Digitize my DVD collection?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by HiFiGuy528, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    I need your thoughts on this matter. I have about 100 DVDs. Should I digitize them onto a hard drive so I can access my music & movie on one Mac? What are the pros & cons?

    Thank you!
  2. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    Unless you need to be able to watch all 100 at a moments notice on a video iPod, there is no need to rip them. If your in your living room with an Apple TV, why not just pop in the DVD. Plus it maybe higher quality depending on whether or not you compress the DVD rip.

    Ripping a few of the movies you like a lot to have with you is fine, but I wouldn't say it's worth the effort or time to rip 100 DVD's.
    DVD's will also last much longer than a hard drive.
  3. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2008
    Go for it

    Im going to have to go the other way on this and say you should do it. I was in the same situation as you at the beginning of summer and have just about the same number of dvds. It took a while to get em all ripped, but the coolness of being able to sit on the sofa and pull up any dvd I own at a moments notice on my :apple:tv that it is being streamed to made it all worth while.
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    The main con is hard drive space/cost. You can get a decent amount of stuff with compressed mpeg4 files, but straight rips will suck up hard drive space like a mother.
  5. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    While I do agree that is seems pointless to rip a movie from the DVD when you can just pop in the DVD player, one benefit of ripping is being able to stream to multiple rooms. I have an AppleTV in the living and I plan to buy another for the bedroom in the next couple months. I rip most tv shows for the AppleTV and I would like to fall asleep to episodes playing, but now I have to go get the discs from the living room. It would be great to be able to access the library from both rooms.

    If I were to rip my dvd collection, I'm not sure I would do every movie I have. Out of the 100+ I have, maybe 30-40 are ones I could watch again and again. I'm sure I will feel more of a desire to do it once I have the second AppleTV.
  6. Purpdust macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    I would like to Convert all mine but it will take time. I have a Moderate Collection @600 Titles So I will also need more space as well if I do all. For now I will start with the DVD I watch the most.

    On a side note, it would be cool if Itunes let you stream from the DVD on the Computer to the :apple:TV :rolleyes:
  7. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I guess, but if I were going to do that, it'd just be easier to have a DVD player connected directly to the TV.
  8. bergmef macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2005
    Southeast of Baltimore, USA
    I converted mine for the sole reason to get rid of all those dvd cases. Get a few hundred of those and there goes a bookcase. All mine are in the garage now. Plus no worries about damage to the disk.
  9. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    I would also vote for converting them over and dumping the DVD's. It's great to have them all available at the push of a button. It also frees up room for many things (More Equipment!) :)
  10. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Exactly. All of my DVDs are now in a box and stowed away out of sight. Now, when I want to watch a movie, I just scroll through the ATV menu until something catches my eye. I also find that I watch snippets of a lot of movies now. I'll put on one of the LOTRs for a couple of cool battle scenes, then maybe watch a bit of another movie, and then maybe a ripped TV show. Doing that with DVDs sucks.
  11. Rich1963 macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    Couldn't agree more, spice weasel. Space savings in your living room, convenience... It's all good. And with the psy-rdo implemented in Handbrake .9.3, all of my movies look just as good on my 50" plasma.
  12. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    there is no downside to converting them. just do a little at a time. convenience and space are the main reasons for me. also, many of my kid's dvds are prone to damage so it's nice to have a backup.
  13. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2008
    Columbia, MD

    Since I encoded all of my DVDs I find that I watch a lot of my favorite parts of movie now (love skipping right to the Rocky vs Clubber Lang fight scene)! It is also a huge plus if you add chapter titles to your movies.
  14. dissdnt macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    I was thinking of doing this too. I used to love having a dvd collection but it just collects dust. Would be nice to rip them all and have them accessible with a click of a button.

    I'd probably rip them into iso and use boxee or something. You'd have all the features of your dvd, same quality etc.

    Just a thought.
  15. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    ISOs and _TS folders take way too much space. Plus, you have all those annoying previews, FBI warnings, etc. to get through. Just use HandBrake to transcode to mp4. You save a ton of space and it looks pretty much exactly the same as the original DVD.
  16. HiFiGuy528 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for all your inputs. I just got Boxee this morning so I don't know much about it yet.

    I feel that now I have all my music on the MacBook, I listen to more music than ever before. I think this will be the same with DVDs. Being able to box away the discs would be nice too.

    A few questions for you guys.

    - What are you using to rip? I want to have all the DVD features on the rip. (worth it or worth less?)

    - What are you using to store it & do you keep a back-up? What size HD?

    - Time spent on ripping?

    Found this to be interesting.
  17. JW008 macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    As someone who is going through this process right now, it takes more effort than might be expected. I've got a small-to-mid size library of about 200 movies and about 60 seasons worth of TV shows. Both my Macs have been encoding 24 hours a day for the past five days and I'm about half way through my movies.

    My suggestion is to do it right the first time. Take the time to research quality settings, make sure you pay attention to some of the smaller details (i.e. which movies have subtitles that you need to double-check are being encoded), and tag every field correctly. This should save you a lot of time in the future.

    Another suggestion I have is using Handbrake's new Apple Universal preset. You might not have an iPhone/iPod or an AppleTV currently, but don't discount the possibility that you'll be getting one in the future and would like to play videos on it. The only things that sucks more than encoding all your DVDs once is encoding them twice.

