Rip into iTunes...or plex?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Cbdboz, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Cbdboz macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    #1
    I have just noticed that when I copy my dvd's (using makeMKV and hbrake) if I drag into iTunes movies...they appear as home movies on my I tunes account via Apple TV.

    1. Is there any way to put these in the normal movies selection?

    2. Can I also change the 'picture' that appears..as in most cases this appears to be the first frame of the movie...when I would prefer a cover picture??

    3. Is it considered best to use iTunes for HT purpose...or would I be better off using Plex (not sure what else plex would give me...maybe just internet access to content ?)

    Thanks
     
  2. MarkG21 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #2
    In iTunes:

    1. Select your movie
    2. Right Click
    3. Get Info
    4. Opttions Tab
    5. Change "media kind" to Movie


    I use the program "iDentify" available in the mac app store. It makes your movies like you bought them in itunes. Its one of my favorite programs. It takes 25 minutes or less to get used to and once you got it down, its Great. Its not free though but worth it in my opinion.



     
  3. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

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    Oct 31, 2013
    #3
    Thanks....I was also able to change the artworks as well...so that solved question 1 and 2....:D :cool: :D:D

    Will check out the app you mention.

    Any view on 3... Re plex?
     
  4. mslide, Nov 5, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

    mslide macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I use subler to handle both of those.

    That depends on your needs/wants and what devices you use. Using iTunes is the Apple way of streaming your movies to your iDevices and Apple TVs. It makes it very easy. Plex, however, gives you a lot more options at the cost of not being able to use devices like non-jailbroken Apple TVs. A big reason why you hear so many people around here wanting an "Apple TV app store" is because they want to run Plex on a non-jailbroken Apple TV.

    There is a cost, however, to using iTunes and that's the type of formats that iTunes supports is not as wide as something like Plex. Using iTunes usually involves using a program like Handbrake to convert your movie into a format that will work with iTunes/Apple TVs/etc. That could mean sacrificing audio/visual quality. Some people (I used to be one of them) get immediately turned off at the idea of having to sacrifice audio/visual quality, even if they can't tell the difference. Plex, and other HTPC solutions, allow you to play a ripped Blu-Ray without having to re-encode anything. You just stuff the un-altered audio/video tracks into an MKV. Thus, you retain the audio/visual quality of the original disk.

    I have a home theater, with a 120" screen, and have used both options. Last year, I replaced my HTPC with an Apple TV and now have my most commonly watched movies in iTunes. The convenience of being able to stream things to (non-jailbroken) Apple TVs is what caused me to switch. I've done repeated tests to see if I could tell the difference between my iTunes movies and it's not enough for me to care. The only way I can tell the difference is if I do quick A/B comparisons and my theory is that if I have to do an A/B comparison to tell the difference then it's not worth bothering.

    Plex also lets you do things like record TV shows. For many, that's reason enough to use Plex. I stopped recording TV years ago though.
     
  5. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

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    Oct 31, 2013
    #5

    Thanks for the feedback....I am also working on my HT setup, and finally going to invest in an ambient light screen to go with my projector. The plan is to have a Mac mini with external NAS and ATV at the hub of my system.

    ...I guess I should maybe keep the mkv files in plex as a backup strategy if ATV finally allows apps such as PLex...... Though I am all for convenience, and if the difference is not material ...then I may just stick with iTunes......and probably use native Blu-Ray discs when I want to watch and listen in style :D
     
  6. Latt macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2013
    #6
    With PlexConnect you don't have to jailbreak your ATV but will be able to use PLEX directly from the ATV. It replaces the iTunes Trailers app to start PLEX. If you miss that app, you can add it as a channel in PLEX.
     
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    There are alternatives that are pretty good and cheaper than using a Mac Mini. Two that come to mind is to invest in something like an Oppo 103 blu ray player that can not only access files via DLNA but in some respects enhance them for 1080p goodness. You also get in addition, ability to play MP3, Flac (96/24) and lossy Apple files (it wont play lossless). Last of course, you also can play directly blu ray, dvd and SACD discs. The only drawback is you don't get the fancy interface of Plex or XBMC.

    Another option is something like the Dune media players. They come in at a close second to the Oppo in video quality (most likely you can't tell the difference). They can work with a nicer interface than Oppo via 3rd party software that you set up on your computer.

    My beef with the Mac Mini or rather OSX, is that it does not handle HD audio. In short, you cannot have a file that includes something like DTS-Master and have it play back as DTS-Master. What Plex or XBMC can do is use the core which is just DTS. Depending on your home theater system, this might be a deal breaker. Both Oppo and Dune can decode or pass through HD audio streams.

    The alternative if you really like Mac Mini, is to load Windows or possibly Linux and use the Plex or XBMC with those OS's which will handle HD audio streams properly.

    Of the above, I have done all three at one time or another. Presently, I use the Oppo connected to my AVR that is connected to my 65" plasma. All three are on my network and the Oppo can pull files from my two NAS units easily and both movie and music play wonderfully. The Mac Mini only is used for archiving as well as playback on my computer monitor.

    Hope you find what works best for you as there is no right answer but lots of 2nd rate solutions (grin).
     
  8. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

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    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #8
    If you have an i-Device you can also just install the Plex App and Airplay to the ATV.
    No jailbreak and no screwing with the iTunes Trailers.
     
