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A utility to catalogue and play media.

Project description

A utility application to catalogue, sort, filter, and play media files on local disk. The catalogue can be imported using csv text, and it can be maintained by adding, editing, and deleting records.

In addition to flat lists of media, support is provided to group the media into ‘series’ in an arbitrarily deep tree structure. This is extremely useful when the catalogue is used for TV episodes, or for ‘franchise’ movies (Poirot, Season 9, Episode 3; Star Wars Episode 4).

In v1.4 is the ability to print out a list of the media was added. The method chosen uses Webkit and the system’s native printer support.

WIP The latest addition for v1.5 enables movie information to be retrieved from IMDB. This should make it much quicker filling out things like the director and the stars, whilst continuing to enable the information to be edited and updated manually.


For Versions up to 1.5 the only supported platform is Linux. It should work with Mac, but I do not have a Mac available for verifying the port.

[NB Check this for 2015] The port to Windows is not possible at present (July 2013) because the Python-gi libraries are not available for that platform (it may be possible to back-port to Python 2.7 and use PyGTK instead - I have not tried it and don’t plan to anytime soon).

System Requirements:

  • Python 3
  • Gtk
  • Python Gtk+ introspection bindings 3.4.2 (part of gi)
  • lxml >3.0 (and supporting libraries)
  • cairo (part of gi)
  • WebKit (part of gi)

Installation (Linux):

  1. Unzip the tar.gz somewhere.

  2. In a console window navigate to the MovieList-1.5.x directory and run the following command as root (on Ubuntu/Debian use sudo):

    [sudo] python3 install

  3. On Linux a desktop launcher is installed, which you should be able to find and use in your desktop (tested on Ubuntu/Unity and Debian/Xfce).


Upgrading does not require removal of the older version.

However, to avoid compatibility issues with the configuration file, any existing configuration should be removed or renamed before running an update for the first time. Any configuration you want to recover can be copied into the new configuration from the saved one after the first run.

On Linux, the user’s configuration file can be found at ~/.config/MovieList/MovieList.cfg

Design Notes and Plans

MovieList allows storage of data in two formats, a Python ‘pickle’ file, or an xml file. The pickle has some advantages for a large database, but the xml version makes it easier to transport data between other packages and manually edit the data when required.

Rather than use Python’s own sax and dom parsers, the xml implementation is based on element trees, using lxml.

To print the movie data, the lxml element tree model of the data is used to generate html via an xslt transform. The html is fed into a WebView for parsing and rendering, and to administer the print interface.

(It should be possible to use weasyprint to do the parsing and rendering, but there seem to be incompatibilities between weasyprint and gnome introspection).

The playing of the media is delegated to VLC Media Player, which, of course, is assumed to be installed. A future version of MovieList may be able to choose the media player to use.

A simple import from csv text is available to facilitate creating a new file. Future versions may enable importing to add to an existing database, possibly by using csv, but also possibly by extending the xml facilities.


Bob Bowles <>

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