Movie Explorer

Tips and Tricks


Movie Explorer is a cinema movie file manager that scans all your local and network drives for MKV, M4V, MP4 and other movie files and saves them in a catalog for off line browsing and searching. The app shows metadata and artwork of your files, movies and TV shows, plus all related actors, directors, producers and all other crew members.

Get started

Click on the + button in the toolbar to start indexing your movie and TV show files. Browse in the file dialog to a location with media files, hit the 'Scan location' button and let the magic begin... To get the best results your media files must use some naming conventions.

The following naming convention should be used for movie files:

  • The file name must start with the title of the movie.
  • The words of the title must be separated by spaces, dots or underscores.
  • After the title, the file name must have a year phrase, preceded by a space, dot or underscore.
  • The file name must end with an extension that makes it recognisable as a movie file.
  • Everything between the year phrase and file extension is ignored during scanning.

Examples of correctly named movie files, representing an imaginary movie titled 'A popular movie' released in 2014:

  • a.popular.movie.2014.1080p.dts.mp4
  • a popular movie 2014 1080p dts.mp4
  • a_popular_movie_2014_1080p_dts.mp4

The following naming convention should be used for TV show files:

  • [tv show name][space, dot or underscore]s[two digit season number]e[two digit episode number].[file extension]

Examples of correctly named TV show files, representing an imaginary TV show 'A popular show':

  • a.popular.show.s01e02.mp4
  • a popular show s01e02.mp4
  • a_popular_show_s01e02.mp4
Remakes

For identically-named remakes, include the year of the first season in the filename between the title and season and episode number:

  • a.popular.show.2003.s01e02.mp4
  • a popular show 2003 s01e02.mp4
  • a_popular_show_2003_s01e02.mp4
Specials

Shows sometimes air "specials" or other content that isn't part of the standard season. For these shows to be recognized correctly, give them a season number "00" and so name them like this:

  • a.popular.show.s00e02.mp4
  • a popular show s00e02.mp4
  • a_popular_show_s00e02.mp4
Other conventions

In addition to the TV show filename convention described above, the following convention is also supported:

  • [tv show name][space, dot or underscore][one digit season number]x[two digit episode number].[file extension]

Examples of correctly named TV show files using the 0x00 pattern, representing (again) an imaginary TV show 'A popular show':

  • a.popular.show.1x02.mp4
  • a popular show 1x02.mp4
  • a_popular_show_1x02.mp4

It's allowed to use dots, spaces or underscores between all elements of the pattern. Furthermore, it's allowed to have additional information elements between the episode number and the file extension. These additional elements are ignored during file scanning. Some examples:

  • a.popular.show.s01.e02.1080p.dts.mp4
  • a popular show s01 e02 1080p dts.mp4
  • a_popular_show_s01_e02_1080p_dts.mp4

The current scan engine uses internally a slightly more forgiving naming convention as described above. So if you have files that don't fully comply, then give it a try first, before you start changing the file names.

Folder name extraction

When you use version 1.8.4 or newer, you can enable option Use folder name for TV show matching in the Files section of the Movie Explorer Preferences. When enabled, the folder name of TV show files will be used to extract the TV show title. When you use this option, the individual file names are only used to extract the season and episode, and must therefore still implement the season/episode pattern described above. The rest of the filename is not relevant anymore.

Examples of supported paths with folder names representing TV shows:

  • …/a popular show/random name s01e02.mp4
  • …/a popular show 2003/random name s01e02.mp4

Season folders are also supported, but they are not used to extract the season number. Be sure to use the English word “season”, even if your content is in another language:

  • …/a popular show/season 1/random name s01e02.mp4
  • …/a popular show 2003/season 1/random name s01e02.mp4

Always try to include the release year of the first episode in the folder name, to improve the matching result. If you do this, then place the year number after the TV show title.

If you add, remove or rename movie and TV show files you can update the catalog by simply performing a rescan. Just select the location that you want to update in the sidebar on the left and hit the rescan button in the toolbar. New files will automatically be added to the catalog, deleted files will be removed from the catalog together with their associated movies data.
How to link unmatched files to titles

If one or more of your movie or TV show files are not recognised or incorrectly interpreted, then you can correct this the Files view. Just follow these steps:

  • Make sure the Files view is activated.
  • Select the file you want to rematch.
  • Hit M on the keyboard or click the right mouse menu 'Search matching movie'.
  • A dialog appears displaying the file name in a text box.
  • Adjust the text in the text box until the result list shows the correct movie or TV show.
  • Select the correct movie or TV show in the search result using the arrow keys on the keyboard or the mouse.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard or click on the 'Link file to selected title' button.
How to correct mismatches

