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Finally digitised

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Oct 31, 2010 in Apple, Films

Many many moons ago, I spent the best part of 3 months, ripping all my CD’s to mp3, ensuring all the meta tag info was correct, and the album artwork was present.

This year, it’s time for my DVD collection.

As some of you may know, I’ve recently bought an Apple TV (well 2 actually), and a 4TB Raid Storage device to store all my media.

After playing around with the Apple TV, I noticed the feature of “Computers”, and how this would stream anything from my iTunes library on my MacMini. As a test, I added a few more items (as I only had the “Digital Copies” from some of my recent DVD purchases), and these streamed fine, so decided to work on ripping my entire collection.

So, about a 2 months ago, I set to work using Handbrake to start ripping all my DVD’s to a “iTunes happy” format. Handbrake comes with a number of default settings, and I found using the default “Apple TV” format gave a good balance between quaility and file size. Another great feature of this default setting is that not only does it rip the 5.1 audio stream (allowing this to be played via the Apple TV), it also took the 5.1 track and down sampled this to 2 channels, allowing this to be played on any other device that can read mp4 format.

So two painful month have passed, and I’ve finally ripped all my DVD movies, meta tagged them, and added them to the iTunes library on the MacMini.

To get all 276 DVD Movies, and multiple TV boxsets ripped into iTunes I had 5 Macs all running Handbrake 0.94 and spent every spare moment at home switching disks as they finished. I had no problem with 95% of the disk, as they ripped first time. I did however find problems with some of the newer disks, and had to use either MacTheRipper to rip them to my hard drive, or if that didn’t work Ripit seemed to get it done. Once on my hard drive, I was able to then covert them.

As you can imagine, the disks were all finishing at different times, and initially found myself checking the progress every hour or so. If a disk had finished, I then started the next disk going. After the first 50 disks or so, I decided there had to be a smarter way. After a little research, I found I could redirect the growl messages (for when the encoding was complete), to my iPhone. The software I used on my iPhone was Boxcar, this combined with a plugin for growl would then send me a push notification upon completion.

I noticed after I’d ripped them all, the some of the media looks a little “jaggy” (namely the animation, and some older films), after reading the forums, people suggested turning on the Detelecine setting in the Picture setting, and this worked a treat. I did have to re-rip a handful of disks, but it was no biggy.

Once I’d ripped a film, I used a piece of software called iDentify, this searches TheMovieDB, tagChimp and TheTVDB and fill in all the meta information, including chapter names (if available), actors, rating, artwork etc.

I soon realised that if I named the film by it’s IMDB name, eg tt0092610, as in http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092610/, this would allow the software to instantly find the correct film. With the TV episodes, I learnt to look on TheTVDB.com first, and made sure the episodes I was ripping matched the naming on there, eg “Battlestar Galactica (2003)”, and then adding s01e01…and continued this throughout the boxsets. The result of this was the files renamed to either the IMDB name or TVDB name.

1 slight bugbear I had, was the TV boxsets that didn’t run in order. An example of this was the run order of Star Trek TNG, on one of the disks I believe it went 108, 116, 115, 117, or something like that. This meant I had to fire up the disk, and check the episode list before ripping, so I could name the files correctly, ensuring when the meta data was applied, it was correct for that episode.

All in all, a worthwhile task, I now have instant access to all my music, TV and movies from either the bedroom or front room.

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2

Hackingtosh FTW

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 27, 2009 in Apple

A couple of years ago I discovered, it was possible to run the mighty Mac OSx operating system on hardware that wasn’t Apple.Picture 1

As the versions of Mac OSx have come out, newer of the custom install disk have been released, the community has grown, and custom drivers have been written for the non-Mac hardware.

Over the last 2 years, I’ve tried multiple disk and had varied success….however, I’ve finally cracked it ! Last week, using the disk iATKOS_v7, and after 6 attempts, I was finally able to install, and run Mac OSx version 10.5.7.

The issue that I’ve had over the past couple of years, is that Apples tend to run on the Intel based chipset and processors, but as you can see from the below, my machine couldn’t be much further from a mac specs. Having an AMD Processor and ATI motherboard was the probable cause for my 2 years of failing.

Current Machine Spec.

AMD 6000+ Processor
4Gb Ram Memory
1 x 500Gb Western Digital Drive (SATA)
2 x 250Gb Western Digital Drives (SATA)
1 x PIONEER DVD-RW  DVR-112 (IDE)
ATI HD2900 1Gb PCI-e Graphics
Asus M2R32-MVP :-
Onboard AL1988 SoundCard
ATI SB580 Chipset
Marvell Yukon 88E001 Gigabit Network Controller

Peripherals

Acer AL2216W Monitor
Acer AL1916 Monitor
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Razer CopperHead Mouse

I had to switch out the DVD drive, as this caused problems with earlier version of the DVD, where I would get a kernel panic while trying to initialize the setup.

