Free Tools Friday 4

This week I am focused like a laser beam on media tools.  I have publicly committed to get my home media system straightened out and I WILL persevere.  You can benefit from my arduous trek by checking out these great tools.

My Movies 3 – My search for Home Media Utopia has had me ranging far and wide through the morass of media players, collection managers, codecs and so on that exist out there.  It’s an alphabet soup of audio and video formats and very easy to get lost. My Movies is a great package that’s been around the block a bit and really cuts down on the confusion.  They recently released version 3 which is even simpler that it was before.  It will help you catalog your movies and music, will get cover art for CD’s and DVD’s and will even help you rip content to your hard drive.  All that plus it will help you get around some limitations of the XBOX 360 media center makes a pretty mean package.  It’s so good, I actually thought that I had struck gold on the first pass because this package fills so many of the requirements that I set out in that post.  (You can go read it if you want to…)

MyMovies3

My Movies 3 Collection Management Screen

 MyMoviesInWMC

My Movies 3 Inside Windows Media Center
 

Virtual CloneDrive by SlySoft – I’ve been using this app for a long time.  Basically, it creates a “fake” CD/DVD device on your system that lets you read ISO files from your hard drive as if you had actually burned them.  It’s small, it’s fast, it’s free.  What more do you want?

 

Boxee – This SWEET app is best described as social media meets all of the glorious video content that the interwebs have to offer.  It’s a little different in purpose than My Movies, but there are some overlaps.  Boxee leads you through an account creation process, during which it will ask about your other social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook etc.  It then checks to see which of those people have Boxee accounts and then it lets you see what they’ve watched, rated and recommended both in their own library of content, but also from the vast quantity of video available out there.  It’s a slick, easy interface and runs on Mac, Linux, and Windows.  If I didn’t have an XBOX 360, I’d throw Boxee on a Linux home theater PC and go to town!

Boxee

Boxee’s Online Video UI