Do you have a hard drive full of ripped movies in ISO file format? Are you looking for an easy way to play them in Windows Media Center? Today we show you how to configure Windows Media Center so you can automatically view those ISOs directly from the Movie Library.
First, download and install Virtual Clone Drive. It’s a free application that allows you to mount an ISO file so that it appears as a CD/DVD drive. The install process is very simple and you can just take the defaults.
Next, download and install Mikinho Mount Image. This add-in allows for the ISO image files to be displayed and mounted automatically in Windows Media Center. This is also a very basic install and is available in 32 & 64 bit versions.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to either copy your ISO files into your Media Center Movie Library, or add the folder containing your ISOs to the Movie Library. If you haven’t set up your movie library yet, make sure and check out our tutorial on adding folders to the movie library in Windows 7 Media Center.
When you are ready to watch a movie, simply browse to the Movie Library and click on the ISO you wish to view.
When you open an ISO file, you are presented with a “Please wait while mounting disc image…” message. The process will take several seconds. It may take a bit longer if another ISO file needs to be unmounted before mounting the new one.
After the ISO is mounted, your movie will begin to play. Now just relax and enjoy the movie.
When the movie is over you can eject the ISO image (which actually unmounts it from the virtual drive) just as you would with an actual physical DVD. You don’t have to, but it makes mounting the next ISO you want to watch load faster.
These two apps work behind the scenes and it feels like the feature was built into Windows Media Center to begin with. There is nothing you need to setup or tweak, just install the two programs and you’re done. Of course with Virtual CloneDrive, you’ll get the extra benefit of having a virtual disc drive on your system for running other disc images.
If you are looking for a simple, no hassle way to enjoy those ISOs in Windows 7 Media Center, then these simple apps will be a welcome addition to your Media Center setup.
Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.
- Published 02/23/10