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.
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.
- Download the Widget
- Unzip and copy the ‘moviecollector’ folder to your wordpress ‘plugins’ directory.
- Using the WordPress Administration panels, activate the MovieCollector Display Widget.
- 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 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.
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:
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.
You can get the plugin here: Movie Widget, v0.7 (4.53 kB)
If you need help with this Widget, just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any question you have.
If you like the plugin, consider dropping a buck or two my way to say thanks and help with future versions.