I’ve transferred some of my movies to an external hard drive to make it more convenient to browse, select and watch a movie. Windows Media Center makes it easy to select and play movies stored on disk. First you will need to enable My DVDs by editing a registry setting. Details are found in this post. It will instruct you to edit the following key:
and change “ShowGallery”=”Play” to “ShowGallery”=”Gallery”
You will next want to select folders to monitor for movies. It turns out that the settings for My Videos are used to locate DVDs on disk as well. Navigate to the My Videos Screen, then hit <Ctrl><D> or right click or hit the Info button on the Windows Media remote. Select Add Videos from the popup menu. You will be able to add or remove folders.
WMC doesn’t show you artwork for your movies so you will have to manually provide an image to use in the main My DVDs screen. I get all my artwork from CD Covers. You will need to name the image folder.jpg and place it in the folder where your ripped movie is stored (the folder CONTAINING the VIDEO_TS folder). Not the easiest process to go through but once you’ve done it you have a nice free catalog for your movies.