Chameleon MediaCenter

Getting Started With CMC & CME

While Chameleon MediaCenter is not a difficult application to use, it is very different than most other programs you have used before, even other media hubs like Kodi, Plex, and even WMC.  

 

If you simply try to use it without following the steps below, you will likely get poor results and the program may look buggy and broken.  For this reason, we encourage you to read through this Getting Started guide, which will help you avoid some pitfalls, and get the best possible experience.

 

Select any of the following sections to expand them for detailed information on each topic:

Chameleon MediaCenter is designed to work alongside several 3rd party applications, and for best experience we recommend that the following are installed and operational before installing CMC.

 

 

Microsoft Windows

While CMC has been designed for Windows 10 to replace legacy WMC functionality, it is fully compatible with Windows 7 and 8.1.  This means that you can test CMC on your current system before making the jump to Windows 10.

 

There is one known limiation on Windows 7/8.1 - Microsoft prevents the reprogramming of certain MCE remote media keys like the Windows Green Button, RecordedTV, My Music, etc.  You can only reprogram these on Win10.  You can still use the four colored buttons (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow) on Win 7/8.1.

 

Currently there are no plans to port CMC to non-Windows platforms.

 

 

Binnerup Consult's My Movies 5

If you plan to use CMC's Movie Library functionality, you will need an installation of My Movies 5.13 or later on at least one PC in your home.  My Movies will be used to maintain your movie collection, and to generate the metadata needed by CMC to display your collection.

 

My Movies is not needed to enjoy other features of CMC, including the Music Library, HDHomeRun TV, and application launching functionality.]

 

*NOTE:  My Movies 4.x through 5.12 all encrypt the metadata, and are not compatible with CMC.  My Movies 5.13 - 5.25 have all been validated with CMC.

 

**NOTE 2:  Binnerup does NOT include the My Movies API on My Movies server installs!  In order to use CME to export metadata (highly recommended, detailed in section 3) below), you will need a My Movies for Windows 7, 8 or 10 desktop install, which has the My Movies API.

 

 

Elaborate Bytes' Virtual CloneDrive (optional for mounting ISO's)

If you store your DVD and Blu-Ray collection as full-sized ISO files, you can use Elaborate Bytes' Virtual CloneDrive to mount those ISO files.  CMC will need to know where VCD is installed (configured on the Settings panel).  If VCD is installed prior to configuring CMC, it should be auto-detected, making setup easier.  Additionally, CMC will need to know what drive letter was assigned to the VCD virtual drive, so it can monitor mounting of ISO files and pass the drive letter to PowerDVD.

 

*NOTE: CMC can optionally allow PowerDVD to handle the ISO mounting.

 

 

One or more Media Players

CMC does not include a built-in video player.  Instead, to play your movies, TV series and other videos, CMC will launch an external player to handle playback duties.  You can configure different players for different media types (i.e. DVD vs. Blu-ray, and movies vs. TV episodes), so the ideal setup for your collection may include multiple media players, each with their own strengths.

 

CMC currently has built-in support for the following media players:

 

If your media players are installed prior to running CMC, they will be auto-detected.

 

*NOTE:  The Music Library audio player is integrated into CMC, and does not require an external player.

 

 

SiliconDust's HDHomeRun Device + App

One of the great strengths of CMC is the ability to launch other programs to extend it's own capabilities.

 

If you have a HDHomeRun network attached TV tuner for viewing of live and recorded TV, CMC v3.2 and later can launch SiliconDust's HDHomeRun app, providing access to Over-the-Air (OTA), CableCard, and previously recorded content, included protected content from premium networks.

 

While the HDHomeRun app is separate from CMC, the ability to easily launch it from CMC, navigate the HDHomeRun app with your remote control, and return to CMC with the touch of a button provide an experience similar to an integrated app.

Installing CMC

Chameleon MediaCenter is very easy to install - simply extract all files from the zip file to a folder of your choice.

