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DVD's to hard disc then to AppleTV help please!

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mahking51

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Hi All,

What I am looking to be able to do is place all my DVD's (approx 350) on to my Buffalo 2TB Network storage drive.

I then wish to be able to stream them to my Plasma HD TV via my Apple iTV (Mk2) box.

I have bought DVDFab8 on advice from a friend and so far have managed to frustrate myself beyond belief trying to sort all this out! :-(

When I try to do a complete full disc copy to my drive I have the option of getting a video TS and audio TS folder or an .iso file.

Neither of these formats can be seen by iTunes as far as I can see.

If I use the DVDRipper application and the Apple TV preset I get a .mp4 file which itunes can see and import with no problem. This then plays well on the TV via AppleTV. The problem here is that I only get the main movie and no extras and particularly I do not get the cover arttwork which I would really like so that I can flick through the movies when making a selection to view.

Annoyingly, there are 2 DVD movies in my iTunes library that do exactly what I want just fine, but I cannot for the life of me remember how they got there! They are however in a different file format of .m4v with a music note on the icon. I cannot find this option in DVDFab8

Running Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit on Dell XPS420

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers,
Martin
 

knappers

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Try handbrake. Hands down the easiest and best for converting videos for streaming in my book.
I prefer to make .mkv files for streaming, but they won't play on the Apple. Handbrake has a preset I think for making decent Apple TV files.
Si
 

mahking51

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Thanks for that but have just spent on dvdfab which I think will do the trick when I better understand the mechanics of the actual process.
It is the file types and actual method I need help with.
I heard that handbrake has artefact issues with he video?
Cheers,
Martin
 

Harbo

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I used iTunes to copy my CD collection then copied the music files to my PC's external drive and to a memory stick for playing in my car.
Not got an Apple TV yet, but it must be able to "cooperate" with iTunes?

Rod
 

petermillard

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Can't help you with DVDfab - another artefact-free happy handbrake user here, and it's free btw - but when these ripping apps scan the disc to look for the movie, they typically just find the largest file; If you want the extras, you usually have to add them to the ripping queue manually. Can't help with the cover art - never bothered about it, sorry.

.MP4 or .M4v are the file types you need for iTunes/ATV.
 

mahking51

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Thanks guys,
Does Handbrake allow you to see the artwork in via iTV so that you can just scroll through onscreen and pick the video you wish to watch?
Also do you get the whole content of the VD including menus etc?
Cheers,
martin
 

petermillard

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mahking51":12w4oftn said:
Does Handbrake allow you to see the artwork in via iTV so that you can just scroll through onscreen and pick the video you wish to watch?
Also do you get the whole content of the VD including menus etc?
Apple TV accesses the content of whatever iTunes Library you point it to; if the cover artwork is there, it'll show up. Haven't used Handbrake for a while so I'm not up to speed on the current version, but the versions I used didn't have any kind of 'cover art' importing facility - if you want the artwork you do this manually in iTunes in the usual way i.e. drag the cover image into the bottom left pane of the iTunes window aka the 'artwork and video viewer'.

As I said, if you're using the regular pre-sets to rip a movie, then it's designed to search the disc for the largest file; if you want the extras, then you have to find them and add them to the queue manually. I'm not aware of any DVD ripper software that preserves menu structure from the DVD; the menus are written specifically for the file structure of the DVD, but you're extracting the files and rearranging them on your computer, so that structure is lost.

HTH Pete
 

wobblycogs

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I've just finished ripping our 600 or so films and to be honest I'm not sure it was worth the effort but here's a very quick run down of some things you'll need to know if you are going to rip your collection...

MP4 and M4V are one and the same format. You can add cover art directly into an MP4 file using Mp3Tag - yes, it's for MP3 music files but it also works for adding cover art into MP4 video files (google it). MKV files technically support adding cover art into the file but I've never found anything that can read it out again.

Technically there's very little to choose between MKV and MP4 now. MKV is an open format so if you care about freedom...

Handbrake is a fantastic transcoder it is not and never will be a dvd / bluray ripping application. There are free rippers out there but they aren't generally very good. The best was k9copy running under Linux but the guy gave up supporting that a few months ago. DVDFab did the vast majority of my ripping I just grabbed the main movie.

A ".iso" file is just a disk image. Some software such as VLC will play an image but most won't. The video_ts folder etc is what is on the DVD - if you looked inside the .iso that is what you would see.

It'll take you a long time to rip and transcode you film collection. I was able to rip about 40 films in 8 hours (using two machines) and using two different machines I could transcode them in 24 hours. I shrank the films down to roughly 1.5GB from 4GB with no noticeable loss of quality.

You'll have a devils own game of getting subtitles to work correctly. When a character speaks in tongues on a DVD it automatically shows English subtitles the only reliable way I've found to get that on a rip is to burn in the subtitles when they are required but then they can't ever be switched off.

