I promise that this won’t be all about video. It’s just that I’ve been doing a lot of video conversion recently and I’m going to post stuff that I think about, in no particular order.
The best source of video is of course, DVD. iTunes currently has a limitation on 2.0 audio, so I make it a policy to only rip video that has 2.0 sound, not 5.1. You don’t want to sacrifice that rich audio experience for the convenience of playing video through iTunes. I do rip music videos that I might want to carry with me on the ’Pod, however, regardless of their audio. That’s the exception.
So why bother to put DVD video into iTunes? It’s so convenient. You can select and start playing a video in seconds. No waiting for DVDs to load, then waiting for legal notices to display for agonising seconds. This is very bad with TV shows. Watch a couple of Seinfelds, then shut down your DVD player and walk away. Come back to watch the next one or two half-hour shows, and you have to sit through all that crap again.
Secondly, you can watch it on an iPod or Apple TV. It’s a lovely experience to sync through iTunes and the iPod organises video marvellously. You need to tag music videos and TV shows specially, though, in order for the iPod, Apple TV or even Front Row to recognise them properly. This is one of the coolest things about ripping on a Mac. I have a gem of an app that tags these things which I’ll cover later.
Thirdly, for those who get annoyed when they buy a complete series of a TV show only to find out that the stupid publisher decided to randomise the episodes across the various discs, you can reorder them in just the way they aired in history.
So DVD is a prime target for content. I’ve become hooked on TV-on-DVD, which I think is one of the best forms of content to have been provided in this format. It’s so easy to rip and watch a show or two. It’s one of the best things I’ve done with a computer.
By the way, if you’re wondering, I did scan that SpongeBob cover, and all those screenshots came from the episodes I ripped from the DVD. I’m an artwork fanatic, so you’ll read about album art almost all the time.