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Old Apr 3, 2013, 04:55 PM   #1
Smeaton1724
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Location: London
Smile Going about things the wrong way?

For years I've been digital only - totally missed the blu ray release era, still have a few hundred DVDs in a box in the garage worth very little. Anyway in the last 4 years I've upgraded from a PS3 with external 320GB to a WDTV with 500GB, then 1TB and then 2TB. Flirted with a HP Microstation but hated the size, noise and windows.

Now I've just picked up a Mac mini refurb 2012 base model and sorting through my collection thought to just use iTunes as the complete hub under the TV with x2TB portable drives, controlled via numerous devices, streaming to and from it. In the household is:
iPad 4 128GB
IPhone 4 32GB
iPhone 4S 64GB
Galaxy Note 2 16 + 64GB
iPad Mini 16GB
The amount of work involved is vast. Is it worth the time and effort converting the 1TB I have of TV shows in avi and mkv to MP4/M4V?

Or should I just forget the whole setup and migrate over to streaming packages such as Amazon, Netflix and LoveFilm - upto trying spotify I was a staunch iTunes music collector (110GB) however Spotify has made me try all manner of music and reevaluate if I need to keep so much media in my direct control or just treat it as consumable.

Financially the cost of the mini, plus hard drives, plus the extra I spend on the top capacity device models would allow me to have 6-7 years of streaming from the above services.
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Last edited by Smeaton1724; Apr 3, 2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: .
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:02 PM   #2
mic j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeaton1724 View Post
For years I've been digital only - totally missed the blu ray release era, still have a few hundred DVDs in a box in the garage worth very little. Anyway in the last 4 years I've upgraded from a PS3 with external 320GB to a WDTV with 500GB, then 1TB and then 2TB. Flirted with a HP Microstation but hated the size, noise and windows.

Now I've just picked up a Mac mini refurb 2012 base model and sorting through my collection thought to just use iTunes as the complete hub under the TV with x2TB portable drives, controlled via numerous devices, streaming to and from it. In the household is:
iPad 4 128GB
IPhone 4 32GB
iPhone 4S 64GB
Galaxy Note 2 16 + 64GB
iPad Mini 16GB
The amount of work involved is vast. Is it worth the time and effort converting the 1TB I have of TV shows in avi and mkv to MP4/M4V?

Or should I just forget the whole setup and migrate over to streaming packages such as Amazon, Netflix and LoveFilm - upto trying spotify I was a staunch iTunes music collector (110GB) however Spotify has made me try all manner of music and reevaluate if I need to keep so much media in my direct control or just treat it as consumable.

Financially the cost of the mini, plus hard drives, plus the extra I spend on the top capacity device models would allow me to have 6-7 years of streaming from the above services.
IMHO (and as someone who has transcoded a few hundred dvd/BR to mp4), it is only worth it if you are going to watch them and watch them repeatably or you want a copy of something that is not available through the services you cite. I suggest you go through your boxes of dvds and pick out those items that meat the above criteria and transcode them. I think you will be surprised and how few you end up with.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:20 PM   #3
waw74
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look into plex, it's based on XBMC but works in a client / server model.

the server runs on your mac (or windows, linux, or a couple other options)

the player runs on your computer, iOS, android, roku, and some newer LG televisions. It also supports DLNA, so that covers a lot of other devices (i believe the WDlive included)


if your player can't handle the native file, the server will convert it as you watch it. you can also stream to outside your network, but the quality will be limited by your internet connection.

the client/server also allows you to stop watching on one device, and pick up on another.

there is also a feature (currently requires an extra fee) that will allow you to sync media to your iOS device.

--
the main thing people have problems with is file naming, but it's pretty simple.

the server and computer clients are free, the iOS and android clients are $5.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:40 PM   #4
JoeBlow74
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I have all my photos and Iphone4s videos shared by Itunes to my AppleTV3. I have transcoded my handfull of TV shows into MP4 along with all my movies. I stream them from my iMac. My two dozen Blu-rays are still sitting in my 400disk megachanger because I have nothing to play MKV 24p content. I suggest spending the time and effort to transcode all the DVD's into MKV and then from MKV to Apple format along with all the album art and metadata. You will have two separate libraries, but this will make you future proof and flexible. MKV will never go away and will always be a standard format. Trust me, when you are done, you will be happy. Having everything ready to play with a few button pushes is very cool. In the future when you get the HTPC bug, you can always play the same files with Openelec XBMC or some other media center software. Just make sure when you use Handbrake, add the Dolby Digital passthrough along with DTS passthrough for your audio streams. These are the more common audio codecs that most media center players play.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:53 PM   #5
JoeBlow74
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One final word. If you plan to digitize your DVD's, Spend the money and purchase Identify2. This is the best damn app on the app store. When you search for a movie in IMDB, you will see a TT5757473 at the top of the page where the WWW. is. Copy and past that 8 digit number into Identify2 when it says IMDB code and the app will fill in all your metadata for your movie.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 10:24 PM   #6
Uofmtiger
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I have MOG for music, so I can see your point about the music side of things. Personally, I still like owning certain artist CDs, but it has really cut down on the number of CDs I buy.