Mismatches can be corrected in the Files view as discussed above, but they can also be directly corrected in the Movies and TV Shows views:

  • Select the movie or episode that you want to rematch.
  • Press ⌥ Alt + 3 on the keyboard to open the Files inspector in the Movies or TV Shows view.
  • Select the file in the Files inspector that you want to rematch.
  • Hit M on the keyboard or click the right mouse menu 'Search matching movie'.
  • A dialog appears displaying the file name in a text box.
  • Adjust the text in the text box until the result list shows the correct movie or TV show.
  • Select the correct movie or TV show in the search result using the arrow keys on the keyboard or the mouse.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard or click on the 'Link file to selected title' button.
  • The previously associated movie or episode will be removed from the view, unless another file is still associated with that title. The newly chosen title will be added and selected to the active view.
Introduction

You can add Blu-rays, 3D Blu-rays, 4K Ultra HD discs, DVD's and HD DVD's to the catalog by scanning their barcodes. This can be done using the FaceTime camera, by using an external USB barcode scanner, or by entering the barcodes manually.

To use a FaceTime camera as a barcode scanner, your Mac must have an internal camera that's being sold as a '720p FaceTime HD‑camera' or better. An error message will be displayed when you try to use the scan feature without a compatible camera.

Scan multiple disc barcodes using the internal FaceTime camera
  • Choose File > Scan Multiple Discs, or use ⌘ Command + Shift + S on the keyboard, to scan multiple discs in batch modus.
  • The barcode scanner dialog appears. The first time this happens, a permission dialog may appear to request access to the FaceTime camera.
  • Move the first disc case with the barcode in upward direction slowly towards the FaceTime camera, until the green borders are filled with the barcode, or until the barcode is recognized. Don't worry about the image getting blurry, that will be automatically corrected by Movie Explorer.
  • When the barcode is recognized, a confirmation will be shown and a confirmation sound will be played. Remove the disc from the camera and repeat the procedure with the next disc.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard when all discs are scanned, or press the Done button.
  • A list of the scanned disc will be displayed.
  • If one of the displayed titles is incorrect, then press the Search button to search for the correct media title.
  • If one of the displayed titles contains incorrect data, for example a TV show with an incorrect season, or a collection box with too many associated titles, then press the Edit button to correct the data in the Disc editor.
  • If everything looks alright, confirm with pressing the Add to Catalog button. The discs and related movies, TV shows and collection boxes will be added to the catalog.
Scan one disc barcode using the internal FaceTime camera
  • Choose File > Scan Single Disc or use ⌘ Command + S on the keyboard to scan one disc.
  • The barcode scanner dialog appears. The first time this happens, a permission dialog may appear to request access to the FaceTime camera.
  • Move disc case with the barcode in upward orientation slowly towards the FaceTime camera, until the green borders are filled with the barcode, or until the barcode is recognized. Don't worry about the image getting blurry, that will be automatically corrected by Movie Explorer.
  • When the barcode is recognized, a detail view will be opened, showing the result of the scan operation.
  • When an incorrect title is being displayed, then press the Rematch button to search for the correct media title.
  • Correct other errors or incomplete data in the Disc editor.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard or press the Add to Catalog button to add the media title to the catalog.
Add multiple discs using an external USB scanner
  • Choose File > Add Multiple Discs, or use ⌘ Command + Shift + D on the keyboard, to add multiple discs in batch modus.
  • The 'Add new discs' dialog appears.
  • Scan the barcode of the first disc using the external barcode scanner.
  • When the barcode is recognized, a confirmation will be shown and a confirmation sound will be played.
  • Scan the next barcode.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard when all discs are scanned, or press the Done button.
  • A list of the scanned disc will be displayed.
  • If one of the displayed titles is incorrect, then press the Search button to search for the correct media title.
  • If one of the displayed titles contains incorrect data, for example a TV show with an incorrect season, or a collection box with too many associated titles, then press the Edit button to correct the data in the Disc editor.
  • If everything looks alright, confirm with pressing the Add to Catalog button. The discs and related movies, TV shows and collection boxes will be added to the catalog.
Add one disc barcode using an external USB scanner
  • Choose File > Add Single Disc or use ⌘ Command + D on the keyboard to scan one disc.
  • The 'Add new disc' dialog appears.
  • Scan the barcode using the external barcode scanner.
  • When the barcode is recognized, a detail view will be opened, showing the result of the scan operation.
  • When an incorrect title is being displayed, then press the Rematch button to search for the correct media title.
  • Correct other errors or incomplete data in the Disc editor.
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard or press the Add to Catalog button to add the media title to the catalog.
Add discs manually

The procedure for adding discs by entering the barcodes manually, is identical to the USB scanner procedures.

