Hey guys! Justin Mabee here, the newest member of Macedonia Films! I’m currently helping out, doing social media and marketing for MF, and helping to get our name out there. So you’ll be seeing a lot more of me! The MF Crew invited me to start blogging with the rest of them, and I’m a bit of tech nerd, so here’s my first post! Thanks for reading!

So we all love movies here right? We all love seeing our collection sit there, available to us at any time for our viewing pleasure. Pulling out the sleeve, handling the disc, and going through the various packaging included with our favorite DVD or Blu-Ray. But what about keeping a backup?

I work at a retail store, where we have a lot of movies, and we have a lot of people who come through looking for old movies that were stolen or lost. Many times, older movies are out of print and we can’t find them for the people. And sometimes, if they are available, they’re expensive. The same goes for the high definition movies, and re-releases of older titles.

Since I’ll be upgrading to Blu-Ray soon, I’ve found myself wanting to keep my movies and TV shows on my computer. iTunes has allowed me to do this, but it’s quite expensive to be buying digital copies of my favorite movies through there. I find it to be cheaper in the long run to purchase Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs. More companies are starting to provide digital copies with the combo packs, but are they all they’re cracked up to be? Here’s a few steps to making your extensive (and expensive) collection digital, and preserving it for years to come.

Step 1: Get an External Hard Drive

To save movies and TV shows, you’re going to need a lot of space. You don’t want to keep everything on your standard computer hard drive, because what happens if your computer crashes? You’ll lose everything. With an external drive, you can take it with you and plug it into any computer with a USB drive.

I find Western Digital to make some of the most durable hard drives, but you can use just about any brand to do the job. For your standard collection, you’re probably going to want at least a terabyte of space. The average movie (using the software mentioned below) will probably clock in at about 1.5GB each. Therefore, 500 movies X 1.5GB = 750GB. So the 1TB of space should do you just fine. Here’s a link to one for about $100.

Step 2: Option A – Get a DVD Ripper

I can only really speak as an Apple user, so I can’t recommend any ripping programs for Windows. If you have a recommendation, let us know in the comments!

The best program I can recommend for ripping DVDs on a Mac is Ripit. It’s simple, not a lot of flashy extras; it just works (to coin a phrase from Apple). They’ve also recently released a newer version that includes a compression option, which will take your digital copy down to the 1.5GB level (without losing the quality of your DVD). Ripit takes everything from the DVD, including the chapters, extras, and subtitles. Ripit is $29.95, and each rip will take roughly 30-40 minutes, with another 10-20 minutes for a compression.

Step 2: Option B – Buy BR/DVD combo packs with digital copies

Here’s where it gets a little complicated. If you don’t like the idea of ripping your DVDs to your hard drive, newer movies tend to come with a digital download of the movie to stream or put on your computer. Some of the Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs come with just a standard digital copy that will convert well to iTunes, while many others come with what is called Ultraviolet (UV).

Here’s the problems with this option:

1) Not all movies are going to have digital copies

2) UV only works on certain platforms and doesn’t work with iTunes (if that’s where you have all your files),

3) The older the movie, the more likely you won’t be able to get a digital copy. So the choice is yours!

There you have it! You’re now ready to start digitizing that vast collection of movies and TV shows you’ve put so much time, effort, and money into having.

If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email me at [email protected].

What are you tips and tricks? Share them in the comments.

Justin Mabee

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Justin is a freelance music business professional, currently living in Memphis. He works in social media and marketing.

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