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Add Cover Art and Metadata to the Media Center Movie Library with Media Center Master

If you are a Windows Media Center user you are probably already aware that the Movie Library is a bit bland. Today we take a look at how to liven up your Movie Library with Media Center Master.

Media Center Master is a free third party application that automatically downloads metadata from the Internet for WMC and other HTPC applications. It works with both Windows 7 and Vista.

File Organization 

Before you get started, it’s important to have our files properly organized. Each movie file must be in it’s own individually named folder. Here’s how you can quickly copy movie files to individual folders.

Setting Up Media Center Master

Download and install the latest version of Media Center Master. You’ll find the download link below.

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First, we’ll need to be sure we pull the proper information for Media Center. Open Media Center Master. Select Application from the menu and click Settings & Preferences.

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On the Movies tab, select the check box for Create dvdid.xml meta data (WMC Video Library) and click Save.

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Now, we’ll want to select the folders that we like Media Center Master to scan. Select Application and then Set scan folders.

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In the Scan Folder List window, select Add new…

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And then browse for the folder you’d like to scan. Click OK.

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When you’ve added your folder or folders, click Done.

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Media Center Master will begin to scan your folder and indentify the movies.

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If it cannot identify a particular movie,you be prompted to identify it manually by entering the IMDB ID number.

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You can do this by visiting IMDB.com and searching for your movie. When you find it, copy the IMDB ID from the address bar. It should begin with two lowercase t’s.

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Paste or type the ID into the text box and click OK.

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Correcting Misidentified Files

If Media Center Master incorrectly tags any movies files, you can edit the metadata manually. In the Media in your collection window, right click on the misidentified file and select Organize files and edit metadata.

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Search IMDB.com for the proper movie, then copy and paste the ID into the imdb.com ID text box.

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Click Save and then Done.

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Now, back on the main interface, right click on the movie and select Fetch meta data.

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Your new metadata will be downloaded and updated.

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When Media Center Master is finished, you can enjoy your new cover art and metadata.

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Conclusion

If you use XMBC, or MediaBrowser for Windows Media Center, Media Center Master will work with those applications as well. You can also check out YAMMM (Yet Another Media Manager) for an alternative way to add cover art and metadata.

Links

Download Media Center Master

IMDB.com

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 06/29/10

Comments (8)

  1. Lucky Man

    not bad im going to use this tutorial to make it available for my pc :) thanks for your time to creating a tutorial for me to grow my knowledge or experience.

  2. david

    awesome tutorial, i’ll definitely use this when i put together my htpc

  3. John Walshaw

    It’s worth adding one step to the end of this process. The jpeg files downlaoded by Media Cetner Master are quite large (1 MB plus). For large libraries, this can lead to performance issues in rendering the thumbs. This is amplified on an Extender significantly. The simple solution is to do a search on the root folder of the library for *.jpg. Upon being presented with a list of all jpg files, simply right click and convert to small. I can’t remember if the right click option is a native Windows feature or a third party add-on. The end result are tiny jpg files and the rendering (especially on an extender) is very, very fast. I wrote to the creator of Media Center Master suggesting the jpg resize feature be added, but have not seen a response.

    One other minor change I’d suggest is on your options screen shot. Uncheck ‘Download cast thumbs’, ‘Download crew thumbs’ ‘Download all backdrops’ as the jpegs are not used by the native Movie Library.

  4. John Walshaw

    One other thing I’ve noticed about the Movie Library… when you insert a DVD into an attached drive, the Media Center Movie Library displays a thumb and metadata for the movie, i.e. Media Ceter has native on-the-fly metadata retrieval capabilities. In contrast, it does not perform this task when ripped DVD files are in a directory structure. Other than mounting ISO files, I’m wondering if there is a trick to make media center natively retreive metadata and thumbs for ripped content.

  5. Hariharan

    Thanks for this guide.

    I am building my HTPC using Windows Vista Home premium and I was searching for a good guide for adding these stuff.

    You have made a very Valuable guide for people who want to use Windows Media Center

    Thanks and Regards..
    Hariharan.

  6. Kent

    Everything works great, except… I’m having some issues with the cover art. NOTHING I have tried has ultimately led to the cover art being displayed in Windows Media Center. But having this for the meta-data is great! Thanks so much! I’m ripping my parent’s movies and TV show DVDs (over 300) to their new HTPC and it would just take far too long to enter all the metadata. But having the cover art is so incredibly crucial! Please help!
    kentcdodds (at) gmail.com

  7. Dennis Ser

    Thanks for the guide. This work fine for me .. really appreciate the effort to post this guide.

    1 problem though .. when correcting misidentified files, I go through the same process in the above guide. Even after the metadata fields are updated to the correct information, WMC still show the older cover art instead of the new cover art. Any idea?

    Thank you in advance.

  8. jasontt

    thanks very much!!!!

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