Monday, January 6, 2020

We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

What I Feel Like I Did To Myself.
Every now and then, I do something really stupid.

Oh, sure, I do stupid stuff all the time. Just ask, well, heck, anyone. But sometimes I elevate the stupid to a new level.

You know -- or you may not, but you do now -- that I have a large movie library. I'm not sure how many I have. I stopped counting in November. The count was at 1,525 at the time.

Since then, a few things happened, one of them really stupid, as I mentioned. First, I got some DVDs with a bunch of movies. You may have seen the type: 50 Sci-Fi Classics or some such. Of course, the "classics" turn out to be "Voyage To The Planet of Prehistoric Women" or the like. Not exactly "2001" or "Star Wars."

I mentioned in November that I was moving my content over to Plex. Everything was in iTunes because most of the stuff was purchased in iTunes. But, I decided to move to Plex because it was available on more devices. The DVD rips were easy. I was able to just copy them to the Plex library directory. The iTunes purchases needed to be ripped -- kinda like you do a DVD -- and copied to the Plex directory.

And, yes, ripping from iTunes is something Apple doesn't like. I understand, since it can lead to piracy. That's exactly how a pirate would do it if iTunes was source content. Only, I'm not a pirate. I'm not sharing or selling my iTunes content. It's for my own personal use on my own personal devices.

Now, with over 1,200 iTunes purchases, it's kinda hard to keep up with. So, I decided to use the checkboxes in iTunes (Windows) to indicate what had been copied and what was yet to be copied.

Then I started to run short of disk space. With a copy in iTunes and a copy in Plex, that meant that I'd be running out of disk space on that 10 TB drive. I didn't really want to upgrade the drive right then, so I decided to remove the iTunes content that had been copied into Plex. And that's when the trouble started.

With so many items in the library, one must be very very careful to ensure that things are properly marked so that accidents don't happen. I was not very very careful. Apparently I deleted my iTunes downloads that had not been copied instead of the other way around. So, while I still owned all those 1,200+ movies, I didn't actually have a local copy.

So, re-download them, right? Not exactly. When you have around 7 TB in your library and a 1 TB data cap from Comcast, you don't really want to try to do that. So, I decided I'd download some and handle them. Since iTunes checkboxes are remembered for content that's downloaded or not, I'm still able to mark content as moved to Plex. Just now it's gonna take a while.

And, it's gonna take longer, since I've decided to do this in two steps.

The first step is to get the content in the library. Simply put, get the Plex library running. Get content in it. And, the quickest way, particularly with the data caps, is to download the SD version of the content rather than the HD or 4K/UHD version.

This is not ideal. I want the better quality version to watch. But, I figured SD is better than nothing, so I've been rebuilding the library with SD versions. I've got 969 of the movies in Plex, with a few hundred more to go.

And, my count will not be the same. Previously, I was using the iTunes definition of movies to count the number of movies. Now, I'm not. I'm using what I think of as a movie to count.

You see, with Plex, you can have multiple libraries. And, I have a separate library for shorts. You know, Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse cartoons. iTunes counts those as movies. To me, they really are not. Same thing with Buster Keaton shorts. While "The General" is a movie, "The Balloonatic" isn't. In iTunes, they're both movies. In Plex, I'm able to designate them as I see fit.

This does lead to some inconsistencies, such as my designating 45-minute "Sherlock, Jr." and 34-minute "The Red Balloon" as movies while 51-minute "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a short. That's because I think of "Rudolph" as a short while I think of the others as features. Generally, an hour is my cut-off, but if it just seems to fit differently, I go with what feels right. And, if I change my mind, it's easy enough to move the file to the other library. In a matter of seconds, Plex will re-scan the directory and make the change.

Also, all the Mystery Science Theater "movies" are now ripped out and stored as TV episodes. iTunes said they were movies. And, yes, they kinda are, but they're really episodes of TV shows. The actual movies they riffed were movies, and those that I have (91 of them) are movies.

Once I'm done with building the library in Plex, then I'll start replacing the SD versions with HD versions. That'll take a while. I'll simply add a "HD" column in my spreadsheet of movies and update to the HD version as I can.

I'm not sure how many movies I'll have once I've moved everything over. I'm still purchasing movies along and along, so the library is growing. I just don't know how big it is yet. I'm estimating around 1,300 or a little more. Yeah, I lost around 200 with the MST3K reassignment to TV. And I have over 100 short films, but I was over 1,500 before I started, but I hadn't put all the "50 Sci-Fi Classics" into the library. So, yeah, around 1,300+ is my estimate.

I do hope I live long enough to watch all of them when I'm done.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Resolutions for 2020

In the new year, I resolve to...
  • be tolerant of other people’s point of view
  • do a better job of cleaning up around the house
  • stop repeating myself
  • pay attention when my wife is talking
  • drive the speed limit at all times
  • not throw rocks at the neighbors' dogs
  • not make fun of rednecks
  • not make fun of yankees
  • be a role model for the children
  • compliment people more often
  • become a serious blogger
  • stop repeating myself
  • sprout wings and fly
I have an equal chance of success with all of these.