Frontrow & ripped DVDs

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cosmichobo, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. cosmichobo, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015

    cosmichobo macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2006

    I currently use a G4 Mac Mini running FrontRow as my media centre, playing a myriad of AVI file formats residing on a WiFi connected WD 4TB Cloud. It's been a nice little workhorse the past few years, though lack of HD support is getting annoying. Mostly the files it plays are "SD" AVI files - ie nothing more than about 640x480 pixels.

    A portion of my AVI library also exists as DVDs in my cupboard, and both for improved image/sound quality, and access to the "extra features" on the DVDs, I'd like to rip them all and store them on the WD Cloud, and view via FrontRow.

    From what I've been reading, I see that I can't store them as disk images - they have to be VIDEO_TS folders.

    Firstly, are there any ramifications of stripping the VIDEO_TS folders out of the disk images? (I can't think of any... I know DVD Player can play either source... Just looking at all options.)

    Secondly, rather than storing the DVDs as VIDEO_TS folders, which means playing each one as an actual DVD, having to navigate menus, etc etc, can something (like Handbrake?) rip the content - without loss - and store as individual files?

    Thirdly, and least importantly for now, how do I make previews work? I read on Apple Discussions I think that you just have to put a file called "preview.jpg" into the _TS folder, but I tried that with 1 rip I've already got laying around, and it didn't work...

    Just trying to work this out...


  2. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2006
    So now we're getting over the lack of a new Mac Mini, can anyone answer this Q?
  3. Adz76 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Dagobah System
    TBH I'm unsure why this thread has gone unread....I can't really give definitive answers to all your questions but I can give you something that will help ( Hopefully ) Maybe the lack of posting is being caused by not many people using Front Row, I used to find it a great application but I think it was dropped a while ago which was a huge disappointment at the time.

    Sounds like you are fairly well versed in ripping, my recommendation is that storage is cheap....very cheap so take advantage of that and re rip all the library as a raw format. So any example film/ disc will become one folder. Several tools can do this ( I used to use Mac the Ripper or Rip It etc... ) Long term you will not only have a master backup but you'll never need to re rip the entire disc again unless you have some kind of hardware failure.

    This will future proof so as and when you want you can then rip multiple versions of a film and distribute in whichever format and quality you want to any given device you own, also if your hardware changes you can tailor the library to the devices.

    On your first point I would say yes there must be an affect of doing that, I can't answer specifically as it's not something I have done / tried. Perhaps someone else on here knows...

    You can rip using handbrake but you would need to IMO extract the main title from the disc, again I'm unsure if that is possible perhaps a trawl of the handbrake forums and other sites may enlighten you.

    Do you mean previewing in Finder or in Handbrake? If you are trying to get avi file types to preview in Finder I believe it won't work. In the old days getting avi's to work at all on a Mac involved adding additional software , whilst I have divx and they work on my Mac running Yosemite. The preview function within Finder is a no go, if you had the film in either mp4 of m4v it would work, just select the film and hit space bar.Handbrake previews are just there for testing a sample of a rip at your given settings as a test before committing to a full length rip.

    Maybe try a different media centre solution such as Plex or XBMC as a test? It sounds to me as though your library is due a refresh what is holding you back is the hardware, in an ideal world a newer mini would be fine to go with your library re ripped into a raw format, plus you could have m4v or mp4s in Plex or something else and probably achieve a more robust system with higher quality.

    If I recall i think the file type limitations within Front Row was one of the reasons I moved away ( other than Apple dropping it )

    Good luck on the rest of your answers!
  4. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    My i5 Mac MINi(late 2012) with 500GB HD and i5 Mac Mini(Late 2014) with 256GB SSD has MacXDVD Ripper Pro and Mac DVD Ripper Pro Apps loaded which makes the DVD ripping process a breeze.
  5. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2006
    G'day adz76,

    Thanks for the reply to my thread! :) I know it's common enough on bigger sites like this not to get a lot of replies Vs views, so I should have been more patient, but it still just drives me a bit crazy as surely some of those few hundred people should have been able to contribute to the conversation...

    Yep, I know my way around MacRipper/etc... Just haven't actually looked at using it en masse...

    I guess really it's just the choice of playing the DVD as a DVD (from inside FrontRow or whatever), or having the contents ripped out in individual files, likely stored still in folders for better categorising...

    I've actually just bought a 2007 2Ghz Core2Duo Mac Mini off eBay, so will be migrating to Intel finally for my HTPC...
  6. Adz76 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Dagobah System

    No worries Cosmichobo, that sounds like it will be more than up to task. Fingers crossed all goes well with your new setup! ;)

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