My Movies Encrypts MyMovies.xml File, Causes Issues With Media Browser

by Damian on December 28, 2011 · 17 comments

in News

Recently, users who use both Media Browser and My Movies (or at a minimum just Collection Management) noticed that metadata was no longer appearing in Media Browser. Well, it turns out that with the release of My Movies 4.02 the mymovies.xml file is now encrypted (full changelog can be seen here), which means the file can no longer be read by Media Browser.

For a little background, My Movies creates a file called “mymovies.xml” where metadata for each movie is maintained. When Media Browser was created the developers decided to use the “mymovies.xml” file as well (I am sure at first purely for convenience since both programs are part of Windows Media Center and would easily allow the user to switch and/or use both). Since then the My Movies developers have asked the Media Browser developers to stop using the xml file and instead come up with a separately named file, but to date no changes have been made. Now that the xml file is encrypted the Media Browser developers will need to come up with an alternative, which appears to already be in discussion. You can also find discussion between the My Movies and Media Browser developers here.

So what can you do if like myself, you have both Media Browser and My Movies running and would like to keep as such. For now I can only see a few choices:

(1) In the Media Browser General configuration under “Metadata” check the “Allow Internet Providers” box, which will allow for Media Browser to retrieve metadata itself instead of reading the locally stored xml file

(2) Don’t upgrade My Movies to 4.02

(3) Sit tight and hope an update to Media Browser is released soon with a fix. This will also require 3rd party metadata providers to make the change as well (such as metabrowser or MCM).

Unfortunately for me option #3 is my choice for the time being until this gets sorted out. I have no issues with the My Movies developers encrypting the xml file and/or asking the Media Browser developers to refrain from using. However, I feel they should have been more vocal about informing the community ahead of time that the encryption was going to take place instead of burying in the release notes. This would have allowed the users and Media Browser developers enough time to react and make any necessary changes to minimize issues.

UPDATE – The Media Browser developers have confirmed that starting with the release of MB Version 2.5.2 “movie.xml” will be used instead of “mymovies.xml”. This will only affect those users who rely on a 3rd party metadata program instead of Media Browser for fetching metadata. Also keep in mind that this means that you will not be able to use My Movies to create metadata for Media Browser as currently My Movies does not generate a “movies.xml” file. You can find more detail here.

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


Moodsman December 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

I use Media Browser, but rather reluctantly now. It just feels “heavy yet fragile”.
I also use “Plex” for my media, and I think that it is a better and more versatile solution.
Plex can can be launched from within Media Center, and “Media Browser” is unaffected, so you can run them in parallel to try them.

One huge advantage of Plex is that it is server based. You basically set up a media server on your computer, and you can access it from multiple devices. SO your media can be watched on many different devices from one solution… you just install the appropriate player.

For example, I have the server running on my desktop system, and my media stored on my NAS. I have the Plex player installed on my MediaCenter and my Desktop, and I can watch movies on either. But it gets better… I have a cheap $50 Roku box attached to a TV in the bedroom, and it plays the same media! My wife has a Plex player on her iPad, and it plays the same media!

Plex also adds multiple channels and feeds, has it’s own apps, etc.

It does not seem to have the “my movies” metadata problem.

I know, it is not a solution if you are wedded to “Media Browser”, but it is a great alternative to consider.

(I do not work or have anything to do with Plex, I just like it a lot)

Damian December 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thanks for your feedback. I actually do have Plex on my list of software to try (both the PC and server side). One thing I haven’t checked with Plex on the PC is if it can play Blu-ray folder rips, mkvs with forced subtitle support, hd audio bitstreaming, etc… (or instead does it allow you to launch a 3rd party player such as MPC HC/TMT for this)?

I do agree that Media Browser felt like it was getting slow and a bit unstable. But to be fair this was from a n older version, I haven’t had a chance to update to the newer version for comparison purposes (and was planning on testing out this weekend when I noticed the metadata issue)

Moodsman December 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

You can also try “Media Center Master” to keep your Metadata up to date. It provides more comprehensive Metadata than “My Movies”, and is readable by “Media Browser”

Damian December 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

Yeah, that is MCM I mentioned in my third option. I personally use MetaBrowser for the same purpose. I think people who use My Movies for their metadata along with Media Browser are most likely doing so for:

1) iOS/Android App
2) Auto rip feature (if using WHS)

Damian December 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

FYI – post updated, new xml naming with the next Media Browser release will be “movie.xml”.

