How Can I Store a DVD Video Collection on a Power Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Jeanne C, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Jeanne C, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011

    Jeanne C macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    #1
    I am caring for my father who has limited mobility these days.

    He has a large collection of Video DVD's ... Several thousand hours at least ...

    He has a Dual Core 2 GHz Power G5 with 8 GB DDR2 SDRAM and two 1000 GB (Hitachi Enterprise) Hard Drives.

    Each Hard Drive has two partitions. One 250 GB and one 750 GB on each 1000 GB Hard Drive. The computer runs with OS 10.5.8.

    The 250 GB partitions have all the software that runs the computer on them. He works on one 250 GB partition ("PRIMARY") and archives everything in that partition to the other 250 GB partition ("Backup") using a software program called "SuperDuper!"

    The two 750 GB partitions on the hard drives are simply labeled Primary and Backup "MEDIA." Both of them are completely empty.

    These "Media" partitions were apparently created to provide storage space for his DVD video collection, which consists of documentaries upon history and science, and college lecture courses on just about every subject in the world.

    The problem is that he does not know how to store the DVD's on the computer.

    He indicates that he thinks some sort of "video compression and storage" software program would be necessary to do this, but he doesn't have any idea of what software program he would need to accomplish this.

    MY QUESTION: Is there any way that I can load all of these DVD's onto the computer, so he can simply access an archive for whatever he wants to watch. His ultimate objective is to build a video library that his grandchildren can access to help them pursue their educations.

    Presently, we have to put each DVD disk into the player one at a time, and it gets to be a daunting task to keep track of them all.

    This is the first time I've made a post to MacRumors, so I'm not exactly certain if this is the most appropriate place to make my inquiry.

    Any guidance you can provide to us will be greatly appreciated.

    Jeanne
     
  2. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #2
    Handbreak is a good free solution if they are unencrypted DVD's.
    Ripit will take care of DVD's with encryption, but you have to pay for it. I think it's around $25. I purchased it in one of the MacUpdate bundles with a bunch of other software.

    As for cataloging and organizing the movies, you could rip them to mp4 files and put them in iTunes. I'm sure there is a better solution out there than that, but it may be the easiest.

    Anyone else out there have a good movie sorting solution?
     
  3. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    Handbrake + VLC. Set it for ATV2 and let em rip. They'll playback on any iOS device and will be about 700MB per hour.
     
  4. Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Scottsdale, AZ
    #4
    I sincerely appreciate your responses to my inquiry ...

    So if I understand this correctly, "Handbreak" and "Ripit" are software programs that will facilitate the transfer of video from a DVD disk directly onto a hard drive for a cost of about $25. I don't understand most of the abbreviations in your responses, but I'm sure they'll have some sort of meaning in context of utilizing the software, once I look it up.

    If my math is correct, with 700 MB of space required to put an hour of video onto the hard drive it would take just under 1.5 GB for two hours of video storage. That seems like it would fill up a 750 GB partition rather rapidly, and I'm certain that there's well over 2000 hours of video on these disks.

    My father says that I can store them on "firewire" drives that are as big as the drives in the computer itself, without end. Sure hope he's right!

    Certainly, the project seems worth while ... because there's an abundance of information in these videos ...

    So, now that I know we could do it, my follow up question would be:

    What's the best "Set it and Forget it" method for doing it?

    I have no problem spending a couple hundred dollars ...

    If there's something out there that works better so I don't have too ... Great!

    How dearly I love the words "User Friendly."

    Thanks again ... Jeanne
     
  5. Soura2112 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    #5
    Firewire

    Yes you can put the movies on a external drive except it will be more difficult to get to iTunes. What everyone said is correct, handbreak, etc. Handbreak should work with almost every movie, especially ones made before 2010, 2011, but most will work just fine with handbreak.
    If you can't add a new internal drove, say 2TB, then I would put all the movies that don't fit on the main hard drive and put them on an external, then just move around the movies as they are watched, say you watch 10 movies, after your done with 10, move them to the external and bring 10 new ones into iTunes.
    From the situation you speak of an AppleTV may be good for what your doing, unless the computer screen is near by. I'm just thinking of the easiest way possible. The GBs do add up, and the rip for all those movies will take some time, unless you have multible macs around, when I do a lot of handbreak I will use 3 computers to speed things up.
    Handbreak is great, just don't mess around with the default settings, otherwise the files could get larger then needed. Also beware of TV series for you need to do each episode by itself. It's quick but tedious depending on how many shows your doing.
    Good luck, (plus I sure others can chime in with other options, my way is not the only way, nor others)
     
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    You have two options: rip the DVDs in their native format (MPEG-2), or rip them and convert to H.264.

