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Old Nov 18, 2012, 01:05 PM   #1
Soulweaponry
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Has anyone switched from buying blu-rays to strictly itunes? How's it working for ya?

I was about to buy brave on blu-ray and then i thought since i've got all this apple stuff (apple tv, macbook pro, ipad, iPhone) i should try just buying on itunes. Wow. Having a strictly digital copy that's always backed up in the cloud (can't lose a blu-ray or have one thats scratched up) AND being able to just share it to all my devices has been amazing. I know this is gonna take up a ton of space on my hard drive but i'm really excited for buying movies now.

Has anyone made the full on switch to buying blu-rays to just buying off itunes? How's it going?
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 01:09 PM   #2
nuckinfutz
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I buy Blu-ray when it's a great deal.

Same for digital downloads as well. Been buying less movies in general though.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 01:24 PM   #3
applemachome
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Until digital downloads have 1080 25mbps encodes with a DTS Master Audio or TrueHD track Ill keep buying blurays. a lot of movies include digital downloads for convenience- most that dont are specialty movies id rather watch on the projector with 7.1 surround anyway and not on a portable device or laptop.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 01:45 PM   #4
HobeSoundDarryl
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Originally Posted by Soulweaponry View Post
I was about to buy brave on blu-ray and then i thought since i've got all this apple stuff (apple tv, macbook pro, ipad, iPhone) i should try just buying on itunes. Wow. Having a strictly digital copy that's always backed up in the cloud (can't lose a blu-ray or have one thats scratched up) AND being able to just share it to all my devices has been amazing. I know this is gonna take up a ton of space on my hard drive but i'm really excited for buying movies now.
"always" might mean something different than you think. If the Studio decides at any time to stop offering that movie through iTunes and you don't possess a physical copy of it on your own drives (in other words, you are only trusting the cloud), it won't be available to you. How you perceive "always" is heavily dependent on the Studio always offering that movie through iTunes (something that isn't very reliable for any given film).

#2) you probably also think you own that movie just like if you had purchased a Blu Ray disc. But you don't. Instead, you have a "lifetime license." Try selling the movie to someone else. Try giving it away to someone else. Try loaning it to a friend to watch at their home. Try willing it to someone else. Basically, iTunes movies are rentals for up to the end of your life... or until the Studio decides to no longer offer the movie, whichever comes first.

#3) As others have offered, while iTunes 1080p media certainly looks good, it is typically far more compressed than Blu Ray and it will have 1992's Dolby Digital sound standard at best. Blu Ray wins in both quality of picture and quality of much more modern sound formats (including lossless). This matters more to some than others but if you do own a good HDTV and a good sound system, quality can make a big difference in the experience.

#4) Often one can find Blu Ray for cheaper than it will cost in iTunes. A little shopping- especially if you'll shop the used market- and you can save some fairly good money over the course of accumulating a favorites collection.

The hassle with Blu Ray is really 2-fold. 1) If you want it in iTunes, you'll sometimes have to rip it which can involve a few hoops and several hours of encoding. Many BDs come with a free digital download now. 2) You have to go get it or wait for it to arrive in the mail (where with iTunes you get that immediate gratification of the download). Others might add that they don't want to store discs anymore, and especially "I can't see the difference, <so you can't either>" (which were also offered when Apple stuck with 720p instead of 1080p for- IMO- too long), "die BD die", kids with jelly on their hands, etc

iTunes has a lot of potential. Personally, I save building a library from iTunes movie/TV show downloads until the iTunes version is fully toe-to-toe with BD in terms of picture quality & sound. Apple could just offer that option for those that wanted it and that would thoroughly tempt me. It would also be good if Apple could address issues like #1, #2 and #4 above too.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 02:00 PM   #5
Soulweaponry
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
"always" might mean something different than you think. If the Studio decides at any time to stop offering that movie through iTunes and you don't possess a physical copy of it on your own drives (in other words, you are only trusting the cloud), it won't be available to you. How you perceive "always" is heavily dependent on the Studio always offering that movie through iTunes (something that isn't very reliable for any given film).

That would definitely suck. When has that been a big issue though? And "the cloud" was just a bonus in my book. I download the actual copy onto my hard drive. "the cloud" was just a pro to me as a "what if i lose my hard drive copy oh thats cool i can just redownload it" kinda situation.

#2) you probably also think you own that movie just like if you had purchased a Blu Ray disc instead. But you don't. Instead, you have a lifetime license. Try selling the movie to someone else. Try giving it away to someone else. Try loaning it to a friend to watch at their home. Try willing it to someone else. Basically, iTunes movies are rentals for up to the end of your life... or until the Studio decides to no longer offer the movie, whichever comes first.

True that! That would indeed be a con for alot of people and i wouldn't be surprised if people held off on buying through itunes soley for those reasons. But for me and my purposes, it totally fits. I don't lend anyone my blu-rays or care about re-selling movies. The only movies i "Buy" are ones i want to keep forever. Everything else i rent. I'll rent a chick flick for my girlfriend, but "buy" the dark knight rises because it's a movie i'll watch more than once. And being able to just copy it to my ipad bing bang boom, makes it an attractive option. Or better yet, stream it through any of my apple tv's in the house. Saves on clutter too

#3) As others have offered, while iTunes 1080p media certainly looks good, it is typically far more compressed than Blu Ray and it will have 1992's Dolby Digital sound standard at best. Blu Ray wins in both quality of picture and quality of much more modern sound formats (including lossless).

