Organize your DVD Catalog, Share with Friends, Enhance your Collection!

Movies You Own + Movies You Netflix

May 12, 2009

We’re very excited about this feature — DVDCorral can now integrate with your Netflix account.  That means you can now Add movies to your Netflix queue while you browse the site.  It also means you can use Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” to watch any movie in the Netflix “Watch Instantly” catalog.  As you click-through to see titles on the viewmovies page, you can now see if they are available from Netflix.

To add support for this to your existing account, just go to the Settings page.  At the bottom of the page there is a link to integrate your account with your Netflix account.  It’s a simple, 3-click process that will have your accounts integrated in no time.

Don’t have a Netflix account?  No problem, clicking on the link and signing up for one helps support DVDCorral.  They have plans as cheap as $4.99 / month and they offer a free 2-week trial period.  Most (but not all) plans, come with unlimited online viewing — so now you can browse DVDCorral and watch movies instantly (based on Netflix “Watch Instantly” availability).

Currently, you can Add movies to your queue and Play movies that are on the “Watch Instantly” list.  In the future, we plan on adding many additions to this great new feature of DVDCorral.  If you have any suggestions on how we can make your DVDCorral + Netflix integration work even better, don’t hesitate to comment on this post or e-mail webmaster@dvdcorral.com.  We always listen to your suggestions!

Now, what to watch… what to watch…

Scanning Movies Quickly into Your Database

May 6, 2009
Cuecat Barcode Scanner

Cuecat Barcode Scanner

There are two very fast ways to scan DVDs into your catalog.  For users who are importing their collection directly from another online database (such as DVDSpot) or a software program, you can use our import function.  The method this article will concentrate on is for users making a new database of their movies.  In order to do this quickly, DVDCorral supports an ultra-fast barcode scanning option.

Obviously, you’ll want to start with a barcode scanner.  We recommend the Cuecat because they’re cheap, easy to find, and work fairly effectively.  You can usually find them on ebay for under $10 from trustworthy sellers.  You’re welcome to use any barcode scanner you may have access to.  The main perk of the Cuecat is that they’re rather inexpensive.  Click on this link to Buy a CueCat today from our recommended sellers.

NOTE: You may see some sites talk about “neutering” your Cuecat.  If you’re going to use it with DVDCorral.com it doesn’t matter.  Cuecats use a special encryption for their barcodes, but we’re able to decrypt it with software.  Any Cuecat you buy that works, is a Cuecat that will work with DVDCorral.com.

Sign up for a free account and then go to “Add” where you’ll be prompted to enter your UPC.  Now just start scanning.  You’ll notice our ultra-fast scanner doesn’t require clicking, typing, or anything else.  Just scan your movies one after another until you have populated your collection.

That’s it.  Once you’re done scanning your collection, you can start customizing your catalog.  Check out some of the other articles on what features and functionality you’ll find here to help organize and share your new DVD Catalog!

Custom Genres, Numbers and unique fields

You asked.  We answered.  DVDCorral now supports 4 new custom fields.  The first two are completely arbitrary — you name them what you want and use them for what you want.  This is DVDs your way baby!  The 3rd field is a genre field.  We’ve heard a lot of requests for this, so we’ve added it.  We have made it separate from the first two fields because we may do something in the future like use the DVDs genre unless you’ve specified a custom genre.  Then you’d have the option of overriding in the case where you’ve specified a genre.

Finally, we added a number field.  At first glance, this might seem a little odd, but we think it will be very useful for some users.  The first three fields are always treated as text, which means if you sort them 100 comes before 11.  Number field to the rescue!  In the case that you need to assign each of your DVDs a unique number, you can now use this field and sort them as numbers.  Why?  Well, for example, if you have a 500-disc DVD player, you might want to track which slot number each DVD was stored in.  Now, no more plunking through pages of notebook paper, just pick the DVD you want to watch from DVDCorral and whala!  Now you know what slot # it’s in.

To enable these new fields, simply go to the “Settings” page once you’re logged in.  At the very bottom of the page you can choose which custom fields you’d like to enable and what you would like to label them (yes, you can even re-label the custom genre or number fields).  To enable them in your “Detail” view, just select the appropriate option directly above the custom field settings in the display list.

