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Fastest/Easiest way to change format?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kjvi5, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    I have a very large library of movies in my itunes library. They were all ripped using the ATV setting in Handbrake. Works fine (when my atvs are working that is). I had a gift certificate to best buy and wanted to get something for my daughter's room to just put a bunch of her movies on, but didn't want to drop the full price for another ATV (also the wireless signal in her room is bad).

    So I bought one of the Western Digital Media players, knowing that Best Buy is pretty good about returns even with opened packages and if I couldn't get it to work to my satisfaction then I could always bring it back.

    Visually and speed wise it seems to work fine, but as someone had pointed out, since my movies are all .m4v extension encoded for apple tv then on the WD player they show up as having no audio track.

    Is there any quick (or not ridiculously slow) way to take about 2 dozen of those files and convert them all at once to a format that would work? I'm guessing just basic .avi or whatever else might work.

    If not and I'm looking at having to re-rip every single one of her movies for this then I'm going to return it and not bother. But if there's an easier way than re-doing every movie through handbrake then I'll try it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    You don`t say weather your using a PC or Mac, if your using a PC then I`d recommend MediaCoder. It`s a batch transcoder and the best thing is if its just the audio track you need to change you can tell the program to leave the video alone and just transcode the audio making it very very quick. However if you on a Mac then I can`t help you, sorry.

  3. macrumors 6502a

    Just a quick question, what audio format are the files using because the WD site says it should support AAC audio. Also have you tried just changing the file extension from m4v to mp4, I had a few m4v files that would not play on my Popcorn Hour until I renamed them to mp4, just something to try.
  4. macrumors member


    I'm using an Imac. I'll try swapping the file extension and see if that works. You mean just going to the item in finder and changing everything that is .m4v to a .mp4, correct? It would be nice if it was that simple, and i hope you're right.

    Thanks for pointing me in a direction.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Yep, just try one and see, it`s a long shot but you never know. Another thing looking at the PC version of the HandBrake ATV preset it encodes the file with both an AAC and a AC3 audio track. Maybe you just need to select the right track on the WD? Is there a button on the WD remote to select audio tracks?
  6. macrumors member

    Actually changing the file extension to .mp4 worked! Thanks. It's a pain in the neck to go through 200 files and do that, but the machine works well when I do so I don't want to return it. The only negative is that I had been using this drive as my back up in case the one I use for my itunes/atv crashed and now that I'm changing the extensions I'm assuming it won't work again (although it looks like they are now quick time files).

    But as inexpensive as drives are these days I can get another on sale and use it for that.

    Thanks for the help.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Get a freeware app called Renamer4Mac (I think that's the name). It'll save you a lot of time. You can just say replace every m4v with mp4 and it'll have your 200 files done in a few seconds. Very handy.

  8. macrumors member


    Thanks. I downloaded that. It looks great, but it doesn't seem to have the option of specifying a specific location. I have 2 drives that have these .m4v files on them. I only want one of the drives changed to mp4. I'm concerned if I run the program with the replace it will re-do everything.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Use Automator.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    I am also using both a WDTV and an Apple TV to play my movies, so I have the same problem. If you are comfortable using the Terminal utility, there is an easy solution. Create two small shell scripts like the ones below. (For convenience, I created them in my media directory)

    cd /Volumes/MediaDrive/Media/Movies
    for f in *.m4v; do mv $f `basename $f .m4v`.mp4; done;

    cd /Volumes/MediaDrive/Media/Movies
    for f in *.mp4; do mv $f `basename $f .mp4`.m4v; done;

    Make them executable with this command in the Terminal window:
    "chmod +x rename2mp4 rename2m4v"

    You should then be able to double-click these files from the finder to move all your m4v's to mp4's and vice versa. (You might need to right click on them and tell the finder to "Open With" Utilities/Terminal.app, but I don't think this is necessary with recent versions of Mac OS X.)
  11. macrumors member

    Thanks. I'm not tech savvy enough to do most of what you listed, but I appreciate the help.

    I just ended up copying all my m4v's to another usb drive, then used the renaming program and changed all the extensions to mp4. And it worked like a charm. I have enough spare drives lying around from all my assorted projects and such that to have one that just has mp4's is fine.

    So far I like the WD player o.k. Not as much as my ATV for depth and range of usage, but also obviously since it doesn't have network capability, without the problems of access, drop outs, etc.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Download Name Mangler (free) and use the replace function to change all .m4v extensions to .mp4
  13. macrumors newbie


    You just drag files (or entire folders) to the app and it will add everything in that directory. Everything that would be renamed shows up in the window. What's nice is it gives you a preview of what the filename will be after changes even before you commit the change. Also don't forget to change it from filename to filename + extension (or something like that) since by default it won't touch your file extension.

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