Cinema Premiere was written to be viewed primarily through a customized browser interface which requires IE 5 or greater to be installed on your Windows system, but it does not have to be your default browser.
Internet Explorer (Default Browser)
You can use Internet Explorer without using the CP browser, but you will not be able to play movies or run the Widget PrintDirectory program from the movie manager. Firefox also seems to work pretty well. Other browsers have not been tested for compatibility. Once you have logged in to the movie manager, your user cookie will be set and you can go directly to the movie manager by using http://www.cinemapremiere.com/startcinemapremiere.php and you can add that link to your IE Favorites as 'Cinema Premiere Movie Manager' by clicking here . Or to go directly to your 'Movies' screen, http://www.cinemapremiere.com/moviemanager/defaultsearch.php. Or to go directly to your search screen http://www.cinemapremiere.com/moviemanager/search.php.
For a true Cinema Premiere experience I recommend running Cinema Premiere's browser interface. It displays the movie manager in a clean, uncluttered window and will allow you to play movies on your hard drive by starting up your default player loaded with the movie you selected. Read this for a full list of benefits of using the CP browser. There is nothing to install and it is guaranteed not to have any viruses or spyware. By checking the 'Use CP Browser' box, when you log into the movie manager, you will be prompted to download the CP browser. You can either download and save the program or just run it from the Download screen.
If you save the CP browser to your desktop or create a shortcut to it on your desktop, with just a click you are in the movie manager. Or if you prefer, you can add it to your Programs > Startup folder and it will automatically start the movie manager for you when you boot your PC. If you set your Movie Manager's Start Screen in the Options > Miscellaneous menu to Movies, your movies will be waiting for you.
The Cinema Premiere Personal Server is a stand alone movie manager which is almost identical to the online movie manager except that it runs on your local PC. All source files will be released with the application with a copyright agreement that it is for personal use only on a local computer. You can modify the code as much as you like, however, Cinema Premiere will not support any code that has been modified. The Personal Server will be kept up to date with the same comparable features as the Online version and the source code will be made available to download on the Personal Server -> Download page.
The Personal Server is set up to run on a Windows web server installed on your local PC. If you have Windows XP Pro, you have a built in web server, IIS, that you just have to enable. You can download PHP and MySQL for free. If you don't have a built in web server, there are several other web servers you can download and use for free. I recommend the Abyss Web Server. It is small, easy to install, supports Windows ME, NT, 2000, and XP and works very well with the movie manager. You can also use Apache which is also free to download. With Apache, however, the 'wait' screen, while importing movies and importing the database, does not display. While testing both the Abyss and Apache servers, I could not get the import hard drive feature to import files across a network which could be something simple that is permission related but I gave up trying. Everything else works fine.
The Personal Server Installation Guide will walk you through installing IIS, Abyss, Apache, php, MySQL, the Personal Server Test and the Personal Server. By following the guide, the web server, php, MySQL and the Cinema Premiere Personal server can be installed and running on an XP Pro PC in less than 30 minutes. (It should be similar for other Windows OSs.)
Before you purchase the Personal Server, feel free to download and install the Personal Server Test application to make sure your system is properly setup to run the Personal Server. The Personal Server Test is a slimmed down version of the Personal Server. There are only 4 movies in the database and you can only search and sort those movies.
Using Cinema Premiere Online and the Personal Server together
I personally like using both, Cinema Premiere Online and the Personal Server together. This is my setup. I have my media PC connected to my big screen TV and my surround sound system. I have it setup with IIS, php, MySQL, the Cinema Premiere Personal Server and the Cinema Premiere Online browser. In the Programs Startup menu, I have a shortcut to the Personal Server browser so when my PC boots up, it automatically starts the movie manager and goes to the Movies screen where I have it default to all movies rated G and PG sorted by 'Most Recently Added' then by 'Title'. All my DivX files reside on my media PC and I have all my G rated movies in one directory, PG in another and so on and I share each of those folders across my wireless network.
My development PC is also setup with IIS, php, MySQL, the Cinema Premiere Personal Server and the Cinema Premiere Online browser. Since I sometimes play my movies across the network, I make sure that when I add movie files to the database, that the file path is a network path. To do that, I follow this procedure.
- I keep the Online database up to date at all times
- On my development PC, I run Cinema Premiere Online and export the online movie database and download it to my PC. (Tools -> Database -> Export)
- On the same PC, I run Cinema Premiere Personal Server and I then import that downloaded movie database to my Personal Server movie database. (Tools -> Database -> Import)
- While still running the Personal Server on the same PC, I import movie files from my media PC's hard drive.
- Tools -> Add -> Import HD [Unless I have only a couple movies to add, then I use the Tools -> Add -> Single]
- Click on Browse
- On the Choose File screen, I select My Network Places
- I double click on one of my shared movie folders
- I double click on any one of my movie files and this creates the correct path for me.
- When I'm only adding a few movies at a time, I uncheck the 'quick add' option then press the Add button.
- Only the movie files that are not already in the database will be added.