 

Chameleon MediaCenter will need write access to the installation folder (for configuration settings, the local CMC Movie and Music databases, artwork caching, and future updates), so for that reason we do NOT recommend placing CMC inside the C:\Program Files\ directory which blocks non-admin write access.

 

We recommend extracting to a folder right off the drive root, like "C:\CMC\" or D:\CMC\".  Alternatively, you can place CMC on a portable USB thumb drive to take it with you on the road, as the application is fully portable.

 

A few last considerations:  Chameleon MediaCenter will work best if it is located on a high-speed SSD, versus a much slower HD.  CMC may also need about 1GB of space for every 1,000 titles to cache artwork, so make sure your installation drive has sufficient space if you plan to use artwork caching (highly recommended).

 

 

Installing CME

CMC Metadata Exporter (CME) is included in the CMC zip file, and gets installed along with CMC.

 

Once CMC is installed, you will find CME in a sub-folder named "CMC Metadata Exporter".  There is only a single file in that folder, named "CMC_Metadata_Exporter.exe".  Run this file to run CME.

 

Even though CME is included with every CMC install, you will only be running it on a single PC, typically the same PC where you run My Movies Collection Management.  

 

Unlike CMC, CME does not include any auto-update capability.  Instead, when CMC checks for updates, it will also update CME as part of any new version update.  For this reason, we recommend you always do a full CMC+CME install on each PC, and not just copy CME separately to a PC.  That way you can easily run CMC when there is an update, and it will update CME as needed for you automatically.

For My Movies users, having high-quality metadata is critical to having a great CMC experience.  Regardless of which method you use to export your metadata, please complete this task first!  

 

If you skip this step and go straight to section 4b and sync your My Movies collection, you will not get good results!

 

 

The Old Way 

While CMC can optionally use the stock My Movies metadata files, named mymovies.xml, these files were never intended by Binnerup to be used for this purpose, and early CMC users have struggled to successfully use them.  Too often these files are encrypted, out of date, or simply don’t get created by My Movies when you need them.  It can be very difficult to force My Movies to export updated data using the Collection Management tool, especially if you want to use TV Series.  

 

Since this solution is free, CMC still maintains the capability to optionally use them, though this is no longer recommended.

 

 

The New Way

To solve the challenges of exporting metadata with My Movies, we developed a new tool named CMC_Metadata_Exporter.exe, hereafter referenced as CME.  CME uses the My Movies API to export metadata from the My Movies database, and will create new metadata files with unique names, like mmTitle.xml, mmSeries.xml, mmEpisode.xml, plus the various artwork files for DVD covers, fanart, and TV Series artwork.  

 

Not only is using CME easier than using My Movies Collection Management to export your My Movies metadata, the metadata exported by CME is better too.  CME produces smaller metadata files that contain more data that CMC needs (like Movie Trailer ID’s, TV Series/Episode info), and less garbage data that CMC doesn’t need.  Similarly, the folder.jpg artwork that is exported by CME is both smaller, taking up less disk space, and higher quality – they look much clearer and sharper in CMC.

 

If CME is so great, then what’s the downside?  You must have at least 2500 My Movies Contribution Points in order to export data from the My Movies API, which is required to use CME.

 

If you do not currently have the necessary points, we high encourage you to purchase them, as the API metadata is much, much better, and using CME is so much easier than ‘The Old Way’.  And of course, there are certain features like the enhanced TV Series view and movie trailers that are only available when using CME.

 

If you are not ready or able to purchase My Movies Contribution Points from Binnerup, then alternatively you may use ‘The Old Way’ described in section 3b below.

 

Even though CME is relatively easy to use, you should still read the instructions. 

 

NOTE:  The My Movies API, to which CME connects, is only included on My Movies Desktop Clients, and is not included on a My Movies Server install (i.e. Windows Server Essentials, Windows Server 2012, etc.).  If you are running any type of Windows Server install of My Movies, you will still need a separate My Movies Desktop Client to provide API access.