Tips for using the FaceTime camera as barcode scanner
  • Experiment to learn what the best distance is between the camera lens and the barcode on the disc. The best distance depends on the Mac model and the size of the barcode. Most newer Macs tend to have sharper camera's, which means that barcodes are recognized from a larger distance.
  • Prevent light reflections on the barcode, by holding in a slightly different angle compared to the FaceTime camera.
  • Make sure there's enough surrounding light, or make sure the Mac is set on the Light system appearance, when using macOS 10.14.
  • Increasing the brightness of your display may also help, especially in a dark environment.
  • You can move the scan dialog to the left or right on top of the main form, for easier access, by using the multi segment button on the upper right of the scan dialog.
  • In order to be recognizable, a barcode must be surrounded with enough margin around all sides. If this is not the case, use an external scanner or enter the barcode manually.

Play movies

You can play all indexed movies and TV show files directly by double-clicking on it or simply by hitting on Enter on the keyboard, assuming that the file is accessible and the correct player software is installed on your Mac. Quick Time Player is able to play a lot of movie formats but fails to play some popular formats like Matroska files. Install an app like MPlayerX from the Mac App store or directly from their site to fix this. MPlayerX plays most formats that Quick Time does not but leaves the file association intact for formats that are 'native' for Quick Time like iTunes movies or TV shows.
If you want to play a movie or TV show with another app then the default one, you can use the 'Play with' context menu. Just select the movie, right-click, click on 'Play with' and you'll see a list of the apps that are capable of playing the selected movie. This feature works great with handy apps like Beamer. If multiple files are linked to the same movie, then you must first select the actual file in the files list in the Inspector on the right side.

Learn more

You can get more info about each movie, TV show, actor, director by just hitting the I key on the keyboard or by using the context menu item 'Get Info'. This will open the new Sidekick window showing all details about the selected item as they are available in the local database. A lot of this data are clickable. For example, you can double-click on any cast or crew member of a movie to open the associated details.
Just hit the G key on the keyboard or use context menu item 'Open Gallery'. The Sidekick window will open showing all associated posters, photos and artwork as thumbnails on the bottom of the window. Default the first thumbnail will be selected and displayed on the rest of the window. You can navigate through the images by using the Left and Right arrow keys on the keyboard. Individual pictures can be zoomed in or out, and can be copied or exported. If you have selected a TV show episode, then you can also switch between 3 image sources by using the special dropdown on the left top of the Sidekick window.

The scan engine of Movie Explorer is able to scan for external subtitles while scanning your media files. This results in displaying all external subtitle files for each movie or TV show. Together with the standard scan engine, you will see both embedded and external subtitles for each media file.

In the Movies and TV Shows views, the subtitles are displayed as language flags:

  • Embedded subtitle languages are displayed in shades of gray.
  • External subtitle languages are displayed in color.

When there is not enough space to display all language flags, a overflow icon with an ellipsis character is being used. When you hover over it with the mouse, a tooltip will be displayed, showing all remaining subtitle languages.

In the Files view the subtitles are displayed in two ways:

  • The table view contains a 'Subtitles' column. This column shows the subtitle status for each file:
    • Gray icon: Subtitles exists for this file. This can be embedded or external.
    • Green icon: Subtitles exists and at least one of them matches the languages settings of the Subtitles preferences.
    • No icon: No subtitles detected for this file.
  • The Inspector contains a Subtitles panel. This panel shows all detected subtitles in a table view, unless you have activated the language filter in the Subtitles preferences.
Pressing the D key on the keyboard on any supported item in the main and Sidekick window will open the associated information page at IMDb. You can alternatively also use the 'IMDb' context menu.

Pressing both the ⌥ (Alt) and D key on the keyboard on any supported item in the Movies and TV Shows view will open the associated information page at TMDb, which stands for The Movie Database. You can alternatively also use the 'IMDb' context menu while pressing ⌥ (Alt) on the keyboard.

TMDb is the data source used by Movie Explorer. The shortcut will bring you straight to the data source of the selected movie or TV show. If you have an account at TMDb, then you're able to edit and extend the shown information.