That should have you up and running with custom fields.  As always, if you’ve got questions, comments, or suggestions we’d love to hear them!

Thanks!

DVDCorral: The Online DVD Catalog

So, what is DVDCorral?  Well, in short, it’s an Online DVD Catalog system for organizing your DVD collection.  Some call it a Personal DVD Library, My DVD Collection, or DVD/Blu-ray Organizer.  Whatever you call it, we’re here to help you catalog and organize your DVD collection.

You may want to check out the FAQ and AboutUs pages for more details, but here’s a short list of our features.  Of course you can catalog your DVDs, but now what?  Well, you can track who may have borrowed a particular DVD so you can be sure to get it back.  Or, perhaps you need a way to pick a movie off the shelf when you’re sitting at home.  Sort your list by Genre, filter only ‘G’ movies for the kiddies to watch, or list them according to your personal rating and pick one of your favorite movies tonight.

In addition to all the ways you can organize your movies, you also have some cool options for watching movies.  DVDCorral is now integrated with Amazon Digital Downloads, so now you can watch movies instantly instead of waiting for them to ship.  Digital Downloads are a great way to watch a flick you may have found in someone else’s collection or while browsing movies on our site.  For any movie, just click on it to see if we have a Digital rental or purchase available.  Rentals typically range from $0.99 to $3.99 for a 24-hour viwing period and purchases can range from $6.99 (or less) to about $14.99.  Check some of our other articles to see how to watch from your TV using Tivo, Xbox, or a PC.

If that’s not enough, how about creating a wishlist for a birthday or Christmas.  As you browse our site, just add movies to your collection and then mark them as “Wish”.  You can then give friends a link to your “wishlist” so they know what DVDs to buy you.  Even without using the wishlist, DVDCorral is a great way to make sure you don’t keep buying the same DVD!

The Reader Review – On Xbox via Amazon

May 4, 2009
The Reader Review

The Reader

With all the great reviews I had been hearing about The Reader, I thought it was time to watch for myself.  I try to keep Sunday nights chill and so I decided to buy a digital copy of the movie from Amazon.  Re-heating some Chinese food combined with a near-frozen bottle of IBC Rootbeer put me in the perfect place to watch The Reader, or so I thought.

It turns out, the best part of the whole night was watching an Amazon Digital Download from my Xbox360.  My primary PC is nowhere near my home theatre and I very much prefer to watch my movies in a room with over 1000 watts of Subwoofer and a 100″ screen.  That’s just me.  Thankfully after some simple instructions on the Amazon page, I was able to download it to my PC and stream it to my Xbox in the theatre.

Windows Media Player reports the file uses a resolution of 704×396, which seems a little odd since DVD quality is generally 720×480 (NTSC).  However, I watched the film without knowing this and judged it to be roughly DVD quality.  Given the resolution, it seems that was an accurate assessment.  For reference,  Star Trek VII: Generations which I also bought from Amazon, uses a resolution of 720×408.

As for the movie itself, it was somewhat of a deep movie, but with fewer twists and turns than I was expecting.  The timeline is what gives the movie intrigue.  It’s the first movie I know of that depicts Germany — from a simple citizen’s perspective — beginning pre-WWII and ending back in present time.

The character development was phenomenal and helped by the writing as well as the acting.  It is rare that a movie does such a good job of developing a character before revealing the intricacies of their role.  Developing the characters here was essential for the rest of the plot to unfold and to take the intended emotional grasp.  Unfortunately, the first 30 or 40 minutes of character development involved a lot of nudity.

That was probably the most disappointing part of the movie for me.  The movie was rated R by the MPAA “for some scenes of sexuality and nudity.”  It should have read “since everyone is naked for the first 45 minutes.”  Really, was that necessary?

It’s unfortunate, because it’s not every day that a movie has such solid character development with acting to go with it.  On top of that, it was set pre and post WWII and even tackled literacy as an issue.  Tackling big issues without being an after-school special is enough of a feat on its own these days.  The story did revolve around some bizarre character traits (I’ll use that to avoid any spoilers) and coupled with the nudity it really just detracted from the movie for me.

Overall, I’d have to give the movie a C-.  It’s too bad there were too many bits detracting from what otherwise could have been a great story.  If you’re looking for a family night flick, this is definitely not the one.

Powered by WordPress