New Member Introduction [entertainment network Qs]

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lokipower, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. lokipower macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    Greetings to everyone,

    I am new to all things Mac. I have been reading this forum for the last few weeks, and am impressed with the wealth of knowledge here, (almost frightening). I did not notice an introduction forum, so I figured this would be the best place to introduce myself. If there is another area for this, plesae forgive me.

    First off, my wife and I recently took the approach of buying all things Mac and then make it work, (vs seeing what will work then buying)....DON'T ASK..

    We are mega PC users, but after years of influence from my sister, we are converting. There are several areas that I know we will need assistance in. I would not expect our setup is too challenging, but I will describe what we have and roughly what I will be searching for in the various sections of this forum (If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I'd be much obliged).

    Currently we have (on the MAC side):
    1. iMac 24" - 2.6 / 4GB / 300GB
    2. iMac 24" - 2.8 / 4GB / 1 TB
    3. Apple TV 160GB
    4. Time Capsule 1 TB
    5. 4 Airport Extremes (The Small ones)
    6. 2 iPhones - 16GB
    7. 2 iPod Touch - 8GB (We intend to use these as remotes for Apple TV and house-wide music)

    And on the PC Side:
    1. 1 HP Home Server 2TB
    2. The 2.6 iMac running Bootcamp/Fusion Windows XP
    3. The 2.8 iMac running Bootcamp/Fusion Windows Vista
    4. Windows XP machine, (used primarily for downloading)

    The Media Side:
    1. 500GB Music Files
    2. 1.2 TB Video Files
    3. 300 GB Family pictures

    These are some of the things we are looking to do:
    1. Simplify and TRULEY organize music, (by Genre, Artist, Album, etc) MP3 TAGS, not the way iTunes does it
    2. Convert all of our videos (which are in various Codecs on PC) to a standard format (or 2)...1 for Apple TV (HD preferably) / iPhone (Reduced File Size) / Mac use (Just to watch on the Mac), the other for PC use. The idea is to store most files for the Apple side on the Time Capsule, and the PC Side on the HP Home Server. I have heard of a hardware solution, but it only encodes Apple TV at SD, and we are looking to get maximum resolution, as all of our videos will be HD in nature, or at least capable of 720 resolution. We have quote a bit so any choice will need to be able to handle batches of files to run while we sleep
    3. Have a single source for music, movies, programs (for the iPhone) and other iTune items, instead of one of each computer
    4. Pipe music throughout the house, (using the airport extreme units) and using REMOTE on the iPhone / iPod Touch
    5. Rip extensive DVD collection to HD format usable by Apple TV, (so we can make the Apple TV a hub of sorts for our media.
    6. Find best practices for music organization, naming conventions, organization structure to prevent iTunes from duplicating or messing up the collection.
    7. Find Best practice for home theater integration, considering iMacs are in the office, and AppleTV will be in primary stereo area.
    8. Also considering getting a second AppleTV for our bedroom, would need to know if it is possible to still have this one source of music, photos and videos and share amongst all things Apple....

    I have been playing around with one of the iMacs but have not gotten into detail yet, as we want to do it right. I have a few weeks to learn, as we are performing a house rennovation. When it is complete, the fun begins.

    I will say this, I realize forums like this are about people helping people. From what I have seen so far, I am VERY impressed with the willingness of people to help. As long as it is appropriate, if someone is willing (and able) to provide step by steps with me for me to learn, via e-mail and / or phone eventually, I would find it reasonable to provide compensation for the "consultation".

    Anyway, I am excited, as MACS are simply sleek and great machines. I have no complaints thus far, and with the Apple TV and our setup, it is with great hopes our entertainment area will not only look nice, but perform with the simplicity of Apple, but the performance we are used to, (we currently use a Windows Media Center PC to stream music and videos to our TV, but we no longer want a full blown computer in our family room.

    Okay, I have really spent a lot of time on this. That is my introduction. I certainly hope I am able to contribute in time as others have.

    For what its worth, not that this is the place for it, but if anyone has any questions about PC integration in home theater, or other Windows issues, I am more than happy to help, (I will look at that section to see if I can be of assistance).

    Take care everyone.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Welcome to Mac ownership and welcome to MacRumors:Forums! You'll find a lot of information both here and on the web. Here are a few resources that may be helpful:

    Mac 101 a tour of the Mac OS X
    Switch 101 a tutorial on the process of migrating to a Mac
    Apple Support search Apple Support and the Knowledge Base
    MRoogle for searching the forums with Google (always a good idea before posting new questions)
    How to set up a quick right-click search of the MR forums.
    MacRumors FAQ
    MacRumors Rules
    MacRumors Guides Very helpful stuff!
    A list of the MR Forums (so you'll know which forum is best to post a new question)
    Maximizing your MacRumors troubleshooting experience. (if you really need help, this is valuable to know!)
    Apple Find Out How
    Apple Keyboard Shortcuts
    You can find lists of essential applications here and here and here.....and here.

    If you search the forums and don't find what you're looking for, just ask! There's lots of friendly help here! Enjoy your new Mac!
     

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