TV Shows view

The TV Shows view displays all your TV show episodes grouped by TV shows and related seasons.

The TV Shows view contains a handy tree view sidebar on the left side, called 'TV Shows Sidebar'. This makes it really easy to navigate through your TV shows, especially when you have a large collection.

How to display or hide the TV Shows Sidebar

When the TV Shows view is active, you can toggle to visibility of the TV Shows Sidebar via keyboard shortcut ⌘ Command + E, or by clicking on the sidebar icon, located in the upper right corner of the TV Shows view.

How to use TV Shows Sidebar

When you select a TV show in the TV Shows Sidebar, the corresponding show is displayed in the in the TV Shows view. Each TV Show has one or more seasons, which become visible when you expand a TV show node in the TV Shows Sidebar. Selecting a season will filter the displayed data the selected season from the earlier selected TV show.

How to navigate easy and quick through the TV Shows Sidebar

The quickest way to navigate through the TV Shows Sidebar is by using the arrow keys on your keyboard:

  •  on main level will navigate downwards through your TV shows.
  • while a TV show is selected, will expand the node and display the related seasons.
  •  while an expanded TV show node is selected, will navigate downwards through the seasons related to the TV show.
  • while a season is selected, will select the first episode in the main panel and automatically hide the TV Shows Sidebar.
  • while the first episode is selected, will unhide the TV Shows Sidebar and select the related season in the sidebar.

Automatically collapsing of the sidebar can be disabled in the View Option panel via setting 'Auto expand TV Shows sidebar'.

How to remove the selection from the TV Shows Sidebar

Just press ESC on your keyboard to remove the selection in the TV Shows sidebar, and display all your TV shows in standard grouped fashion.

The TV Shows view supports displaying fanart.tv banners on top of the TV Shows view. A banner will be shown when a TV show or season is selected in the TV Shows sidebar, and an associated banner image exists.

Activate banner support

Follow these steps to active banner support in the TV Shows view:

  • Open the TV Shows view.
  • Select View > View Options... in the menu.
  • A settings popup will be displayed.
  • Enable setting 'Show banners when available'.
Banner settings

Once a banner is displayed for a TV show or season, you can adjust it via a context menu. This menu appears by right-clicking on the banner, or by pressing the Control button on the keyboard while clicking on the left button. The banner context menu contains the following items:

  • Browse… let you browse for an alternative banner for the current TV show or season, if available.
  • Display in Grayscale does exactly what it says. This setting is applied to all TV shows and seasons.
  • Maximum Size let you tweak the maximum height of the banner. This setting is applied to all TV shows and seasons.
Missing banner information

After enabling banner support, it may be necessary to update your database to retrieve missing banner information:

  • Open menu File in the menu bar, and choose menu item Update Localized Data.
  • Select the Overwrite all localized data action type.
  • Deselect the Movies and Genres checkboxes.
  • Click on the Start button.

An estimation of the update time is displayed at the bottom. After the update, banners will be displayed when you select a TV show or season. If no banner exists for a selected season, the banner of the related TV show is being displayed. When there is also no banner available for the selected TV show, the banner panel distracts itself from the TV shows view.

Powered by fanart.tv

The banners are made available by fanart.tv. Please support them by contributing your own banners and other artwork, by making a donation or by becoming a sponsor.

Watchlist and Watch history

The Watchlist of Movie Explorer makes it easy to track which movies and TV show episodes you'd like to watch in the future. As part of the Movie Explorer Pro (standalone or subscription), you can add episodes and movies to the Watchlist, filter your media files on this and synchronize your watch history with Trakt.tv.

Media files in the Movies and TV Shows views are marked by a purple triangle in the upper right corner of the thumbnail when they are part of the Watchlist.

Follow these steps to add a movie or episode to the Watchlist:

  • Select a movie in the Movies view or an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Press L on the keyboard.
  • The purple 'Watchlist' triangle will now appear on top of the thumbnail.

Instead of the shortcut key, you can also use the context menu item Add to Watchlist.


Follow these steps to remove a movie or episode from the Watchlist:

  • Select a movie in the Movies view or an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Press R on the keyboard.
  • The purple 'Watchlist' triangle will now disappear. If the media file is unwatched, the triangle will become blue.

Instead of the shortcut key, you can also use the context menu item Remove from Watchlist.

