Does anyone else have anxiety about building a large iTunes video library?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Damien, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. Damien macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2004
    iTunes Video Story is expensive but convenient when you're in the Apple Ecosystem. The content is accessible via iOS, Apple TV and your Mac. You don't need to store it on a NAS system and can access it from everywhere. The season passes are also very handy.

    However does anyone else worry about purchasing content on the store that you would want to keep around long-term? 'Box Sets' of TV Shows for example?

    I worry about Apple or the content provider pulling content from the store and it no longer being available, I worry about trapping myself into the ecosystem that I would refrain from getting an Android device because it wouldn't play 'my' collection. I hate iTunes and it's a rubbish program for me to use to play videos on a Windows PC when I do use one.

    The dream scenario is Apple remove DRM from the videos as they did with music all those years ago. The more realistic scenario is Apple eventually split Music and Video into their own, separate, applications accessible on Android, Mac, Windows and so on with much lighter clients so we can access our content in more places more easily. Compare Spotify to Apple Music on the desktop and you'll see what I mean. Although that still leaves the risk the content gets pulled.

    Anyway I want to know your thoughts to help better inform my own. Are you building a large iTunes collection or do you also worry about the ecosystem?
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    It the main reason why I went with a NAS and plex. I had 100+ iTunes purchased videos and lost several which made me pull the plug. It's also the reason why I didn't switch from match to Apple Music.
  3. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    If you are willing to wait, I don't find the iTunes store expensive at all. They have discounts all the time. I don't know of any legit source that is significantly less expensive (yes, there is the gray market for digital copy codes, but strictly speaking it's a violation of the licensing terms).
    That's one of the advantages of iTunes over the other digital providers: You can download and backup your files if you want to. That said, I have never "lost" a single movie from iTunes, so I'm not too worried about that. I do keep local copies around, but it's mostly for convenience (e.g. so I can quickly copy a few TV seasons to the iPad when traveling).
    I'd say you worry too much. ;) It's just movies, not irreplacable heirlooms.
    I'm not worried, especially when I look at the alternatives. I used to collect DVDs and later Blu-rays, only to throw many of them out later because I barely watched them and they took a lot of space. Out of the digital sources, I have far less trust in the long term prospects of the other stores than in iTunes', and none of them allows to make local backups of your content ...
  4. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005

    I was but really no longer I'm pretty firmly entrenched in the echosystem, I prefer the phones and tablets and Computers of Apple over the competition, I've tried android and cannot see ever going back to it, but if you want to be independent got to Amazon or Vudu, they are on all platforms and you cannot go wrong with that
  5. norbinhouston macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    Remember when Steve Jobs said that the Mac was going to be the hub of our digital lives? Well, it seems that Apple is now taking it to the cloud. I can see the advantages but also the disadvantages. We don't truly own any content if you go totally cloud. You are at the whim of Apple. I guess I'm just old and set in my ways, but I really prefer the old analogy of having one central home computer as my permanent "hub." I control my content.
  6. eliehass macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2008
    I have a pretty big iTunes Video library. I have around 20 TB of network storage as my backup in case anything gets pulled from the store, but I also utilize iCloud to watch my content when I'm out of the house (I bring my Apple TV with me when I travel, and I access movies and tv shows on my iPhone).

    I have not had any concerns and the cost has not been great compared to buying Blu-Ray box sets (plus I can get episodes as they air, as opposed to waiting until the Season ends).

    I would like DRM to be removed, similar to what happened with music, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
  7. mostlycharlie macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2015
    I have never really kept a big movie library, as I simply don't watch a lot of movies repeatedly. I think my movie library right now only has about 50, and most of those are kids movies. It's a mix of iTunes movies and movies that I've ripped from DVD and BluRay. I don't really worry about being locked into iTunes, since video formats change every ten years or so (VHS - DVD - BluRay) and I figure that once 4K becomes more ubiquitous, I'll have to re-buy a lot of stuff and re-evaluate how I want to get it -- whether through Apple or someone else.
  8. eliehass macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2008
    When apple introduced 1080p content, you were able to upgrade from 720p to 1080p for free. I'm wondering what the upgrade process will be once they introduce 4K content.
  9. TJ82 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2012
    Gave up on it. Revelation hit me a few years ago.

