MCE remote will be integrated into the iPad app down the road which should really take the App to a more complete solution for the Windows Media Center User. Also, it should be noted that you cannot play back movies on your iPad, this is only for pushing a movie to play back on a Windows Media Center PC. Down the road this may be a feature the My Movies developers look in to (similar to AirVideo) but since it doesn’t really tie in with the current feature set I wouldn’t expect it to be something high on the priority list.
When I started writing this I was planning on highlighting both the iPad and iPhone App. However, since they are nearly identical I just decided to look at the iPad App since it was just released. The key feature missing from the iPhone App is the “Play” feature, but this should be added via an update in the coming weeks. For Android users there is an Android App as well, sans the “Play” feature as well.
Really there isn’t much I can add here. If you are a movie buff this is simply a must have App and you don’t have to be a Windows Media Center user (although it doesn’t hurt) to appreciate.