Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Thousand iTunes Movies

1,000 iTunes movies
I've mentioned several times before about my building of a movie library. I've have most of my movies loaded onto a local server that allows me to play them on a TV. If I want to watch a movie, I just pick up the remote and find the movie.

My primary movie source is iTunes and Apple TV. I have multiple streaming devices -- Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, MiBox (Android TV) -- so I have options. But for playing local content, the option I went with is Apple TV and iTunes.

Sure, I could have gone Roku and Plex or some other local streaming server. But, quite honestly, the setup for iTunes and Apple TV is very easy: You launch iTunes, and log in to Home Sharing. That's it. Nothing else needs to be done. They've made it dead simple.

Now, my understanding is that Roku and Plex is relatively easy, but while I've never done it, I have picked up that it's a little more involved than that. So, if you were to want to stream local movies, Roku is a reasonable option of you don't have an Apple TV device. It's cheaper, that's for sure.

Anyway, I'm using iTunes as the server and Apple TV as the device. And, it's a pretty good setup. My mother uses a similar setup for her movies and TV shows -- think Murder, She Wrote and stuff like that.

Where it gets complicated is that I don't just have movies I bought from the iTunes store. I also have movies that I ripped out from DVD. Those are available locally; that is, in my own house on my own network. Stuff I bought from the iTunes store can be watched on my iPhone and iPad anywhere I go, but the movies ripped from DVD can't. They can only be watched on my local network; that is, while I'm at home.

Buying movies can get expensive, though. If you've ever bought a movie, you understand what I mean. One isn't so bad. Ten, well that's another matter. One hundred? Lots of money. One thousand? Yeah, that's some money spent, right there. So, I've decided to buy movies as cheaply as I can. That means when Apple puts them on sale, of course. But, it could also mean when Amazon, VUDU, Fandango Now, Google, or Microsoft puts them on sale, too.

"How do I do that?" you ask.

No really. Go ahead and ask. I'll wait.

* * *

Well, since you asked, I linked my iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, Fandango Now, Google, and Microsoft accounts with Movies Anywhere. That's a service that grew out of Disney Movies Anywhere, which was a Disney thing that let you have your Disney movies on many different platforms without having to buy it for each platform. Well, it's expanded to several movie companies, but not all.

Yes, I've mentioned this before, but a little refresher might be helpful.

Anyway, when I find one of my services running a sale on movies -- hint, they all run sales all the time -- I'll look up the movie on Movies Anywhere and see if it's in that library. About half the ones I look up are. Well, maybe a little less than half, but close enough that I think "half are."

If the movie is in the Movies Anywhere library, I'll buy it from whichever has it on sale the cheapest. My target price is $5, although I'll sometimes go as high as $8. And, if it's not on sale, I'll usually wait for it to go on sale.

I'll also rip out movies from Netflix disks -- yeah, I know that's not what you're supposed to do -- and add it to my library, then replace it with a digital copy when it goes on sale.

This morning, for instance, I saw that The Green Mile was on sale for $5. I had ripped it from Netflix some time back, but this morning, I replaced it with a purchased copy from VUDU. So, when I say I'll replace a ripped copy I don't actually own with a copy I do own, I will. Sure, they'd rather I didn't do it that way, but it's what I do. If I stopped, I'd still buy it when it went on sale. I wouldn't purchase it any earlier if I stopped, and I don't purchase it any later by doing what I do.

I also will replace movies ripped from my purchased DVDs with digital copies when they go on sale. Also this morning, The Magnificent Seven (the good one from 1960) was on sale. I've had the DVD for years. And it was one of the first movies I ripped out from DVD. It finally went on sale, and I bought it from iTunes. Because they had the best price.

And that movie hit a milestone. It's the 1,000th iTunes movie I have. That's 1,000 movies I can stream from my iPhone or iPad if I want.

Number 999 was The Green Mile. When I bought it, I didn't notice that it was number 999. After all, I bought it from VUDU. But, since it was a Movies Anywhere movie, it added it to iTunes, bringing that total to 999. And, when I bought The Magnificent Seven, I didn't immediately notice it was number 1,000 in my iTunes purchases. Around lunchtime, I picked up my Apple TV remote and noticed it then.

I love that movie. It's one of my all-time favorites. And, until about a week ago, I had forgotten that I didn't own a digital copy. As I mentioned, it was one of the first movies I ripped out from a DVD I owned. It's been in my local library so long, I forget it was a DVD copy. When I couldn't find it on my iPhone, I rechecked, and sure enough, it was a DVD version. So, I added it to my list of "get this" movies. This morning I did.

I still have 175 movies I've ripped from DVD, mostly DVDs I already owned. And, one day, as they come available and go on sale, I'll replace them with digital versions. After Christmas.

Speaking of which, I probably should start my Christmas shopping soon. Heck, I got time. The mall's open late, right?

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