Movie Explorer can automatically fill the Watchlist with the first unwatched episode of all your TV shows. Just choose menu item File > Update TV Shows Watchlist, and the Watchlist will be populated instantly. As soon as you mark an episode as 'Watched', it will be automatically removed from the Watchlist, and the next episode of the same TV show will be added to the Watchlist. You can disable this behaviour in the Preferences panel, via setting 'Auto update watchlist after marking an episode as watched'

There are two Watchlist filters in Movie Explorer:

  1. The sidebar Watchlist filter: this simply shows the data that's part of the Watchlist, regardless which view you're in. This filter acts a bit special when used in the TV Shows view: it will show all episodes within the Watchlist in one group. This gives a very handy overview of all Watchlisted episodes. The sidebar Watchlist filter cannot be combined with searching.
  2. The History button Watchlist filter: this filter also filters your data on Watchlisted items. It can be combined with the sidebar filters, and it can also be combined with the search box.

As part of the Movie Explorer Pro (standalone or subscription), you can mark episodes and movies as 'Watched' or 'Unwatched', filter your media files on this and synchronize your watch history with Trakt.tv. If you use media players with Trakt.tv support, then you can track your play progress in Movie Explorer.

Unwatched media files in the Movies and TV Shows views are marked by a blue triangle in the upper right corner of the thumbnail. In the Inspector you'll see a section History with information about the last play date, the number of plays and the play progress.

Follow these steps to mark a movie or episode as 'Watched':

  • Select a movie in the Movies view or an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Press W on the keyboard.
  • The blue 'unwatched' triangle will now disappear.
  • You can manually edit the Last played date in the History section of the Inspector panel, as long the data is not synchronized with Trakt.tv.

Instead of the shortcut key, you can also use the context menu item Mark as Watched.


Follow these steps to mark a movie as 'Unwatched':

  • Select a movie in the Movies view or an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Press U on the keyboard.
  • The blue 'Unwatched' triangle will now appear on top of the thumbnail.
  • The Last played date and other data in the History section in the Inspector panel will be reset.

Instead of the shortcut key, you can also use the context menu item Mark as Unwatched.

Instead of setting all individual episodes of a season as 'Watched' or 'Unwatched', you can do this on one go.

You can mark all episodes of a season of a TV show as 'Watched' or 'Unwatched' by following these steps:

  • Select an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Locate the Season section in the Inspector panel (is located at the right side of the app).
  • Click on the Action icon (gear wheel) on top of the Season section.
  • Choose either Mark All Episodes as Watched or Mark All Episodes as Unwatched.

You can also mark all episodes of all seasons of a TV show as 'Watched' or 'Unwatched' by following these steps:

  • Select an episode in the TV Shows view.
  • Locate the TV Show section in the Inspector panel.
  • Click on the Action icon on top of the Show section.
  • Choose either Mark All Seasons as Watched or Mark All Seasons as Unwatched.

Before you sync with Trakt.tv, you can manually change the date of the 'Last played' field. After syncing with Trakt.tv, this field becomes read-only.

Use the History filter button in the toolbar to filter on the status of your media files. The filter button is located at the left side of the search input field. When you click on it, a popup menu will appear with the following filter options:

Filter Effect
All files This will show your media files in an unfiltered fashion.
Watchlist Shows all media files that are part of the Watchlist.
Unwatched files This will filter your media files to show only unwatched files.
Paused files Show only media with play progress between 0% and 100%. This status cannot be set directly in Movie Explorer, but will be imported when syncing with Trakt.tv. A lot of modern media players, like the excellent Infuse app, support Trakt.tv and will track the play progress for you automatically.
Watched files This will filter your media files to show only watched files.

All statuses discussed above are related to the play progress, except the Watchlist status. Watched files do have 100% watch progress, unwatched files have 0% progress. The Watched and Unwatched statuses can be set directly in Movie Explorer, using the Mark as Watched and Mark as Unwatched context menu items, or by using media players with Trakt.tv support. Read the previous 'Watchlist' section for more info about adding and removing items from the Watchlist.

Movie Explorer has integrated support for syncing your watch history and Watchlist with Trakt.tv, as part of Movie Explorer Pro. (standalone or subscription). The synchronisation works bidirectionally, so when you track your watch history outside Movie Explorer, for example within a media player like Infuse, it will become visible in Movie Explorer. Please visit the Trakt.tv website for more information and to sign up for an account. You'll need one if you want to use the sync feature.

