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Table of Contents

Overview

An introduction to using My Films features, the main user interface and menu options.

Introduction

My Films allows you to select the database you wish to use as a 'backend' to manage your movies and offers many of the advanced features of standalone databases or movie catalogs within MediaPortal. It even allows you to use your existing movie catalog, so you never have to re-scan your data, and you can continue to use it outside MediaPortal as well.  Eight different movie catalogs are supported as well as conversion from other media centers or plugins (see Supported Catalogs). Other catalogs may also work with MyFilms if they support NFO files.

If you use an Ant Movie Catalog (AMC) type, or create one in MyFilms, all your data is displayed in MyFilms and you can update in 'real time' in either interface because they use the same XML database. There are many ways you can update your AMC database, either within My Films or using AMC Updater; by movie, or in batches - even updating only specific fields or updating different data from different websites. See Update Existing Films for further details.

Warning: AMC 4.2 is NOT compatible with previous versions, and thus not supported by My Films. For further details See the forum thread: WARNING - AMC 4.2 incompatibility. As of v 6.1.1, If you try to load a catalog in AMC 4.2 format a dialog will display informing you it is not an unsupported format and won't be opened.

My Films is not only a plugin to display your movies in MediaPortal. It allows you complete control of your own movie database, while offering the same functionality within MediaPortal. You may view your data any way you choose, display it in different layouts, sort, search, add and change artwork such as covers using the Cover Manager (v 6.0.0) and fanart using the Fanart Manager, and even Customize the Display.

There are two windows in MyFilms - the main window where you can browse all your movies, and the Details window which offers Detail Views and additional features for the selected film.

Start Settings

You can customize how MyFilms starts on the Views Tab in Setup. Some options can also be selected or changed using the main menu > Options > Global settings. See the Quick Setup guide > Start Settings for details.

Navigation

Regardless of what view you choose, you may navigate using the arrow keys, page up/down keys. You may also use SMS input using number keys (or Shift+character on a keyboard) to quickly access the film you wish. (Of course SMS input works best when you sort by name!)

Access the main menu, for options related to all films, via the left arrow in most layouts (up arrow in Filmstrip, Coverflow layouts).

Access the context menu, for options related to the current film or view using F9 or the Info/More button on your remote.

Press Enter/OK on a selected film to open the Details window for Detail Views, which display many more details about the film, and even perform additional actions for the selected film. 

Displaying your Films

The screenshot below displays the films view in the main window. This is the same view that displays any list of movies when selected from via a view or search. 

The titles in the list reflect the option you select in Setup > General Tab >  Master Title, while the secondary title you select displays separately based on the skin you use (often only in the Detail Views

MyFilms is one of the only plugins that allows you to custom the display yourself (see Customizing Display). Note: Display and display features may vary based on the skin you use.

Here are some of the unique display features:

  1. Plugin Name/View/Filter/Selection
    • Plugin name - selected in MyFilms Setup
    • View name - selected in Views Setup or via either the Views Menu or View by: menu option
    • Filter - e.g. All or  'Filtered' if global filters are enabled 
    • Selection - e.g. when displaying a filtered view or search results
  2. Config Name: Username - My Films supports multiple configurations or Configs for different films or users. If you have multiple users My Films can display the currently selected user name and if they are a Trakt user.
  3. Watched/Unwatched Icon and play count for current user and all users (global count)
  4. Rating - rating grabbed from internet 
  5. User Rating  - user rating added via Details context menu or Trakt rating pop-up
  6. Movie/Trailer available icons - available=green; not available=red, currently unavailable=yellow, unknown=grey
  7. User Display Items 1-5 - see Display Options below
  8. Media Info Logos - default is skin logos, but you can select MF logos pack (displayed) in Logos Setup or even use your own rules to display the media info logos you wish.

You may also choose to display your main view in a variety of layouts by using the Menu, Layouts Button (see below).

Note: See Detail Views to learn how to display even more details, or perform additional actions for the selected film.

