After having some more time to use W7MC on a daily basis I am loving it even more. Here are a few more tips/hacks that I found.
1. Add Channel Logos/Icons: adding channel logos is VERY easy with My Channel Logos. Just download and install their app, click search and you’re done. Very easy and looks great. You can even add custom logos if the auto-scan misses some.
2. Better browsing of Movies, TV, etc: I had previously mentioned that I liked DVD Library Manager for searching for and adding DVD info. While this worked, it is still time consuming and not the easiest to figure out. For instance, it stores some of the data in the actual video folders and some in the infocache folder (C:\Users\usernaem\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\eHome\DvdInfoCache). It doesn’t work well to add all the data and then move the movie folders across PCs either.
This led me to DVDXML.com. You need to create a free account, but then you can download an xml file that you can put into the movie folder and it will then auto download and populate your infocache folder. A better solution, but still time consuming (you need to search and download each movie one by one and with the free account you need to wait 30 seconds before each download).
This led me to DVD Library Tool. DVD Library Tool is like a more advanced version of DVD Library Manager, and you can use search and import the data from DVDXML.com. The downside is that DVD Library Tool costs $20 and to use the DVDXML.com API you will need to pay $5 per year. DVD Library Tool has a great feature to auto update your entire library so you can get all the movie info and art filled in with one click (provided you’ve named the folders properly). This solution seemed like it would work well, but once you get about 200+ movies in there W7MC’s movie library view starts to get slow and laggy. So slow it is not fun to use.
This led me to Media Browser.
3. Media Broswer = the Answer: Media Browser is amazing. It is a free app that once installed adds a new selection menu to your W7MC list (TV, Movies, Extras, etc.). Media Browser’s best features are that it looks GREAT (and there are many free plugins/skins), has several different views (banner art, coverflow, detail, grid, etc.), it searches and downloads the info automagically, has a good knowledge base, support site and forums, and it’s lightning fast.
Right now I’m loving the Harmony plugin/theme. You can even configure the home screen to show the weather, just make sure you use the right location code. It is really amazing how Media Browser is able to search through your movie and TV collection and find all the info and art on its own. The only time consuming part is making sure that you have your movie and TV folders using the proper naming convention.
That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll find some more tips soon.