Has anyone switched from buying blu-rays to strictly itunes? How's it working for ya?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Soulweaponry, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #1
    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?
     
  2. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #2
    I buy Blu-ray when it's a great deal.

    Same for digital downloads as well. Been buying less movies in general though.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    "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.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #5
    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!
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012

    macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #7
    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?
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #9
    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.
     
  10. HobeSoundDarryl, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012

    macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #10
    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 :apple:TV using these tools.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #11
    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".
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #12
    I rarely see DVDFab HD Decryptor mentioned, which is another well-maintained and free option, if you don't actually need an .mkv.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    CrAkD

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    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?
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #14
    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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