Main Menu

As in most screens in MediaPortal, use the left arrow key to access the hidden menu. These menu options are global, and affect all films

See the follow pages for details on each of these Menu Options

  1. Layouts 
  2. Sort by - see Sorting
  3. View by - see Views
  4. Search - see Searching
  5. Options - see below
  6. Global Filters - see below
  7. Global Updates - see below
  8. Video Settings - for a quick 'jump' to MediaPortal Video Settings or video playback options
  9. TV Shows - jump to MP-TV Series plugin (only displays if MP-TV Series plugin is installed and enabled)

Options

Use the Options Menu button to select global options for My Films:

Choose MyFilms DB Config

This option only displays if you have setup multiple configurations (configs), such as for different users, or to password protect some films (see Pin Protection), or to access different databases.

Alternatively, you can choose to *Always Display a Config Menu  *on startup in MyFilms Setup. Or you may add multiple databases to a Basic Home menu if you use a skin that supports it. See Multiple DBs or Configs for details. 

Global Settings

Here you may configure, or change, several settings for My Films:

 

  • Choose User - change the current user - see Multiple Users for more info
  • Delete User - delete any user (and all related user data) except the currently selected user - see Multiple Users for more info
  • Manually choose grabber script (default=on) - this is the same as the 'don't use default, ask' setting in Update Setup under Internet Grabbing options. You can change the default setting there, or alter it temporarily in My Films.  If this option is off, then My Films will automatically select the default grabber script for any internet updates and not ask which grabber you wish to use.
  • Auto select best match (default=off) - this is the same as the setting 'try to find best match' in Update Setup under Internet Grabbing options . You can change the default setting there, or alter it temporarily in My Films. This option affects updates using 'Get Internet Info', not AMC Updater (i.e. Global Updates > Import/Update all movies).  If it is enabled, My Films will not provide you with a list of possible matches for your film, but will select the best match.
  • Always use default start view (default=off) - whenever you open My Films, display your selected Default View, not the last view you displayed. However, if you do not select a Default Config, then My Films will only display the Default Start View the first time you open My Films. After that, it will display your last view until you reload MediaPortal.
  • Change default view - change the default start view selected for the current database/confg.

and as of v 6.1.0:

  • Always use default start Config - same as 'Always use Start Settings' in My Films Setup > Views Tab - enable this option to always open the selected start view (and settings) instead of the last view you displayed.
  • Change Default Config - if you have more than one config, select your default config - same as 'Default Config' setting in My Films Setup.
  • *Cache Trailers for Online conten*t - if you wish to automatically download trailers when viewing online content, such as in the new ***Online Info *** views or a person's Filmograhpy (TMDb) - useful if you have low bandwidth.
    Warning: If this option is enabled MediaPortal will not close until the current download is finished. Also, Disabling this option will only take effect once the current download is finished.

Note: *the following options have been removed in v *6.0.0

  1. Use list layout for groups (default=on) - use only list layout in Views (like Categories, Years, Person views, etc.) is available in Setup > View > Start Settings in v 6.0.0
  2. Use standard windows file dialog (default=off) - opens Windows Explorer instead of the virtual keyboard, when you select File from the Updates Menu in the Details window.

Display Options

My Films allows you to customize your display by selecting 5 Display Items for the Main window and 6 separate display items for the Details window.

When you use the My Films Setup Wizard, these will be preset for you, however, you may change them either in MyFilms Setup > Display Tab, or by selecting Display Options from the Options Menu in the Main window:

 

Just select an item and to display a list of all supported fields, and change that display item to whatever field you wish. 