 

We have provided a few tutorials on how to use CME.  You can find them in the CMC Forum.  Below are direct links to the tutorials:

1 - Introducing CMC Metadata Exporter (CME)

2 - CME Initial Setup

3 - CME Best Settings

4 - CME Metadata Cleanup Tool

Configuring CMC to import the mymovies.xml files

While CMC has always had the capability to import the standard My Movies metadata files named mymovies.xml, beginning with CMC v3.2 this feature is disabled by default.  Your first step is to re-enable this feature.  In CMC, Enable this settting:

 

  • Settings > Movie Library Scanning > Import "mymovies.xml" Files

 

Configuring My Movies Collection Management for Metadata Export

To create all of the files that CMC needs, My Movies must have the following setting enabled:

 

  • Tools > Settings > Meta-data > 'Store front cover as folder.jpg'

NOTE:  My Movies will create a 'folder.jpg' file for titles/discs configured as "Online Folders", and a <filename>.jpg file for titles/discs configured as "Online Files".

 

 

Forcing My Movies to Export Fresh Metadata

For My Movies use, Binnerup does not require that the mymovies.xml files be current.  They can be several years old, using old file formats and even be encrypted, and they still work fine with My Movies.  It is very common to see mymovies.xml files that are 5+ years old.

 

CMC requires that these metadata files be in the current file format, and unencrypted.  Those old mymovies.xml files are not readable by CMC, and must be updated.  Also, you must be using My Movies v5.13 or newer to create files that are compatible with CMC.

 

It can be difficult to force My Movies Collection Management to update these files.  The easiest way is to perform these 2 steps in My Movies Collection Management:

 

  1. Tools > Settings > Meta-data > 'Clean stored Meta-Data files from a folder and sub-folders'
    • Check the 'Clean meta-data for My Movies (MyMovies.xml files)' check-box on the configure cleaning pop-up
  2. Tools > Settings > Meta-data > 'Update stored Meta-Data files for all titles in a database'

You'll need to perform that first 'Clean' step separately for each folder path.

 

 

Other Tips for Exporting Metadata using My Movies Collection Management

My Movies uses a background process to monitor folders and automatically export metadata.  This process is slow and may take several hours, so be patient.  It is also nearly impossible to monitor progress - the only way is with the debug log (another reason we recommend using CME instead, which is very easy to monitor). 

 

A common issue with this background process is that it will frequently stop running, preventing metadata from being written to your media folders, and unless you know where to look you won't even know it has stopped running.  There are two ways to get it running again:  a) reboot your PC, and the process should restart on boot up, or b) manually restart the process named 'My Movies General Service' in Windows Services.

 

There is a button on the My Movies Collection Management toolbar to 'Save Meta-Data'.  When you click this button, the metadata is written immediately by the Collection Management app, even if the background 'My Movies General Service' is not running.  This can be a helpful way to force the metadata to write for a single title, especially when you are having trouble with the background service.

 

 

Sync Errors

Even after you've followed the steps above, there may still be some titles with old, bad, or missing metadata.  When you run a Sync, CMC will log any incompatible XML files and alert you two ways:

 

  1. Inside the CMC GUI, when the sync completes it will prompt you to review the error report.
  2. Alternatively, you can open the error report written to Logs\CMC Sync Error Log.txt.

NOTE: If you are actively troublehsooting import errors, be sure to run a Full Import in CMC, so that all titles are evaluated.  A SmartSync, which processes changes only, may skip over titles with an error simply because they have not changed since the previous sync - this does not mean that the issue has been resolved.

 

When you are reviewing the error log, be on the lookout for Encrypted, Bad, or Missing XML metadata files. These all indicate a problem with the My Movies metadata export, and the issue must be resolved there.

To launch CMC, execute the program 'CMC.exe' in the installation directory you created.

 

The first time you run CMC, you will be prompted to choose your language (Deutsch, English, Español, or Français) and accept the license agreement.

