English Xant tutorial

xlobby docs (works in progress)

English Xant tutorial

Postby erikt on Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:29 pm

Hi all,

I've recently worked through integrating the Xant plugin into my version of
jowaldo's skin. Luckily my french is OK, and I was able to go through
C-moi's excellent Xant tutorial.
For those less bilingual, I thought I'd provide a less pretty but hopefully
useful guide to using the Ant movie catalog with Xlobby to maintain your
DVD collection.

First question you may have is, why use this instead of DVDProfiler? The
reason I'm switching is the support for multi-disc sets. Xant provides
a 2-level hierarchy that allows you to "open" up a box set on your movie
page. Additionally, you can store the location of online movies in your
Ant collection, and pass this to Xlobby for playing the movie. Finally,
Xant suports pretty much any media type, so you could use Xant for
tracking your DVDs, CDs, TV episodes, or pretty much anything else. Oh,
and Ant is free and has no advertising.

1. Installing and using Ant movie catalog
First, download and install the free Ant movie catalog from:
I'm currently using version

Single Disc Movies
Launch Xant and choose the language you want to use. Now you can
begin entering your DVDs. Hit Alt+Insert, or go to Movie->Add, click on
the automatic numbering and OK. Type in the title of the movie in the
"Original Title" field and hit F6 (or Movie->Get Information->From Internet
using a script...). I generally use IMDB for movie information and Amazon
for covers, so choose IMDB and hit F9 (or click on the Run button).
Follow the instructions and you should pull all of IMDB's info on your title
into your catalog. If you want to pull the cover from Amazon as I do,
re-run using the Amazon script, but at the last step you de-select all of the
fields except for the Picture.
There are two manual steps you have to take now. First, make sure the
"Translated Title" field is the title you want to see in Xlobby (I'll explain why
later). Usually this requires copying the "Original Title" field into this field.
Secondly, you want to enter the path to your movie in the URL field. If
the movie is on-line, just enter the complete path, including the file name.
If the movie is off-line, just enter the file name on your disc with a
backslash in front (for e.g. \Shrek.avi).

Multi-Disc Movies
I want to have a single picture on my movie page for "The Fellowship of
the Ring platinum edition" (4 discs including 2 for the main feature and 2
for the appendices), and be able to open up this box to then choose which
disc to play. This is accomplished in the following way:
Add a new movie in Ant which represents the complete box set. Grab the
description and picture as described above. Now, copy (Movie->Copy,
Movie->Add, Movie->Paste) this movie as many times as there are discs in
the set. In my example, I will have 5 "Fellowship of the Ring" movies (4
discs, plus the box). Now, ensure the 1st instance has the correct "Original
Title" and "Translated Title", then set the "Translated Title" of the other
instances to a meaningful name like: "Main Movie Disc 1", "The Appendices
Disc 1", etc.. Next, add this same name to "Original Title" field, after a |
(shift backslash) symbol. So, for example, the first disc in my example
will have an "Original Title' field set to: "The Fellowship of the Ring|Main
Movie Disc 1". The bar (|) symbol tells Xant that this file is part of a
multi-disc entry. The text before the bar must be the same for all of the
entries. Finally, you have to provide the path to each disc in the URL field.

Don't forget to save your catalog when you're finished adding your movies.

2. Installing Xant and OMP plugins

Xant parses your AMC catalog and creates an Xlobby XML database
from your catalog. If you already have a movies.xml, you might want to
either back it up, or change the output name in Xant.ini.

Download Xant from here. I'm using version 2.1. Extract into plugins/Xant
in your Xlobby installation. Edit Xant.ini as follows:
Code: Select all
input=<path to your AMC movie catalog, Catalogs\movies.amc>
output=<path to your Xlobby movies database, databases\movies.xml>
images=<path to a directory for storing cover pictures, just create a covers directory in your AMC installation directory>
sort=$$ITEM_ORIGINALTITLE <leave this alone>
template=<path to the Xant moviestemplate.xml, plugins\Xant\moviestemplate.xml>
filter= <leave blank>

Blank out all of the Cdaudio, Games, and BD lines.

OMP is used to launch your media player (Zoomplayer or Theatertek),
and handles offline DVDs.

Download OMP from here. I'm using 3.7.2003. Extract into your Xlobby
installation directory and edit OMP.cfg. Make sure Exe_online and
Exe_offline point to your media player. If you change the Skin setting,
you modify the window that pops up when trying to play an offline DVD.