Note: The display name (field label) will automatically use the translated field name. You can customize the labels (for example to abbreviate them or remove them) only in MyFilms Setup > Display Tab

Global Filters

Global filters differ from Views because they filter the display of films in any View, or even search results. Thus you can view only unwatched films by Category, Country, Year, Actors, or any custom view you define.  My Films supports the following global filters:

 

  • Show only unwatched films (default=off) - can be set in My Films Setup on the Views tab under Start Settings
  • Show only films with media available  (default=off) - this option only displays if:
    • You run Global Updates > Update Online Availability (see above) OR
    • Choose 'Scan media on start' in Setup on the General Tab, see Filters Setup
  • Show only films with trailer available  (default=off) - this option only displays if you have enabled a field for local trailers in Trailer Setup
  • Show only films with minimum rating - displays only films with a rating equal to or higher than the selected minimum rating
    • Change minimum rating from '#' -  sets the minimum rating for the 'Show only films with minimum rating' option

Global Updates

As of v 6.0.0 the Global Updates option is now available via the main menu. 

Other than Download Fanart, these options are only supported for Ant Movie Catalog (AMC) databases.  See Update Existing Films for more details on these options and how to use them effectively.

Warning: These options can take time depending on the number of films in your catalog or to be imported to your database.

  1. Update Online Availability - My Films can check if your film, or the first local trailer listed, is available on your HDD for playback (i.e. online).  You can choose to auto-run this feature by selecting the 'Scan media on start' option in Setup on the General tab below the 'Item for Storage file info' box.  Your 'offline' films will display in a different (remote) color (based on the skin you use)
  2. Import/Update all movies (AMC Updater) - Scans your selected movie folder for new films and adds them to your database based on the settings you choose for AMC Updater in My Films Setup and your default grabber settings. By default, it also downloads fanart automatically but you can change this setting in AMC Updater settings.
  3. Download Fanart (all films) - usually used the first time you start using My Films to download fanart for all your films. After that you should download / update fanart for selected films. 
  4. Search and add local trailers (all films) - the first time you use My Films you may wish to automatically register all your existing Trailers in your AMC database if you have not done so already. If you select an Extended Search path for Trailer Setup, this can take some time.  If you have many local trailers in several locations, it is better to search and add trailers by film from the Detail window, rather than globally.
  5. Incomplete movie data - choose this option for a list of fields with missing data. Then you may select a field to find the films that are missing that data and update them, all from within My Films. See Update Existing Films for more info.
    This is also an easy method to get an overview "how complete" your movie DB is tagged.

Context Menu

At any time, you may press F9 or the Info/More remote button to display a context menu which provides options for the selected film as opposed to the Main Menu options which affect all films.

The context menu options always relate to the currently selected item (film or person). Some options display only when another plugin is installed and enabled, while other options depend on the current view or settings.


Note: an additional option to play trailer(s) will display IF you have trailers for the selected film, AND if you search and add local trailers via the Global Updates menu option.

  1. Search related films by person - view a list of all actors, directors, writers, producers etc that exist in your movie catalog. Then select a person and view all the films you have in which they appear.   See Searching for more info.
  2. Search related films by fields - view a list of all main fields, or select *Show All* for all fields, then select a field and view all the films with the same value, such as all films added on the same date.  See Searching for more info.
  3. Info for related persons - as of v 6.0.0 you can grab data for related persons from IMDb which will display in Actors - Persons Views
  4. Play Film - if you wish you can play the film from the Main window without going to the Details window.
  5. Play trailer (#) - only displayed for films where you have added Trailer files to your AMC database. The number shows the number of trailer files for the selected film)
  6. Set watched/unwatched - manually change the watched status (if you have configured a field for Watched Status in Setup > Update Tab) - My Films also supports watched status for Multiple Users
  7. Add to Box Set - as of V 6.0.0 you can add a film to Box Sets, Groups using this option.
  8. Web Details (if Browse the Web plugin is installed and enabled) - view a sub menu to display info from IMDb for the selected film:
  9. Delete movie... - only displays if you have enabled manual deletion in Update Setup
  10. Updates - displays the Updates sub menu to:
    1. Get Internet Info - to update the current film - as of v 6.0.0 either all fields, only missing data, all new data,  or only a specific field. This option is also useful when updating films with Incomplete Movie Data (see Update Existing Films)
  11. Cover Manager- new as of v 6.0.0 - filter and download your favorite covers from your preferred website and select the cover you wish to display in My Films.
  12. Fanart Manager (selected film) - opens a sub menu to manage your fanart 
  13. Add to menu as Custom View - you can save the current view settings under a new View name which will then appear on the Views Menu/ or View by: list of custom views
  14. Save current layout and sort as start default for film lists - will overwrite the start view settings for  movie/film lists with the current settings for layout and sort

