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Apple TV Question, What About Movies Not From iTunes?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dsnort, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68000


    I'm looking at the Apple TV, but I'm not clear on one issue. What about movies I've ripped from DVD onto an external hard drive? Will these play on the Apple TV?
  2. macrumors G4

  3. macrumors 68030

    No, absolutely not. You'd have to convert them to a format iTunes/Apple TV supports, put them in your iTunes library, and then sync them over to the Apple TV.
  4. macrumors 65816


    I rip many of my DVDs using Handbreak and others into compatible format. I keep them on a seprate HD and simply direct them to iTunes without double loading. Once they are listed in iTunes they can be played on :apple:TV. Off the top of my head I don't remember the process of pointing to itunes. Ctrl/Shift/something. I have it on my notes at home.
  5. macrumors G3


    As long as they are encoded in .mp4 format.

    If you have ripped a lot of DVD's, then use VisualHub to convert them into .mp4 files.

    Otherwise, use HandBrake to convert your DVD's directly to .mp4.

    Also, you will want to tag your movies with synopsis and put in the cover art. Best application for this is MetaX.
  6. macrumors 68000


    Actually in order to create a small alias file that you can load in iTunes and which points to the actual video file you have saved on a different drive do this:

    1. Highlight the video file, mine are MP4.
    2. While pressing Command-Option drag the file into either the Music or Movies section of iTunes.
    3. Go to the Movies section of Apple TV in iTunes and check the box next to the movie entry that was created by your alias file.
    4. Press the Sync radio button at the bottom of the screen and a ruler bar will come up at the top of the screen, indicating that the movie is being synced to Apple TV.


    I don’t use VisualHub to convert video files to MP4 because you have to buy it. Instead I use a freeware program called ffmpegX. It’s not very intuitive but it works and, better yet, it’s free. You can get it here:


    I believe that Handbrake has to have access to a VIDEO_TS file before it can work its magic and create an M4V file. That said, if you have either a DVD or the VIDEO_TS file of a movie you want to convert, Handbrake is marvelous. But if you want to convert avi, divx xdiv, etc., files you’ll have to use ffmpegX, VisualHub, or something similar.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Use the 'Control' key when you sink your movie from an external drive to iTunes to signal the position. It will not copy the file. This way you have the movie in iTunes so :apple:TV can see it.
  8. macrumors 68000


    The way I get iTunes to recognize movie files that are on my FireWire drive is to open Finder and drag the movie’s icon from the hard drive folder in which it resides to the Movies page in iTunes while holding down the Command and option keys. This creates a very small alias in iTunes, which points to the much larger movie file on the FW drive.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    It's the 'option' key that performs this function, not 'control'. 'Control' gives you the contextual menu when you click, like right-clicking. Someone else said to use command-option, but I seem to only need to use the option key to create the alias in iTunes.

    The other option for the OP is to unselect "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" in the iTunes preferences, under 'advanced' and 'general', then just use the 'Add to Library' command under the 'File' menu in iTunes.
  10. macrumors 68000


    It was I who said to press and hold Command-option while using finder to drag a movie file’s icon from an external drive to iTunes. That’s what Apple Help tells you to do, so I haven’t tried it with just the option key.

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