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Taking It Digital
So I’ve decided to take the plunge and take it all digital. This means that I am converting all my old tapes and cd’s to mp3 and my old VCR and DVD collections to digital content.
Good question, the impetus for this decision is that I do a lot, ok maybe even live on my devices. I normally carry with me 2 phones and a tablet, my 2 year old uses my old Galaxy Nexus, and my 8yr old has a Galaxy Tab 2.
The question I encountered was how to make all of this content available to everyone, but especially me. The solution was to convert everything to digital format and set up DLNA on all the devices so everyone can access their “stuff” asynchronously. Another benefit is that when we are mobile we can have access to movies and music while on the go and that can only happen digitally.
To convert my DVDs I bought WinX Dvd Platinum ($39.99) and converted them one at a time, This is painstaking work btw. For my MP3s I converted them using Nero Burning ROM ($49.99). This has been straight forward, and the only real issue here is time. You need lots and lots of time.
The next step was to put all of this on a storage medium that we could all access. As of right now I have an old computer that I turned into my network attached storage. I added a 1.5 TB ($109.99)drive and upgraded the computer to Windows 7 Ultimate. This is only a temporary solution as I have already ordered a dedicated NAS device from Synology for ($199.99). There are other bridges to be crossed once the NAS device shows up but for now, this system is running great.
The key here is that everyone must be able to get their content on demand or this experiment will be a complete failure. To get the content to the devices I not only use Microsoft Media Center but I also installed Skifta on the NAS and on each device. Skifta is free software from Qualcomm and connects your device to the NAS device.
On each device I then installed a compatible video player for this I installed BSPlayer on each device. I found this player to do very well with the content I had on my server and the best feature is that it is free.
With all this work done I am now streaming content to all of my connected devices.
With ever increasing powerful devices I see their ability to time shift our media consumption in a manner that was not available prior. Streaming DVD and HD quality videos, viewing mass number of photos, or simply playing music on my devices is a reality now and jumping on the train now will give me more time to get my entire stock converted.