    Handbrake does the latter, and at around 700MB/hour, the picture quality will be almost as good as the DVD original. The downside is it take quite some time on a G5 Power Mac.

    The faster alternative is to rip the DVDs in their native format. The downside is it will require about four times as much hard drive space as converting to H.264.
     
  7. Jeanne C, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Unfortunately, some A/C issues arose in the middle of this heat wave that derailed my ability to attend to this thread.

    Subsequently, I’d like to follow through with a couple of observations and questions related to it.

    After reviewing various software applications that posters have mentioned here, Handbrake appears to the only viable, though unsupported, software option that is available for transferring DVDs to a Mac G5 running OS 10.5.8. Whether this will be practical, given the G5’s limitations, remains to be seen. I’d like to try it this weekend to see; however, there are a couple of questions lingering in my mind regarding the process.

    First, I don’t understand how the iTunes application ties together with videos. Perhaps this will be clear once I get things rolling with Handbrake. My impression from reviewing these software programs is that Handbreak and VLC work together in some sort of an intuitive fashion.

    Second, we have two 800 GB “Media” partitions. My dad says he intended to use these as “Scratch Space” for video storage, and Firewire drives for backing them up. Since all these partitions have in them is a folder entitled “Desktop” and they don’t have an OS system loaded onto them they cannot be used to start-up the computer.

    What I’m wondering is how would you use these partitions to record and playback video?

    Would you record directly to these partitions … drag and drop items in them after they have been recorded on the start-up drive?

    Would there be some benefit to loading the operating system directly onto these drives?

    Also, I’m wondering what the best approach would be for making back-up copies of these videos. My dad says that he uses “SuperDuper” to back up his “Primary Working Drive,” but he thinks it would take hours on end for this software program to back up videos.

    Certainly, Soura2112’s suggestion about watching videos via an AppleTV system seems like an excellent idea. We already have an AirPort Base Station that provides wireless signals for our ROKU box and Internet Television, and we have several HDMI ports free for an AppleTV receiver.

    Many thanks again to all who have helped me get acquainted with these subjects …

    Jeanne
     
  8. Soura2112 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    #8
    Apple TV

    As for iTunes the reasons I mentioned that is because Apple TV finds the movies via iTunes. There may be another way around iTunes that I don't know.

    If your watching right from the computer then you have many ways to view the movies. Last year I upgraded from the G5 to a new Mac Pro, I don't see many problems except speed when it comes to the programs.

    Good luck
     
  9. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #9
    A trial run is a good idea. If it turns out Handbrake takes too long to be fesible, Google 'MacTheRipper 2.6.6'. That will copy the DVD without the conversion. You can open the folder it creates in Apple DVD Player or in VLC.

    Handbrake makes use of some of VLC's inner workings.

    There's really no need for partitions. And a 'scratch disk' isn't really appropriate/related to this kind of thing. But if these partitions are already set up and you don't want to change them, you can either...

    or

    Might as well do the latter.

    As for backing up: there's an incremental backup option in SuperDuper that only copies what has changed. It takes a moment to check what has changed but it'll be quicker than you determining by hand.
     
  10. Jeanne C, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I see ... Apple TV utilizes iTunes as a video player ... That's so cool, because it will allow someone to watch videos on TV via a computer application, leaving the computer free for other business ... and at the same time it will expand our television viewing options ...

    Haven't missed the cable company in the slightest since we "Cut the Cord!"

    I take it that this would not compress the videos ... merely make 1:1 copies ... but would do so much faster ...

    Seems like we're stuck with the partition scheme at this point ... if we don't want to "Nuke and Pave" the drives as my dad says ...

    Also, Keith, regarding what you said about 'dragging and dropping' items into these partitions ... would you put those into the "Desktop" folder or just drop them into the partition? Seems like all of these processes offer a bit of latitude for different approaches, but I'm curious as to the approach you'd take ...

