� In a world where anything in the home theater game not only costs money but more money than you feel it should, Zappiti is a solution that truly solves a problem and does so free of charge.
� Zappiti may not be as robust as some Media Center software, but it's powerful and slick enough to do the job, not to mention it's simple (I say intuitive) to use.
� When asking it to scrape metadata for over 200 movies Zappiti only got two of them wrong, and only because the films were remakes that shared the same title info as their predecessors. Fixing the mistake was easy and straightforward.
� When you load your metadata onto a simple SD card, load times and control response are greatly improved, a worthwhile upgrade to this otherwise free program.
� Zappiti's graphics are crisp, clean and easily viewed, legible from across a room.
� Zappiti's free Android and iPad App brings control and cover flow to your tablet or smart phone - very cool.
� I don't like the licensing procedure of Zappiti. I feel it could be easier, though one cannot complain too much about a free piece of software that works brilliantly.
� Zappiti will not catalogue nor provide cover flow or metadata for music files.
� While I recommend everyone write their Zappiti data to an SD card, it does add a step or two every time you want to update your library. Because I'm a control freak, I don't mind, but you may.
� Zappiti will not auto-update as you add content to your NAS drives. You must always launch the program, then hit the scan button, at which point it will then automatically scan your drives for new content. This may seem impractical, but some of the more automated alternatives a) cost money and b) make me nervous, for they keep your collection online, which could be problematic should a legal issue arise.
Competition and Comparisons
There are numerous HTPC or online media management solutions. Some of these are even free, though few work as seamlessly with the Dune players as Zappiti does. Among those that are compatible with Dune are MyMovies and yaDIS. MyMovies is probably the program more users turn to, though in my experience it's been buggy, unreliable and difficult to use. You may disagree, but its need for a constant Internet handshake has been nothing but a pain for me. As for yaDIS, I do not know if it is currently available any more and, since I'm not comfortable with beta editions or sketchy downloads, I've chosen to stay away. It is my opinion that if you're looking for an easy-to-use, nicely appointed and free solution for bringing organization and cover flow to your Dune experience, Zappiti is the best way to go.
For more on Dune and the various programs that are compatible with it, please visit Home Theater Review's Applications page.
When shopping for any product or service, few things beat free, especially when the free item turns out to be exactly what you've been looking for, which is how I feel about Zappiti. In terms of bringing K-Scape-like cover flow and organization to your existing movie and television collection, few do it better, or easier, than Zappiti. Try it - you have absolutely nothing to lose.
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