As of v 6.1.0:

  • View Options - allows you to select 'Virtual path browsing'

Virtual path browsing

For private movies and/or documentaries, often little data is available from internet data grabbers - thus browsing via DB views is not that useful, because data is missing for many views.

For such scenarios, you can select Virtual path browsing from the View Options context menu.

This will display the media path data as a "nested hierarchy group" and thus is similar to a "shares view".

When you have organized your files in a directory structure, browsing that structure is a better approach to use such media collections.  If you are using multiple paths, all paths will be shown/available.

  1. Select View Options from the context menu
  2. Select Virtual path browsing

Note: This is a global setting which applies to all film lists, no matter which view you select, e.g. Categories, Persons views, etc. 

What's Next?

Once you are familiar with the basics of MyFilms main window, see Playing Your Films to learn how to play different media and options for updating watched status.

Related

TopicsPlaying your Films
How to play films, including multi-part films, DVDs, Blu-rays in MyFilms and even auto-update your database after playback.
Searching
Find out all the unique ways you can search and find your films by any word, or find related films without typing a word!!
Layouts
How to change layouts to display your films in the style you prefer or select different default layouts for different views.
Sorting
How to use the sort options to sort your films, groups or views.
Views
Use views to display your films by Category (such as Genre), Year, Country, Actors and Recently Added, or define your own Custom Views.  Genre thumbs, Actor images and default images are supported out of the box for all views, or you may add your own custom thumbs, images and fanart to any of the default views or your custom views.
Actors - Persons Views
View all the actors, or other persons like directors, producers, writers, etc in your films and view photos, filmography, biography, and even film clips from IMDb, or download and save them locally in My Films.
Recently Added
How to display films recently added to My Films, either on Basic Home screens or within My Films.
Detail Views
The Details window displays all the database details of your film with five different 'virtual' views, and allows you to customize six display items on the Overview. It also offers a special full fanart and movie thumbs view!
Filters
How to filter your data, to password protect some films, display only certain films, or create filtered views.
Box Sets, Groups
How to create groups of films for Box Sets, Series, Collections or other Groups for AMC catalog types.
Cover Manager
Download, select and change the movie cover image you wish to display for your film using the Cover Manager (as of v 6.0.0).
Customizing Display
Customize your display by selecting 5 fields or items you wish to display on the main window, and 6 items on the Details window.
Editions
Display and play Editions like Bonus Disks, 2D, 3D, Directors Cut, Unrated, etc. (as of v 6.0.0)
Fanart Manager
Use the Fanart Manager to download, delete or create your own fanart images.
Multiple Users
If you have more than one user of My Films, and use an AMC catalog type, you can keep track of who has watched and rated which films independently even if they all use the same database and configuration settings.
Ratings and Favorites
How to add your own 'user rating' (for each user) and view your 'favorite' films
Subtitles
Download and add subtitles for your film(s) using the SubCentral plugin, all from within My Films.
Trailers
Search and add trailers to your AMC database and play them in My Films. Or search and play trailers from IMDb, YouTube, Apple trailers or Filmstarts.de (as of v 6.1.0) via the Online Videos plugin.
Trakt
My Films integrates with the Trakt plugin and website to keep an active record of what films you are watching or have watched. Based on your favorites, your friends, and the community, Trakt also recommends similar films for you.
Updating Existing Films
Update your movies, including covers, fanart, online availability and related trailers from within My Films (AMC/XML database only)
Importing New Films
How to import new films to your existing database (AMC catalog type only).

   

 

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