    Why build a small music library when I already live in a huge one.
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    I have a large library in iTunes, but mostly purchased content from elsewhere - apple store is generally more expensive than people like amazon. I don't want to be tied into apples eco system (that's creaking) either. Subscription to prime and things like thats a good use for cloud but its a treadmill you cant get off.
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Different reasoning. I don't worry about the ecosystem, I worry about getting bored. I have a huge record collection, and I listen today and enjoy music that I bought in the 80's, 90's and so on. I can listen to it again and again, as long as I find the time. I don't regret at all spending lots of money on it.

    I don't get that with videos. I can't watch the same video twice. So when I feel like it, I rent a video, and after I watched it it is gone. Maybe I want to watch it again in five years time, but probably not. If I want to watch it again, I rent it again, and by that time it is likely cheaper anyway.
  12. dearfriendx macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I've stumbled upon websites where they sell iTunes movie redemption codes for super cheap. For example: I just got Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials for $3 where on iTunes it's $14.99. Or plenty of Disney movies like Inside Out for $5 where on iTunes it's $19.99.

    Since discovering this my iTunes movie and tv show library has grown so much. Yeah they have TV seasons too. Like I just got the entire Sopranos series for $9 also. :)
  13. shk718 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2007
    your assumption is that Amazon, Vudu or whomever will continue to make apps for other platforms. Amazon currently doesn't have an app for the new apple tv (rumored to make one - but none out yet) and Google refuses to support anything Microsoft. I do not believe there are any guarantees with online media. I know apple won't be going anywhere anytime soon so I tend to trust them.
  14. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    I started to build a big iTunes Movie library and then it hit me- most movies I only watch once every year or two.

    No reason to buy a copy of The Godfather for $15 when I can just rent it from Apple for $2 at a pop, would cover me for 8 years on that particular title. And if I wound up finding it on HBO or Showtime via DVR or their apps, probably would cover me for another 7 years there.

    Movies aren't like Music. You don't experience them multiple times week, month, or year. You already have a large iTunes Movie collection- just spend the $2 whenever you like.

  15. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I don't disagree with this argument, but the problem is that most rentals are more expensive (e.g. The Godfather in HD is $4), so it's harder to justify compared to just purchasing the movie, especially when they are discounted (e.g. recently the entire Godfather trilogy was on sale for $9.99). Also, you cannot rent TV shows on iTunes ...

    BTW, has a nice tracker for price reductions on iTunes:
  16. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    I don't purchase iTunes movies or movies from any other digital source because they all try to lock you into their system. I want the freedom to move my library to something else if I want to, which I recently did when I switched to Plex. I don't mind purchasing music through iTunes because it's DRM free and I can easily move it to something else in the future.

    I like Apple products and all but nothing lasts forever. There will come a day when I no longer consider Apple products to be the best just like I moved on from other products in the past. When that day comes, I don't want to give up my movies.

    Thus, I'm sticking with physical media when it comes to movies. I also like that owning DVDs/BluRays gives me another backup.
  17. northy124 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2007
    With films I stick almost exclusively to Blu-ray (or DVD for films that don't get the pleasure of a BD release, many German and Russian films), some come with iTunes/UV codes which is useful and I use although I largely use the codes with UV providers than iTunes as I prefer the multi-platform compatibility for films.

    With TV shows I do go with iTunes, I spend roughly $300/yr on the various shows I watch which ends up being cheaper than cable when you tally it up per month, $25/mo on iTunes season passes and $23/mo on 150mb/s fibre totals $48/mo which is cheaper than cable which used to set me back $120/mo without internet and a bunch of channels I didn't watch.

    Do I worry about not being able to see the show again? I do actually but I highly doubt that it'll happen as there have been films that were removed from the iTunes store and I still had access to them (they then came back anyway) so I'm not that fussed, especially as I save $1,140/yr.
  18. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    I own over 400 movies on iTunes, and I currently use zero bytes on data storage with no need of a NAS. I love my current setup because I never have to worry about storage space like a lot of people do. If you're concerned about content providers "pulling the plug", let me say that out of that 400+ purchased titles, only one title got lost because of that. It was a concert movie from the Chemical Brothers called "Don't Think" and sure that made me angry when it happened. But again, that was one title.

