Logo of movie collection manager: Ant Movie CatalogIn this review of movie managers we will take a look at Ant Movie Catalog version 4.1.1. On its website it is advertised as an “open-source program made to manage your collection of movies on DVD, CD (VideoCD, DivX, …) and tapes with print, import and export functions, scripting, etc.” This is interesting and deserves one of our reviews.

Pricing models

Ant Movie Catalog is completely free, you can use every feature to its full extent without any payment.


The executable is only about 4.5 megabytes, is quickly downloaded and can be installed just as quickly. This is a very smooth procedure on a Windows 7 machine.

Movie upload

Fetching movie meta data with Ant movie collection manager using one of the 250 scripts available

Fetching movie meta data with Ant movie collection manager using one of the 250 scripts available

Ant Movie Catalog lets you simply drag your movie files into the application and it analyses them and extracts attributes such as audio and video format, language and length. With this information the application creates a new entry. Unfortunately it does not try to fetch the file name which in most cases contain at least parts of the title, that is, in order to properly download meta-data you need to manually enter every single title. In addition you can only drag the actual movie file into the application. If you have extensive folder structures this can be cumbersome.

To manually add movies that were either DVD boxes or consisted of multiple files we simply clicked on the “Add..” button and entered the title for each movie. After having all titles entered in Ant Movie Catalog you select all entries and hit F6 to scrape the meta data for your collection.

The application offers about 250 different scripts for fetching meta-data. They are mostly contributed by users and cover all conceivable Internet resources. Especially if you have to deal with titles that are not in English, this turns out to be very helpful. The scripts come with their own  scraping  procedure. Some will prompt you to correct titles, if their meta-data is not found; others will simply leave meta-data blank; and yet in others you have to cancel the entire process. The procedure is always semi-automated in that you have to click a couple of times to tell the application which of the suggested movies is the correct one. This is time-consuming but guarantees maximum accuracy.

In our case we used three different scripts to have our exemplary collection fully recognized.
Even though we had to manually enter all our movie titles and had to decide and click a lot the end result was very pleasing indeed.

Modifying the collection

Modfiying movie meta data in movie collection manager Ant Movie Catalog

Modfiying movie meta data in movie collection manager Ant Movie Catalog

Movie entries can be edited by clicking on their thumbnail image. Modifying meta-data worked just fine. The only blemish we encountered is that some data such as genre, country, language or format are displayed as one concatenated string with colon separators. To apply changes you need to manually add or modify values. This means you need to be very careful not to make any typos. However, when selecting values, a drop-down list of options previously entered into the system may help you speed up your data entry and ensure correctness.

Rating model

There is none. The application pre-populates the rating field with data fetched from the Internet. You need to modify the preset value to yours. An additional field for my own rating would have been nice.


You can access your movie collection solely through the desktop application.

Browsing the collection

Browsing your movie collection in Ant Movie Catalog

Browsing your movie collection in Ant Movie Catalog

Ant Movie Catalog allows you to browse through your collection by grouping it based on any categorization field. You want to see all your action movies? Select the “genre” view into your collection. You want to see all movies of a particular director? No problem; select the director facet of your collection and off you go.

This is indeed a very intuitive way of browsing, but if one could combine more than one filter, this would be a killer feature.

For browsing purposes the display can be toggled between edit and view mode, and the view can be selected from numerous HTML templates created by other users.


Ant Movie Manager does not offer any form of movie recommendations.

Share and compare

You cannot share your collection nor can you compare with other friends’ collections.


You can export your collection to a text file using CSV (comma-separated values) or XML format as well as to a SQL statement used to create a single database table with all data. In addition there is an export-to-HTML option with limited utility, since it only exports single entries or a full list without any means of navigation, e.g. an index. In addition you can export to a format readable by Origons, an on-line movie list service.

Imports can be done using again CSV files (Excel), Microsoft Access, Origons’s format or exports from other movie managers, i.e. eXtreme Movie Manger, BaseDVDivx ,DVD Profiler and GCStar.

Additional features

Ant Movie Catalog allows you to create custom fields for your movies, which might come in handy in case the default movie fields are not sufficient for you. A personal rating field might be a good candidate.

In addition the application comes with a simple loan manager to help you keep track of DVD boxes you lent to friends.

Lastly, Ant Movie Catalog provides simple statistics and charts on your movie collection.


Even though there is some room for improvements here and there, e.g. the missing field for your personal rating or missing extraction of file names when dragging movie files into the application, the Ant Movie Manager is definitely a great piece of software. The recognition of movies is excellent and the browsing is intuitive. Unfortunately you do not have a possibility to share your collection other than by exporting the data to third party online services. You are also not able to discover new movies you would probably like. However, the overall impression remains very positive and we can only recommend Ant Movie Manager, and not only because it is free!