    Nice to know that "SuperDuper" could facilitate the copy process, as it sure is a wonderful application when it comes to backing up the "Working Drive."

    Thanks again ... I wouldn't have a clue without the help everyone here has given to me ... You Guys are Really Great!
     
  11. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #11
    As mentioned earlier, Ripit.
    I use it and it maybe a bit easier to use. It can also compress.
     
  12. Jeanne C, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I went to "thelittleappfactory," which came up in my search for "Ripit." Under the support topic: "What are the system requirements?" It stated:

    "To use RipIt, you must be on a Mac and have OSX 10.6 or higher. I'm sorry, there is no version of RipIt for 10.4 or any PC. We never made one, so even if you beg, there's nothing we can do for you. :( ..."

    I'm willing to try anything to streamline this process ... It's just a matter of loading the application on the "Back-up" drive and giving it a whirl.

    If it doesn't work out for us ... we just pave over it with "SuperDuper!"

    Certainly, one cannot complain about the price of software that's available for this type of project ...

    From what I can see, there are only a handful of Commercial Apps available for use with any operating system!

    I'd gladly pay for it ... if there was an application that could compress and accelerate this process!

    I guess I'm wondering if I missed something regarding "RipIt" and the G5 at this point.
     
  13. Flynnstone, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
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    #13
    Sorry about RipIt.

    Perhaps : DVDRemaster
    http://www.metakine.com/products/dvdremaster/

    Another option (I think its been mentioned) is to use Mactheripper to extract from DVD to hard drive. Then Handbrake to compress to probably a H.264 file.

    The "mactheripper" will take time as you need to feed DVDs to the Power Mac G5. I have a single processor Power Mac G5 & when I last did it, the extracting from DVD to hard drive was reasonably quick. But 1000+ DVD is going o take time!

    The compressing is going to take time on a G5.

    1000 regular single layer DVDs will roughly use 4.5 TB of hard drive space. If each can be compressed to 700 MB, then they will fit on a 1 TB hard drive.

    Perhaps renting a Mac Pro with lots of cores & dual SuperDrives might make sense.

    Since your Dad has limited mobility, viewing on a TV instead of a computer may make more sense. Then an AppleTV and iTunes would make sense.
    But need check that an AppleTV will work with your version of iTunes.

    My post is probably jumpy ... just have morning coffee ;^)

    To minimize your time in front of the computer ... perhaps buy a couple of USB DVD drives. (I don't know how well this will work). I seem to recall that a rip using mactheripper takes about 20 - 30 minutes for a regular dvd. Try it on your G5.
     
  14. PAULinTX macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #14
    Jeanne,
    I did exactly what you are describing that you want to do, for my DVD collection (less than 100 DVD's), a few months ago. My intent was to convert my DVD's so that they would all fit on my laptop and could also be loaded onto my iPhone and iPad.

    I used RipIt and Handbrake as the only software tools for that project and utilized a 2006 Dual Core 2GHz G5 tower and 2008 Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro.

    Regarding RipIt; I used it on both machines but my G5 tower was and still is running OS 10.5. My MacBook has since been upgraded to 10.6 and it looks like I updated RipIt as well. The latest version of RipIt (ver 1.5.5) is currently on my MacBook but I'm not near my G5 to see which version of RipIt is loaded on it. My point is that the current version of RipIt may work on your G5. It is interesting that the system requirements mention 10.6 and 10.4 but not 10.5. Have you tried downloading the trial version to see if it will run on your G5?

    My Process:
    - Both computers networked on a typical home router network
    - Internal hard drive on G5 tower shared
    - Ripping commenced on both computers with all files saved to shared drive on G5
    - Ripped DVD files loaded into Handbrake's que for conversion to Mp4 and left to run overnight
    - G5 tower not used to convert to Mp4 (see 2nd note below)
    - Delete ripped files on shared drive the next day AFTER THE MP4 FILES HAVE BEEN CHECKED. The shared drive filled up fast and I needed to make room for new files. (See third note below)

    Other Notes:
    1. Ripping DVD's is a little faster on my G5 tower than on my newer MacBook Pro
    2. Converting ripped DVD files to Mp4 files is EIGHT TIMES FASTER on my MacBookPro than the G5 tower
    3. Some DVD content, particularly older TV shows, may need to be deinterlaced during conversion with Handbrake to remove the jaggy lines in the Mp4 video. This is a checkbox in the settings which causes the file to be larger and to take longer to convert.

