PC/MBA/iPod Touch Media Center Project

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tripLe, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. tripLe macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2008
    I don't know how many of you are in my situation (probably zero), but I have an extra PC lying around ever since I got my Macbook Air. I find that the MBA suits my needs, and I only pull out my PC to play Diablo II/SC/TF2. I'm also moving into a new apartment for college, and I ordered a Sharp Aquos 32" LCD TV (which should be coming in today ^^). But I wanted to capitalize on the new Remote app for my iPod Touch, and basically set up a Media Center with my PC.

    Project Features:
    - Hook up PC (running iTunes 24/7 with WiFi) to TV
    - Utilize iPod Touch Remote app to access PC's iTunes library
    - Use Remote Desktop from my MBA via WiFi to update my PC

    Hook up PC (running iTunes 24/7) to TV
    This one is fairly straightforward. My TV has a VGA input in it (I couldn't afford the DVI version!! T_T), so just plug and play. However, I'm having some problems with the iTunes part. Because my computer has probably 600-700GB of media, with the TV shows/movies in .avi format, I cannot import those files into my iTunes. I've looked around, and I have found a Mac solution: http://dettmer.maclab.org/movie2itunes.html. And it seems like exactly what I need... except only compatible with Mac's. Is there a way to import .avi files into iTunes without having to convert files to .mov/.mp4/etc.? Obviously, converting 400-500GB of .avi files to .mov/.mp4/etc. is totally out of the question. And I would like to stick with my PC being the media center. Also, in regards to the VGA vs. DVI input, how does the quality of the media file affect the quality on a 32" LCD TV? ie. Will a 700MB .avi file look just as good as a 4.35GB .avi file?

    Utilize iPod Touch Remote app to access PC's iTunes library:
    Easy. Upgrade to 2.0 on my iPod Touch, which I have been putting off because I want to clean up my iTunes first. And then access my PC, once it's running, via WiFi.

    Use Remote Desktop from my MBA to update my PC:
    Now, I usually use my MBA probably 90% of the time. So it sits on my desk with a fan cooler/USB hub. I'd like to keep it there, unless I'm off to campus. I'd also like to not touch my PC, and just leave it in a corner because having to pull out a keyboard and mouse is a hassle. But the main purpose of this is to be able to update my PC via my MBA. In other words, say for instance a new .avi file has been posted, and I want to torrent it or newsgroup it, I would like to be able to access my PC from my MBA, and download that file remotely. I'll also have uTorrent running with RSS feed feature on, which should take care of most files, but for those that I want to get off of newsgroups or ones that are random and not found on the RSS feed, I would like to use Remote Desktop for that. I've searched around and apparently there is a Mac version of Remote Desktop: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/remote-desktop/default.mspx My question is, does anybody have experiences with this program, and how will it fare for my purpose, and if not, what other Remote Desktop applications do you recommend?

    Finally, thanks for reading. And if you have any comments or suggestions on how I should change my setup, that would be much appreciated.
  2. tripLe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2008
    Actually, after a bit of searching, I figured out two ways to solve this. First is that I could open each file in QuickTime and Save it as a new container in .mov, which is basically a reference file, and then import it into iTunes. Second, which I think I will do because I can find some automator for it, but rename the file extensions from .avi to .mov/.mpg/.mp4. And then, since iTunes uses QuickTime to view the file, as long as I have the appropriate codec for QuickTime to run the file, iTunes will also run the file.

    But if you have any other suggestions, that would be helpful also.

    Edit: Okay, I lied. Apparently, renaming the file extension doesn't work. iTunes still won't let me import the masked file. Damn you iTunes for outsmarting me...

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