    A little more worrying concern for me are that some titles get the iTunes Extras upgrade and the studios are *******s and sell the title as a completely different version on the iTunes Store so your movie doesn't get the extra content unless you repurchase it. It's very uncommon but I've actually repurchased maybe half a dozen titles because of new iTunes extras.

    But actually the most worrisome thing for me is the future. When 4K ultimately arrives, I hope we can upgrade to it for a fee, but I know I won't hold my breath :oops:
  19. boston04and07 macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2008
    Hmm. I've never worried about this before, and I have an ever-growing iTunes library, all purchased through iTunes. (Mostly TV shows). I've never had something pulled (yet), although once, a TV series I was working on got pulled from the store when I was in the middle of it. That was super annoying, but the episodes I'd already purchased were still accessible to me via the cloud and I could keep watching them without a problem. That was once, out of like, six years of using iTunes for TV shows and movies. And the benefits of having my stuff accessible anywhere I am, without having to mess with expensive NAS devices and whatnot, way outweighs any potential downsides for me.

    Personally I love it. Probably 80% of my TV viewing now happens through iTunes, and it's still less than my cable bill used to be. Plus, it has the advantage that I get to keep what I watch, and re-watch it whenever I want on any of my Apple devices. With that, Netflix, and Hulu, I don't miss cable at all. I'm thinking about setting up some type of antenna solution for local news broadcasts, but other than that, I'm good. No anxiety here! :)
  20. twobelowpar macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2013
    I used to feel that way but the more I redeemed digital copies, the more convenient it got to browse through my library via ATV, especially once we had kids and loaded up on the Disney movies. Even then, I still mainly kept to Blurays until I discovered the digital copy code marketplace. Now as a buyer and seller, it's easier than ever to get my hands on almost any movie in either iTunes or UV format. However, for all my favourites, I'll always stick to the best physical format available. Examples: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Dark Knight Trilogy, LOTR, etc. regardless of whether or not they include a code.
  21. o0OBillO0o macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2015

    Still users don't need plex or a NAS.

    Ingredients of minimum requirements:
    1 Apple Computer running iTunes
    2 External Drives (RAID preferred but not required)
    1 iOS Device
    1 AppleTV
    1 AirPort Extreme

    Remote App for iOS
    iTunes with home sharing enabled (file menu)

    The two hard drives are for the media drive and a TimeMachine (not TimeCapsule) drive of the first.

    Move your iTunes library to the Media drive. Enable the TimeMachine drive to do back ups of the Media drive.
    Import all your movies from DVD, Blurays, and Digital purchases.
    Enable home sharing on the AppleTV, iOS devices, and anything else that will use your library.

    If you need remote accessible media, get Mac OS X server and enable VPN. Currently with OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 home sharing is broken across a VPN (Virtual Private Network), but it works great for other OS X 10.11 Apple Computers.

  22. TrenttonY macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2012
  23. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I have about 1100 movies that I have converted over the years. No way would I ever purchase this many from iTunes. Many of my movies were purchased at a very cheap cost to me. I currently have them on a NAS, plus using Plex. They are also backed up on other drives as I put to much work into converting them for them to be suddenly lost. I will not lock myself into iTunes for video content.

    Pretty sure that is just me, but at least I am confident I will always have everything I have converted.
  24. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the sliver scream
    I'm constantly backing up and will continue to once the new machine arrives tomorrow. I'm not worried about the many songs I've purchased. It's the movies.

    For the type of films I enjoy, the majority are not released on iTunes and I still need to burn / convert actual discs. That said, with Celestial now releasing Shaw Brothers films on iTunes at a price I can deal with (though Apple tax makes it more expensive than Google etc.)), I am glad I can continue to buy these at a faction of what I was paying for the original Hong Kong dvds.

    I'm pretty sure I'll have my favorites around on some device or drive. I think only one album vanished from iTunes form the time I bought part of it there and when I went go complete my album last year (only to find it was pulled from the store.)
  25. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    It's not just you I do the same. NAS was just a much nicer, slicker central and independent solution for me rather than the external drives and the whole pain of that. plus its much more scaleable. I don't use plex however as all my streaming is through homeshare, but i can use DNLA direct to the NAS if i really wanted to (I don't recall the last time i did however).

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