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301 - Introduction to User Accounts

Chameleon CentralController (CCC) is used to export My Movies metadata directly to CMC's Movie DB, and manage User Accounts and Parental Restrictions, and tracks Watch History and WatchLists on a per-user basis.
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301 - Introduction to User Accounts

Post by Pauven » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:18 pm


User Accounts are a new feature available in CMC if you use CCC. You create and manage User Accounts in CCC, and they are synced automatically to all your CMC PC's. You can choose and switch User Accounts easily in CMC.

User Accounts separately track Title watched status, Watchlists, and playback history per user. You can apply different Parental Restrictions per user, plus PIN codes to prevent unauthorized access. You can also enable/disable Admin access, preventing intentional or accidental config changes by non-Admin users.

User Accounts also sync individual user Display preferences to all CMC PC's, and you can easily manage preferences in CCC.

User Accounts can be disabled when not needed, hiding them from view, and reactivated later as-needed.

User Accounts are optional - you don't have to configure any if you don't need this functionality. Though you might be surprised by some of the creative solutions they can provide (see below if you're curious).

Skip to the next chapter: 302 - Creating & Managing User Accounts

What are CMC User Accounts?
User Accounts are a new feature in CMC v4.0 that is only available if you use CCC. If you have recently used a modern streaming service, like Hulu or Amazon Prime, you've probably already had some exposure to how User Accounts can transform your browsing experience.

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CMC User Accounts are created and managed in CCC, and synced to each CMC PC automatically when movie data is synced. You can then choose which User Account to use when accessing CMC.

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With CMC User Accounts, you can create separate personas for each member in your family and beyond: yourself, your wife, each of your kids, a brother or sister, a parent, grandparents and grandkids, the dreaded in-laws, visiting guests, renters, etc. User Accounts add several important new capabilities:
  • Apply Parental Restrictions to prevent your children from accessing age-inappropriate content
  • Enable PIN protected access to prevent children from logging on as other users
  • Assign/Remove CMC+CCC Admin rights to prevent unauthorized changes to CMC or CCC.
  • Control which Users' Watched Title statuses are used to update your My Movies master Title watched status
  • Individually track Title/Episode Watched Status per user
  • Track and Report on Title/Episode playback events, so you can see who watched what when and for how long
  • Maintain personal WatchLists of Movies you want to watch next
  • Sync personal Display preferences by User to all CMC PC's
  • Remotely configure personal Display settings for each user in CCC
  • Disable User Accounts so they do not display on CMC startup if they are not currently needed

User Accounts are Optional
We know that not everyone has a need for User Accounts, so they are completely optional. Set them up if you need them, or ignore the feature if you don't need it.

Behind the scenes, CMC+CCC will still use a "Default CMC User" account to track Title/Episode watched status and your Watchlists - without this default account then these features would stop functioning. You don't have to do anything to configure this account, it just works out of the box. If you view your Watched History or WatchList report in CCC (covered in a later chapter), you'll notice this default account is being used to maintain this data. This allows CCC to sync your collection data to all of your CMC PC's even if you don't configure any personal User Accounts. As soon as you create your first User Account, this default account is no longer used.

Example User Accounts
When it comes to creating user accounts for your household, your imagination is the only limit. But just in case you need some inspiration, here's a few ideas:

Kids & Teens:
Perhaps you don't have children yourself, but often have extended family or guests with younger children. Instead of waiting for them to want to watch a movie, and then getting embarrassed when they see mature titles in your collection or a suggestive screensaver image, go ahead and create some youth oriented accounts now. Create one called Kids with a Max Parental Rating of PG, and create another called Teens for PG-13.

Guests & Renters
Perhaps you often have guests or renters at your home. While you want to let them enjoy your fantastic movie collection, you may not want a movie you haven't seen marked as Watched when they watch it without you. Create a separate Guests account, and configure it so that their watched title history does not update your My Movies master data. You can also configure it so that their account ignores the My Movies watched status, so they everything is marked as Not Watched by default. While you're setting up their preferences, you might want to restrict their access to a Max Parental Rating of R, so they can't see your after hours collection.

Different Language Users
Perhaps you have a multi-lingual household, and some users would prefer Deutsch instead of English. Not only can each user have their own preferred language set, you can also change the Region assignment, which controls which movie rating system is displayed for that user.

User Accounts can provide Creative Solutions
Even if you don't need User Accounts for other people, you might discover that the can be used to easily change display preferences and Title filtering quicker than manually configuring multiple options.

For example, you could create a user named "4K Movies", and configure that User Account to default to showing 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs of the "Movie" Media Type, sorted alphabetically, with 2 cover rows and with a custom background wallpaper for this collection type. Then, when guests come over and you want to quickly show off your best, you can easily switch to the 4K Movies user.

Proceed to the next chapter: 302 - Creating & Managing User Accounts
President, Chameleon Consulting LLC
Author, Chameleon MediaCenter

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