I was just sent a quick preview of the new metadata fetching utility meta<browser />. There is an official site of www.themetabrowser.com in the works, but it appears it is not up yet. I imagine it will be ready by the time this is released.
Let’s get to how it works. There was no installer yet, so I received a RAR of the necessary files which I unRARed to a metabrowser folder. Inside were a bunch of files, but no instructions…which is OK, I like figuring things out. Upon running the only EXE found, no movies were detected, and since there were no menus available, I figure this meant XML configuration files. After opening a couple, I found the one I needed – metabrowseroptions.xml. I located the <Locations /> and subsequent <Location /> tags and edited to add a couple of my movie locations.
I fired it up and saw that it was now searching for titles.
After a few seconds I was greeted with a listing of movies and the first was populated with data. However, I also noticed that there were a bunch missing. After looking around a few minutes I realized it was all movies with a MKV and MP4 extension…which are the extensions I use the most. Turns out these extensions are not listed in the XML. That was an easy fix. So after editing, I fired meta<browser /> back up and everything was displayed.
All of my titles already have metadata, posters and nearly all have backdrops locally (except those which I specifically chose over the automatically fetched ones by Media Browser). So, I thought I would go through and add a few more backdrops. I select a movie, check the option to not replace my metadata and hit the Fetch link.
I get to choose from a list (or single title if it’s an exact match) and then i greeted with the same screen with all new metadata highlighted with a reddish tint (to show new or changed items). Also, everything on the page can be edited – actors, directors, summaries, etc. Control over your metadata is excellent.
After fetching, you will see the number of posters and backdrops found for each title. Clicking on the link for each respective field allows you to choose from all available.
This is terrific stuff. TV metadata is not yet available, but is on the plate once the movie portion is released and free of bugs. The copy I have is still not finished, but other than one small error that affects nothing, it works absolutely perfectly. The guy has skills. As much as Salami’s Movie Organizer has done for me, I have to say that all good things come to an end. SMO’s end is meta<browser />.
I did run into a few small issues which I assume will either be fixed by fatal as a bug or will solved as Media Browser matures. The biggest issue I had with meta<browser /> was that every folder that had a number in the name (300, 12 Angry Men, etc. or series of movies like 01 – Raiders of the Lost Ark, 02 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, etc.), were detected as a TV show and metadata fetching was disabled (or not available). Media Browser currently has a “Sort by name on disk feature that is the reason I put the preceding 01, 02, etc. before my movie series, but they are currently working on implementing the MyMovies SortTitle XML value that should negate the need for that. That will allow me to remove the numeric series names and meta<browser /> will work normally for those. We’ll have to wait and see how this works out.
Anyway, I can’t wait for the final release! Thanks for the sneak preview, fatal!
After reporting some of the issues I had, it appears the TV detection issue I had stems from the filename and not the folder. This is a bit of a bonus since Media Browser does not require the filename contained within the folder to have an identical name. So, a folder named 01 – Raiders of the Lost of Ark, for example, can contain the file Raiders of the Lost Ark.mkv and it will be correctly pulled in my meta<browser />.
I was also able to confirm the report of another beta tester that any pre-existing metadata within a movie folder does not go untouched even if the option to keep existing metadata is checked. I only downloaded backdrops for a few of my test titles and upon second look, noticed the mymovies.xml file for each one had an updated timestamp. After opening, I noticed that the metadata layout had changed and some of the information had also changed. This will need to be fixed also.
Once I hear anything new on these issues, I’ll be sure to update. Nonetheless, it is still looking very good!