Showcase Short Home Videos from Photo Cameras on Apple TV --help find best practice

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by xrusos, May 25, 2009.

  1. xrusos macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2004
    Please help me find a simple way to view short home videos taken on a digital video camera, photo camera or cell phone on my Apple TV.

    I've been using AppleTV to showcase my photos for a couple months now, but all the short little videos I take along the way have been gathering dust in a general folder. None of them are significant enough to warrant building a full on iMovie, and all are in Nikon's AVI format. To date I have about 300 of them, hoping that one day they won't just gather dust.

    As I understand it these are the recommended steps that Apple encourages:
    1) Import movies from camera onto hard disk (Aperture prompts me to do this when I import photos)
    2) Import all movies into iMovie
    3) Export for AppleTV (creating new projects for each video, individually!)
    4) Import into iTunes
    5) Sync with AppleTV

    This is awful. For comparison, here is my current workflow for photos to get them to show on AppleTV...

    1) Import photos into Aperture.

    Assuming iTunes is already running (and it mostly is), there's not even a step two. iTunes is set up to sync a "Recent Import" smart album from Aperture to AppleTV so everything else is behind the scenes. A few seconds after importing I'm viewing new photos on my AppleTV.

    Since AppleTV is actually built for video, I'm hoping for a revised workflow that can showcase my movies as quickly as it does photos.

    I'm currently not running a hacked version of the AppleTV OS, but would consider it if it simplifies the process. Automator workflows, Finder Folder Actions, and AppleScripts are also fair game. Handbrake / VisualHub solutions are fine, as long as it's in the background.
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Copy/import your avi files to a convenient place on your drive and then run them through HandBrake, a great free piece of software that will convert just about any video file into h.264. Use the Apple TV preset.

    You will still need to add the file to your iTunes library manually, however. No getting around that.
  3. xrusos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2004
    Thanks, but...

    Thanks sw, but unless I write a shell script to run them through HandBrake automatically I have to individually add all videos to the HandBrake queue. This takes forever. I'll start with about 300 short videos.

    I wonder if the solution shouldn't be:

    1) Attach a folder action to a folder (let's say ~/Movies/Imported/)
    2) Folder-Action runs shell script that converts videos to mp4 via HandBrake's command line tool
    3) Shell script triggers another folder action upon HandBrake completion to pushes the completed file to a new folder (let's say ~/Movies/Converted/)
    4) "Converted" folder action to import to iTunes (perhaps Applescript? Automator?)

    * if one could automatically add a meta tag (let's say "AppleTV") they could be added to a smart album on iTunes that is set up to sync with AppleTV

    Workflow after Setup:
    1) Import all movies to a folder (~/Movies/Imported/)

    Does this sound about right? My shell scripting skills are less than adequate for this, so if there is a way to accomplish this with AppleScript, that'd be ideal.

    Any other suggestions to simplify the workflow? The setup here still seems overly complex for a normal user.
  4. kadeschs macrumors regular

    May 4, 2009
    Assuming your current avi files don't exceed AppleTV's audio/video playback capabilities, installing NitoTV and mounting a share to the directory of your files would require no additional work and would be instantly accessible by AppleTV. No iTunes required.
  5. xrusos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2004
    As of now I've edited my workflow to:

    1) Import videos to hard drive (Aperture prompts me to a specific folder)
    2) Manually drag to VisualHub
    3) With "Add to iTunes" checked, click "Start"

    iTunes will then auto-sync to AppleTV. It's not as streamlined as I'd like, but its beginning to dust off those videos I've been storing up.

    I'm using Visual Hub because it queues up videos better than Hand Brake, and is a step up from iSquint.

    So, I guess the last step is to automate a folder action to open VisualHub. Any tips on an Automator workflow for this?

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