    I usually watch the Mp4 videos using Quicktime (QT) without going through iTunes by dragging the file over the QT icon. If I double click an Mp4 file, iTunes will automatically launch and start playing the video. I'm sure this is a preference setting that can be changed somewhere. All of my videos are also loaded into iTunes which is necessary in order to load them on my iPad and iPhone but I still prefer to use QT whenever I watch them on my MacBookPro.

    Regardless of wether or not RipIt will work on your G5, you should consider getting a newer/faster machine to convert your files. If I had used just my G5 tower to do the converting, I'd still be doing it today and that's for only about 60 discs.

    Hope this helps and good luck.


    Paul
     
  15. Jeanne C, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Looking Towards New Tech

    Based upon the observations of those who have posted here and conversations I have had with my dad, it seems clear that undertaking this project with a G5 Power Mac would be daunting if not totally impractical. As I’ve already downloaded Handbrake and VLC for OS 10.5.8, I’m thinking that I will install it on the Back-Up drive tonight and try it, if for no other reason than to learn something about the actual process.

    As Paul indicated above, it may be best to defer the project until we get a more powerful system.

    That seems like the best course, given everyone’s anticipation of what appears to be a cycle of new releases by Apple in the near future. Certainly, the development of the “Thunderbolt” interface appears to add a new dimension to these types of projects.

    Up till this point my dad has always been pretty adverse to what he calls the “i-Gadgets” and even the MacBook Pro, as he says Apple’s penchant for building obsolescence into hardware by refusing to develop “backwards compatible” software, makes shelf life of these products rather “IFY.” Thus, we’ve had three desktop “tower” systems. However, it appears that the development of the Sandy Bridge processor and Thunderbolt will give the MBP sufficient power and versatility to make a transition to “portable” hardware feasible, as he sees it, and he loves the Apple TV idea.

    Of course, being two entire operating systems removed from Apple’s current release of OS 10.7 makes me wonder if what gets “ripped” at this point could be readily transferred to another platform, and all of these considerations hinge on things that are “out there,” as my dad says that he’s “not even going to think about the 2011 speed bump.”

    Guess I’ll give it a try, and see what happens. Many thanks again for all of your help …

    Jeanne
     
  16. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    #16
    I would try the entire work flow on the G5. The G5 will be slower than any present system doing the compression from DVD rip to compressed image (MP4, H264..).
    I think the G5 maybe faster than an present system (except MacPro) doing the DVD rip to hard drive. I have a G5 & an iMac (Intel). The G5, if I recall, was faster ripping from DVD to hard drive than the newer iMac.

    Try it.
     
  17. PAULinTX macrumors newbie

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    Jul 23, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #17
    Jeanne,
    The iMac's and Mac mini's were very recently refreshed and are good candidates for your project. Their significant improvement is having the i5 and i7 processors which are leaps ahead of the Core 2 Duo in terms of processing power. The iMac's continue to be an incredible bang for the buck with the added benefit of all models having a quad core processor versus the Mac mini baseline models having just dual cores. Only the Mac mini Server model has the quad core.

    I noticed however that the iMacs have an 8x DVD drive just like the Mac Book Pros compared with the 24x DVD drives of the towers. Although your biggest need is in processing power, a more robust drive would also provide you gains given the number of DVDs that you need to process. You could get an external 22x DVD drive for around $100 which would then give you three drives for ripping. The iMac should then be able convert most of that day's ripped DVD files overnight assuming that you spend a few hours a day ripping DVDs.

    Your concern for the longevity of "what gets ripped" seems unwarranted. QuickTime has been around for over a decade and remains able to play most if not all new and old video files created on a Mac.


    Paul
     
  18. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #18
    Yes, MacTheRipper just copies the DVD — no additional compression.

    And you've no need to worry about H.264 video becoming unplayable. There are too many H.264 videos in existence for that to come to pass.


    If I were in your position I'd buy something like the Western Digital My Book Studio II, set it to RAID1, and use MacTheRipper to copy the DVDs.

    You can compress these files for Apple TV when you get a faster computer; but there are also devices that you can connect to this drive so you can watch its contents on a TV.
     
