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Cinema Premiere Movie Manager

After trying desperately to find a good movie manager to organize my movies, I finally decided to write my own. I made a list of features that were mandatory and a list of features that would be nice to have and what evolved was the Cinema Premiere Movie Manager.

Mandatory Features:

  • Displays well on a TV. My graphics card has the TV screen resolution set to 800x600. All the movie managers I tried either required a higher screen resolution for their program to display properly or the text was too small and blurry to view on a TV screen.
  • Plays movie files directly from the movie manager. Many of the movie managers I tried did not have the option of playing the movie once you searched for and found it.
  • Easily import movies from your hard drive. Some of the movie managers required you to enter each movie in one at a time.
  • Add movies by movie file name, title or UPC number either one at a time, multiple movies at a time or by importing from a text file.
  • Quickly import movie information from IMDb.com or Amazon.com. I wanted to be able to import the movie information without having to sit in front of the computer and select each movie.
  • Thumbnail images of the DVD cover.
  • Easy enough for a kid (or my mother) to use.

Extra Features:

  • Allow all types of media from DVD, VHS, any movie file, and also keep track of movies you've rented or want to rent or buy.
  • Allow for home movies to be added which means:
    1. you can define your own genres, such as Home, Birthdays, Christmas, etc., in addition to the genres defined by IMDb.com and Amazon.com.
    2. you can use your own pictures as cover images in addition to the cover images from IMDb.com and Amazon.com.
    3. you can edit any field to add your own information such as plot - what the video or slideshow is about, actors - who is in the video or slideshow, etc.
  • A multitude of search and sort features.
  • A personal rating and seen field for each movie.
  • Parental control.
  • Easily delete one or many movies at a time.
  • Keep a log of movies added to make sure they were added as the correct title.
  • Easily export the database for easy backup and import for easy recovery.
  • Export search results to a text file selecting which fields you want to export and in which order. The file can put on a removable media and displayed on a PDA (which is great for taking to Blockbuster) or it can be printed out.
  • A default search screen that will display movies with predefined search criteria. This is great for the kids. When the PC boots up, the movie manager automatically starts and goes to the default search screen (Movies) where I have it set to search for all movies that are rated G or PG, so all the thumbnail images of the movies the kids can see are displayed. All they have to do is click on the image of the movie they want and the movie starts playing. (Unless it is a DVD, then when the cursor is over the image it will display DVD and the location of the DVD on our DVD carousel.)
  • Allow the colors of the movie manager screens to be changed.

I wrote the movie manager in HTML, PHP, JavaScript and MySQL to initially just run on my local web server on my media PC. It was very simple to setup Windows XP Pro as a web server and PHP and MySQL were free to download and pretty straight forward to install once I got past a few simple hurdles that I will document. I had no intention on releasing the movie manager to the public when I was creating it. I was only trying to set up a nice media center for my kids, so a lot of love went into developing this program.

After investing so much time making the movie manager so feature rich and since it was written in HTML, I got the crazy idea that it might work well in a multi-user environment on the web. I didn't realize how much work it would be to go public with it, but after hours of programming, I am very pleased how it all came together.

Please give it a try and see what you think.

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