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2 - CME Initial Setup

How-To and general support for the CMC Metadata Exporter (CME) which exports My Movies data via the My Movies API.
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Pauven
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2 - CME Initial Setup

Post by Pauven » Thu May 23, 2019 12:53 pm

When you first start using CMC Metadata Exporter (CME), you should follow the steps below to get up and going. Once you've completed the following, you should then following the guidance in the CME Best Settings post.


My Movies Desktop Client REQUIRED
Before trying to run CME, first you need to make sure you actually have the My Movies API service installed. It is important to note that Binnerup does not include the API service on "My Movies for Windows - Home and Essentials" installs, which means that your Windows Home Server, Windows Server Essentials, and Windows Server installs do NOT have the API service.

Binnerup only includes the API service on the "My Movies for Windows - Wiundows 7, 8 or 10" install, otherwise known as a desktop install. The API service actually runs in the little My Movies icon running in the System Tray next to the clock.

While you can still run a My Movies Windows Server installation, in order to use CME you will need to have a My Movies desktop client installed and pointed at your server. When you run CME, you will always point it at the desktop, never the server!

Note that having a My Movies Server installation is completely optional and not required for using CME or CMC. Instead of having 2 PC's running My Movies (a Server and a Desktop), you can install just the desktop, which optionally includes a server component, to have a fully functioning My Movies install.


Where do I find CME?
Starting with CMC v2.2, CME is bundled with CMC. In your CMC program directory you will find a new folder named 'CMC Metadata Exporter', and there you will find the CMC_Metadata_Exporter.exe program.


Where do I run CME?
Even though CME is included with every copy of CMC, you will only want to run one instance of CME for your entire collection. While you can run CME from any PC that has network access to your My Movies PC, you will get the best results and performance if you run CME directly on your My Movies PC. This is especially important if you use local or mapped drive letters to access your collection (which Binnerup says is not really supported, but obviously some users do this).

To access CME's settings, click the large Gear/Wrench icon/button in the top-left corner of CME. This will open the CME Settings panel, as shown here:

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Enabling the My Movies API
For CME to use the My Movies API, the API must first be enabled. In My Movies Collection Management, go to Tools > Settings > Remote Control Server. There you need to enable "Allow connections from remote control devices". You can also take note of the API Key shown here.


My Movies API Connection Settings
  • My Movies Server (PC Name / IP Address) - If you will be running CME on your My Movies PC, you should use "localhost" as the value in this field. If you are remotely accessing your My Movies PC over the network, then you can instead enter the PC's name (i.e. "OfficePC") or IP address (i.e. "192.168.1.23") here.

WARNING: Do NOT use the name/IP address of an actual server running "My Movies for Windows - Home and Essentials", as these installs do NOT have the API service. The term "Server" here in the instructions is referring to the "My Movies for Windows - Windows 7, 8 or 10" desktop install that is running the API service, hence it is serving the API. Binnerup only includes the My Movies API service on desktop installs (I agree, this seems an odd choice) and it does not exist on the actual server installs. Also, the My Movies icon in the System Tray (next to the clock) must be running, as this is where the API service lives.

  • API Key OR Username / Password - For external programs like CME to access the My Movies API, the program must log into the API. This is done via either the API Key or your My Movies Username and Password. Your API Key is unique to your My Movies installation, and can be found in My Movies Collection Management by going to Tools > Settings > Remote Control Server.
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Disabling My Movies Collection Management Metadata Export Options
Since CME will be performing the metadata export, for best results we recommend you disable all the metadata export options in My Movies.

Most importantly, we recommend you now disable the export of the folder.jpg file, (Tools > Settings > Meta-data > 'Store front cover as folder.jpg'), which was previously a requirement to using CMC.

One of the benefits of CMC Metadata Exporter is that it uses the original cover artwork to create custom sized folder.jpg files that are sized specifically to CMC. These custom sized images are exactly the size that CMC displays the current selected and zoomed cover, and they appear noticeably sharper than the incorrectly sized folder.jpg files that My Movies exports.


CMC doesn't require any of these options to be enabled, though you can still enable other metadata file format options if you need them for other programs or devices.

One thing to note is that My Movies will still create the mymovies.xml files, which is fine. CMC will even still use these files if it can't find one of the new mmTitle.xml / mmSeries.xml / mmEpisode.xml files that CME creates, but otherwise ignores them.


Set up for an initial Full Export
While you will normally run CME to process changes only, initially you will need to perform a full export the first time to get all the metadata exported for your entire collection.

This is really easy to do: Go to the Settings and select the CME Metadata Export tab. At the bottom are the Automatic Export Options. Uncheck (disable) the 'Export Changes Only' option, and this will cause CME to perform a full export.

Additionally, you may want to enable all of the Force Update options on this tab. Force Update means that existing files will be overwritten.
  • The Force Update XML Metadata only affects the metadata files created by CME, since CME creates differently named files than those created by My Movies.
  • The Force Update Folder.jpg only affects the folder.jpg files (or the <ISOname>.jpg files), and we definitely recommend enabling this as the folder.jpg files exported by CME will look much better in CMC.
  • The Force Update TV Series Artwork only affects the TV Series/Season/Episode artwork files, which are probably only exported by CME (very hard to get My Movies to export these), so again we definitely recommend enabling this.
  • The Force Update All Other Artwork affects things like the front/back cover images, and fanart.jpg backdrop image. Some users maintain this data externally to My Movies, so disabling this option will allow you to preserve that data. Normally we recommend enabling this option.
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Test First!
After you've configured your connection, you should test the export to make sure the results are as you want before you allow it to write any data.

