More on Movies

Been a while. This is another techno-dump, so skip it if you could care about this stuff.

We got an AppleTV unit for Christmas. Jolayne was interested in playing her music through the family-room stereo, and after doing some research (and a few worthless purchases) I finally decided on the Apple products, as they have been so easy for our family to use. We started by looking for something to just play music, and Apple has something called an Airport Express that does just that. But for the same price, AppleTV does the same thing, but also plays movies (both from your own library and from iTunes downloads). It's remarkably simple and yet easy to use, which we like. What drew me to this device, though, was the remote control. All iPods, iPads, and iPhones can have a free app called "REMOTE," which allows you to use the touch-screen abilities of the unit to control the AppleTV (or your iTunes on your computer). Makes it super simple to control the music, and since it's wifi based, you can be anywhere in the house and control your media. Perfect.

Now that we've been doing the online media thing for a while, I've been trying to get our movie library cleaned up and more presentable. You may have read my previous posts on how to convert your movies for use on mobile devices. Turns out the same format works perfectly on the AppleTV (and takes up less space than native DVD formats). So getting the library online is a good idea.

Tagging

One problem I've run into, though, is that when I rip one of my movies, the tags don't get populated. If you're not familiar, tags are the meta-data inside the file that say what the movie is, who's in it, year produced, artwork, etc. Doing it by hand would be a pain, but not having it makes it harder to browse the library effectively. After searching around, here's what I've come up with as an easy for for the tagless-movie problem.

For Mac, I recommend iDentify 2. For Windows, I recommend MetaX. These programs will quickly take your files and add appropriate tags from several different sources on the web. Once tagged, iTunes will see the "album art" and all other info. They will even update iTunes immediately.

After trying other solutions (such as with Windows Media Center) I've found the Apple solution to be the easiest to use and the most reliable. AppleTV is definitely worth the $99.

Comments

Ryan said…
I've thought about it. Is it Hi-Def? Can you access other online services - Netflix, Hulu Plus?
Chris Kline said…
Netflix, yes. Hulu, I don't think so. No on Pandora or Amazon VOD (too much competition I guess)

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