Friday, October 26, 2007

Using the DVD Library in Windows Vista’s Media Center

There are a few tips and tricks when using the DVD Library in Microsoft’s Vista Media Center. It doesn’t simply recognize a folder with all of the contents copied to it. At least it does not display the information and the picture well.

What you will need to do:

  1. First things first, Media Center in Vista comes BY DEFAULT with the DVD Library disabled. So you will need to run “RegEdit” from your run menu (Windows Key + R).
  2. Navigate to \HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DVDSettings
  3. Double click on the “ShowGallery” key and change “Play” to “Gallery” and reboot. That will enable the DVD Library.
  4. When you have a DVD you own and want to copy it to your Media Center, create a folder to store all of your DVDs in.
  5. For each DVD create a folder with the name of the movie that you will be copying. Next you will need to get a DVD copying software such as DVD Shrink or DVD Decrypter.
  6. Put in the DVD you own and open up the application. You will then choose to backup or copy the DVD to the folder you specified. I’m not going to go into details as to how each application works because there are many different applications to accomplish this and for the purpose of this article we are talking about Windows Vista Media Center.
  7. Ensure that after copying you have both a VIDEO_TS and an AUDIO_TS folder. Some applications do not create an AUDIO_TS folder, if it’s missing, just create an empty one.
  8. Media Center uses an XML file to identify the DVD (also known as DVDid) and either pull the information off the Internet or pull it off your DVDCache area. I have found the best way to identify a DVD’s XML to be a website called . There you can search for your DVD and download the appropriate DVDid XML file. You need to save that file to the root of the DVD’s folder. (not in the AUDIO_TS or VIDEO_TS folders)
  9. Next you will need the picture of the DVD. Probably the best way to do this is by going on Google and searching the Image Search Engine for the DVD cover you are looking for. Save it to the Root folder again but ALWAYS call it “Folder.jpg”

After all of this is done, you should be able to navigate to your new DVD Library by going into Windows Media Center and choosing “DVD Library” off the main TV + Movies menu.

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