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MakeMKV – Copy a Blu-Ray movie to MP4 or MKV

MakeMKV – Copy a Blu-Ray movie to MP4 or MKV
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Copying a Blu-Ray disc could be much more complicate, but with a tool like MakeMKV it becomes a piece of cake.

Why would you want to do this?

Besides the fact that you’d maybe want a copy of the movie on one of your mobile devices, playing a Blu-Ray movie on a computer can be a real pain in general. Software is either expensive, hard to get or pretty much non-existent (Linux). A MP4 or M4V copy on the other hand, plays just fine with readily available media players that come with your computer, most portable devices or great programs like VLC.

The method we use will work for Windows, MacOS X and Linux and can be used to rip DVD and Blu-Ray discs.

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD
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Back in the day, DVD was quite a thing. Excellent picture quality, very good sound. Light years ahead of the good old (and analog) VHS, Video 2000 and BetaMax tapes that had been around for years.

It seemed though that DVD wasn’t “good enough” and other formats like HD-DVD and Blu-Ray emerged (2009). HD-DVD lost the battle and Blu-Ray and regular DVD’s are the current “standards” (with an upcoming Ultra Blu-Ray format for even higher resolutions: Ultra HD or 4K video).

So what is the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD?
Besides the fact that anything Blu-Ray will not play in your loyal DVD player, and more expensive videos of course …

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes
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You probably already know by now that you can copy a movie to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone with iTunes or the Camera Connection Kit.

But what about copying a movie from your DVD or Blu-Ray onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone without iTunes or Camera Connection Kit?

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X – it also allows you to copy files from your iPad/iPod/iPhone back to your computer! Unfortunately I have not been able to find a similar trick or application for Linux (suggestions are most welcome) …

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes
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For those of us who have an modern iPod, iPad or iPhone: These devices are very capable of video playback, which is practical when you’re traveling … independently watch your movie selection, on the go, on your own device!

The question now is how do I get a movie from my DVD or Blu-Ray for example onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone (or other iOS device like the AppleTV).

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X.
Unfortunately, there is no iTunes for Linux …

Video – Adding movie information (Metadata) to your MP4 or M4V

Video – Adding movie information (Metadata) to your MP4 or M4V
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Adding Metadata (additional information like: poster/cover image, chapter titles, movie synopsis, actors, etc) to an existing MP4 or M4V file is not a requirement. It does however make your MP4 or M4V shine when viewed on devices or programs that read the metadata.

You might have seen it when you bought a movie or music clip from iTunes: It has a nice little poster, with proper title and movie description, actors, proper chapter names, etc).

In this article I’ll show you how you can do this adding of metadata or “Tagging” yourself under MacOS X, Windows, and even Linux.

MacOS X – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file

MacOS X – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file
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Now-a-days everyone can rip or copy a DVD with just a few clicks … once you know how!

Back in the day, you needed all kinds of complex tools and the process was not just challenging, but also very time consuming on those old computers. I used to have my computer run overnight to get a single DVD it done. With my current computers we’re talking about mere minutes.

Why rip a DVD?

Maybe you’d like to use it with XBMC, play the movie on your tablet computer or smartphone, or you’d like to have a copy for your kids to handle, and smear their little pizza fingers on.

In this article I’ll show you how to use the free and awesome HandBrake on a Mac.

Linux – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file

Linux – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file
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Now-a-days everyone can rip or copy a DVD with just a few clicks … once you know how!

Back in the day, you needed all kinds of complex tools and the process was not just challenging, but also very time consuming on those old computers. I used to have my computer run overnight to get a single DVD it done. With my current computers we’re talking about mere minutes.

Why rip a DVD?

Maybe you’d like to use it with XBMC, play the movie on your tablet computer or smartphone, or you’d like to have a copy for your kids to handle, and smear their little pizza fingers on.

In this article I’ll show you how to use the free and awesome HandBrake on a Linux based (Ubuntu) computer.

Windows – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file

Windows – HandBrake – Copy a DVD to MP4 or MKV file
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Now-a-days everyone can rip or copy a DVD with just a few clicks … once you know how!

Back in the day, you needed all kinds of complex tools and the process was not just challenging, but also very time consuming on those old computers. I used to have my computer run overnight to get a single DVD it done. With my current computers we’re talking about mere minutes.

