Review: My Movies iPad App

by Damian on November 10, 2010 · 35 comments

in Reviews

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.

Requirements:

Initial Setup:

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.

Collection:

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.

Persons:

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


Releases:

Curious to see what new DVD/BluRay releases are on the horizon.


Trailers:

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.

Settings:

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.

Final Thoughts:

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.


Article by

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 Mediasmartserver.net, 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 Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 31 comments }

Alex Kuretz November 10, 2010 at 9:29 am

Thanks for covering this new app, Damian. I’m curious how you see yourself most using it? Would you pull out the iPad and hand it to visitors when you’re ready to sit down to watch a movie so they can browse your collection? Without playback controls for Media Center, or the ability to play the movies on the iPad, I’m not sure I’d choose this over browsing my collection directly on the TV.

Damian November 10, 2010 at 10:43 am

Actually, I find the whole using a touch screen remote concept overrated. It sounds cool and probably gets the oohs and ahhs but in reality it is not practical. I want to look at my TV screen and I want a remote that fits in one hand and has buttons so I don’t have to constantly look down. However, having this type of control seems to be a very heavily requested feature so that is where I think it will draw up a lot of interest. The one area where this type of IP control I could see beneficial is where my son is watching a movie and it either ends or he wants to watch something else. With the IP control I would have full control over without having to physically be in the room.

teq November 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Is it just me or is anyone else also finding that having to buy separate versions for iPhone/iPod and iPad a rip-off? I would have expected an update that would run on both iPhone and iPad as a free upgrade for all users of the My Movies Pro for iPhone version.

So I will be happy to pass on this app – especially as it seems to have no additional features compared to the iPhone version (apart from the bigger screen).

Just my 5 cents,
teq

Damian November 11, 2010 at 4:56 am

I think this will be common. For example, take a look at Angry Birds, there is an optimized iPAD (HD) version that you have to pay for separately from the iPhone App. I expect more and more the iPad apps will be a separate product from the iPhone apps

Brian Binnerup November 11, 2010 at 7:26 am

There are several reasons why it is a seperate application.

1. There is typically a lot more work designwise in an iPad version than there is in an iPhone version.

2. If a user purchases an iPhone application and does not have an iPad app, and another user have both devices, it is not fair that both persons pay the same price, because at least in our situation, the iPhone price would increase due to the development costs. It is not fair that an iPhone user have to pay for an iPad user.

3. It is important for us to know how many users we have on the platforms as seperate devices, because choices to what will be in updated versions of the software will be affected. As an example, if we sell very few iPad versions, it is unlikely we will start spending time on the option to play movies on the device, but if we sell many, it is more likely that we will – this is one function that makes much more sense on the iPad and therefore should depend on iPad sales.

If you have a laptop computer and a desktop computer, you also have to purchase an operating system for both.

Regards,

Brian

teq November 15, 2010 at 2:28 am

Brian,

Yeah, but even Apple let’s you use their software on one Desktop and one Notebook at the same time with one license (as far as I am aware of).

But don’t worry, I paid to use My Movies on my WHS (bought some points) and on the iPhone (bought the app), and I like them a lot. Just won’t be spending extra on the iPad as I don’t see the point in that.

Cheers,
teq

PaulB November 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Really don’t see the point of this beyond 30 seconds of ‘cool, I can see my collection on my iPad’ and then your on to other things. So you can see your collection when you don’t want to walk over to your shelf or your computer? To each their own but not worth $ to me.
The “play” functionality is exceptionally pointless if it is just playing on your Media Center as you have the My Movies app there, with all your movies and details so why are you navigating here when your TV is on and you are holding your remote anyway?

Damian November 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

I think it just comes down to personal preference. I know some people like to have information about the movie, actors, etc… available while they are watching a movie. There have been times when my wife and I watched a movie where she wanted to find out more info about the actor or actress, so she could just pull up the info quickly from the iPhone/iPad. I like using the App to view movie trailers and see what the new releases are. As far as the Play feature, that is a tough call. I agree if I am sitting in front of my TV I want to look at my tv and do everything with a remote. I think the benefit of the Play feature could be the ability to start a movie in another room (i.e I could start a movie in my Sons playroom). Some people may think its neat to just give guests the iPad and let them choose/start a movie from there. Really just comes down to personal preference, but like just about every App some people will find it useful while others will not

teq November 15, 2010 at 2:25 am

Actually I use the iPhone version to keep track of what titles I’ve already watched/rented at the video library. If you’re as old as I am/have seen as many movies as I have, it’s sometimes difficult to remember whether you’ve already watched a certain title or not. ;-)

The app really comes in handy for that purpose.

Cheers,
teq

Kold December 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I collect movies (a lot :-) Mostly on on dvds. I just love to have full overview of my collection in my pocket when im hunting new titles in stores.

Anthony February 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Actually I use apps like this because my collection is very large and I have trouble keeping track of loaned DVDs. This app (I’m currently using the trial app) lets you do that as well as creating wishlists and detailed reports. Quite impressive so far (after 90 minutes) though the barcode scanning is… well perhaps I’m missing something but I can’t get it working.

