I own a pretty decent amount of movies. Not nearly as some of my friends, but my collection fills up two DVD shelves and a bookcase. When you own that many flicks, it’s rather difficult keeping tracking of everything you own. I’ll sometimes find myself in stores looking at a movie and wondering if it’s already sitting on my shelf at home waiting to be watched.
A few of my compadres manage their movie collection using spreadsheets, which certainly works, but doesn’t really provide the best user experience. If I want to know if the Zombieland is already in my collection (silly, I know, because it’s a must have), I don’t want to scroll through a long list of titles to find out. Luckily, that’s where My Movies comes into play. Find out after the jump why managing your movie collection has never been easier.
When you initially open My Movies you’ll need to create an account, which can be done by completing a short signup process or logging in via Facebook. An account is required because you can synchronize your movie collection database if you purchase the iPhone or OS X app (also available for Android).
My Movies is divided up into four sections: Collection, Persons, Releases and Trailers, which can be accessed via the bottom navigation bar. The Collection section, as you may have guessed, is where you can access your saved movies, as well as add movies to your collection. By default, your movies are showcased in thumbnail-sized icons, which are sorted alphabetically; however, you can view your collection in a large format list, small format list and cover flow format. Additionally, you can sort your collection using a total of nine filter options (including running time, release date, parental level).
Using the scenario from the introduction, say you want to find out if you have a movie in your collection. You could scroll down to the section that would contain said movie, but that’s as efficient as using the spreadsheet. Using My Movie’s search functionality, you can quickly find a movie by typing the first few letters of the title and the app will immediately populate results based on the letters entered.
The biggest challenge for an app like My Movies is developing a method that makes it simple to add movies to the in-app database. If you own over 100 movies, you definitely don’t want to take the time to enter each one individually. In my experience, My Movies doesn’t drop the ball in this department. You can add movies by manually searching for it (the not so easy way) or scanning the movie’s barcode (the incredibly easy way).
If you can’t find your movie in the database, you can use the Report Missing Title or Create Title options.
I know what you’re thinking. Even though scanning is a lot easier than searching for a movie, it’s still annoying having to scan and save each movie individually. Developer Binnerup Consult is two steps ahead of you. When you’re in the Barcode Scanner mode, you can tap a Multi-scan button, which allows you to scan multiples titles before adding them to your collection. I took advantage of this feature when adding a large number of movies to my collection, and for the most part it worked really well (some scans didn’t register, so I had to add those titles manually).
Persons is a rather interesting feature of My Movies. When you add a movie to your collection, the app will automatically add a list of the actors that star in said film. As you scroll through the list of actors in the Persons section, you’re seeing all the actors that star in every movie in your collection. Tapping on an actor’s listing will provide a biography and some trivia about them (provided by IMDb), as well as all the movies in your collection starring the actor and their role. Personally, it’s not a feature I think I’ll find myself using, but I’m certain it will be useful for some users.
Releases provide a list of all Blu-ray and DVD movies being released in a given week. By default, this section displays all of the Blu-ray movies being released in current week (you can search previous weeks and future weeks as well). Even though I own a Blu-ray player, I find it cumbersome that the app doesn’t include an option that allows you to set DVD as the default list.
This isn’t the only issue I have with section. First, the thumbnails for the majority of movies listed did not load correctly, so as I was scrolling through the list, I saw very few movie covers. The other issue, which may be more a matter of personal taste, deals with a lack of sorting options. By default, releases are sorted in alphabetical order, which works. However, there are usually more movies on the list that I’ve never heard of than movies than I have, so it would be really convenient to have an option that sorts movies by popularity, or something similar.
One of the really great features of My Movies is the ability to change the movie database it uses to find movies by country. So if you live in New Zealand, you’ll be able to search for and add movies based on the New Zealand database. The reason I bring this up in the Trailers section is because there’s no United States option available for viewing trailers. In the Collection section, there are dozens of country options, but when you want to view trailers, only 10 are available (making it a less than useful feature for a large number of users).
With that said, you can view trailers for movies that are currently showing, as well as movies that are being released soon. In addition, the Latest option displays the most recently released trailers. When you tap a listed movie, you’ll be transitioned into the movie’s Details page, and you’ll need to tap on a trailer option (below the movie poster) to view the trailer. All in all, it’s a nice feature, but I’ll probably stick to iTunes Movie Trailers for my trailer watching endeavors.
The Bottom Line
My Movies is a great tool for managing a movie collection, providing a simple method to add movies by using the multi-scan feature. In addition, the app is quite beautifully and minimalistically designed (if you’re not a fan of the gray background, you can choose a wooden shelf design instead). While the Persons, Releases and Trailers sections are not equally as useful, there’s always hope that Binnerup Consult with update the app to correct some of the issues that I addressed.
I know the $6.99 price tag may be a bit steep for some, but luckily there’s a free version of the app that allows you to add up to 50 movies. That should give you a enough hands-on time to decide whether My Movies is the movie collection management tool you never knew you always wanted.