Why rip a DVD?

Maybe you’d like to use it with XBMC, play the movie on your tablet computer or smartphone, or you’d like to have a copy for your kids to handle, and smear their little pizza fingers on.

In this article I’ll show you how to use the free and awesome HandBrake on a Windows computer.

XBMC and MySQL – All rooms in sync!

XBMC and MySQL – All rooms in sync!
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One of the really nice features of XBMC is that it has the means to provide additional information on TV-Series, Movies and/or Music.

XBMC does not only work with the background info or synopsis of a movie or TV Series/Episode, it also remembers which ones you have seen, and even where in a movie you stopped – so that at a later time you can resume where you left of.

There is one little bummer to this though … the XBMC in my living-room is not sharing this the XBMC in my bedroom – and this is where MySQL comes in play.

Tips & Tricks for Sick Beard, SABnzbd and Couch Potato

Tips & Tricks for Sick Beard, SABnzbd and Couch Potato
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Sick Beard and Couch Potato specially when combined with SABnzbd, are simply awesome …!  

Installing and using Sick Beard or Couch Potato is not that complicated either, but a few question arise when using them.

What is the proper format to name special episodes or combined episodes, how do I fix that left-overs after a download get cleaned up, what are TBN and NFO files and how can I view them, what do I do with Couch Potato when it gets stuck, and there are a few browser plugins that you should consider using.

How to create a FavIcon for your website

How to create a FavIcon for your website
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You see it with most websites: the so called favicon. A little icon presented on the tabs of your browser or next to your bookmarks, right next to the title of the page.

This all started with Internet Explorer 4 – way back in the day – using a .ICO file.

New browsers and new standards however bring more to the table than just this old little icon.
In this article I’ll show you a few variations and how to do it and I’ll even explain some of the functions introduced by Apple (like Retina support).

QNAP, Sick Beard & SABnzbd – Download TV Series automatically

QNAP, Sick Beard & SABnzbd – Download TV Series automatically
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Super Charge your XBMC(KODI)/HTPC Setup with fully automated download of TV Episodes …

QNAP (I use the QNAP TS-869 Pro) has some very flexible NAS devices, with expandable functionality by means of so called QPKG install packages. But QPKG’s are not only created by QNAP, quite a few volunteers seeking specific new functions for their beloved QNAP NAS create QPKG’s as well.

One of these functions is adding Sick Beard and SABnzbd which adds the option to automatically retrieve TV Series episodes that become available in Newsgroups. It does not only retrieve the files, but it also finds new episodes, relevant meta data, etc …

MacOS X – How to remove pre-installed applications

MacOS X – How to remove pre-installed applications
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MacOS X Lion (and other MacOS versions up to MacOS X El Capitan) come with few preinstalled applications like “Chess”, but you cannot remove/uninstall them the conventional way …

A waste of diskspace when you don’t really need the application (especially when you’re running low on space on your snappy SSD drive) …

A short article on how to remove these guys …

Create an installation disk (USB or DVD) for MacOS X

Create an installation disk (USB or DVD) for MacOS X
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Mac OS X Lion is the first version of the Mac OS X Operating System that can be downloaded through the App Store application.

On itself great, and the price (as usual) is definitely not a reason to not do it ($29.99).

But if you’re like me, then you really want a installation disk … for whatever reason (you don’t want to download it again for your other machine, you’d like to have a backup, installation through the App Store didn’t work, etc).

So here a short and quick explanation on how to do just that.

UPDATE: This trick works for other Mac OS X versions as well, even with MacOS X Maverick (free!)!

SSD upgrade for Acer Iconia Tab W500

SSD upgrade for Acer Iconia Tab W500
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How do I upgrade the SSD (Solid State Disk) of my Acer Iconia Tab W500 Windows based tablet?
That’s what this article is about, in a nut shell. The  Acer Iconia Tab W500 standard comes with a minuscule 32Gb harddrive, actually it’s an SSD. After installing Windows 7 (or 8) and an application your disk is pretty much full … so what can we do to upgrade this to a more sizable 128Gb SSD?

In this article, I’ll show you how to open your Acer Iconia Tab W500 and how to replace the SSD with a larger one …

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