How to Set Up a Digital Movie Library

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In the heyday of VHS tapes, they were a monster to store. They came in wide and bulky boxes that you had to stack on bookshelves to keep them organized. Although DVDs are thinner, they still take up a lot of space. You still have to get up from the sofa to search for your favorite DVD. Even worse, if they are left out of the box, they end up getting scratched and don't play as well. Downloading your movies to a digital movie library eliminates the storage problem, and you don't have to worry about your favorite DVD being played so much that it gets scratched.

Things You'll Need

  • 2GB+ hard drive space
  • DVDs
  • Apple TV
  • Mac Mini
  • HandBrake Freeware
  • Yammm Freeware

PC: Windows 7

  • Download and save the movies that you love to your hard drive or to an external hard drive in an .mp4 format or .mov format from the Internet or burn your DVDs in Windows Media Player and save them in .mp4 or .mov format.

  • Click the "Start" menu and click the "Windows Media Center." Select the "Movie" icon

  • Right-click on a blank area once your movie library opens up. The first time you do this, your library will be empty. Select "Manage Library."

  • Choose "Add Folders to the Library" on the next screen. Click "Next."

  • Find the desktop location in which you stored your movies. It will read, "On this computer," or "on another computer" or "Let me manually add a shared folder."

  • Find your movies and highlight them with the left mouse button. Click "Next."

  • Click "Yes, use this location" on the "Confirm Changes" screen. Once you're done, click "Finish." Your movie should now show in your folder.

  • To include full detailed information about the movie, such as actors and synopsis, you will need to add the metadata. Download Yammm software from the Mikinho Yammm website.

  • Open Yammm. Select the "Library" tab. Select you're the path to your movies. Click "Settings" tab and customize your settings. Finally, select the "Metadata" and make sure the "Windows 7 Media Center" box is checked.

Mac

  • Purchase a compatible external drive with the capabilities of storing your movies and connecting to your television. Choose either Mac Mini or Apple TV.

  • Download HandBrake Freeware. In the book "Macs All-in-One For Dummies," Joe Hutsko writes, "To convert non-copy protected (and most copy-protected) DVD videos to a digital video file, you can use a free program called Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr)." Run the Handbrake software and rip your DVDs and save them in .mp4 format. Download movies from the Internet and save them in .mp4 format in an external hard drive or on your desktop's ITunes Library.

  • Synchronize your iTunes library with your Mac mini or Apple TV device.

  • In iTunes library, click "Add File" or "Add Folder." Locate your movies and Click "Select"

  • Organize your movies once they are in the library with your Apple TV remote, or organize them manually.

References

  • Photo Credit digital data storage media studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com
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