  19. Soura2112 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #19
    It can be done

    Yes there are lots of new technology since the G5, though I was using my G5 until about a year ago to do all my major editing, I kept waiting for a new Mac Pro. If it's practical to buy another computer cool, but with all those movies the GBs will stack up and so will your how much $ you invest in new HDs.
    So if your on a budget then the G5 will work fine, just a bit longer disc burn, etc. As mentioned a new external drive us fairly cheep.

    My recommendation is give it a try. Make 5-10 movies and see how it goes. I put in a disc and just walk away for awhile come back and have my movie downloaded. Does your G5 have 2 optical drives or 1? I was using one on my G5 and it slowed me down. Now I have 2 optical so I can use Mactheripper on one drive and handbreak on another, if done correctly you can save some time doing that. Though I wish I knew a way to run handbreak as 2 separate apps, then I could handbreak 2 movies at once. Though my trick helps a bit on time.

    Good luck....sounds stressful, hopefully you find a way that works.
     
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #20
    Handbrake can also convert to .Mkv format which can keep file sizes really small though they won't play on iOS unless converted to H.264 Mp4 format. I love Mkv format, Blue rays converted as small as 1 gig look excellent.
     
  21. Jeanne C thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Falling Back to Regroup

    Have been 'banging my head' with Handbrake and VLC for the past two days. Briefly stated the problem is that I have no control over the process, and I have not been able to anticipate what the program is going to do when it is executed.

    The DVDs I'm attempting to "rip" have 3-hours of video on them, divided into 6-half hour segments. Handbrake appears to scan the DVD. I get the impression that it recognizes there are multiple segments; however, after running it I find that it randomly processes one of the six episodes, such as episode three, from the middle of the disk.

    The "Handbrake User Guide" might as well be written in Greek for all of the usable information I can extract from it. It utilizes an awful lot of technical language, without providing a real concrete idea of how to execute the program in a step-by-step fashion. It flatly denies that it is a program for "ripping" DVDs, but infers that it will do this in conjunction with VLC software.

    With VLC 1.1.11, which is designated as a PPC Mac version for OS 10.5.8, Handbrake flashes a message stating that it will only work with a 32-bit program, and that VLC 1.1.11 is not compatible, then asks: 'Would you like to download the 32-bit VLC version.'

    Apparently, many people have encountered this situation and indicate that they have been able to work around it using the "Universal Binary" version of VLC. As stated, I've only been able to process one episode out of six utilizing these programs, and cannot determine how to get them to process episodes in a logical 1,2,3 ... 6 fashion.

    I've downloaded MacTheRipper 2.66, which appears to be the appropriate version for use with OS 10.5.8, but I've noticed quite a few mixed reviews regarding this program, indicating that it has essentially been abandoned by the people who created it. Have found several so-called "commercial" programs: "Mac DVD Ripper ... DVD Ripper For Mac ... WonderShare," but have not had time to run down any comprehensive reviews regarding them. They all appear to offer "Free Trials," with purchase prices of roughly $25 to $45.

    This G5 (Model 11,7; Duel Core 2 GHZ, 8 GB Ram, 2/1000 GB 7200 RPM SATA Hitachi/Enterprise HDs, Standard DVD Drive) appears to process a DVD video with a ratio of 1:1 to 1:1.5 of the video's actual time. As PaulinTX said, this computer is clearly behind capabilities of Mac Pros and other current Macs; however, I'd like to proceed with the project, especially if I can find software that's a bit more "intuitive." The prices for commercial software I have mentioned is reasonable if it performs properly and streamlines the process.

    My dad is a stickler for hardware that provides maximum performance in terms of its specifications and upgrade capabilities. The 2011 MacBook Pro is the first notebook in this field that he's regarded as worthy of consideration.

    While i-Macs offer impressive performance at a low cost, they have few upgrade options, integration of their components allows one thing to bring down everything, and expenditures for having them serviced seem like they would be better spent on Mac Pro hardware with more power, a longer life-span, and fewer limitations.

    That's the logic of my dad's predilection for the Mac Pro computers, written on a Power Mac that: "has never crashed."

    Have a hectic schedule coming up, but will definitely get back to this thread with details of any progress I make, and I thank all of you for the benefit of knowledge you have offered to me.

    Jeanne
     

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