3. Configuring Xlobby
OK, we're almost done. If you launch Xlobby now, Xant should parse your
AMC catalog and build you a movies.xml database. If you go to your
movies page now, you should see your catalogue.
First you need to set up Xlobby to launch OMP instead of ZP or TT when
playing a movie. Hit F2, go to the events page, and find your play movie
event. There should be an OS->execute file command. Select it, then
click on Browse, next to the File text-box. Find and select your OMP
executable. Then copy the path, minus the executable, to the "Working
Directory" text-box.
Finally, bring up the skin editor and go to your movies page. Select the
text box that shows the name of the selected movie and edit the variable
under the Text tab to be category>movies>display. This field is what
you entered in the "Translated Title" field in AMC, and this change makes
boxed set handling nicer - when you open a box set, you get the disc name
that is currently selected instead of the box set name.

If you've made it this far, I'm flattered... :o If you would like any
clarifications, or if you would like me to add a picture or two, please let me
know. My goal here is to let all of the non francophones in on one of the
french team's amazing contributions. I hope you find this useful!

Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Postby dgemily on Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:13 pm

thank's erikt Image

we try to publish, some english documentations, but it's a lot of work and we have a lot of thing to do on the french forum, so thank you very much for your contribution :wink:

just one thing about the cd audio instertion using xant: I posted about that some months ago, maybe you can add it to your tutorial...
I changed a little bit this doc., here is it:

* Configuration:

This fonction use also Amazon Web Service to recover coverts, you need register on it: https://aws-portal.amazon.com/gp/aws/de ... 76-2471139
You will receive an ID ( keep this ID !!!)

Open Xant.ini and change or add following lines with your paths and modify the letter for you cdrom driver:
input=C:\Program Files\Ant Movie Catalog\Catalogs\cdaudio.amc,audio
output=C:\Program Files\XlobbyFr\databases\cdaudio.xml
images=C:\Program Files\Ant Movie Catalog\Pochettes cdaudio\
template=c:\Program Files\XlobbyFr\plugins\cdaudiotemplate.xml

* To use it on xlobby:

add, in the event manager an event “autoplay cdaudio” select the plugin Xant with the command OnInsertAudio and in "Variables" write for example :
Code: Select all
oncdaudio Cdaudio F:\

where :
“oncdaudio” is the name of your temporary xml database where the plugin will write the information about your cd
“Cdaudio” is the name of your database .amc or .xml ( if you have a cd audio database, xant will scan first this database before recover information on the web, you can also execute Cdda2Ant.exe to build your database) if you don’t have a cdaudi database, leave this parameter and xant will create the database at the first use.
and “F:\” is the letter of my cdrom driver.

Then in the tab “Misc” of the setup, assign the cdaudio insertion to this event.

There are 2 variables to display some information on xlobby for example to display some information on the overlay (cdaudio popup):

to display the information of the cd use a category and display the database “oncdaudio.xml”

you can also execute directlly Cdda2Ant.exe to build a database .amc. it's a new fonction, you will build very quickly your database.

maybe you can copy and paste this lines in your first post, then I will delete those on mine ?
Last edited by dgemily on Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby C-moi on Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:44 pm

thanks erikt ! :oops:
If you have several movies saved on 1 disc by example, you can add those movies very quickly if you read this
(The name of the movie must be correct so when you made a search by scripting, AMC can find the cover and the datas)
Hope this can help you !
This method is good for several movies (divx or real video or xvid ..) saved on 1 dvd
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Location: France

Postby erikt on Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:28 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for the quick feedback! Let me try the two features you mentioned
first and then I'll add them to my description. I prefer not to document
something that I haven't gone through myself.

And hey, if I help you out with documentation, you can keep busy building
more useful plugins! :D

Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Postby dgemily on Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:53 pm

erikt wrote:And hey, if I help you out with documentation, you can keep busy building
more useful plugins! :D

lol :wink:
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Location: Paris, France

database losses

Postby kugumby on Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:39 am

UPDATE: I'm going to leave my original question up as others may benefit from the mistake I made. However, there's still a part of the original question that I haven't figured out yet

Whenever I update my ant movie catalog, I always have to rebuild my movie database in Xlobby. Not everything is gone, but enough that it's annoying.

When I go into Xlobby after updating the ant catalog, I go to the setup and find that my 3 movie folders are usually gone. (I have 2 internal HD and one external and they're all pointing to [drive letter]:\Media\My Movies) I add the locations back in and then go to edit the movie database. ALL of the locations to the VIDEO_TS.IFO files are missing on ONE of my internal HD's, however, the path to the movie is still there. I have to add '\VIDEO\VIDEO_TS.IFO' to each line.

<FIX: Make sure that the entire path to your movie is in the 'URL' field in ant. I did it correctly the first time and forgot to do it when I started adding more movies and updating the database. That's why some of the movies were showing up properly and others were not.>

Also, the parent to the multiple disc DVD's I have always reverts back to $$TRANSLATED TITLE$$ (or something like that) in the Title and Coverart when I update the database in xant and then restart Xlobby. (NOTE: I still haven't figured out this part.)
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