    Also, don't underestimate the amount of time it takes you to get everything in order. I've got both my computers running 24 hours a day, but I still have to make sure I've got enough movies queued up to keep it running, plus tagging the video files sometimes takes quite a while. I've noticed I'm spending two to three hours a night getting everything looking good in iTunes and making sure that everything is ready for the next day of encoding.

    Finally, make sure you've got the storage space. The DVD files ripped straight from the disc can add up quickly on your internal hard drive. So even if you have an external hard drive that you're planning on putting all these videos on, you've still got to make sure you leave yourself enough space on your internal hard drive to do the actual encoding. Make sure you're deleting the VOB files as soon as you're finished encoding the movie; they take up quite a bit of space.

    Obviously, I think all of this is worth it to ensure that I have video files that look good and play on all my devices, but it's not as simple as it often sounds.
  18. JW008 macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    1) Mac The Ripper for the ripping. http://www.mactheripper.org/
    Handbrake for the encoding. http://handbrake.fr/
    MetaX for the tagging. http://www.kerstetter.net/page53/page54/page54.html

    Edit: I didn't see the "want to have all the DVD features" part of your post originally. I'm not sure exactly how to do this since I encode just the movie. To answer your "worth it or worthless" question: I watch those extras (at most) one time and never think of them again. Do you really want to worry about the hassle and the hard drive space for them? If you watch them over and over I'd say "yes." If not, you just have to decide if it's worth it for you.

    2) I bought a terabyte hard drive which should more than suit my purposes. It's looking like I'll have 250-300GB left after I'm finished encoding. I don't back it up, even though I probably should. I've got the physical DVDs of everything I encode, so I think of those as my back-ups.

    3) I've got both my Macs (an iMac and a unibody MacBook) running 24 hours a day. I've noticed that each does about eight or nine movies a day (haven't started the TV Shows) depending on the file size.
  19. wrkngclasshero macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2008
    Columbia, MD
    I would have to agree with JW008

    Unfortunately I am reencoding my movies for the second time (and mine are going much slower than his are). When I did most of my encoding it was on 0.9.2 and there was no universal setting.

    The new settings look better and take less space.

    It pays to do it right the first time!!
  20. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I have ripped most of my film noir library and some others, using MTR at first and later RipIt. I have encoded them using Handbrake for use on my :apple:TV, but I really want something that can use the actual rips themselves (video_ts folders with full menu support and extras). To me it would be well worth the extra hard drive space to do this, but so far I haven't really found anything satisfactory for the purpose. FrontRow can do what I want, but it has no sorting capability, and this gets old real fast with a large library, and also requires a full Mac dedicated to the purpose hooked to the tv; there are not a lot of alternatives to FrontRow that I have found either. I have XBMC on an old Xbox that works pretty well, but I hate the cumbersome setup and limitations of the hardware (loud, no remote on/off switch, 10/100 Ethernet only, etc). I have tried XBMC and Boxee on the :apple:TV but they both have far too many problems right now, and don't work nearly as well as the Xbox. I might try Popcorn Hour, but I have heard that the software is buggy. The Western Digital TV may ultimately be the best solution after a few firmware updates. I am going to continue ripping my dvd collection in the hopes that something will materialize.
  21. Sonicjay macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Ric3000 obviously does not have children ;)
  22. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    I sure hope I don't. ;)
    What I meant was that for archival purposes, not durability a HD will on average last about 5 years, unless you unplug it and store it. A DVD will last much longer. (Unless of course, you have kids)
  23. JPDeckers macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2008
    I archived my DVDs to be able to play them from any location in my home (AppleTV w/ every TV).

    Had the same questions as you, so:

    I (now) rip them all to .ISO . This stores all my DVD w/ all features , languages & subtitles (I want no or english subtitles , my gf want dutch ones), and allows me to later on (if ever needed) to convert them on-the-fly on serverside.

    I used to store them in VIDEO_TS folders, but this turned out not to be fully compatible w/ Boxee in the way I wanted it to be, as well as in the end I think ISO is better as a backup.
    Created a quick script to convert all old DVD's-folders (back) to ISO, which managed to convert 95%, had to re-rip the remainders.

    My backups are the DVDs stored away in the garage. To allow for server side processing as well as storage space needed, I went for a QNAP 509 w/ 5x1.5 TB disks (in RAID 5), so 5.4 TB of usable storage. I have an odd 600 DVDs, by the time I need more space I hope that 2 TB HDDs are available.

    Half an hour per DVD on average, I think, including copying them to the NAS etc. I am able to work at home often, so have another laptop on my desk dedicated to ripping DVDs. Just have to juggle disks every 30 minutes.
  24. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    So what do you use to rip them to .ISO format?
  25. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    As others have said, I love having them at the click of a button. I have ripped two hundred over the past month or so. Doing them as I have time.

    The wife loves it. I ripped most of her movies first. If she is happy, I am happy.

    I am quickly running our of space thou. I have a server setup in the media closet. I am looking for a new solution for space. If you head over to avscience.com and look through the home theater forum at what some people are building it is breath taking. 40 terebytes of space!! :eek:

    I won't be going that big but I want more space. I am looking at a eleven bay solution with eleven 1 terebyte drives.

    So it can get expensive. But you can just had externals also.

    So to sum it up, I think it is worth it.

    p.s.... I have long since done away with the cases. I have a metal case with all my movies in it and have a dvd database that lets me see all my dvd's on a whim. So if I want to watch something I find the movie, tells me were the slot is and I am off and watching. With my apple tv I skip the pulling of the movie. It is now just find and play! Love it...

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