Strange MP4 file issues

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by He-Lob, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I recently purchased an AppleTV 2 and am in the process of ripping my DVD collection.

    I'm using Handbrake on an iMac. But to speed things up, I'm using DVDFab on a Windows XP laptop; DVDFab handles copy protections a bit better for me.

    Here's my question:

    I rip, for example - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - on DVDFab, selecting AppleTV as the output file type. I get an MP4 file. Just for fun, I add it to iTunes on the Windows machine, and it adds perfectly. Views perfectly, too. VLC on the Windows machine shows it, too.

    But when I transfer the file to my iMac, using a USB flash drive, I can't see the movie. Not with VLC. Not with Quicktime. And I can't even import it into my Mac iTunes.

  2. macrumors newbie

    Might there be some copy protection scheme still in place? You know, like when you purchase a song from the iTunes store, but can't move it to another computer?
  3. macrumors regular

    What happens when you select the file in Finder and drag it into iTunes?
  4. macrumors 68000

    Possibly. Do you have documentation from DVDFab to prove or disprove this.

    I use handbrake to make my mp4s of ripped DVD content, so I can't comment on what DVDFab does.

    Can you even see the file on the Mac? Can you do a "Get Info" and tell us what it shows? Is there info about the file you can provide from the Windows iTunes?
  5. macrumors newbie

    When I drag it into iTunes on my iMac (where I really want it), nothing happens. You know, you drag it into the iTunes window, let go of the button, and zip?

    But when I dragged it to the iTunes on the Windows XP machine, it went it just fine. And played well on that iTunes.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    I have noticed that windows is a lot more lenient when it comes to adding files in iTunes than OS X. However, the few files that windows allowed into iTunes that OS X rejected never played correctly on my ATV 2.

    I am guessing the movie file you are converting isn't in an iTunes friendly format (not 720p, etc.). That's just a guess, though, based on my experience.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Darn. I deleted the file.

    Instead of asking DVDFab to rip the movies into AppleTV format, I started asking it to rip into their "generic" format. Then I have to move the file into my iMac and get Handbrake to convert it to an .m4v file.


    Besides the reason I listed on my initial post (to speed things up), I'm having trouble using Handbrake (and Fairmount) when the disks are copy protected (as are most of the hot movies - Twilight, Harry Potter, Hancock, etc).

    With Hancock, Fairmont was able to create the video_TS folder, but when I imported it into Handbrake, it created a huge file, but I was only able to watch the menu (where you select "play movie" on a DVD player). It never went into the actual movie.
  8. macrumors 68000

    FWIW I just encoded the Harry Potter DVDs I own with Fairmount and Handbrake without issue. (Well, first attempt gave me ATV2 files which wouldn't play back on my ATVoriginal, but after a reincode to ATV presets, they play back like any other file. )

    Like you have said after encoding, I just drag the files to iTunes and it imports them.
  9. From A Buick 8, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    For what it is worth i have been using a simialr approach, for older movies i use MTR on my mac to rip the DVD, but for newer movies i have been using DVDFab on my lapTop. I Rip the movie only and let it save it as a Video TS file. Since the laptop is on the same network as my iMac i just transer the resulting movie only TS file to my imac and then let HB encode the file for the ATV. I use identify2 to tag and export into iTunes.

    I ran into the same issue when i tried to let DVDFab encode for the ATV.
  10. macrumors 6502

    How big is the final file and what format do you have your thumb drive set up as? If the file is larger than 4GBs, and you have the drive formatted for FAT32, it might be the limitation of the storage medium. Being that the source is DVD, I'm expecting that not to be the issue here, but was something I kept having issues with when I didn't realize my target drive was formatted as FAT32 (and dealing with HD source material).
  11. macrumors newbie

    Wow. EXACTLY the same way, except the connection from my laptop to my USB hard disk on the Airport Extreme Base Station isn't working yet. That's next.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Oh, and talk about all this pain in the neck, merely because iTunes won't accept a video_ts file. Sometimes Apple sucks.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Interesting. The thumb drive I use is an 8 GB. I did format it on the Windows laptop.

    I'll check next time to see if the ATV file from DVDFab is larger that 4GB.

  14. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    It is not too bad, I have done about 500 dvd's since October. You can try the program Ripit on your iMac it works pretty well even on newer Dvd's. Mac the ripper ( MTR) works well also if you pay for their newest version, but I find that one a pain to buy.

    You need to get the PC you are using DVDFab on networked and that will make the process faster. Then you can do several and then let them copy to the iMac over night. Then Que them up in Handbrake and let that run while you are at work. I found that I could do about 10 a day.
  15. macrumors newbie


    Will Ripit produce iTunes ready .m4v files? That would speed things up, although that would lock me into using iTunes for the future.

    Yeah, about getting the Windows laptop networked. I don't know much about networking, and this stuff confuses me. You don't know how much googling I had to do to get the usb hard disk to work through the AEBS. Took me 3 hours to figure it out. :D

    I'm retired, so about 10 a day is what I"m doing. My iTunes video library is up to about 95 movies. Pretty cool.

    My wife thinks I'm a stud. :cool:
  16. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    Ripit might produce an iTunes ready file (not sure though), but i really think your best bet is to use Handbrake. HB will give you the best consistency and use the Que in HB to do several at a time, I found that much easier.
    As far as being locked into using iTunes, once you commit to it, it really works very well. It took me awhile to convert my existing library over to it but now it is just a matter of doing any new DVD's as i get them. Setting up a home network is very easy using your iMac as the center. What OS are you running on your windows computer.
  17. He-Lob, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    I'm on Windows XP. It's a 5 year old laptop, but after reformatting its hd and reinstalling Windows, it's been great.

    On another topic, I just left the Apple store in town after having asked them how to get the windows laptop to recognize the USB hd on the AEBS. They said I can't get there from here, due to the differences in formatting on the hd. That I'd have to use an aftermarket solution (Macdrive) to get it to talk to it.

    Hmmm this doesn't sound right.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Reading this thread reminded me why I chose not to use an apple TV but to go with a Mac Mini running Plex media server instead. I have over 800 Gig of media files both Movies and TV series of all different file types and they all play seemlessly.

    I could not imagine being tied to Itunes and trying to convert all my files to be compatible.

    Since Plex is also available in the App store for IOS, I can also stream any media to my iphone with conversion done on the fly by Plex.
  19. macrumors newbie

    So I get home and research MacDrive. Many here on MacRumors claim it's buggy and may not be worth the hassle. :-(

    So I look once again at the Windows laptop, and lo and behold, I have an icon for my networked hard disk under My Computer! And I'm able to copy files from the laptop to that hard disk!

    I copied Godfather Part 2, and am Handbraking it right now. Let's see.

    This thread is turning into a blog.... :D
  20. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    Hope that works for you, I have windows 7 on the laptop I run DVDFab on and I had about the same experience. On my iMac it was there as a server so I just copy files over my network.
  21. macrumors 68030

    From A Buick 8

    Having pretty much started from scratch when I got the ATV, is what not a big deal, I was going to have to rip the DVD's anyway and using HB to make them iTunes compliant was not bad either because they take up less space that way and I can fit more on my FireWire drive.

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