 

Then you will see the default, mostly blank screen with some helpful labels that help explain how to navigate around and what the various icons do when you click them.

 

To navigate around, please know that CMC was designed to be used with a remote control, or the arrow keys on your keyboard.  While you can use a mouse for some navigation, this is still in development and certain areas like the movie and album covers will not respond at all to a mouse click.

 

Typically, your next step is to sync with your My Movies collection (step 4b, below) or your music collection (step 4c, below).

Syncing is the process of importing your My Movies collection to display it in CMC.  CMC is different than WMC in that CMC does not directly communicate with My Movies to display your collection.  Instead, CMC reads metadata files that are stored in your media folders, similar to other solutions like Kodi, Plex, XBMC, etc.

 

Syncing is a read-only process, and will not change any of your data.

 

 

Export Metadata First!

Before syncing, it is highly recommended that you follow and complete Step 3a (using CME to export your My Movies metadata) or if you don't have the necessary 2500 My Movies contribution points to use CME, then Step 3b (metadata cleanup and export using My Movies Collection Management).  If you don't complete either Step 3a or 3b, then after you Sync your collection in CMC you will see a lot of blank covers and data fields containing error messages, plus functionality will be greatly limited.

 

 

Configure Folders for Import

The next step is to add one or more folders that contain your My Movies media to sync into CMC.  Click the Settings icon (top left, looks like a gear or cogwheel).  Select the first section, 'Movie Library Scanning', and click the 'Add a Folder for Scanning' label.  A file explorer window will open, allowing you to navigate to and select a media folder.  Repeat this step for each folder you want to sync.

 

Save your changes to close the Settings window and get back to the main view. 

 

 

(OPTIONAL)  Enable Import of Legacy "mymovies.xml" Metadata Files

New with CMC v3.2:  If you are not using CME to export your My Movies metadata, then you will also need to Enable the option 'Import "mymovies.xml" files", otherwise CMC will only look for mmTitle.xml files created by CME and will not import your movies.  This setting is on the same page where you configured the folders for syncing.

 

 

Run a Sync

While in the Movie Library (not the Music Library), click the Sync icon (2nd icon, looks like a recycle symbol).  You will be presented with two options, a Full Sync (builds the local CMC Movie DB from scratch) and a SmartSync (which updates your local CMC Movie DB with any changes since the last sync).  Choose either one for your first sync, you will get the same result since the current DB is empty.

 

Depending upon the speed of your media drives/server/network, and the size of your collection, the sync may take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.  You will see progress displayed on-screen: first CMC will scan your folders, then CMC will import the media it has found. 

 

 

Review and Resolve Sync Errors

At the end of the sync, if there were any errors a prompt will show allowing you to view them.  This error report will give you important information that will help you fix any titles that did not import correctly.

 

The error report is also written to the Logs folder for review later.

Syncing your music collection is very similar to syncing your My Movies collection.  The main difference is that you can use any program you want to maintain your music collection, and that the metadata will be stored inside each song's file.

 

 

Preparing Your Music Collection For Import

Your music should be stored in one folder per album - this will help CMC ensure that different albums with the same name do not get joined together.  Other than that, you can organize your collection pretty much any way you want.

 

Filenames are not important.  Rather, the embedded metadata (Artist, Album Artist, Album, Track Name, Track Number, Year, Genres, etc.) are imported and used to control what is shown in CMC.

 

Typically, you should have a high-quality album cover stored as a "folder.jpg" in each album folder.  New with CMC v3.2, embedded artwork will be exported and used to create the folder.jpg file if it is missing.

 

 

Configure Folders for Import

The next step is to add one or more folders that contain your music collection to sync into CMC.  Click the Settings icon (top left, looks like a gear or cogwheel).  Select the second section, 'Music Library Scanning', and click the 'Add a Folder for Scanning' label.  A file explorer window will open, allowing you to navigate to and select a media folder.  Repeat this step for each music folder you want to sync.