Everyone has their own requirements for what they consider a "good" picture. I think most will think itunes 1080p is just fine. But i get that alot of people like yourself probably wouldn't. Wonder if Apple is going to address that in the future with like an hd+ download solution? As hard drives get bigger, i don't see a problem downloading an entire blu-ray's worth of movie

#4) Often one can find Blu Ray for cheaper than it will cost in iTunes. A little shopping- especially if you'll shop the used market- and you can save some money too.

I'm surfing the $10 section of itunes right now. Lots of good movies. But i get what you're saying.

The hassle with Blu Ray is really 2-fold. 1) If you want it in iTunes, you'll sometimes have to rip it which can involve a few hopes and several hours of encoding. 2) You have to go get it or wait for it to arrive in the mail (where with iTunes you get that immediate gratification of the download). Others might add that they don't want to store discs anymore, and especially "I can't see the difference, so you can't either" (which were also offered when Apple stuck with 720p instead of 1080p for- IMO- too long), etc.

iTunes has a lot of potential. Personally, I save building a library from iTunes movie/TV show downloads until the iTunes version is fully toe-to-toe with BD in terms of picture quality & sound. Apple could just offer that option for those that wanted it and that would thoroughly tempt me. It would also be good if Apple could address issues like #1, #2 and #4 above too.
For me anyway, just the sheer convenience of having everything right there a click away is worth it. I have a huge dvd case with all my movies in it and there are so many times when i wanted to watch a movie, but didn't want to sift through it or hell. I forgot alot of movies i had and would've wanted to watch. "Oh wow. I bought star trek? Didn't know that. I was about to netflix it". I think buying the blu-rays that include a digital download will get some people started off. But when i bought a blu-ray last month and got the digital copy, it was only in SD. Super lame. Is that normal? I bought the blu-ray. Give me the hd digital download dammit!
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 02:48 PM   #6
HobeSoundDarryl
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Originally Posted by Soulweaponry View Post
For me anyway, just the sheer convenience of having everything right there a click away is worth it. I have a huge dvd case with all my movies in it and there are so many times when i wanted to watch a movie, but didn't want to sift through it or hell. I forgot alot of movies i had and would've wanted to watch. "Oh wow. I bought star trek? Didn't know that. I was about to netflix it". I think buying the blu-rays that include a digital download will get some people started off. But when i bought a blu-ray last month and got the digital copy, it was only in SD. Super lame. Is that normal? I bought the blu-ray. Give me the hd digital download dammit!
Sounds like you are pretty sold on the iTunes option. Good for you.

This last bit quoted above can be reasonably easily addressed by the BD owner learning how to convert a BD into an iTunes media file. And using simple, free tools allows them to choose what level of quality they want rather than Apple deciding for them. This solves the "overloaded DVD case" problem and makes them every bit as convenient as anything one can buy from iTunes... but with all of the other benefits referenced (but not deemed important enough to your own situation).

For example, in my case, I have no "lost in an overloaded case" problem, my whole collection is in iTunes. I don't have to wait until hard drives get bigger, they're plenty big enough now. I don't have to wait on any download or pay to buy them again if I want to watch something more than once; they're immediately ready on demand. They also easily go right onto an iDevice too. After converting the disc, I toss them into a big plastic bin stored completely out of the way (they are my last resort backup should a couple of layers of hard drives all die at the same time).

The point is that there are certainly key benefits to both. If one leans toward one option or other other, they can rationalize their favorite option by focusing on the positives. As I see it though: BD is fairly rigid in its format maximums while Apple has the subjective flexibility to match BD toe-to-toe at any time or even run right over BD by stepping up to even higher quality standards. I wish Apple would at least get toe-to-toe for those of us that care about details like maximum picture & sound quality.

As to iTunes picture & sound quality is probably good enough for most, that may be true. But given the opportunity to have better picture quality & sound for the same or lower cost of the iTunes option, the "most people" view is not as simple. This crowd here will probably overwhelmingly agree that iTunes 1080p is plenty good enough (just as many here argued 720p was good enough until Apple finally stepped up to 1080p) but my view is if I can get better quality for the same cost- even at the expense of some immediate gratification- than I favor the better quality. Then, by turning it into an iTunes media file, I get all of the other benefits I would have realized by buying the iTunes version instead (only at an even higher quality picture).

Oh, and that business of Studios just suddenly removing content availability happens all the time. Movies are available and then they are gone. It is a big deal and anyone hoping to just trust the iCloud should think twice: download a permanent copy or risk losing that file at any time.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Nov 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 03:29 PM   #7
Soulweaponry
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
Sounds like you are pretty sold on the iTunes option. Good for you.