On the CME main screen, check the "Test Only (Do Not Write Metadata)" checkbox. This will run the export as a simulation, and the monitor window will report on the actions that CME would try to perform.

Back in the CME Settings, you should also make sure that "Export Changes Only" is disabled. This way CME will export data for all titles in your collection. And unless you have reason not to, you should also make sure that "Export Artwork" and "Force Update" are both enabled.

Back on the CME main screen, the Exporter Configuration Summary (next to the Settings button) should indicate that you are going to "TEST Export ALL Metadata and Artwork" and "Overwrite existing files, use Collapsed filepaths for TV Series" (or Structured if you configured that option).

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Go ahead and click Auto-Test, and the export simulation will begin. Since the API is somewhat slow, this may take a while (hours for larger collections). Once it completes, review the log (we recommend clicking the 'View Export Log' button, as the data is more readable this way).


Extra Testing for TV Series
If you have TV Series, then we recommend an extra round of testing to make sure it will export the way you desire. You will probably want to test both the "Structured" and "Collapsed" options for the "TV Series target output filepaths" setting. We know that many users (ourselves included) will prefer the Structured option as it writes the TV Series metadata to the Series folder, and Season metadata to the Season folder - this just makes more sense. The problem is that you have to have your TV Series folder structure organized perfectly. Even if you are meticulous, chances are your folder structure isn't perfect, so you will have less than perfect results with the Structured option.

To test, set the Structured option in the Settings, and then make sure that both "Test Only" and "Export Only TV Series" are checked on the CME main screen. Then run another Auto-Test. This should be faster since CME will only simulate exporting TV Series. Once the test completes, you will want to carefully review the Export Log, and look for two things in particular:
  • Are the mmSeries.xml files being written to the correct folder?
  • Are the Season##.banner.jpg files being written to the correct folder?
You'll want to check both of those results for every season of every TV Series! For example, here are the relevant lines from the logfile formy 3 seaons of the Showtime TV Series Homeland when I use the "Structured" option:

Code: Select all

Exporting Series Meta-data for Homeland:
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Homeland.mmSeries.xml
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Homeland.poster.jpg
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Homeland.banner.jpg
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Homeland.backdrop.jpg

  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 1:
         WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\Homeland.Season01.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\Homeland.Season01.banner.jpg
         
  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 2:
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 2\Homeland.Season02.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 2\Homeland.Season02.banner.jpg
         
  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 3:
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 3\Homeland.Season03.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 3\Homeland.Season03.banner.jpg
Above I can see that the Homeland.mmSeries.xml file will be written to the \Homeland directory, the Homeland.Season01.poster.jpg is written to the \Homeland\Season 1 directory, and similar for seasons 2 and 3.

If I had my folder structure wrong, I might see the Homeland.mmSeries.xml file being incorrectly written to the \\Tower\TV_Series folder or even \\Tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\, neither of which is what I would want. To fix incorrect output paths, I would have to first correct my folder structure (it must always be \<Series>\<Season>\*.ISO or \<Series>\<Season>\<DVD Folder>\) and then update the disc locations in My Movies Collection Management.

Now, if that seems like too much work, you can simply use the "Collapsed" option, which will write the Series and Season metadata to the same folder where the Episodes are stored, as shown here:

Code: Select all

Exporting Series Meta-data for Homeland:
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.mmSeries.xml
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.poster.jpg
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.banner.jpg
       WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.backdrop.jpg

  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 1:
         WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.Season01.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\tower\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 1\HOMELAND_S1_D1\Homeland.Season01.banner.jpg
         
  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 2:
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 2\HOMELAND_S2_D1\Homeland.Season02.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 2\HOMELAND_S2_D1\Homeland.Season02.banner.jpg

  Exporting Season Meta-data for Homeland Season 3:
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 3\HOMELAND_S3_D1\Homeland.Season03.poster.jpg
         WILL SAVE:  \\TOWER\TV_Series\Homeland\Season 3\HOMELAND_S3_D1\Homeland.Season03.banner.jpg
CMC doesn't care which option you use, it will find and import the Series and Season metadata regardless of where it is written. So the Structured vs Collapsed option is purely for personal preference. Use Collapsed for a care-free solution to exporting the metadata, and Structured if you really care about where the data is written and you are willing to do the extra testing and folder cleanup required to get the right results.

While you're examining the TV Series log data, you may notice that some TV Series indicate "No Episodes indexed for this Title's Discs, skipping Meta-data export.". This means that you have not mapped the Episodes in My Movies Collection Management. If you want the full enhanced TV Series browsing experience in CMC, the Episodes must first be mapped. While this is purely optional, having mapped Episodes takes the CMC experience from just "okay" to "awesome!".


Run a Full Export
Once you've completed your testing and are happy with the simulated results, it's time to run a real export. Uncheck the "Test Only" and "Only Export TV Series" checkboxes, and then click the export button which will now read "Auto-Export".

Because the data is actually being both exported and written, this will take longer than the earlier simulation tests. You may also see the occasional message "! File not found in MyMovies DB" logged right after a CME attempts to export an artwork file. This is not an error, and simply means that the title is missing that cover /fanart / poster / banner / episode image in My Movies Collection Management.


Set up an Automated Changes Only Export
Now that you've run a full export, you should follow the guidance in the CME Best Settings post. Usually, you would want to have CME always running, scanning for changes, and updating your exported metadata files as you make changes or updates are downloaded from the My Movies online service, and that post will guide you on how to set this up.
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
Author, Chameleon MediaCenter

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