Movie Widget

Overview: This is the home page for the MovieWidget, a quick and easy way to randomly display a title from an exported Movie Collector XML file.

Current Version: 0.7  -  I am in the process of adding this to the WordPress Plugin DB for easy updates.

Description:

I love Movie Collector from Collectorz!

I use it to manage my DVD collection, which consists of nearly 500 movies so far.  It has a lot of features that I’ve talked about before, so I won’t go into them here.  Suffice it to say that it makes actually using the collection a lot easier!

Anyway, I really wanted to randomly display parts of my collection on my blog, but I couldn’t find anything ready made out on the Net, so I danced a bit with PHP and put together this WordPress widget.  It was made for WordPress 2.3 and above.

The widget’s display has been designed very simply to fit in with most blogs.

Movie Widget Preview

Installation:

  1. Download the Widget
  2. Unzip and copy the ‘moviecollector’ folder to your wordpress ‘plugins’ directory.
  3. Using the WordPress Administration panels, activate the MovieCollector Display Widget.
  4. Add the widget to your blog by adding it to a dynamic sidebar (from a widget ready theme) using the Presentation >> Widgets option on the admin panels.

Configuration:

Configuration is fairly straightforward.  There are a few odd things however, so its best to read this section fully, or pay special attention to the inline help on the Widget control page, seen below.

Config Page

The configuration options are as follows:

  • Widget Title: No magic here.  Just the displayed title of the widget.
  • Base Filepath: Used to turn the thumbnail file spec embedded in the Movie Collector XML from something like this:E:\Program Files\Collectorz.com\Movie Collector\Data\ Thumbnails\fabd5884547c9e232d60d9d2b441a486.jpgInto a web ready URL, like:

    http://blog.miloco.com/movies/Thumbnails/ fabd5884547c9e232d60d9d2b441a486.jpg

    Move Collector embeds the full filespec of each DVD cover image.  Unfortunately, this won’t help us put them on your blog.  You’ll need to copy your Movie Collector Images and Thumbnail directories to a spot on your webhost where they can be served up via a URL.

    This configuration option is simply the filespec that your movie images are stored in on your computer.  This is only used as a point of reference - the Widget takes this value and strips it out of the returned XML values on runtime.  The plugin never directly accesses any file on your PC, nor does it report this value to the public.

  • Second Filepath: An optional value that allows you to specify a second file spec where your images may have been stored. Why this value?  Well, my collection images were split between two hard drives.  Some images were on my D: drive, others were on E:.  Since I needed to be able to split up my own collection, this logic was added to the widget as well.  :)  If all of your images are in the same directory, you can just leave this blank.
  • Hosting URL: This is simply the base URL for the web directory where you are storing your movie thumbnail images.
  • XML Location: This is the location of the exported XML file.  The file location should be relative to your active WordPress theme.  Doing so provides swift parsing of the XML file, but comes with that negative point of if you ever change themes, you’ll need to copy the XML file as well.Why didn’t I use a more universal configuration?  Well, using an universal absolute file spec is hard because of the nature of webhosting, and I didn’t want to provide a URL, as that would slow down the parsing tremendously (XML would be streamed off of the server, through HTTP and then back to PHP).  If I can figure out a better way, I’ll update the Widget.
  • Buy Verbage: Allows you to customize the wording of the “buy” link that is below the displayed movie cover.

Additional Configuration (Optional):

There is a CSS file in the “moviecollector” plugin directory with values for changing the style of the Widget title, as well as the Buy link.

Download Link:

You can get the plugin here: Movie Widget, v0.7 (4.53 kB)

Need Help?

If you need help with this Widget, just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any question you have.

Like this?

If you like the plugin, consider dropping a buck or two my way to say thanks and help with future versions.


38 Responses to “Movie Widget”

  1. moserw says:

    Looks interesting. Going to try it out. Appreciated.

    http://www.nela.in/

  2. Tarnya says:

    This looks great. I have a small book collection stored in Collectorz can I upload this to my blog on wordpress in one the pages?

  3. Andrew Milo says:

    Sure can! That’s what it is designed to do… let me know if you need any guidance!

    Cheers,
    A

    EDIT – Oh, books!? Hmm… I don’t know – it may work. .. give it a try and let me know!

  4. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  5. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  6. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  7. Eric says:

    Hello,

    I am using music collector (> 6.000 items) and I want to publish these items on the web. Can this widget be used also for doing the job?

    • Andrew Milo says:

      Hi Eric,

      Honestly, I don’t know – I don’t have Music Collector and have never used it. My plugin is dependent upon the XML that the Collectorz software puts out, so I could see it going either way, honestly. Most likely though, the data model for movies is different enough than the model used for music – in which case it probably wouldn’t work.

      Let me know how it goes if you try it!

      Cheers,
      A

  8. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  9. Thukzy says:

    How can I do it for music collection?

    • Andrew Milo says:

      Unfortunately this plugin won’t work for the music collection. Collectorz uses a different XML schema between products, so the data portion of the plugin won’t work. I don’t have MusicCollector, so I haven’t created one for them. Sorry!

  10. peter says:

    cool plugin for movie mania

  11. CrochetMadMe says:

    Will this work on blogger as well

  12. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  13. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  14. Intriguing blog. My colleagues and I were just discussing this the other night. Also your webpage looks good on my old sidekick. And thats rare. Keep it up.

  15. Very informative post. I’ve found your site via Bing and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your sites layout is really broken on the Chrome browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

    • Andrew Milo says:

      HI Carolyn!

      Thanks for stopping by… What do you mean its broken in Chrome? Seems to work well to me… Let me know any specifics, and I’d be glad to fix! Thanks for the info..

      -A

  16. I discovered your website the other day and after reading a few posts, thought I might say thank you for all the great content. Keep it coming! I will try to stop by here much more frequently.

  17. Hey Great post found it on Yahoo. Check out my Blog Thanks!!

  18. Bill says:

    Will you support the online version of collectorz as well?

  19. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  20. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  21. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  22. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  23. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  24. forex says:

    Hey, I found your website @ google and i have read a few of your other posts. I love what u say ! I just added you to my Google News Reader ;). Keep up the good job. Look forward to see more from you in the future.

  25. Hi, I would like to create a site and upload plenty of photos on it, all in a uniformed manner. The look of it is Really important. Does any person know of a Really nice theme (cost-free or paid) that’s very good for numerous images like this?. I already have Artisteer, but that does not Really Help me with the photographs within the post. Appreciate any ideas

  26. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  27. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  28. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  29. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  30. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  31. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

  32. [...] MovieWidget – sidebar widget to randomly display a thumbnail from your DVD collection [...]

Leave a Reply