Movie Monkey

A simple movie management app that just works.

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How it started

Movie Monkey was born out of a personal need back in 2011. I had over 1000 movies on my hard disk and all the movie management apps on the market sucked. So, I set out to make an app which just worked.

I decided to write the app using Python because that was the language I was most comfortable with. And, picked wxPython as my GUI toolkit because it was cross-platform and fairly easy to learn. This is how the first version looked:

Movie Monkey version 1 Screen 1

Movie Monkey version 1 Screen 2

It wasn’t the best UI. But it just worked. It was good enough for me. I passed it along to a few friends and they liked it too.

 

Version 2.0

But the first version did have it’s problems. It became slow and unresponsive as the number of movies increased. Though it was better than a lot of other apps, the interface didn’t feel very intuitive. But it was all I could muster with wxWidgets. So I thought I’ll switch GUI toolkits. I went with PyGTK because it was quite popular.

After about another month of development, I came up with this:

Movie Monkey version 2.0

I was happy with it. The interface was minimal and decent-looking. And, the way it worked was just right. I made it available online for free and spread the word a bit. It fetched around 60,000 downloads (I deleted the counter file accidentally).

Present & Future

Then, after I joined design school, I couldn't find time to continue developing the app. And, it slowly stopped working because of changes in the APIs it was dependent on.

Recently, I rebuilt the app from scratch using Electron and React. I have made it open source. This setup allows me to take advantage of HTML/CSS for developing the UI, and node modules for faster development. Right now, the functionality is minimal. I'll continue to add more features over the next weeks.

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Movie Monkey Redesign