 

Save your changes to close the Settings window and get back to the main view. 

 

 

Run a Sync

While in the Music Library (not the Movie Library), click the Sync icon (2nd icon, looks like a recycle symbol).  You will be presented with two options, a Full Sync (builds the local CMC Music DB from scratch) and a SmartSync (which updates your local CMC Music DB with any changes since the last sync).  Choose either one for your first sync, you will get the same result since the current DB is empty.

 

Depending upon the speed of your media drives/server/network, and the size of your collection, the sync may take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.  You will see progress displayed on-screen: first CMC will scan your folders, then CMC will import the media it has found. 

 

 

Review and Resolve Sync Errors

At the end of the sync, if there were any errors a prompt will show allowing you to view them.  This error report will give you important information that will help you fix any music that did not import correctly.

 

The error report is also written to the Logs folder for review later.

After you've run your first sync, the local CMC database is static.  This means any collection changes you make will not be reflected in CMC until you sync them.

 

This applies the same to both the Movie Library and the Music Library.

 

 

Run a SmartSync to Quickly Import Changes

To make syncing a quick and painless as possible, CMC has a SmartSync feature.  The SmartSync rapidly scans your media folders, looking for any changes since the last sync, and only processes the changes.  Typically a SmartSync is many times faster than a Full Sync, and depending upon the size of your collection and the speed of your media drives/servers/network, it may only take a few seconds to complete.

 

 

Automatically Running a SmartSync

Optionally, you can configure a Movie Library SmartSync to run every time you start CMC (Settings > Movie Libary Scanning > Autorun SmartSync on every program start), which will help keep CMC up to date with all the latest My Movies metadata.

 

 

When to Run a Full Sync

With CMC v3.2, the SmartSync is very reliable and works to keep most changes in sync.  However, it is possible that certain changes may not be recognized and a SmartSync fails to show the latest data.  In that case, run a Full Sync, which rebuilds your local CMC database from scratch, ensuring that your entire collection is imported.

 

Out of the box, CMC is not quite ready to start playing all types of media. Since CMC does not include a video player, you will need to tell it what player(s) you would like to use.  Similarly, you need to optionally configure CMC to handle mounting of ISO's via Virtual CloneDrive.

 

The good news is that it only takes a couple minutes to change a few values to get CMC configured for video playback.  We have taken care of all the integration logic with all supported players, so all you have to do is make a few quick assignments.

 

 

Assigning the Virtual CloneDrive Drive Letter

If you will be using Virtual CloneDrive (VCD) to mount ISO's for playback, you will need to assign the drive letter of the virtual drive you have configured in VCD.  If you have multiple VCD drives, then choose the drive letter of the VCD drive you want CMC to use.  To configure this value, go to Settings > ISO Mounting Options > VCD Drive Letter.

 

If you will not be using VCD, and instead prefer to have PowerDVD mount your ISO's, then you need to disable VCD mounting:  Settings > ISO Mounting Options > Use Virtual CloneDrive (VCD).

 

 

Assigning the Media Player for each Media Type

By default, CMC is configured to use PowerDVD as the media player for all media types - even if PowerDVD is not installed.

 

To change the media player, go to Settings > Video Playback Options.

 

There you can assign a different media player for each of the following media types:

  • DVD's
  • Blu-rays
  • UltraHD 4K Blu-rays
  • TV Episodes on DVD
  • TV Episodes on Blu-rays (includes UHD 4K)
  • Video Files (i.e. MKV, MPEG, M4V)

The following media players are available for assigning to each media type.  Note that CMC lists and allows you to select all players, even if they are not installed on your PC.  If you assign a player that is not installed, then you will get an error on playback when the player cannot be found.

