With the proper tools and a little bit of configuration it is possible to leverage the default Windows Media Center Synopsis window to show details about the currently playing movie, without going back to the movie details page in Media Browser.
However, there are some limitations, so you might want to read that part before going through all the steps.
(example image by DemonSeed)
In order for this to work you will need the following:
- A Media Collection consisting of movies (This does not work on TV Series)
- Metabrowser to manage your local metadata.
- Local metadata for each movie.
Note: this is not possible with only Internet Providers enabled in Media Browser. You must have local metadata in the form of a mymovies.xml file. Metabrowser is the most common tool used for grabbing metadata and storing it locally.
Additional information about how to get and use Metabrowser can be read here.
We assume that you have all this in place.
In Metabrowser we're going to enable the writing of DVDID.xml files and store them in the folder that Windows Media Center uses to retrieve them.
- Open Metabrowser and click options
- Go to the “Movies” tab
- Tick “Create dvdid xml files” so it is enabled.
- Specify the location where the DVDInfoCache is located. The exact path needs to be
You will need to make sure this path exists. If not, you will need to manually create the folder. To check if the folder already exists, open a windows explorer window and paste the following address in the address bar:
- Click Save.
For every new movie you add to your Media Collection and that Metabrowser processes, 2 files will be created. There’s nothing special that you need to do for this to work after you've configured the above.
One file will be placed in the movie folder called
metabrowser.dvdid.xml which contains a reference to the second file.
The second file will be created in the DvdInfoCache folder with a random GUID file name. For example
2e9f71fa-d504-4c18-8d21-665a32854727.xml. This file contains the information that will be shown on the Synopsis popup window. The retrieved metadata you see in Metabrowser is used in this file.
Process existing media in the collection
It’s also possible to process all existing movies in Metabrowser so the dvdid.xml files are generated. The following steps will allow you to create dvdid.xml files without changing your current metadata.
Note: This is still at your own risk. Backup your metadata if you're unsure.
1) Choose “process all” from the movies collection in the main Metabrowser program window.
2) Write down or remember the currently ticked items. You will need them later. After that, configure the settings to only process local Title information and only check “Local, Original and Sort title in the submenu”)
3) Configure the settings to only replace missing metadata
4) Press Next. An index of all the movies to be processed is now being created and validated.
5) Choose Process to start based on the configured settings. You will see a popup window confirmation. After a few minutes at best you will see another popup window, stating that the process has finished.
All Done (almost, read note below). Now play a movie, press the info button on your remote and navigate to details > synopsis and press ok on your remote to see the Synopsis.
Note: after you've processed your movies in Metabrowser, all checkmarks are off, like we configured it in step 1 & 2. To prevent metabrowser from behaving unexpected, you will need to re-enable them again by repeating steps 1 & 2 and check all options again like they were before. After that press Close
Note: as of Media Browser 2.2.2 (codename Thunderblade), Local Trailers are supported.
With this addition, local trailers are now always outside of your movie directory, thus resolving the issue below.
The Movie Synopsis will not show for any movie folder that has multiple video files in it. This includes multiple volumes (or split files)
and local trailers. If that’s the case Media Browser will create a playlist if you start the movie, which prevents showing the information. Disabling “Movie Playlists” is an option, but that will cause other issues.
Right now, there are only a few workaround for this:
- combine multi-part movies into a single file
move all your trailers outside of your movie folders
In either case you will need to make sure that only 1 media file is present in the movie folder.