Need Advice on DVD Series

Along with my Hub, I got some DVDs for Christmas. A couple of these are series–they each have 4 DVDs.

For example, Little Dorrit, is on 4 DVDs. I’ve ripped these already. Should I put each of the DVDs in a separate folder, with their cover art JPEGs and XML files (i.e. four folders) or just put all four in a single folder; or does it even matter? Thanks for any advice.

I’m coming from an Apple TV (still using it) which has its own very different way of working (much easier to my mind, at least so far). I want to approach this the best (and most future-proof) way.

You didn’t say if you ripped them to .ISO files or to Video_TS folders, or possibly even to XviD .avi files. If you have four uniquely named .iso or .avi files then feel free to put them all into one folder. If in Video_ts folder files they will beed to be kept apart because of duplicate file names.

I am ripping everything to MP4 (.m4v) files. Are the other formats better?

There can be some advantages in other formats. If you’re into surround-sound, for instance, a different container may work better. In my experience, DIVX (XVID) avi has worked even on the first WD player whether 5.1 or STEREO, so has .MP4 in STEREO ONLY. The container (.AVI, .MKV, .MP4, etc.) isn’t as important as using a compatible video and audio codec. I’ve experienced an Apple Movie HD Trailer (DIVX .MP4 with AC3 or AAC STEREO audio) with no problems. On the other hand, an HD .MP4 with AAC 6-channel plays with silence. The WD doesn’t support AAC 6-channel audio. Luckily for us, the WD handles many different codecs. The manual lists pages of them. In this case, you can use a utility to convert into another format. For example, you can convert AAC 6-channel audio to Dolby Digital 5.1. There are many good video converters out there. My favorite is RER HD by RER SOFT. It supports basic (1-click) and advanced conversions and works with .MKV containers. There are advantages in other formats such as .MKV if you’d like to listen to surround sound as well as HD video. Also, the best and newest format is the .M2TS with a dolby TRUE HD soundtrack. That’s full blu-ray quality. But you can easily one-click on an .MKV file and experience the same quality. With a .M2TS, you had to help the player find the file by first maneuvering to the directory where the file is stored…usually something like BDMV/STREAM/ . You’ll find that this player accomodates so many container formats and other codecs that you really don’t need to worry about which format MOST of the time… It generally plays them. I recommend you start off with the format you know best. If you like the .MP4 and know how to rip into that format, it’ll work on the Hub as well as the Apple TV. Also, it’s hard to predict the best format for the future. Bluray .M2TS is kind of today’s hotshot, but how about later today? Hope this helps. Happy New Year!

OK thanks for all the info!

One thing that seems a bit inferior over the AppleTV is that the Hub won’t let me edit the titles of the movies directly. On these where there are four files for the series, not only does the info for the set not show up when I do a lookup (where are they pulling this info from?), but they display in my list of movies only by their file names and there seems no way to change that. I’ve read on these forums about changing the metadata, but when I do that, the titles of the movies do not change–the Hub still just displays the filenames.

Edward, the editable XML metadata is brand new to the WD line.    I’m sure it’s going to take a few FW updates before all the wrinkles get ironed out.

The PLUS side to this is that, as far as I know, the WD is the ONLY media streamer appliance on the market that allows ANY user-provided XML.   So, WD is leading the pack in that regard.

FYI, the online metadata is coming from, but that lacks info on TV shows and such.   So now that we can at least provide our OWN metadata, all the third party tools are in play now to get that info from other sources.

Tony, are there instructions anywhere on how to take metadata from another online source and apply it to movies or shows on the Hub?

Also, when I edit the in the xml file for a particular movie, it doesn’t change how that title displays on the Hub. Do you know why?

Yeah, that’s one of the wrinkles…   There’s still a little bit of stuff that’s coming from the Hub’s internal index that the XML doesn’t override yet.   We’ll have to wait and see.

It’s pretty frustrating that just about the only thing I want to change in the metadata can’t be changed! Oh well, there’s a lot to like on this device, but also some shortcomings which, if/when addressed, will make it great.

You’re exactly right – “this product can be great”… It needs a lot of work. Hopefully, our WD staff will have the commitment to see this one through to fruition.

I admit that I am new to this, but the only way I have been able to get DVD menus to work from a NAS is to write the DVDs to ISOs.  I tried DVD folders and MKVs (using DVDfab and MakeMKV) and never could get the menus to work from the NAS (WD Live Drive 2TB) whereas they would from the local internal or attached USB drives.  Menus are not that valuable for movies, but they definately are for TV series DVDs where you need to select episodes.

The way I organized the files is to put all of one season in one folder, renaming the ISOs as Disc 1, Disc 2, etc.