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

DVDCorral – faster than ever!

March 1, 2012

We’ve just updated DVDCorral.com to new hardware!  This will make the site easier to use and much more responsive!  Whenever we make this kind of a change, there are usually a few things that drop off the plate.  So, please let us know if you notice anything isn’t working.  You should be able to e-mail webmaster@dvdcorral.com or just reply to this post (the e-mail address was broken on one upgrade!).  Hopefully we got everything this time and the site is just faster, but if something is broken please let us know!

Wrong Image? Bad Thumbnail? Problem no more!

January 12, 2011

I know, I know, they drive me nuts too.  You know, the images that aren’t quite right.  Some of them are for the wrong movie (usually caused by multiple movies sharing the same UPC).  Sometimes it’s the right movie, but it’s just a terrible image.  Well, that’s enough of that!

We’ve been making a significant number of additions over the last 9 months and they’re so large that we’re unable to roll them all out at once.  A lot of users have made great suggestions and we’ve endeavored to get as many as possible into these changes.  Basically, we revamped our database to give you more data, more accuracy, and more control over your collection.  As the first visible change, we have added the image editor.

The image editor will allow you to upload new images for a movie, or to edit (crop) the current images we have for the movie.  The interface is still a bit rudimentary, but we’ll be improving that as we get feedback.  When you see a movie for which you would like to correct the cover, just click on the image itself until you are viewing the full size image on the movies own page (viewmovie).  Under the movie, you will see a link that says “Crop image”.  Click that link to upload a new image, or edit the existing one.  Once you are on the new page, click an image to edit, or, upload a new image.  You could scan your DVD, for example, or provide one of the images from the DVD movie studio.

Once you’ve chosen the image, you will be taken to a page that will allow you to edit each of the 3 main image types we use.  The first, and top-most image, is the kind that will be found on the front page or when you view an individual movie in your collection.  The next image is the one we use when we are displaying the thumbnails in a user’s collection.  Finally, the bottom image is the icon for a movie.  Click each of these three images, crop the larger image and then click “Save changes”.  This will commit the newly cropped image to the database.

Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see your changes right away.  They may be waiting to go through an approval process first, but then the best crops will get to be used by everyone.  We’re hoping this will help everyone fix images that are broken and even fix images that aren’t quite right even if they are the correct movie.  If you run into issues, please let us know.  We realize the interface is a but cumbersome, but hopefully we’ll improve that in a second stage after we’ve added some other new features.

Keep an eye out for some of the new database changes that should be coming soon.  You may see beta features show up in subtle places if you’re logged in.  That’s our way of testing them out with small sets of users.  Please be patient as we make the upgrades, but we do love to hear your feedback.  Feel free to leave them as comments on this (or other) posts, or you can always e-mail us as well.

For now, enjoy the new images!

DVDs on Sale – Be the First to Know!

May 17, 2010

Don’t you hate it when you just miss out on the big sale?  Well, fear no more!  Now DVDCorral brings you DVD sales just in time!  You have been asking us for sales or discounts on DVDs for a while now, and it’s been a lot of work, but now we’re finally able to bring the biggest and best deals directly to you.  As soon as a DVD goes on sale, you can find it in the Newest DVD Deals section.  To see DVDs that are having huge sales (sometimes as low as $5 or $6), checkout the Biggest DVD Sales page.  We now provide you with many new ways to search for DVDs and you can check them all out on our new DVD Deals page.

How does it work?  Well, if you’ve been around DVDCorral long enough, you probably already know that we draw our DVD and Blu-ray titles from several different databases.  One of those databases is from Amazon.com, and sales through Amazon is how we’re able to keep our cataloging service free to our users.  So, since we don’t really sell DVDs, we can’t technically have sales, but what we CAN do is let you know whenever Amazon has a sale.  So now, as soon as we detect that a title has gone on sale from Amazon.com, we add it to our DVD Deals page.  Now, while we aren’t technically having the sale, you’re still saving money and isn’t that what it’s really all about!

You might also be interested to note that, for most of our deals, the sale is actually from the previous Amazon price.  So, while the title might have dipped from $19.95 to $14.95, the retail price (and the price you’d find it elsewhere) may actually be $29.99.  Just keep that in mind when you’re looking at Newly Discounted DVDs — so if you see you’re only saving $0.50, you might actually be saving a lot more than that, it’s just that Amazon has dropped their price ANOTHER 50 cents today.

As always, we love your ideas and welcome suggestions.  We’ll continue to improve the site and make it easier for you to catalog and purchase DVDs.  Anything you can think of to make it better, feel free to comment on this post — yes, we do read them (and almost always reply)!

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!

Watch On Demand Movies with Digital Downloads

April 20, 2009

Digital downloads are now working in various places across DVDCorral.  This is exciting for us because it’s the first expansion past organizing a catalog of physical DVDs.  Now when you’re viewing friends movies, or just browsing titles you can instantly watch any that are available for digital download.

You may have noticed that you can Buy or Rent downloadable movies.  Rental prices tend to be between $1.99 and $3.99 and can be watched for the next 24 hours after your purchase (multiple times if you so choose).  Purchases are kept indefiniately on the Amazon servers, so you can even download them if you delete the file or wipe your hard drive.  That was my personal favorite; I hate it when I “buy” music, only to find that I no longer own it since my drive crashed.  When you click “Buy” or “Rent” it will take you to the preview, so you’ll still have the option to purchase after you watch the trailer or preview.

You can also view titles as we find them under stats and we’ll probably be adding a section to browse movies soon.  Let us know if you have suggestions to make the digital content more accessible or easier to use.  I’m finding it a quick way to watch a movie I didn’t get around to buying yet — hopefully you’ll find it at least as useful!

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