  • PowerDVD
  • DVDFab Player 5/6
  • JRiver
  • MPC-HC
  • MPC-BE
  • VLC
  • Win10 Movies & TV (only for Video Files)

It is highly recommended that you use MPC for playing back TV Episodes.  MPC is the only media player that can directly play DVD Episodes that are indexed by DVD Title + Chapter.  MPC will also auto-close once an episode has completed, allowing CMC to auto-play the next episode.  Additionally, MPC-BE seems to have better developer support than MPC-HC, so we recommend MPC-BE.

 

Automatic Updates for CMC

If permitted in your network/firewall settings, CMC will automatically contact the chamconsoft.com server on startup to check if a new version of CMC is available.  If a new version is available, then a window will display showing the changelog for the new version, and provides the option for you to upgrade automatically.  If you select to upgrade, the latest version's zip file will be downloaded and unzipped into the program folder, overwriting the current version, and then CMC will restart, running the new version.

 

 

Manually Updating CMC

Alternatively, you may manually download the most recent version from the chamconsoft.com website and unzip the contents into the CMC program directory.

 

 

Full Sync after Upgrading CMC

Sometimes a Full Sync will be required after an upgrade.  If so, then when CMC opens you will not see your library, but instead a message to perform a Full Sync.  This is a rare occurrence, required only when the CMC Movie or Music DB structure has significantly changed to address bugs or add features, and must be rebuilt from scratch via a Full Sync to implement the fixes or enhancements.

 

Note that your product license, configuration settings, and artwork cache remain unaffected by a product update.

 

 

Updating CME

Unlike CMC, CME does not check for updates.  Instead, any updates to CME are included with the CMC update.   This helps ensure that you are always running compatible versions of CMC + CME, since the data shared between these two apps must be compatible.

Please see section '8) MCE Remote Configuration' below, which creates Windows Shortcuts for launching CMC via Hotkeys.

CMC has a built-in tool to configure MCE remote control buttons to launch CMC in default, Movie, and Music Library modes, and to close the currently focused program.

 

Note that this tool must write the new MCE remote configuration to the Windows Registry, and for this reason you must start CMC with the 'Run as Adminstrator' option when you want to apply your configuration.  To give CMC Administrator rights, simply right-click on the "CMC.exe" application file where you installed it, select "Run as administrator", and select Yes on the confirmation prompt.

 

To access the MCE remote programming tool, go to Settings > MCE Remote Configuration.

 

To configure a Windows Shortcut + Hotkey to launch CMC, you must link it to a button.  The following Windows Hotkeys can be created:

  • CTRL+ALT+8: Launch CMC in default mode
  • CTRL+ALT+7: Launch CMC in Movie Library mode
  • CTRL+ALT+9: Launch CMC in Music Library mode

Just as important as launching CMC is having a button to close programs.  This is critical for programs like PowerDVD that provide no method for exiting via a remote control.  Luckily, the Windows default Hotkey ALT+F4, which closes the currently focused program, can easily be assigned to a button using the 'Button to close programs' option.  This will be your most used button on your remote, allowing you to close any and all external media players that are opened to play your videos, and can be used to close CMC and any other program too.

 

Each action is optional (only configure the ones you want), and can be linked to any of several preselected MCE remote buttons.  Note that on Win 7/8.1, certain media buttons like The Windows Big Green Button, Recorded TV, My TV, My Videos, My Music, and Recorded TV, are all reserved for WMC and cannot be reprogrammed.  Win10, which does not include WMC, does not have this limitation.  On Win 7/8.1, the four colored buttons (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow) are available for reprogramming.

 

Follow these steps to successfully configure the MCE remote buttons:

  1. Start CMC with Administrator Rights
  2. Go to Settings > MCE Remote Configuration and make button assignments for launching CMC and/or closing programs
  3. Click Save (will exit Settings panel)
  4. Go back to Settings > MCE Remote Configuration and click the "Update Registry" button
  5. CMC will then update the Registry with the new button configuration, and also create the CMC Shortcuts that provide the Hotkeys for launching CMC
  6. Reboot.  The changes made will only apply after rebooting.

