As you may know, I am a huge fan of My Movies, and now Brian has released My Movies for Mac OS X as a pre release. I can’t wait to check it out!
Here is what Brian posted:
My Movies for Mac OS X allows you to catalog your entire movie collection from our high quality online data service containing data for more than 475,000 DVD, Blu-ray and HD DVD titles from various countries. The application supports Mac OS X 10.6 and higher.
Notice! The application is currently in Pre Release, and is freely available to everyone during this Pre Release period. The Pre Release distributions contains a time bomb functionality, allowing to function typically for one month from the release date.
My Movies for Mac OS X requires you to create a user account, or log on to an existing My Movies account to be able to use the program. Your collection will follow your user account through our online servers, allowing you to switch between different clients without ever loosing your data. If you log in to an existing My Movies account, your current collection will automatically be synchronized to My Movies for Mac OS X. Users of My Movies for iPhone, iPad or Android will automatically have their collection synchronized between My Movies for Mac OS X and your movie devices.
During the Pre Release, we would like your bug reports, feature requests and general inputs, allowing us to ensure that the final product meet the expectations that users have both feature and stability wise. Please leave all coments and bug reports in our forums, where a special section have been created for the My Movies for Mac OS X Pre Release.
You can download the Pre Release by clicking here.
My Movies for Mac OS X and My Movies for Windows
My Movies for Mac OS X is a standalone software, synchronizing with the My Movies WebService.
The application is not a client for My Movies for Windows servers, such as My Movies for Windows Home Server and My Movies Collection Management functioning as server. This means that you cannot connect it to the My Movies Windows based solutions.
It is not planned that for the software to function as a client to the My Movies Windows software package at any point. The internal structure and functionality of the application differs in many ways to how the Windows software packages function. Depending on user feedback, it may be that this at some point will change, and while we would like the requests as feedback, it is not something users should expect.
Below is an overview of the interface of My Movies for Mac OS X, allowing you to see the functionality of buttons and interface areas. You can click the image to view it in a larger version.
The application will at the time it is out of Pre Release be available in a “Free” and a “Pro” version in the Mac OS X App Store. The “Free” version will be limited to 50 titles – a number that can be lifted by contributing data to the My Movies WebService, which earns you contribution points. The title limitation will be lifted by one title per each 5 or 10 contribution points on your account, an amount that have not yet been decided on – at 2,500 points, the limitation will be lifted in full.
To ensure users with the “Free” version can contribute data to all of the titles in their collection, it will be possible to add titles to the collection after the title limit have been reached – adding a title when the limit have been reached will simply remove the first title added that is currently in the collection, which means that the added title will replace another title.
Users who prefer to purchase the application can purchase the “Pro” version in the Mac OS App Store, at a price which have not yet been decided on. Users who purchase the “Pro” version will not have any title limitations, and do not require contribution points to lift any limit.
Notice that earned contribution points will only be able to lift the title limitation in My Movies for Mac OS X Free, and won’t affect the title limitation on My Movies for iPhone Free, My Movies for iPad Free or My Movies for Android Free, where the users still will have to purchase the “Pro” versions for the ability to display more than 50 titles. There will also not be a rebates available for users who purchase the application on multiple platforms, as this is not technically possible.
My Movies for Mac OS X is a brand new product, and feature-wise, we have made three milestones for it. This initial Pre Release covers milestone one.
1) The initial and first milestone covers a fully useable Collection Management software, allowing you to maintain, browse and look through your movie collection. It also includes automatic synchronization to the My Movies WebService, which means it is a fully synchronized client for use with My Movies for iPhone, iPad or Android. Last, it is created to give users on Mac OS X a full option to contribute data to the My Movies WebService, and by doing this, edit and improve titles in their collection.
2) The second milestone, which is not part of the initial Pre Release, but will be developed once milestone one is out of Pre Release, it will feature an option to function as a meta-data provider for various products. This milestone will contain features such as importing titles from folders on local harddrives or network storage devices, storage monitoring functions as known in My Movies for Windows, where the application will detect changes in folders and add titles in these folders to the collection. Lastly, it will contain an option to store meta-data files for devices such as XBMC, TViX and other devices supported by My Movies for Windows. It may be that meta-data for some devices will be released before others.
3) The third milestone, which is not certain to be developed, covers the option to let My Movies for Mac OS X function as a front-end for a remote control. If, and how this will be developed is at this point not certain – it could be a front-end for Apple TV if the device is opened officially for developers, it can be a standalone functionality, or it can be an add-on to other Apple based products available on Mac OS X.