  9. Cbdboz thread starter macrumors regular

    Cbdboz

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    Oct 31, 2013
    #9
    I'm actually 'considering' an oppo 103-d (with darbee digital enhancer) as my systems Blu ray player......is this multi voltage (110/240v) as well as multi region....if so, then it's a steal at US prices, compared to UK prices.
     
  10. Latt macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2013
    #10
    Right. I've done this for a very long time but totally forgot about it since I started using PlexConnect :p
     
  11. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2013
    #11
    This works, except from my experience, it just moves the files and re-labels them inside your library, rather than actually changing the file metadata. If you ever import those files into another iTunes library, they'll still be tagged "Home Movie".

    I use MetaZ for much of the same purpose, except it's free. Probably not as full-featured or easy to use as iDentify, but it handles the metadata tags I'm most interested in.

    ==

    As for the iTunes vs. Plex discussion, think of your ecosystem. If it's Apple all the way (iTunes, iOS, ATV), then iTunes is a great choice because you rip/encode once and it's available on all of your devices. If you have a more heterogeneous collection of devices, I'd look at Plex or similar.
     
  12. mslide macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    That's exactly what I do.
     
  13. JoeShades macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    How do you do install that?
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #14
    I would suggest going to Oppo's site and get some info on the player as well as where to buy. I know that Amazon carries Oppo.

    The 103d is very nice and of course for me, it is cheaper to simply add the external to my 103. I do enjoy the ability to play movie files, flac music and more. Other than some very minor issues, for me it was a very solid purchase that gets plenty of use.
     
  15. Latt macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2013
    #15
    It's a pretty simple process. There are install instructions that take you through each step from the link on plexapp.com.

    Beware that there is a website called plexconnect.org or something like that, that sells plexconnect. This is NOT the correct site. Plexconnect is free and always will be, so be sure to go through plexapp.com.
     
  16. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Will iDentify work for movies already in iTunes?
     
  17. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    mslide, I think you're off on a couple of things…

    You can use Plex with a non-jailbroken ATV by way of AirPlay.

    Plex is a client/server solution. You run Plex Media Server on a capable server/desktop computer that is always left turned on. If you use your iPhone, for example, as your "client", and want to play a high-bitrate Blu-ray MKV rip, Plex Media Server will do on-the-fly transcoding to downconvert the video to something that can be played on your iPhone (and iOS-based Apple TV), which you can then AirPlay to the Apple TV. If you have a capable desktop PC running Plex Media Server, the resulting picture quality should be similar to what you might get if you had used something like Handbrake in advance to downconvert your movie to an iTunes-friendly MP4 format. The Handbrake method will yield better picture quality, but for many people who aren't obsessed about it, the quality can still be very good. And the advantage is time savings. The Handbrake approach will require that you dedicate extra time to do that up-front conversion.

    Also, the Plex approach allows you to have a mixed environment in your home where you might have a client that is fully capable of playing back that high-bitrate Blu-ray MKV rip without the need for any on-the-fly transcoding. That's the case with me. I have my main Plex server in my bedroom connected to my TV, and in my living room I have an Acer Revo nettop PC (Intel Atom, NVIDIA ION GPU) which is connected via ethernet, so both of those play my Blu-ray rips as-is, in perfect quality. But thanks to Plex, I can also choose to play them via the Plex iOS app on an iPad or iPhone or one of those devices AirPlaying to an Apple TV where Plex will do its magic and do some on-the-fly transcoding/downconverting. Again, the resulting PQ can be surprisingly great.

    I'm not sure what you're referring to here. Plex doesn't support *recording* television shows. It will, however, let you stream previously-recorded TV shows that you've got stored on your central computer. In my case, my Plex Media Server is running on a Windows 7 machine where I also have Windows Media Center running. It's more convoluted than I'd like, but I have it set up so that shortly after a TV show finishes recording (by Windows Media Center), an app will rename/move the TV show, and then Plex Media Server (shortly thereafter) will see that moved TV show file and expose it to any Plex clients I have in my house. So I can play TV shows that I've recorded 30 minutes or more ago, but I can't play live TV. Still, it's pretty cool.
     
  18. MarkG21 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #18
    Yes, it will work.
     
  19. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I personally love Plex! I used to use iTunes, but when I discovered Plex, it saved me so much time. I keep my movies in the MKV format. I don't have to worry about proper tags or descriptions, cover art etc. Plex takes care of that as long as you name your files properly. AppleTV doesn't have a Plex app but I can airplay from my iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I think if you're a subscriber, it'll even automatically compress and sync selected movies and show for your mobile devices.
     
  20. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Don't mind me asking, how would I go about this?
     
  21. DesTheRed macrumors newbie

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    Buenos Aires
    #21
    hipnetic, would you care to share with me please how you set this up on your Windows Machine? Which App are you using.

    Anyone got something similar recording setup for Mac mini?

    Regards,
    Des
     
  22. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

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    #22
  23. MarkG21 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2010
    #23
    Let me back track a bit, I'm not sure if you mean itunes bought in itunes? If so, then I'm not sure but I wouldnt think you can.

    If not, then just locate the file on your hard drive that you want to run through iDentify. Then just re ad the file into itunes or you can update it by clicking on get info (in iTunes).
     

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