Controlling Dune & Windows Media Center With The My Movies iPad App

by Damian on April 11, 2011 · 6 comments

in Guides

A few months back I took a look at the My Movies iPad App which built off the popular My Movies Home Entertainment platform. Since then several new features have been added which include full remote control and playback on both Windows Media Center and Dune Media Players. I thought I would take a quick look at these features and what they offer.


  • My Movies account (free) – you can create a new account here
  • iPad
  • My Movies iPad App – USD 6.99
  • My Movies Collection Management (required if you plan on maintaining your movie library on a PC as well as using your Dune) or My Movies for Windows Media Center (if you plan on using My Movies on your PC via Windows Media Center)

Setting Up Collection Management:

At this point I will assume you already have My Movies Collection Management up and running. If not I have put together several writeups here, here, and here which may be useful. The only additional step that is needed is to ensure that you configure your Online and Mobile Collection. Under Collection Management go to WebService -> Configure Online and Mobile Collection and make sure that both options under “Mobile Collection” are enabled (this is only necessary for use with Dune Players)

Once completed you will be asked if you want your collection to be uploaded to the servers, of which you should say yes. The upload should only take a few minutes. You can always manually sync your content online by going to WebService -> Synchronize Online and Mobile Collection.

ONLY NECESSARY FOR DUNE PLAYER – you must configure Collection Management to generate HDI Dune metadata. Go To Tools -> Options -> Meta Data Storage and you will see a list of all players that Collection Management can generate metadata for.

Check off “Store meta-data for HDI Dune (AAI files) and click the Configure button next to this option. Now you just need to enter in where you want Collection Management to export your My Movies jukebox (similar concept to Zappiti or yaDIS 2.0). Similar to Zappiti I created a “Dune MyMovies” folder on my Windows Home Server for this

Last up you need to tell Collection Management how your Dune Player connects to your network. Click the “Configure Path” button which will bring up a list of available options to choose from (such as smb, nfs, etc…)

That is it. Once that had been set up hit the “OK” button on the Configure HDI Dune screen which will bring you back to the Meta Data storage screen. Here you then want to hit the “Apply” button and for good measures also hit the “Update” button.

Setting up My Movies For The iPad:

With your online collection now configured in Collection Management, head over to Remote Control option under “Setting” for the My Movies iPad App.

Under Remote Control you will see an option to choose My Movies for Windows Media Center or Dune Player.

Select the device you will be using for playback and go to the “Configuration” option. For Windows Media Center My Movies will attempt to automatically detect your server. Otherwise, you can just enter in the IP Address of the Host PC manually (if you are unsure of the IP Address simply run the cmd option in Windows and type in IPConfig). Note that Windows Media Center must be loaded already on the PC you are trying to connect to.

For Dune Players the process is nearly identical, just make sure Dune Player is selected in the Remote Control section

With the Remote Controls configured you can now turn your iPad into a full remote control by choosing the “Remote” icon in the task bar. Directly below are the remote controls for Windows Media Center and Dune Player respectively

Aside from turning your iPad into a remote control another feature is you can initiate playback of any movie in your library directly from your collection. Head over to the “Collection” icon in the task bar which will bring up your My Movies collection.

When you select a movie of interest you will be taken to the movie detail page. In the upper right hand corner there will be a “Play” button (below showing the Play button for Windows Media Center). Simply click the button and playback should begin on your device of choice. Please note that playback will only work if you have My Movies for Windows Media Center installed (i.e. this will not start playback if you are using Media Browser or the native Windows Media Center library).

Here is a screenshot of the “Play” button for the Dune Player

If you set up multiple players selecting the “Play” button will prompt you to choose what player you want to initiate playback on


Notable Items:

  • In order to connect to either the Dune Player or Windows Media Center those devices must be on (which in terms of a PC means Windows Media Center must be open)
  • You do not need to use My Movies For Windows Media Center in order to use the remote. However, to actually initiate playback you must be using My Movies.
  • If you have a third party player launching from My Movies for playback (such as MPC HC) the remote will not work for controlling the launched player
  • Although TV show support was just added to My Movies 4, it has not made its way to the iPad App yet (this applies for both the Dune Player and My Movies For Windows Media Center)
  • Only the iPad App has the Dune and Windows Media Center functionality combined. For the iPhone/iTouch there is the My Movies for iPhone Pro and the My Dune Remote. The My Movies for iPhone Pro App will allow you to start playback of a movie in Windows Media Center but does not offer remote control features. The My Dune Remote app offers remote control features for the Dune Player but not initializing playback. I would expect eventually this will combined to mirror the iPad App.
  • There is a My Movies for Android App which appears to be similar to the My Movies for iPhone Pro App. I don’t own an Android device so I cannot test, but hopefully an Android tablet is in my future :-)
  • This App is for controlling/playing content on a Windows Media Center machine or Dune Player. it is not for viewing your media on the iPad (such as what Air Video does).
  • There is a bug where trying to initialize playback of a Folder/ISO structure will fail. This was fixed if you are using the latest My Movies 3 (3.19). However, if you are using My Movies 4.00 (currently PR5) this has not been fixed yet.
  • If you are interested in finding out more information about the Dune players you can see my reviews on the Dune BD Prime and Dune Smart D1.

Final Thoughts:

Once again My Movies has come through with a nice update that further broadens the services provided. I know some people may be wondering why you would want to use a touch screen phone/tablet as a remote. This is something I don’t see replacing my Harmony remotes anytime soon. However, it is a nice compliment, and in particular comes in handy with kids. My 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old boys have already mastered the iPad, so I can simply open up My Movies and tell them to pick what movie they want to watch (instead of the frustration of having to scroll through the library on the TV screen while figuring out what the hell they are pointing to). Also, and maybe my eyes are aging quicker then the rest of me, but I find that when I am trying to navigate through TV episodes I have a hard time making out the details. Using My Movies on the iPad would allow me to easily see each TV episode clearly to choose from (of course once TV shows is implemented). Overall I am very happy with the My Movies iPad App. It will definitely help to make my wife’s life a lot easier with the kids. I am still waiting for the TV show functionality to be integrated for this to be considered a must have App for me. Of course adding a type of Air Video functionality would be icing on the cake :-)

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, 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


Duncan May 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

When i have created an library with My Movies on the pc, and then export it to the Dune.

Is it necessary to leave the pc on to browse my movies with the ipad app to start an movie on the Dune? Or need the My Movies Ipad App an connection to the pc running My Movies?

Damian May 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

You should be able to view without having the PC on. The only time you need your PC is when you are actually trying to play back a movie on your Dune (wherever your movies are stored must be on)

a5ian300zx May 31, 2011 at 11:03 am

that does sound very interesting, but i have few question regarding mymovies if someone can help answer.

1) can i use network shares i.e. NFS from my Qnap?

2) does it create artwork in individual folders or is it just one folder that all movie artwork/info goes into?

Damian May 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm

1) My Movies works with both NFS and SMB

2) Artwork in the individual folders (each movie is required to be in its own folder)

JW August 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hi Damian,

Its an excellent rundown. I have a problem regarding the blu ray folder remote playback from ipad on the dune, has it been fixed in the 4.01? i tried to downgrade to the 3.20 but everytime i try to run the 3.2, it says my dbase is of higher bla bla……and 3.2 wont start :(

desperately need help

Damian August 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, I don’t think you an downgrade your db. I haven’t tested Blu-ray folder playback in a while via the Dune My Movies App. If I get a minute I will make sure everything on my system is updated and test out

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