Auto-Generated DVD Info in Windows Media Center

Anyone that uses Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center to watch DVDs on his/her PC knows how boring and repetitive it can be to continuously have to use the “Search for DVD Info” feature to get WMP/WMC to download the name of the DVD, the name & length of each chapter, and the DVD Cover. It seems that Windows Media Center has a workaround for this that can make it automatically download that information for you.

There are two key ingredients in order to get this to work: First you need to patch your registry to automate the process, and then you need to get a XML file that ties the DVD’s hash to a key that can be used to retrieve the correct info.

The steps to accomplish the first part are highlighted on The Green Button, and are fairly straight-forward. Those directions also provide the steps you need to create each of the “identification files” for WMC. However, a better way exists.

After you patch your registry, head on over to DVDxml – a site dedicated to cataloging these files – and search for the DVD you want to add. DVDxml is a free site, though you have to register (free) in order to download the DVD identification files. You can use the search interface or browse by title to find the movie you’re looking for.

It’s a shame this is only for Windows Media Center and not for Windows Media Player or anything else. We’re not sure exactly why Windows Media Player doesn’t automatically search for matching DVD info from their online database when you play a movie – it can’t be too hard. All WMP has to do is query your DVD for it’s length and title, and search for matching DVD info. It can do it all invisibly or present you with a sidebar element with “best guess” info for you to test…

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