One big reason behind wanting to do this media center project was to reduce clutter. Having nearly five hundred DVDs take up a bit of space. Since I was going to be encoding all my DVD movies and TV shows and storing them digitally; what was I going to do with all the original DVD disks? I wanted to keep them. I knew that much. I just needed to come up with a better way to store them. I finally settled on a high capacity DVD Album.
Thanks to some help from a friend I was pointed to Meritline.com. An online store where I could purchase a cheap 520 Capacity DVD Album. The DVD Album looked sturdy, so I ordered two of them. A lot of the DVDs I owned where spechal additions that contained two disks. I also know that my original count was off as to how many DVDs I owned because of the TV shows I had collected. I figured two of the 520 capacity DVD albums could hold 1040 DVDs. I not only would have enough from for my existing DVDs, but I would have plenty of room for growth in the future.
The DVD albums shipped and arrived in Juneau in less than a week. Once they got here I proceeded to take the pile of DVDs I had already encoded and start inserting them into the DVD album. When I was done I had freed up a lot of space that the DVDs where taking up and I did not hesitate to throw out the DVD cases they where in. I bought these DVDs for the movies on them and not for the cases they came in.
I have yet to quite fill up one whole album with DVDs. I am close though. I still have plenty of movies and TV shows to encode. When The first case is full I plan to store it under my bed.
DIGITAL FILE ORGANIZATION
As I encode movies on my Mac Mini I transfer them over to my Qnap Nas. I set up an alphabetical file structor inside two main categories (‘Movies’ and ‘TV Shows’) to save my encoded movies in.
Sometimes a movie that is encoded with Handbrake needs to be renamed. For whatever reason the file name is often wrong. It is important to make sure you name the encoded movie correctly because it will cut down on time you might have to spend on finding the correct movie meta data for which ever media center software you end up using.
(I will be talking more about media center software in a future post)
I would say that since I started this project I have encoded a little less than half the movies I own. This is a long process, but I can already see how it is going to pay off when I am done.
Thanks Youseph, this is a really great set of articles. I’m thinking of building a mac mini media centre and your article is by far and away the most useful I have read.
Good luck with the rest of the ripping!!
Thanks Ian. I need to post an update to this and I will. I am almost done encoding every movie I own. The next post on this subject will be about issues I may have come across and the Media Center software I went with.
Don’t worry to much about the issues I have come across. I think they are so minor they should nto stop one from setting up a Mac Mini Media Center.
Thanks for your great articles, looking forward for the next one. I have some mixed experience with DVD albums. I have a large collection and have been using them (not this brand) for years. It seems they have corrosion effect on some discs, the background plastic pattern ‘burns’ into the disc. Not all discs, at least not yet (it’s been about 5 years). In libraries they use something called Corrosion Intercept CD Inserts to prevent this. It seems that dvd discs have little or no protection agains acids from plastic/paper if in direct contact in long term storage (10 years or so). Please check your discs periodically.
Glad you enjoyed the post Juha. I know I have not posted any follow up, but that is because I am still encoding my DVD library.
I had never heard of the Corrosion Intercept CD Inserts before. I will have to do some research into that.
Great blog, Looking forward to the next part to se how easy the menues will be, will you use plex?
The next part of the write up is taking a long time because of all the DVD I have in my collection to encode.
I started out playing with PLEX and a lot of people like it. However I have found in my very limited testing that XMBC does a better job of pulling down the meta data of the movies i have encoded and displaying the movie cover art.
Once I get everything encoded I will put PLEX and XMBC to a better test to see wish I like more and why. I will then write a follow up post. I also want to write up a post on how my Audio FLAC encoding has been going. Since It all lives on the media center I think it deserves a write up as well. http://www.yousephtanha.com/blog/2011/11/18/lossless-audio/