Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Welcome to Wibble Wednesday! - Coming Soon!

Posting a new DVD review every day is proving difficult. It doesn't take much time to write the review (as you can probably tell!) but watching the feature and all the extra's, and taking/editing screencaps (especially the HD-DVD ones) can be very time-consuming.

Luckily I have no life, so it's not TOO much of a chore! ;-)

In planning the upcoming (end of May at the earliest!) Shiny Discs web site I'm hoping that a couple of new DVD reviews a week, a Blu-Ray review and an HD-DVD review should be do-able. That doesn't make a full week so I thought that a weekly film review (not strictly speaking a shiny disc, but something that will likely soon become one!) and an 'archive' review (ie a disc that's been out a longish time but which I never got round to reviewing) should help pad things out. But even that leaves one day of the week free. So you're now reading an example of the sort of post I'll be making on what I'm going to be calling Wibble Wednesday!

I have to admit I'm struggling a bit with naming the different days of the week for the new site. At the moment I have the following:

  • Blu Monday - that'll be the Blu-Ray Review

  • HD-DVD Tuesday - you can tell I'm struggling can't you?!

  • Wibble Wednesday - effectively the week in review.

  • Thursday on t'Telly - a TV show on shiny disc

  • Film on Friday - in cinemas now, but coming to shiny disc soon!

  • Saturday Night at the Movies - an archive movie

  • in-Store Sunday - review of shiny disc due to be in stores the next day

If you have some better suggestions (you must have, surely?!) PLEASE let me know! I'm happy to move the days of the week around to accommodate different titles.

Cinefex issue 109

Things will likely be a bit quiet on this blog over the weekend (probably no daily updates) because I'm going away for Easter Saturday and Sunday.

Sod's Law says Network SouthEast would choose the one time I decide to travel by train to Southampton to decide to close off half the line so that the usual journey time is more than doubled.

The extra time will at least give me the chance to read the latest issue of the excellent Cinefex magazine which I get on subscription. You probably haven't seen this excellent magazine which focuses on special effects in the movies, and is published quarterly.

It's a lavish publication with great articles that concentrate on just a handful of films instead of trying to cover everything in a rather trivial manner. Somehow they manage to get exclusive behind the scenes photo's you just never get to see anywhere else.

The latest issue has Ghost Rider on the cover, which seems a little odd given the much more interesting films covered inside. There are 'Overview' pieces of Apocalypto and Norbit, and then some solid in-depth features on 300 (hoorah!), Pan's Labyrinth (double-hoorah!) Zodiac (not out here yet, but the trailer looks awesome!) and the afore-mentioned Ghost Rider. Only one or two very specialist cinephile shops stock it, which is why so few folks seem to know about it. I can't recommend it enough if you're a movie fan. If you think it sounds interesting you can subscribe to it using the Cinefex web site. It's well worth taking out a subscription!

DVD Profiler Version 3

Keeping track of over 2000 shiny discs can be a nightmare! Fortunately I've had an excellent program called DVD Profiler to help. You simply enter the bar code number that's printed on the back of the DVD into the program, and the software downloads all the details (cast, film studio, cost, cover images etc) for you. Sweet! If you buy a cheap barcode scanner you can even save yourself having to type in the number and have the scanner do all the hard work for you!

Also included is an online web site which you can use to host your collection so that anyone with internet access can check it out. If you've ever clicked on the 'My DVD Collection' link on the right hand set of links that appear on this page then you're actually being taken to a web site that is maintained automatically just through me hitting a button in DVD Profiler!

Amazingly DVD Profiler is free!

... if you don't mind the odd advert and are happy with DVD cover scans being relatively low resolution. For just 30 US Dollars you can upgrade to a 'lifetime subscription' that takes the ads away and gives you hi-res images. It's a steal! I've been using the program for several years now and it must warrant as the best value-for-money software I've ever bought!

However, over the last couple of years the software has felt much neglected. A long-promised mobile version of the software, to enable you to carry around your whole collection synced up with a mobile device (useful when checking those Sale bins that you haven't actually already bought the title!) never materialised. It has been 'coming in a couple of weeks' for over 2 years now! And it's noticeable that each week UK title bar codes take longer and longer to be recognised, as you can see if you visit my collection and see the paucity of information on some of the titles, several of which don't have a cover image because the central DVD Profiler hasn't been kept as up-to-date as it might have been.

But it turns out that the author of the software has now launched a new version. And the long-promised mobile version is available too.

The new software looks much sexier than the old (with glassy reflected DVD cover images and stuff) and it's free again! The only reason I'm mentioning all this is that if you use DVD Profiler's 'Check for Updates' feature it won't work because the new software is supported by a different company and the old company doesn't know about the newer version. You have to manually go and download the new version from the new web site.

That being said, upgrading to the new version (version 3.0) is fairly easy: you have to backup your old database using the old DVD Profiler; register at the new web site to receive a new key for the new version (assuming you want the full version not the free one); install the new version and then import your old database. And upload all your collection to the new web site.

I haven't updated the link to 'My DVD Collection' on the menu on the right yet, but if you want to see the latest status of my collection you can see it here.

If you like the sound of DVD Profiler (and why wouldn't you?!) you can download it from the new web site: Highly recommended, but for Windows users only I'm afraid (according to those ridiculous ads Apple owners shouldn't need it - you get everything you need with iLife!)

That's the end of this first Wednesday Wibble. I'm hoping to finish off the CGI 'toon reviews tomorrow with a review of Over The Hedge. However, as things are a bit manic at work this may get delayed a day or two! As soon as the review's available I'll post a link here.

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