NOTE:  Seasonal major Windows 10 updates will break your configured buttons, as Microsoft likes to restore the MCE Remote configuration in the registry to stock Windows values.  If your remote stops working, then you can confirm this is the issue by going to Settings > MCE Remote Configuration - the "Update Registry" button will indicate that an update is required.  When this occurs, follow these steps to restore your configured buttons:

  1. Start CMC with Administrator Rights
  2. Go to Settings > MCE Remote Configuration and click the "Update Registry" button
  3. CMC will then update the Registry with the new button configuration, and also create the CMC Shortcuts that provide the Hotkeys for launching CMC
  4. Reboot.  The changes made will only apply after rebooting.

The inability to close media players like PowerDVD is a very common issue.

 

Luckily, the solution is simple and works for ALL players - the Windows Hotkey ALT+F4 will close the currently focused program.

 

Even easier, CMC can configure a button on your remote to issue the ALT+F4 command.  Please see section '8) MCE Remote Configuration' above for details on how to configure the 'Button to close programs'.

Beginning with CMC v3.2, the following hotkeys can be configured on some programmable remote controls, allowing for you to execute CMC functions with the push of a button.

 

The following hotkeys work from anywhere in CMC:

 

  • ALT+F:  Open the Movie Library
  • ALT+M:  Open the Music Library
  • ALT+H:  Open the HDHomeRun app
  • ALT+G:  Open the Valve Steam gaming app
  • ALT+S:  Run a SmartSync (Movie or Music depending upon the current library view)
  • CTRL+1: Launch External Link 1
  • CTRL+2: Launch External Link 2
  • CTRL+3: Launch External Link 3
  • CTRL+4: Launch External Link 4
  • CTRL+5: Launch External Link 6
  • CTRL+6: Launch External Link 8
  • CTRL+7: Launch External Link 9
  • CTRL+8: Launch External Link 10
  • CTRL+9: Launch External Link 11
  • CTRL+Z:  Sleep PC

The following hotkeys are for the Movie Library only:

 

  • CTRL+E:  Show Everything (disables all Filters to show all Titles)
  • CTRL+A:  Apply the MediaType - All  Filter
  • CTRL+F:  Apply the MediaType - Movies  Filter
  • CTRL+T:  Apply the MediaType - TV  Filter
  • CTRL+M:  Apply the MediaType - Music  Filter
  • CTRL+D:  Apply the MediaType - Documentaries  Filter
  • CTRL+O:  Apply the MediaType - Other  Filter
  • CTRL+U:  Toggle Show Unwatched Only / Show All
  • CTRL+G:  Open Genres
  • CTRL+C:  Open Categories
  • CTRL+S:  Open Sort
  • CTRL+|:  Open Advanced Filters (note, that is a PIPE symbol, not an I or L)
  • CTRL+W:  Toggle Show Watchlist Only / Show All
  • CTRL+?:  Open Search

Please visit the Tutorials section in the CMC Forums for the Box Set How-To guide.

One of the features that elevates CMC above other media centers is the full support for TV Series, including the ability to directly play Episodes from your DVD's and Blu-rays.

 

This functionality is directly enabled by My Movies Collection Management, and does require you to perform extra maintenance steps to ensure the My Movies data is complete so that CMC can display your TV Series.

 

Please visit the Tutorials section in the CMC Forums for several How-To guides, beginning with TV101.

 

Additionally, CMC has two views for interacting with TV Series.  The advanced TV Series view, which allows you to browse Series, Seasons and Episode info, is only available if you are using CME to export the My Movies metadata. 

 

If you are using the legacy "mymovies.xml" files for metadata, then only the basic 'disc' view will be available.  Even though this basic view displays a lot less info in CMC, this actually requires a lot more work to configure in My Movies, and for this reason it is not recommended.  If you want to enjoy TV Series with CMC, we highly recommend you use CME to export the My Movies metadata, even though that does require at least 2500 My Movies Contribution Points to work.