Syncing with Trakt.tv

Syncing with Trakt.tv is easy. Open menu History in the menu bar, and choose menu item Sync with Trakt. If this is your first sync operation with Trakt, a login window will appear. After a successful login, the access token is saved in the Keychain and the sync process will start automatically. You'll see a progress bar in the status bar of Movie Explorer. When the sync progress is complete, the content of the active view will be refreshed to show the new watch history data.

Inspecting the results in Trakt.tv

Open menu History in the menu bar, and choose menu item Open Trakt Dashboard to go directly to the dashboard webpage of Trakt.tv.

How to check the Trakt account used by Movie Explorer

Open menu History in the menu bar, and choose menu item Show Trakt Account Info to see the Trakt account data used by Movie Explorer.

Sign out from Trakt.tv

Open menu History in the menu bar, and choose menu item Sign Out from Trakt. This will delete the access token from the Keychain and it will also delete the local internet cookies and cache related to Trakt.tv. Using this menu option can sometimes be handy if for some reason the sync procedure gets stuck, or the login window has become unresponsive.

Custom sidebar filters

Introduction

With Queries, you can make your own custom data filters based on your own criteria and conditions, and add it as a filter to the sidebar.

Add a new Query

Follow these steps to make new Query and add it to the sidebar:

  1. Choose Query in the menu bar, and click on menu item New
  2. The Query editor will be presented.
  3. Change the entity in list box Entity if needed.
  4. The first row in the middle panel of the Query editor defines whether all, some or none of the conditions must be true. You may change this, but in most cases you need the default 'All' setting.
  5. The second and up following rows in the middle panel of the Query editor consists of 2 or more rows, representing selection criteria and conditions:
    • Click on the + button on the right side to add a new condition row.
    • Click on the - button to remove a condition row.
    • The first drop down in the condition row is filled with selection criteria fields related to the selected entity. Make adjustment if needed.
    • The second drop down in the condition row is the operator that being applied to the selected criteria field. Adjust this if needed.
    • Depending on the selected operator, a third entry field is presented. Enter the criteria value that you want to use as a filter condition.
    • Apply the current combination of conditions rows to the current view by pressing Enter on the keyboard.
  6. Enter a name for the new Query in the 'Save as' text entry field, after you've finished editing the conditions rows.
  7. Choose an applicable icon, if needed.
  8. Click on the Save button.
Edit a Query

Follow these steps to edit an existing Query:

  1. Select the Query that you want to edit in the sidebar.
  2. Choose Query in the menu bar, and click on menu item Edit
  3. The Query editor will be presented.
  4. Make the necessary adjustments.
  5. Click on the Save button.
Tip

You can align the Query editor to the left or right side of the main form, to have a better view on the selection result, while editing and tweaking your Query.

Introduction

With Lists, you can make your own custom collections of movies, TV shows, actors and crew members, and add it as a filter to the sidebar.

Add a new List

Follow these steps to make new List and add it to the sidebar:

  1. Choose List in the menu bar, and click on menu item New
  2. The List editor will be presented.
  3. Enter a name for the new List in the 'Save as' text entry field.
  4. Choose an applicable icon, if needed.
  5. Click on the Save button.
Add items to a List

The easiest way to add items to a List, is by drag-and-drop. The following entities can be added to a List:

  • Movies: you can drag-and-drop one or more selected movies from out the Movies view to the List item in the sidebar at once.
  • TV Shows: select a show in the TV Shows navigation sidebar of the TV Shows view, and drag-and-drop it on the List item in the sidebar.
  • Actors: select an actor in the actors list in the Cast view, and drag-and-drop it on the targeted List item in the sidebar.
  • Crew members: select a director, writer, or any other crew type in the crew members list in the Crew view, and drag-and-drop it on the targeted List item in the sidebar.

You can also use context menu item Add to on the said entities.

Remove items from a List

Follow these steps to remove items from a List:

  1. Select the item you want to remove.
  2. Right-click on the item.
  3. In the presented context menu, click on the Remove from menu item.
  4. A sub menu will be presented with the Lists associated with the selected item. Choose the applicable List from the sub menu.
Edit a List

Follow these steps to edit the properties of an existing List:

  1. Select the List that you want to change in the sidebar.
  2. Choose List in the menu bar, and click on menu item Edit
  3. The List editor will be presented.
  4. Make the necessary adjustments.
  5. Click on the Save button.

Personal reviews and ratings

Follow these steps to write a personal review for a selected movie in the Movies view or episode in the TV Shows view:

  • Open the Review Inspector via menu View > Review Inspector.
  • Click on the Write Review button.
  • Write your review.
  • Click on the Save button.
  • The new review will be displayed in the Review Inspector.

