Microsoft Cinemania

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Microsoft Cinemania. Interactive Movie Guide was a reference and educational Multimedia application CD-ROM produced by Microsoft and published annually beginning in 1992. The software was mainly a database of films, in a similar fashion to the Internet Movie Database, and gave descriptions of the films and who starred in them. Most of this information was not readily accessible before broadband internet.

Cinemania contained professional material by:

  • Leonard Maltin: 19,000 reviews from his Movie and Video Guide
  • Roger Ebert: over 1300 reviews from his Video Companion (starting from the 2nd edition, published as Cinemania '94)
  • Pauline Kael: 2500 reviews from her 5001 Nights at the movies book (also starting with Cinemania '94)
  • Baseline: The Motion Picture Guide and The Encyclopedia of Film
  • James Monaco: How to Read a Film
  • Ephraim Katz: The Film Encyclopedia

The program also included over 2000 still images for movies and actors, a large number of sound clips, dialogues and soundtracks, and a smaller selection of full-motion video clips. As the amount of material increased with each new edition, the quality of media tended to decrease, in order to fit everything on a single CD-ROM.

The last edition of Cinemania was released in 1997. This version was available for Microsoft Windows PCs running Windows 95 or Windows NT with an Intel 80486 processor, or Apple Macintoshes running System 7. Cinemania 97 also had guided tours from numerous celebrities and online features which made use of an associated MSN website. It could be updated monthly over the Internet, which brought new movies, new material about older movies and new celebrity tours.[1]