Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Movie Library Rebuild

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had done a stupid and had accidentally deleted nearly my entire movie library.

Briefly, here's what happened.

My video library -- movies and TV shows -- was all imported into iTunes. Most were iTunes purchases, but I had also ripped DVDs and placed the files into iTunes. This allowed me to watch my content from an Apple TV device.

I decided to move my content into Plex, since that would expand the available devices for my content. That meant "ripping" iTunes video content (much like one does DVDs) and placing the resultant MP4 files into directories Plex would read.

After I copied all my DVD rips, I screwed up and accidentally deleted my iTunes purchases from my local library, meaning I had only a couple of hundred movies instead of over 1,500.

Even more simply put: tried to move my files, accidentally deleted most of them.

That wasn't fun. And I've been spending many off-hours rebuilding the library.

It's been slow going, but I am making progress. I did make a few changes along the way. Plex allows me to separate movies into different libraries. For example, I've created a separate library for short films. In iTunes, all videos were either Movies, TV Shows, or Home Movies. In Plex, I can arrange them however I like. So, I moved all my short films -- Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros. (Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, etc), Buster Keaton shorts, Christmas specials (Rudolph, Peanuts, etc), and so on -- into a separate library.

That move alone dropped the number of "movies" I had to a much lower number. Currently, I now have 561 short films. I didn't have that many before, because all of the Looney Tunes -- including 112 Bugs Bunny, 53 Daffy Duck, etc -- were under "TV Shows" although they were simply short film collections. Now, they are listed as short films, and categorized by character. Buster Keaton shorts are all together. Georges Méliès short films are all together. And so on.

I've also been able to import Amazon-only purchases into my library. I actually has a utility that would help with that for some time, but never used it until recently. It does an okay job. I still have to do a process on those movies after I download them, but it's not much worse than doing an iTunes movie. And, I've now got them all in my library.

That leaves me with 1,292 movies. That's full-length movies. There are still 166 that need to be imported from iTunes. That means that, as of now, I have 1,458 movies, or will once I've imported the rest of the iTunes purchases.

That number will change soon, though. Once of the tasks I've taken on is getting the un-riffed version of the movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 took on. And, I've made some progress there. More about that another time.

So, I'm making progress. And, when I'm done, I hope I live long enough to watch them all.


  1. Where are you storing all your movies? Hard drive? NAS?

    1. I have a 10 TB hard drive on a Windows computer running Plex. I've considered a NAS setup, but had the Windows desktop. It's older, five years, but still fairly powerful. Much more than Plex says is needed to run a setup, and it does it well. Still, been thinking a NAS setup...


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