To edit an existing personal review of a selected movie in the Movies view or episode in the TV Shows view:

  • Open the Review Inspector via menu View > Review Inspector.
  • Click on the Edit Review button.
  • Edit the review.
  • Click on the Save button.
  • The Review Inspector will display the updated review.

Follow these steps if you want to delete a review of a selected movie or episode:

  • Open the Review Inspector via menu View > Review Inspector.
  • Click on the action button on the top-right of the review in the Review Inspector.
  • Choose Delete Review from the displayed context menu.

Follow these steps to assign a personal rating to a selected movie in the Movies view or episode in the TV Shows view:

  • Open the Review Inspector via menu View > Review Inspector.
  • Click with the mouse or trackpad on the correct star within the star ranking bar at the right side of label Personal rating.

To display personal ratings under thumbnails in the Movies and TV Shows views:

  • Open the View options dialog via menu View > View Options.
  • Select Personal from the Ratings popup list.

Follow these steps if you want to filter on your personal ratings:

  • Open the Preferences via menu Movie Explorer > Preferences.
  • Click on the Rating tab page.
  • Enable checkbox Use personal rating for filter data.

Advanced topics

Movie Explorer defaults to English when it retrieves localizable data like titles, taglines, plots, overviews, genres and posters of movies and TV shows. You can change the default language used for localized data. And since version 1.7.1 this setting is also applied to movie poster images. After changing this setting, data and poster art retrieved for new media files will be localized in the set language, if available. When a certain media item is not translated in the set language, it will have empty values for taglines, plots and overviews, and it will have an English title.

Follow these steps to change the language used for localizable data:

  • Open menu Movie Explorer in the menu bar, and choose menu item Preferences.
  • Click on tab page 'Advanced'.
  • Click on the dropdown 'Primary localized data language' to select another language.

Optionally you can enable setting 'Secondary localized data language'. This setting is used as a fall back value, when the primary language doesn't provide any data for a media file. It's also used in the 'Update localized data' function, discussed in the next section 'How to update localizable data of the current catalog'.

Follow these steps to change the titles, taglines, plots, overviews, genres and posters of your current media catalog:

  • Open menu File in the menu bar, and choose menu item Update Localized Data.
  • Select the action type:
    • Overwrite all localized data in [Primary localized data language] will replace all titles, taglines, plots, overviews, genres and posters of your current media catalog with the set primary language, if available.
    • Update missing localized data in [Primary localized data language] will only update titles, taglines, plots, overviews, genres and posters of your current media catalog with the set primary language that have currently empty values for plots or overviews.
    • Update missing localized data in [Secundary localized data language] will only update titles, taglines, plots, overviews, genres and posters of your current media catalog with the set secondary language that have currently empty values for plots or overviews. This action is usefull to fill the gabs left by you primary language.
  • Select which parts of your catalog you want to update. This concerns Movies, TV Shows and related data like seasons and episodes, and Genres.
  • Click on the Start button.

An estimation of the update time is displayed at the bottom. An update of a large catalog can take some considerable time, but the update is performed in the background, so you can continue to use Movie Explorer.

Follow these steps to update the posters and background images of a movie:

  • Select a movie.
  • Open the Gallery by pressing the G key on the selected movie.
  • Right-click on an image and choose Reload Images.
  • The current image set will be replaced by a new set according the set primary language.

After updating the images of a movie, you can select a new image as thumbnail for the movie. See article 'Thumbnail adjustments' on this page.

The thumbnails in the Movies and TV Shows views support status marks, which are colored triangles on the top right. This functionality is part of the Movie Explorer Pro (standalone or subscription)..

Movies and episodes can display the following statuses:

Triangle color Description
Blue The media item is unwatched.
Gray The media item has a play progress between 0% and 100%. This status cannot be set directly in Movie Explorer, but will be imported when syncing with Trakt.tv. A lot of modern media players, like the excellent Infuse app, support Trakt.tv and will track the play progress for you automatically.
Purple The media item is part of the Watchlist.
No color The media item is watched and is not part of the Watchlist. Or setting 'Show unwatched mark' in the View Options is disabled, as described in the next section.