Anyway, back to the success story. The iATKOS_v7 DVD booted like a charm and took me into the setup, went into the Disk Utilities and Erased my drive to Mac OS Journal

Back to the installer, next, next, next and Customize.

On the working attempt I selected

Voodoo kernel 9.7.0
AMD Chipset Drivers
Azalia Audio drivers

that was it.

The previous attempts, I used the ATI Video drivers, the Marvell Yukon Network drivers, but no joy.

Once the install had finished, I was presented with the standard OSx welcome screen, entered my name. Due to having no working network card, I had to manually enter my details, as these would have otherwise been populated with the associated details on my apple account, after these Tada ! MAC OSX Desktop.

The video was only in 1024×768 and the was no network but we were getting there.

Downloaded the Marvell Yukon Driver from here, and followed the instructions

Downloaded the ATI HD2900 from here and followed the instructions.

Restarted, and I had full working gigabit network, and my 22″ Widescreen monitor running at 1680×1050 and 19″ monitor running at 1280×1024 !

As I was feeling brave, I decided to click on the Software update version, it downloaded and installed all the updates, and even took me to version 10.5.8 !

To get the LCD working on the Logitech G15 Keyboard, Logitech are kind enough to provide Mac Software found here , As my keyboard is a Microsoft UK layout, the ” and the @ were in the wrong place, so downloaded the Microsoft British driver from here

Finally, I couldn’t get used to the acceleration Apple implement to their mouse drives, and wanted to have the old boring 1:1 ratio, no matter how fast I moved my mouse, I found a little util called SteerMouse, which can be downloaded from here

All in all, that’s it, I now not only have my MacBook Pro, I also have a fully working Mac Pro.

Below is a list of useful software I’ve found

Adium for all your instant messenger needs
MenuMeters for all your monitoring needs
NeoOffice, a Mac only version of Open Office
Skype, mac version

Hope this was of some help to somebody.

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4

Acer Aspire Easystore 2TB NAS drive

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 15, 2009 in Tech

I’ve added to my toy collection, I’ve bought (as the title would suggest) a new NAS Drive.

I’ve has for the pass couple of years a 500Gb Western Digital MyBookWorld, which as ….well ok, well, slow, unstable, and over heats all the time.

I had quite a manual process to back this up too, I had to keep a machine on all the time, to run a scheduled task, to sync all the contents on the NAS drive to an external 500Gb hard drive, this was effective, however kind of overkill for a simple backup solution.

btw, the reason I’m so paranoid about backup, is a new firmware came out for the NAS drive, so I thought “OOOO, possible speed increase”, so upgraded, and it fell over Grrrrrr !, you can only imagine the paid and suffering I went though to a retrieve the content from the drive, the rebuild the linux partitions….not something I really want go through again.

Anyway, back to the Acer NAS drive, this drive is quick !, and I mean really quick !! (ok, getting around 18Mb /sec transfer speed, so about 3 times faster that the MyBookWorld)

It’s got an Itunes and Media server which supports Vob files (a god send for me streaming HD content to my PS3.

Currently running in Raid 5 (as raid 10 (0+1) isn’t available, so getting high read speeds, ok’ish write speeds, and 1.5TB of parity backup storage 🙂

It does come with Wireless access too, however this is switched off as it’s connected to my Gigabit network.

Technical specifications

Processor
Marvell® 88F5281
Hard disk drive
SATA
RAID level support
Levels 0, 1, 5, JBOD
Disk drives
4 x Serial ATA Hard Drives
Raw capacity
1 or 2 TB
I/O ports
One RJ-45 port
Networking
10/100/1000 Ethernet, auto MDI/MDIX
WLAN: 802.11b/g
Network protocol
FTP/SMB
Network service protocols
DHCP client/server
TCP/IP
SMB
SMTP
HTTP/HTTPS
DLNA HNv1
NTP/SNTP
Audio file support
MP3, WAV/PCM, WMA, AC3/AAC, OGG, AIF/AIFF
Video file support
VOB, AVI, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9
Playlist support
M3U, PLS, WPL, RMP, ASX
Image file support
JPG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG
System OS
Embedded Linux®
Network Client OS
Windows Vista®
Windows® XP
Windows® 2000
Linux®
Mac OS® X
Dimensions
16 x 18 x 21 cm
Weight
5.3 kg
Power supply
19 V 150 W external power adapter

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