<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Moovidia-300.png”>When winter leaves you huddling inside your home most evenings, do you find yourself watching more movies? Do you have a decent media manager to keep them organised? Or do you and the family stare at a shelf of DVDs, trying to work out what to watch? Would you like a free media manager which just knows what you’re trying to do and gets straight into letting you do it?
Moovida is the slickest media manager I’ve seen in ages. It’s been around for a while, so you may have seen a previous version at some stage, but I urge you to take another look. It’s seriously hot. With the introduction of Moovida Immersed, viewers can scroll through a shiny, yet manageable wall of movies, filtering by genre, title or director in order to find something they’re in the mood for. You’ll love it. Plus, it’s free. What more could you want?
To start with, Moovida is only available for Windows. The free download is available here and works instantly with Windows NT or later. People using older versions of Windows may need to grab the Microsoft .NET framework to get it running.
Add Your Media
Moovida can control all sorts of media files. It can store, catalogue and play most forms of video file, plus images and music. When you start it up, it will search for your media if you want it to. If it doesn’t find media in the obvious places, you can import it manually. Once the import begins, Moovida automatically searches for genres, years, actors, directors, Moovida ratings, important information, cover art and makes thumbnail shots for videos you may have made yourself. By the time you work out how to get into Moovida Immersed, you’ll already have some cover art ready to look at.
If you have any problems setting things up, Moovida have some great tutorials to help you on their site.
You can also add podcasts and Internet radio stations to your collection, plus it’s possible to import playlists from iTunes and other services.
While the Moovida core application is all well and good, that’s not the reason I think you need to see Moovida. You need to look at the Immersion to really see the beauty of this media manager. First, look at the browser on the left and click on one of the video types. Try Videos (all of them), Movies, or TV Episodes. In the top right-hand corner you can now see there’s a little icon for Moovida Immersed. Click that and you’ll see this lovely presentation of your video collection. Now remember Immersed is still in Beta, so you might find the occasional hiccup. Be sure to let the developers know if you do.
If you play around in Immersed, you’ll see that each choice of video type will give you a different selection. So, it’s possible to view just your TV collection. Sweet! Just think how great it will be once you’ve burned all the kids’ cartoon collection and can hand them this to play with instead of having them break DVDs.
When browsing, you can filter by genre, year, actor, director, rating or any number of things.
You can then plug your computer into a TV and navigate using a Windows remote, if you like.
What Else Might You Use?
Moovida is by no means the only media manager out there. There are other managers available for a wider selection of operating systems. Miro, Zune, Pump and many others have been featured at MakeUseOf already. Some of the competition even work in torrents, so new video will always be at your fingertips with no fuss. Moovida doesn’t do this yet, so it simply can’t compete on that level.
In the meantime, how does it fare? Pretty well, actually. It can play just about anything, it organises your information for you and collects all the thumbnails with no fuss. It does this quickly and you can adjust things like ratings yourself if you’re not happy with the results. Then you can view the results in Immersed almost instantly – filtering by genres or other criteria as you wish. That’s power. And it’s so easy to use!
I hope you enjoy re-exploring your video collection. Have you found things you forgot you had? What do you like about Moovida? Let us know in the comments!