HTPC

DVD Library Tool

libtool1

Just recently I found a post on AVS Forums about DVD Library Tool from Clever Technologies. DVD Library tool is a DVD ID XML cataloging application. What it allows you to do is pull in the DVD ID xml file, and DVD cover art. Additionally it also pulls in and over writes the DVD Info Cache, which stores the movie info such as the actors, date, director, chapters, and synopsis. When using the DVD Library built into Vista Media Center as well as Windows 7 Media Center, if you have the proper DVD ID xml file stored with your backed up dvd, media center will then access the internet, and download the DVD Info Cache data. If you are a regular user of DVD Library you will notice that if you have a larger DVD collection it can take a few minutes for the DVD Library to load your movies with the cover art. If you use a tool like DVD Library Tool it will store the DVD Info Cache files locally on your PC so that when you load the DVD Library it will load almost instantly due to the data being stored locally.

DVD Library Tool also allows you to copy and store the DVD ID information locally from the disc while it is being backed up to your pc. The developers of DVD Library Tool have incorporated it so that you can use this tool to do a one stop dvd backup when used in conjunction with Slysoft’s Any DVD. While it is backing up the dvd, it downloads and locally cache’s the DVD meta data to your pc. When you use this feature it will also backup and cahce the dvd chapter meta data, which from using other available tools out there, this of the first one that does this feature, that I have seen.

DVD Library Tool also has another great feature, “one click fix” of your meta data. If you are a member of DVD XML and their API, which is available at a $20 fee, you can use DVD Library Tool in conjunction with DVD XML to auto fix your entire backed up DVD collection. So if you have used many of the free available DVD cataloging applications, that don’t necessarily give you the best DVD meta data, you can easily fix your meta data quickly without any manual intervention.

Overall the DVD Library Tool seems like it is in the right track, however there are some caveats that I need to cover first. DVD Library Tool is not free, like other tools available, DLT will cost you $20, and in order to use the one click fix, that will cost you another $20 from DVD XML to get access to their online API. When you use the DVD Library tool to download and locally cache the DVD meta data, it only performs this function locally to the PC you are running this tool on. So if you store your DVD’s on a network share like I do, and you have more than one HTPC that you use DVD Library on, you either need to run this application on each HTPC you intend to use the DVD Library with, or you need to copy the DVD Info Cache xml file from the PC that you first ran the tool on, and over write it on each of the other PC’s or store the xml file on your network share and use symbolic links instead. Either way however you intend to use this application, it just is not ready for users with multiple HTPC’s. In the end though this tool has some great promise and shouldn’t be over looked. If you have the $40 to spend and you use the Media Center DVD Library it just might be the right tool for the job.

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About the author

Josh Shenkle

Five+ year veteran media center user. Over the years I have built over 20 media center pc's whether it has been to upgrade an existing system in my setup, or to build a media center pc (HTPC) for friends or family. My other passion besides HTPC's and Media Center is Home Theater. After purchasing my first home with a blank slate in the basement, I completely finished it off, building a home theater with a 120" front projection setup and 7.1 surround sound system. So between Media Center and Home theater that is what you'll find me talking about here. Like Adam Thursby, between the two of us are probably the only Zune users you'll find. I started out with an iPod nano but eventually found my way to the Zune and the Zune software and never looked back. Also like Josh Pollard I too am a mobile phone/smart phone gadget nerd. In my "day job" one of my job responsibilities is to test out new phones, specifically windows mobile phones, and test them out with our exchange server and trouble shoot end user issues. I am also a Blackberry convert as I recently got a Blackberry Storm for personal use and absolutely love it! I am a huge forum troll, you can find me on AVSforums, TGB, Missingremote, Hardforums, and even the AU media center forums. I like to help out where I can when it comes to HTPC's and media center in general, so if there are questions to be had, I try to answer them the best I can.

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