Cubanblood December 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

My Movies for iPhone now has the “Play” option as long as you install the new update 3.19. Also i got confirmation from a developer that Mo Movies 4 will have support to separate movies from tv shows creating two separate folder like Media Browser.

Damian December 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Correct, it now works with the iPhone as well. Another update should be coming through soon with full MCE remote capabilities. I know they are working on individual tv episodes, just not sure what the time frame is (for my setup this is the biggest thing that gives Media Browser an advantage over Mymovies, so i definitely anxious to see what the Mymovies guys have up their sleeves)

Cubanblood December 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Yeah i am working on setting up media browser. My problem is that i have a lot of tv episodes that i have recorded over the years and it hard to organized them or find the cover art.

Nick Ryan April 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

Good article, I would like this app, but to manage my music instead of movies? Is one available anyone know? regards, nick

Damian April 25, 2011 at 8:23 am
Nick Ryan April 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

Damian, maybe i should explain my problem a bit more, I have Sonos and love it, but it does not play HD files, like flac at 24 bit, I want to output flac files from say a media player like a Western Digital that does play true flac, i can output to my set300b amp, but i dont want to have the tv on all the time to control the tracks playing so I thought/hoped there was an app for my ipad that would control the Western Dig like the ipad app that controls my Sonos. Of course if the Sonos ever played 24 bit then i would not have a problem.

Can you see any alternative solution?

regards, Nick

Damian April 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

Gotcha. Honestly not sure. I don’t have a Western Digital so I don’t know what is out there in the way of Apps. An alternative (probably not as attractive), I wonder if the Logitech players can handle your 24 bit flac files? I have a Logitech Squeezebox Radio at work but I don’t think I can have it play back any of my local music since it is off network

Nick Ryan April 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

I started out with A Logitech Duet buit it was hopeless in my old 1877 house with solid brick walls double thick, it does play flac but was not able to handle the signal. I sold it and went SONOS which worked instantly, but does not play 24 bit.

I have asked Sonos if they intend to upgrade their system, I will just have to wait.

Regards, nick

Damian April 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

I don’t know if something like this would work for your WD TV Live

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wd-tv-live-remote/id377667642?mt=8

Nick Ryan April 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thanks for that,l I will follow up.

Hunter December 1, 2011 at 6:27 am

DId you after downloading have trouble setting up an account? I purchased this app and i have not gotten my account activation e-mail, so i email the support line and have got no response from them either. Its starting to make me mad.

Brian Binnerup December 1, 2011 at 6:28 am

Hunter: I actually can remember you name, as I think you have written a few titmes.

Each time we reply to your e-mail, your e-mail server sends it back as undeliverable.

Brian Binnerup December 1, 2011 at 6:31 am

hunter@****.com
sp1.inbound.wcc.net #550 Blocked ##

You must either add support@mymovies.dk as a safe sender in your spam filters, or contact your provider and make sure they do not block the e-mails.

Hunter December 1, 2011 at 6:32 am

Well I have tried other email addresses also, which I know for a fact work because I use them every day for work. Is there any other way to activate?

Brian Binnerup December 1, 2011 at 6:33 am

The account have been activated, but we have been unable to write that to you.

My suggestion is that you create an account on the different e-mail then.

Hunter December 1, 2011 at 6:36 am

I have tried to create it on 3 different email’s I dont know the user name and password to the Hunter@poka.com one, because I made it a long time ago and i didnt know i had it. So i tried to make it on two other accounts and i have not gotten any emails on them either. the email addresses are Peyton.Lowdermilk@gmail.com and Chadl@poka.com. I havent gotten any word on these either.

Brian Binnerup December 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

Please contact support from these two accounts, and we can activate.

On Gmail, you can add a safe sender for sure.

Hunter December 1, 2011 at 7:45 am

Thank you so much, I am glad that I got this working now I am very excited to use it and see how it really works!
Thanks Again!

hellerbrewing December 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for going the extra mile to support your users Brian.

Dave May 9, 2012 at 8:30 am

I use netgear 550 media player (although may switch to Dune), as I don’t want to have a PC on to play movies. (just my preference).

I used to use MM to manage my collection, cover art, genres etc, however it required a MySQL database and was quite heavy, and at that time i was using the MM plugin to play movies using Laptop.

However i got annoyed with needing to dedicate a computer to that, and it ran hot and loud due to database, so I changed to MediaCentre Master.

Now I am interested in the MM App, as i like to be able to browse and read both front and back of DVDs to decide what to watch. I do not have on a shelf, as 500 movies is a LOT of shelf, and the ability to see “Other films from this actor” etc is great.

so finally, the question…

I would like one management tool, that runs on either ipad/netbook, that will generate netgear .TAG files, and where there is an app that either reads the media server TAG files, or where the mgmt tool exports a file that the app reads.

this means i can simply add a movie on netbook/ipad, and then see the movie on my app, and play the movie from TAG file on netgear.

does MM do this for me?

Comment also about Brian’s note about ipad vs ipod and development cost etc.. and i agree, except… why not bundle the ipod version with ipad. that way you can get cheap ipod version, and more expensive “bundle”. most ipad users seem to have an iphone/ipod and i’d want to let friends browse, or check out what i want to watch later on all devices… just a thought.

Comments are closed, visit the forums to continue the discussion.

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