If you have a large movie collection you may want to consider using software to manage it.
Software can improve management a lot, for instance by offering extensive search options to keep track of the movies that you own, or by letting you search by cast and other movie related information. There is a lot that movie managers can do that a notebook can't.
Good movie managers offer various options when it comes to importing movies into the database.
This should include a search option to add movies manually, a directory scan to find movies on the hard drive, and ideally importing options from other movie managers or even plain text files. Free MobieDB supports the first two, but not the third import option.
The most comfortable option to add movies to the application becomes available if the movies are stored on a connected hard drive. All you need to do then is point the program at the root directory to have it identify movies contained within. All hits, including related hits, are then displayed in the program interface. It is then up to you to add movies to the database.
One example: About ten hits were displayed for the movie Taken that was stored on the system's hard drive. From two different versions of Taken, to Taken 2 all the way to Taken for a Ride. If you are scanning a large digital movie collection, you may end up with a lot of hits which may take some time checking out. The program displays the movie cover and a short description of the movie, which can aid in the identification. A click on the add movie to database button adds it to the database, which in turn downloads related information like the cast, the movie's rating, images (only downloaded if the image tab is activated at least once), posters and displays a trailer of the movie as well (which is not downloaded directly).
The manual movie search is comfortable and tapping right into IMDB's vast movie archive. You can find multiple hits with one search, for instance by searching for Star Wars Episode, which lists all six episodes of the movie in the results. It is then possible to add all six movies with a few clicks to the program's database.
Movies can be added to genres that the program ships with, or user defined categories or groups. The program lacks the ability to link movies to formats they are available in. This can be a issue for collectors who want to know if movies are available as Blu-Ray, VHS or an avi on the computer's drive. Categories may be used to work around this, but this is far from perfect.
Another issue is the lack of a loan module. While this may not be an issue for everyone, it may very well be a big issue for some movie collectors. Lastly, there is also no option to add custom information to the movie. This could include the purchase price for instance, or personal notes.
Free MovieDB may especially appeal to users who have the majority or even all of their movie collection on hard drives and other digital storage devices. The lack of importing options, make it less than ideal for movie collectors who have lots of VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray movies at home, as it would take a long time to enter them all into the program's database. Especially the lack of importing options from other movie managers, and the lack of a loaning module need to be mentioned as well.
A more than solid alternative is DVD Chief which offers a lot of the options that this program lacks.
Regardless of the shortcomings, it is a solid portable program that is really easy to use.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.