Birkoff December 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

A little correcion. The filename will be movie.xml, not movies.xml

Otherwise very informative post. It’s a shame this will severely limit the cross usage for mymovies’ users that also intend to use media browser.


Damian December 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Doh, didn’t realize I wrote that, nice catch. Just updated, thanks

Alex Kuretz December 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I have to say I don’t understand why things got this far, you pointed out this issue more than two years ago. Why didn’t the Media Browser devs change it when asked by the My Movies devs? Is there some historical issue I’m not aware of? From reading the post you linked it sounds like a trivial file name change on the part of the Media Browser devs. I personally don’t use My Movies and have been mostly happy with Media Browser so I’m not affected by this, but I’m sure others will be disrupted.

Damian December 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

Completely agreed Alex, and tbh the justification one of the MB developers (Sam) made at the time really was weak. It should actually be easy for the metadata developers to fix but either creating a secondary movie.xml file or by simply renaming/copying the current mymovies.xml files to the new naming convention. Just stubbornness I guess?

Birkoff December 30, 2011 at 4:34 am

I don’t think that’s the case. Remember that Brian is referring to a single communication from 2 years ago which can be interpreted in different ways.

On top of that, Media Browser itself does not alter the mymovies.xml file. It are the third party metadata fetchers that are doing this. Those are the applications that need to be updated and can no longer supported MyMovies.

Media Browser doesn’t care to look for filename A or B.

The problem for users that use both applications will now need to maintain 2 sets of metadata for each application. It can no longer be shared.

Damian December 30, 2011 at 5:26 am

I am not sure I agree with you on this. It was asked for Media Browser to either stop using the MyMovies.xml tag or allow for a secondary xml to be used, and at the time Sam simply refused. This is irrelevant from the 3rd party standpoint as there is nothing they can do until the MB developers agree to allow for an additional/separate xml file to be used. Fatal and Pete could have created a movie.xml file a long time ago, but it would have been a moot point since MB did not support.

Either way I am glad that there will be a resolution

Accident January 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

So let me understand this. I PAY for mymovies, I PAY for access to the metadata, it writes files all over my drives and I cannot use that data in any program I desire?

This seems rather wrong of Brian, what am I missing?

Brian Binnerup January 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

Accident: Storing “mymovies.xml” file have never been something you have been paying for.

This have been part of the applications internal functionality, and now it is simply kept internal, instead of having these files open.

You still have full access to your meta-data – you can export your data as an XML file, and, there is even a public read-access to the database.

The application also stores a number of other files.

If MediaBrowser chooses to use any of these other meta-data, that is all up to them, however they were using our internal files, and to avoid problems in My Movies, we have had to close these down.



Accident January 5, 2012 at 1:42 am

That makes a lot more sence, thanks for clarifying.

oncdoc March 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

so, mymovies is most compatible with what other metadata fetcher to complement is. I deleted MCM once in for all. Very poor uninstall features. I used this excellent guide

to do it. The author appears to be impressed with this method. lol.

So, any suggestions ?

Damian April 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Any suggestions for what? FYI, the link to your thread doesn’t exist, was it deleted?

Offsprung July 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Exactly why I dumped MM and metab (who magically lost the FREE version code at exactly the time they went pay!). The data is FREE and they only want to play games. For me there should be a standard storage method that ALL can at least import. Lot of times I hand edit to my liking (good thing I dumped MM). Never know why some of these boneheads are so stingy and ALWAYS try to reinvent the wheel. You noticed no one attempted to give folder.jpg a new name? Next MM will! And XBMC uses renamed the xml to nfo like the hacker/pirates so it is assoc with MS SysInfo?
I guess someone needs to set a standard like mp3 tags.
Why is it such a problem to share? Take my toys and go home? “Our system added those mp3 tags so we are going to encrypt so no one else can use! Unless you pay us$$$ for the FREE DATA!).

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