There are some things that is worth noting before starting to use My Movies for Mac OS X.
a) The development plans above outlines that My Movies for Mac OS X will have features added in steps. This means that feature wise it cannot be fully compared to My Movies for Windows in the initial Pre Release. We have decided on an initial feature set for the Pre Release, and will extend the product from there – we would like your inputs during the Pre Release of which functionalities you would prioritize for future development.
b) My Movies for Mac OS X is a standalone product, connected to the My Movies WebService, and therefore ideal for usage with My Movies for iPhone, iPad or Android. It is however not a client for My Movies for Windows or My Movies for Windows Home Server, and it will not communicate with these in multi-zone environments. It have been our intention to offer a feature rich product for Mac OS X on it’s own – not to create a client for the My Movies software packages for Windows. Depending on the incoming feature requests, it is possible that the application later will be able to function as such, but it is not part of current plans.
c) My Movies for Mac OS X does not contain features for TV Series as introduced in My Movies 4 for Windows in May 2011. It is planned that this will be added to the product in a later version, but exactly how priorities will be is not known at this point.
Understanding Server Synchronization
My Movies for Mac OS X automatically synchronizes with the My Movies online servers, which means that your collection follows your user account though the online service. This approch have several benefits:
- The online servers functions as a backup of your collection. If your computer breaks down, you can at any time re-install the application and log onto your user account, and your data is still there after you let the application re-sync with the servers. Similar, if something corrupts the internal database in the application, you can remove the full program and re-add it, and let it re-sync your data with the servers.
- If you add or remove a title from a mobile device software such as My Movies for iPhone, My Movies for iPad or My Movies for Android, it will automatically be synchronized to My Movies for Mac OS X the next time you open the application and answer yes to synchronize. Similar, if you add or remove a title from My Movies for Mac OS X, it will automatically be synchronized to your mobile device. There are no manual processes in exporting and importing databases or similar.
- Titles added to your collection by searching for the title, or adding titles by barcode is a general common profile for all users of the My Movies online system, which means that the same title is shared between hundreds or thousands of users, and any improvement to the profile made by any user and contributed to the online system will be available to all users having the same title profile by having enabled the automatic title update option (default). If you would like to block a title from having data updated from the online servers, you can use the title locks to lock either the data, the covers or both.
The approach with sharing titles between users also means that there are some things to pay special attention to:
- If you contribute data to a profile, this data will be made available to everyone. This means that you may not add any personal preferences to the title profiles, such as a different cover art, writing personal information into the title description, changing titles to personal preferences or similar. The personal data section may be changed to your personal preference, and contains the option to overwrite both titles and sort titles, all data outside this section is required to follow the contribution guide.
- If your contributions to the online system does not follow the contribution guide, our staff will decline your contributions, and optionally give you a warning for incorrect contributions. Continued contribution of incorrect data, having received multiple warnings for the same mistakes can force our staff to block your user account.
There are with My Movies for Mac OS X some exceptions to the automatic synchronization, created to allow you to create new titles manually, that later can be contributed to the server as general public profiles, and allow you to make changes to your collection, even when your device is not connected to the internet:
- By changing data on a title profile (outside the personal section), the title will get a status “Changed” with an icon indicating this status on the title profile page. This change is stored only locally in your My Movies for Mac OS X client, and is not automatically synchronized to the online servers, and therefore not synchronized to your online collection or mobile devices. You should here make sure your changes follows the contribution guide, and contribute the changes to the online service, which will make the changes available on the online servers, and remove the “Changed” indicator. If you have made changes that you would like to get rid of, you can also in the menu choose to revert the title back to the data from the online service, removing your local changes.
- When creating a new title using the create title button in the add titles button area, the title will get a status “Offline” with an icon indicating this status on the title profile page. This title is stored only locally in your My Movies for Mac OS X client, and is not automatically added to your collection on the online servers, and therefore not synchronized to your online collection or mobile devices. You should here make sure the title does not exist already in the online service, and that the data on the title follows the contribution guide, and then contribute the title to the online service, making it available to everyone else, and making it available on your online collection and mobile devices.
- If you make any changes to the personal data at a time where you are not connected to the online servers, the title will get a status “Unsynced” with an icon indicating this status on the title profile page. Titles having this status will have the changes synchronized to the online servers next time the client is synchronized, either on startup answering yes to synchronize, or by pressing the synchronize button. Any change that results in an “Unsynced” state will be unavailable on your online collection or mobile devices until next time synchronized.
The information above refers to using the online servers as synchronization between My Movies for Mac OS X and the My Movies mobile softwares, but it can just as well be between multiple Mac OS X devices, allowing you to use the software on multiple computers. There are no limits to how many clients that can be used to synchronize with the same user account.
Notice! The synchronization can also be used with My Movies Collection Management for Windows, which however uses a different approch for synchronizing, where you manually have to confirm changes made from other clients, which is not automatically synchronized. The Collection Management software uses a semi-automatic synchronization approch, where any changes made to the personal data is automatically uploaded to the online servers when you make them, but where the titles do not receive special statuses if this fails – the software will instead automatically upload these changes when it is connected.