For movies, it really depends on how often you watch movies over and over and how many movies you would do that with. If it is ten movies, you might just rip those and have them available or keep them near your PS3.

I have a mini and love having all my stuff available via XBMC, but I don't know if I would go the same route today. There are so many movies available on Netflix that I haven't seen, it makes it less likely that I will want to watch very many of the movies I have seen already.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 07:35 AM   #7
mslide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeaton1724 View Post
Is it worth the time and effort converting the 1TB I have of TV shows in avi and mkv to MP4/M4V?
No, it's not worth it. These days, it's silly to build up a huge digital library of shows/movies especially when you're mainly talking about TV shows. How often do you really watch that stuff? Now, how much of that stuff is easily available on Netflix/Hulu/etc? How much is left? I'd bet it's not enough to bother. Even for movies you watch over and over I don't think it's worth it. I mean, how many movies are out there that you really watch more than 2 or 3 times?

I have about 5TB of movies on our HTPC in our home theater. If I were to do it again and start from scratch, I wouldn't bother going digital. I'd instead just buy a few nice binders to hold the DVDs/Blu-Rays and use an Apple TV for streaming. In fact, that's pretty much what we do now considering I stopped ripping stuff a long time ago.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 08:07 AM   #8
musicpenguy
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Originally Posted by mslide View Post
No, it's not worth it. These days, it's silly to build up a huge digital library of shows/movies especially when you're mainly talking about TV shows. How often do you really watch that stuff? Now, how much of that stuff is easily available on Netflix/Hulu/etc? How much is left? I'd bet it's not enough to bother. Even for movies you watch over and over I don't think it's worth it. I mean, how many movies are out there that you really watch more than 2 or 3 times?

I have about 5TB of movies on our HTPC in our home theater. If I were to do it again and start from scratch, I wouldn't bother going digital. I'd instead just buy a few nice binders to hold the DVDs/Blu-Rays and use an Apple TV for streaming. In fact, that's pretty much what we do now considering I stopped ripping stuff a long time ago.
It's not worth it for me anymore either - I opt to purchase movies and TV shows from iTunes instead though - ripping is way too time intensive and gave me too many headaches - trying to find that perfect encoding setting can make you go insane
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 09:01 AM   #9
Hail Caesar
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I am a film and tv series buff, so to me its worth it, especially if you intend on using iTunes. I dont have everything digitized for the sake of having. I collect great films and series.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 10:18 AM   #10
Smeaton1724
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Some brilliant well thought responses, thank you.

The purpose of the mac mini is a combination of central machine (the server on the cheap!), iBooks Author, Web dev, media pit and general duties done quietly. So moving everything over to iTunes would be an 'extra' and the conversion of files overnight would eliminate some of the pain.

I have tried Plex Server to a PS3 and it's ok, although I could just connect via USB (Cinavia bugs the hell out of me and I do like the full media center interface!). Tried XBMC 12.1 using an Apple Remote and while I like the software I get shutdown freezes and some bugs.

I have experienced some codec issues with OPlayer, related to licence format of rips, hence the thought to just go standard MP4/M4V and get it out of the way. I like mkv, it's the avi files that spoil it! I've noticed that all the latest downloads are in MP4.

Generally on the whole the WDTV system I have now is fine as is. It will share the Videos from the hard drives to OPlayer HD on the iPads and the vast majority, 98% are fine.

Onto the conversion/storage.
I've done my Movie collection, everything in M4V and used Identify 2 to match the metadata - that software is fantastic.

Realistically I think I should try to trim down and keep my collection at around 1TB for movies, TV and music, eliminate the dead wood, try a streaming service and work from there.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 11:35 AM   #11
Mike Valmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBlow74 View Post
One final word. If you plan to digitize your DVD's, Spend the money and purchase Identify2. This is the best damn app on the app store. When you search for a movie in IMDB, you will see a TT5757473 at the top of the page where the WWW. is. Copy and past that 8 digit number into Identify2 when it says IMDB code and the app will fill in all your metadata for your movie.
Oh, I would vehemently disagree that it's the "best damn app" or anything close. The copy-paste shouldn't even be necessary; it should give you a pick menu based on approximations of the filename, or a database query search as you type the name in. Compare to something like TuneUp which is far, far more automated and reliable. I'm extremely disappointed and wouldn't have wasted the money on it if I had known it was barely an improvement over metadata tagging through Subler.
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