 

CMC v3.1 added the ability to play the movie trailers that are linked to some (but not all) movies.  The movie trailer button can be found on the movie details screen, and will turn white when selected if a trailer is available, and gray if there is no trailer.

 

CMC uses MPC-BE to play movie trailers, so this must be installed - otherwise you will get an error when trying to play a trailer.

 

Additionally, since the movie trailers all reside on the YouTube service, MPC-BE must parse the YouTube website to display just the video stream.  This means you will need to keep your MPC-BE version up-to-date.  If your MPC-BE version is too old, you will often only get a black screen when trying to play a trailer, instead of video.

 

Lastly, the YouTube movie trailer ID comes from CME v1.2, so you must be using CME v1.2 or later to export metadata from My Movies.  Movie trailers are not available if you are using the legacy 'mymovies.xml' metadata files.  If you've been using earlier versions of CME, you may also need to do a full export of your entire collection to generate the YouTube movie trailer ID's, which were not exported in CME v1.0 or v1.1.

One of my biggest pet peeves in my music collection is the absurd number of different genres, many of which I have no idea what they even mean.  For example, sometimes I just want to listen to Rock, but in my collection I have way too many flavors of Rock, and playing any one genre means I'm excluding all the other Rock related genres:

 

  • Acoustic Rock
  • Alternative Rock
  • Arena Rock
  • Art Rock
  • Classic Rock
  • Country Rock
  • Experimental Rock
  • Folk Rock
  • General Rock
  • Glam Rock
  • Gothic Rock
  • Hard Rock
  • Indie Rock
  • Industrial Rock
  • Latin Rock
  • Mainstream Rock
  • Pop Rock
  • Progressive Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Punk Rock
  • Rap Rock
  • Rock
  • Rock And Roll
  • Rock**
  • RockLive
  • Rockabilly
  • Soft Rock
  • Stoner Rock

The above is not an exaggeration, these rock related genres are all in my meticulously maintained collection (which is on the small side).  While on a rare occasion I might want to specifically choose Soft Rock or Classic Rock, most of the time I just want "Rock" to include most of that list.  Yet, I don't want to permanently override the original genres in my mp3 tags - I tried that once years ago and nearly destroyed my collection with bad data.

 

New in CMC v3.2 is the Music Genre Mapper, which allows you to tame out of control genre assignments without making any changes to your music tracks.  The Music Genre Mapping can be toggled on and off at any time, allowing you to switch between showing the original genres in your music collection and showing the mapped genres.

 

To edit your music genre mappings, go to:

 

  • Settings > Music Library Scanning > Map Music Genres

This will open a new window that shows all of your actual music genres, and by default each genre will be mapped to itself.  To change the mapping for a genre, simply select the drop-down box next to the genre, and select the genre you want it to map to.  Note that you must use a mouse to change music genre mappings.

 

After making mapping changes, select the "SAVE" button.

 

To toggle the music genre mappings on/off, select:

 

  • Settings > Music Library Scanning > Music Genre Mapping

To see the impact of Music Genre Mapping, select the Genres display from the main Music Library menu.  When Music Genre Mapping is disabled, you will see the full list of all music genres in your collection.  When Music Genre Mapping is enabled, you will only see the genres you have mapped to, and playing a genre will play all the songs that match that mapped genre.

 

 

Adding New Music

In the future, when you add new albums & tracks to your music collection, this may result in new genres being added as well.  By default, new genres will always map to themselves.  You should remember to check the Music Genre Mapper after adding new music to see if you need to modify any mappings.

 

 

Sharing Your Mappings

Since you might want to copy your Music Genre Mappings to other computers, and possibly even share them with other users, CMC stores the mappings in a separate configuration file in your CMC program directory, named "CMC_Music_GenreMap.txt".

 

Note that if you use a Music Genre Map from another user, it may contain genre mappings that don't exist in your collection.  This is okay, as those values will simply be ignored.