To change the size of the thumbnails in the Movies and TV Shows view, you can simply use the slider situated on the right bottom of the window. Follow these steps if you want to control more thumbnail settings:

  • Select View > View Options... in the menu.
  • A settings popup will be displayed.
  • The following preferences can be set for the thumbnails of the active view:
Setting Description
Sort by Determines the sorting field and sorting direction of displayed data.
Thumbnail size With the slider you can set the size of the thumbnails.
Thumbnail quality Determines the image quality of the thumbnail images. If you like large thumbnails, then you should go for a higher quality. Take into account that a higher thumbnail quality has a slightly negative effect on speed and storage space.
Show thumbnail borders Toggle the display if a small border around the thumbnails. This setting is shared between the Movies and TV Shows view.
Show ratings Toggle the display the rating stars below the thumbnails. This setting is shared between the Movies and TV Shows view.
Show unwatched mark Show or hide the blue triangle in the upper right corner, which is displayed in a movie or episode is 'unwatched'. This feature is part of the Movie Explorer Pro (standalone or subscription). This setting is shared between the Movies and TV Shows view.
Follow these steps if you want to alter the thumbnail of a movie or TV show episode:
  • Open the Gallery by pressing the G key on the selected movie or TV show episode.
  • Select the backdrop image you want to use as a thumbnail.
  • Right-click on the enlarged image.
  • Choose 'Use image as Movie Thumbnail' from the context menu.
Right-click on any column header in the Files view to get a context menu. With this context menu, you can set the visibility of all columns except the first one. In addition, you can adjust the widths of all columns by using the mouse directly on the right side of the column header.
Backup catalog

Follow these steps to backup your catalog:

  • Choose File > Backup Database… in the menu.
  • Enter a filename or accept the default name.
  • Click on the Backup button.
Restore catalog

Follow these steps to restore your catalog:

  • Choose File > Restore Database… in the menu.
  • A confirmation dialog will appear. Read it carefully the first time you restore a database.
  • Click on the Select backup file button.
  • Select a Movie Explorer backup file. These files do have a moviex extension.
  • Click on the Restore button.
  • The app will close itself, move the current database files to the Recycle bin, and then restart itself with the restored database.
Remark

If you restore a database on another Mac then the paths to all your media files should be identical to the initial Mac, if you want to be able to open and play media files.

Restore file access

The Movie Explorer database contains computer and app specific file access tokens. These need to be refreshed if the database is restored using a backup file that is made on another Mac or with another Movie Explorer edition. To do this, follow these steps for each file location in the sidebar:

  1. Select the Location in the sidebar of Movie Explorer that should be updated.
  2. Choose Location > Restore… in the menu.
  3. Follow the instructions.

This will restore the access tokens in the Movie Explorer database for the selected media source location without changing the rest of the database content.

You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly accomplish many tasks in Movie Explorer. To use a keyboard shortcut, press all the keys in the shortcut at the same time. Shortcuts for common commands in Movie Explorer are listed in the tables below. In addition to this, Movie Explorer also supports most common Mac keyboard shortcuts.

General actions Shortcut
Play selected media item with default app ↩︎ Enter
Open Info view for selected item I
Open Gallery view for selected item G
Open IMDb page for the selected item D
Open TMDb page for the selected item ⌥ Alt + D
Add new file location ⌘ Command + N
Sync with Trakt.tv ⌘ Command + TMovie Explorer Pro
Open Movies view ⌘ Command + 1
Open TV Shows view ⌘ Command + 2
Open Cast view ⌘ Command + 3
Open Crew view ⌘ Command + 4
Open Studio view ⌘ Command + 5
Open Files view ⌘ Command + 6
Toggle visibility Sidebar panel ⌥ Alt + ⌘ Command + S
Toggle visibility Inspector panel ⌥ Alt + ⌘ Command + I
Additional actions in Movies and TV Shows view Shortcut
Mark as Watched W Movie Explorer Pro
Mark as Unwatched U Movie Explorer Pro
Delete selected item from catalog ⌦ Delete
Copy selected thumbnail image ⌘ Command + C
Select the next item in the thumbnails view
Select the previous item in the thumbnails view
Open View Options popup ⌘ Command + J
Open All Info Inspector ⌥ Alt + 1
Open Production Info Inspector ⌥ Alt + 2
Open Files Info Inspector ⌥ Alt + 3
Additional actions in Files section and Files view Shortcut
Search matching movie M
Move selected file to Trash ⌘ Command + ⌦ Delete
Specific actions Sidekick window Shortcut
Navigate to Info view for the selected item ↩︎ Enter
Navigate to previous item ⌘ Command + [
Navigate to next item ⌘ Command + ]
Switch to Info view ⌘ Command + I
Switch to Gallery view ⌘ Command + G
Select the next item in the thumbnails row
Select the previous item in the thumbnails row