This last bit quoted above can be reasonably easily addressed by the BD owner learning how to convert a BD into an iTunes media file. And using simple, free tools allows them to choose what level of quality they want rather than Apple deciding for them. This solves the "overloaded DVD case" problem and makes them every bit as convenient as anything one can buy from iTunes... but with all of the other benefits referenced (but not deemed important enough to your own situation).
Ya know...when i made this thread right here, a response like yours was exactly what i was hoping for. So thanks for that.

For the foreseeable future, i think iTunes will be the way to go for me. I just bought prometheus and avengers and giggled like a little schoolgirl going from room to room playing them all over the place. Shows what little maturity i have. My 8 year old daughter was pretty amused watching me go "hey look. It's on my iPad! No...it's on my iphone. Now it's on my Apple TV! hahahaha" laughing maniacally. I'm having too much fun right now.

Converting blu-rays to itunes is totally new to me. Is it pretty easy? Cause there's nothing i'd love more than to put this cluttered case of movies on my computer. What method do you use?
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 03:38 PM   #8
mic j
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Originally Posted by Soulweaponry View Post
Ya know...when i made this thread right here, a response like yours was exactly what i was hoping for. So thanks for that.

For the foreseeable future, i think iTunes will be the way to go for me. I just bought prometheus and avengers and giggled like a little schoolgirl going from room to room playing them all over the place. Shows what little maturity i have. My 8 year old daughter was pretty amused watching me go "hey look. It's on my iPad! No...it's on my iphone. Now it's on my Apple TV! hahahaha" laughing maniacally. I'm having too much fun right now.

Converting blu-rays to itunes is totally new to me. Is it pretty easy? Cause there's nothing i'd love more than to put this cluttered case of movies on my computer. What method do you use?
1) Decrypt/convert to mkv (keep as archive if you wish) using MakeMKV
2) Transcode mkv to mp4 using Handbrake
3) Add metadata to mp4 using Subler
4) Add mp4 to iTunes...Done!!

Note: all apps are free and produce excellent quality with minimal file size.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 03:45 PM   #9
iHailCarlo
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Its got to be something great for me to buy disc anymore. I have for the most part, about 95%, gone digital. Also, having everything tunneling through itunes and Apple Tv, i am more inclined to watch more of the content that I have purchased or encoded.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:27 PM   #10
HobeSoundDarryl
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micj got it. It can take a while to convert each one so turn several into MKVs then just set them up in a que for Handbrake to convert into iTunes-friendly m4v files overnight. For tagging I prefer MetaZ (or sometimes MetaX) but I still use Subler to tag them "HD" (1080p) and then "Optimize" them. His steps are more efficient than mine in that I'll sometimes use some other tools.

It sounds like OP has a lot of discs so this could take a long time, but it's well worth it since you like iTunes convenience and easy play anywhere on any device in your home. OP there's lots of step-by-step tutorials online for ripping your BD's & DVDs for TV using these tools.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Nov 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 04:37 PM   #11
mic j
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
micj got it. It can take a while to convert each one so turn several into MKVs then just set them up in a que for Handbrake to convert into iTunes-friendly m4v files overnight. For tagging I prefer MetaZ (or sometimes MetaX) but I still use Subler to tag them "HD" (1080p) and then "Optimize" them.

It sounds like OP has a lot of discs so this could take a long time, but it's well worth it since you like iTunes convenience and easy play anywhere on any device in your home. OP there's lots of step-by-step tutorials online for ripping your BD's & DVDs for TV using these tools.
I have added HB's optimize feature to the aTV3 preset (along with anamorphic strict). That way you don't even have to take the time to optimize in Subler.

The reason I use Subler for metadata tagging is the the aTV's description field is limited in size. Subler allows me to remove some of the meta data fields I have no interest in (not just leave them blank, but actually remove them). This expands the description field as much as possible. I have tried all of the other taggers, and while you can not include selected metadata, they do not actually remove the field in the aTV display and therefore they do not allow the description field to expand. Just in case anyone is interested in the "why".
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:24 AM   #12
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1) Decrypt/convert to mkv (keep as archive if you wish) using MakeMKV...
I rarely see DVDFab HD Decryptor mentioned, which is another well-maintained and free option, if you don't actually need an .mkv.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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ive kinda stopped all together. for awhile I was buying blurays and ripping them. but i stopped doing that and now I got an iPad mini and im selling my ipad 3 so my 1080p bluray rips are unusable on the mini. Id like to switch to all itunes but its too expensive. its like full price bluray without the versatility. not to mention who actually pays full price for a bluray?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:44 PM   #14
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ive kinda stopped all together. for awhile I was buying blurays and ripping them. but i stopped doing that and now I got an iPad mini and im selling my ipad 3 so my 1080p bluray rips are unusable on the mini. Id like to switch to all itunes but its too expensive. its like full price bluray without the versatility. not to mention who actually pays full price for a bluray?
Full price blu ray at my local target is something like $24 while on iTunes I'd get the same movie for $18 and still have "iTunes extras". Not to mentioned the awesome $10 selection of movies.

Price wise, it works for me. There's a small part of me though that worries "what if apple fails someday what happens to my stuff?"
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