Hope that helps.
 

mahking51

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Thanks Pete & Wobbly!
Wobbly, could you explain please in more detail how I do this mp3 tag thing? The artwork is where? Is it on the original DVD or do you have to get it from somewhere? My Movies perhaps? Not interested in subtitles!
It would seem that ripping and transcoding are two separate operations...?
As you also use DVDFab could you possibly give me a 1-2-3 kind of step at a time to do one disc please as I find the in program help rather flimsy, it assume more knowledge than I have.
Cheers,
martin
 

wobblycogs

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Bit short of time at the moment but here's something I sent to a friend who's also ripping his collection:

1) Download mp3tag (http://www.mp3tag.de/en/index.html) and point it at the video file you want to add cover art to.
2) Download the cover art from TMDb (lhttp://www.themoviedb.orgl) - they have high resolution art for most films.
3) In mp3tag select the file, right click in the art section towards the bottom left and select the artwork file. Click save.

It probably takes longer to find and download the cover you want to use than it does to add it to the file.

I found DVDFab to be very easy to use, stick a disc in, select one of the preset options - in my case just the main movie - and start it going. The only change I made was to name the rip folder the same as the film replacing spaces with underscores. That simply meant that Handbrake would then automatically name the final output file correctly. I thought the pay for version of DVDfab could transcode as well as rip?

You're really making work for yourself trying to grab all the special features as well as the film. MP4 and MKV files, as far as I am aware, can only hold a single item (e.g. just one film or special feature) so you'll have to encode each special feature into it's own file and then keep them together presumably in a folder.

Finally, I wouldn't get too hung up on encoding the covers into the file. Media software like XMBC will just grab the cover art from TMDb as it needs it. I think iPlayer will do the same (I don't use Apple stuff generally though).
 

petermillard

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wobblycogs":ayrgegzy said:
Handbrake is a fantastic transcoder it is not and never will be a dvd / bluray ripping application...
Can you explain the difference, because I ripped/transcoded my similarly-sized DVD collection using nothing but Handbrake, and it worked a treat. These were DVDs, not Bluray.

Martin, whether or not you get cover art on the disc is down to the individual DVD, I think. When I've wanted it added, I usually just find it online somewhere e.g. Amazon. If you're using iTunes, it's a simple drag & drop to add the cover image to the movie file.

Cheers, Pete
 

knappers

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Ripping is pulling the mpeg / vob files off the DVD, transcoding is converting to another format.
Handbrake will rip and transcode - IF the DVD source isn't encrypted. If it is, you'll need something like DVDFab to decrypt and rip first, then you can use handbrake to transcode.

Si.
 

wobblycogs

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Transcoding is taking a file encoded in one format and converting it into another encoding. In the case of DVD that's typically from MPEG-2 to H.264. Ripping is extracting the potentially copy protected content of a disc typically to a file but perhaps as a stream.

Handbrake has no built in CSS decoder so it can't directly rip the vast majority of DVDs. In the past Handbrake used to be able to buddy up with VLC to get a decrypted stream but I don't know if that option is still available.

From the Handbrake manual:

HandBrake is not a ripper. It converts video, it does not rip it byte by byte. It does not crack the latest DVD copy protection schemes hatched by the studios.
 

petermillard

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Cheers for that. Maybe I have an older version of handbrake then - it both ripped & transcoded without any issues although now you mention it I do have VLC installed on that machine as well, so it's possible they worked together somehow <shrug> All it know is that it works nicely, though fair points about the encrypted discs - it's been a while since I bought a spinning disc ;)
 

mbartlett99

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Like what Wobblycogs said.

We do a lot of this for our movie database on the yacht running 10 Apple TVs. Initially tried Handbrake and it worked well for some DVDs but couldn't crack the encryption on later ones so we switched to DVD Fab. It is hardwork when there's a lot; found the best way for us was to line up 4 pcs in the control room and as we passed through during the day to load in the next one. Tagging with descriptions/art was really tedious and I nobody seemed to have a way round it - good job for a hangover. I just import the files into iTunes, right click each one and fill it in, go online to get the cover art and attach it.

As to extras/subtitles afraid I've no idea either. Although come to think of it when you buy from iTunes I'm not sure you get the extras either.
 

mbartlett99

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Errr not quite, go to www.my-polarstar.com for a better idea.

AV is my personal nightmare as Chief Eng - nearly a full time job just keeping those systems going. 24Tb of storage for AV although for the most part we use Kaleidescape and the Apple is an add on. Last boat had 43 tvs some of which worked most of the time.
 

wobblycogs

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Wow, nice boat. I'll just win the lottery eight times over and then I might have a few days floating about the Caribbean. To be honest I'd probably spend half the time looking around the engines and machine room :). I find it slightly amusing that there are 12 guests and 17 crew on board.
 
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