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How to Rip Your DVD Collection

Like most everyone else, we’ve accumulated a ridiculous number of DVD’s through the years.  As we transition our home media streaming, it’s just plain weird to have DVD’s laying around.  The thought of inserting hundreds of DVD’s into my laptop or desktop, then waiting for Handbrake, or whatever software to rip our dvd collection, the content started to add up in my head.  Months of work?  Forget it.

A week ago, I was searching for a hardware solution to the problem.  Can I do it fast with an Elgato Turbo H.264 HD USB dongle, maybe, but then I ran across a Sony Vaio product from a couple years ago that sounded interesting.  The Sony Vaio VGP-XL1B2 Media Changer is a 200 disk DVD/CD changer and recorder.  It connects to your Windows Media Center PC via Firewire, and allows you to access your DVD/CD collection from the changer via Windows Media Center.  The best part, it comes with a hard drive, and a few great people put a nice program together to set up auto ripping of the 200 disks, so you hit a button and walk away.

So here is what you probably need to get it done:

  • A PC with Windows Media Center, Vista, or Windows 7
  • Lots of hard drive space.  I’ve got (2) 2 GB hard drives in my box
  • The VGP-XL1B2 (Sony stopped making them, so check eBay or Craigslist)
  • Some patience to load and unload all of your ripped dvds

If anyone has any other suggestions feel free to leave a comment, and best of luck ripping your home dvd collection

How have @chuckumentary and @lorika13 influenced you?

Recording Device Ban

Recording Device Ban, originally uploaded by TaulPaul.

Friday’s Macy’s Glamorama event is probably one of the most well produced, anticipated, and fun charity events in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro.  This year was no different.  We had a great time for a wonderful charity.  One thing did change this year.

The Orpheum Theater housed a couple thousand event goers to a specticle of fashion, and A-list performances.  I toted along my Canon Vixia HD video camera, and my iPhone 3G to tweet my perspective of the show, with some pictures being uploaded to Twitpic.  I was also able to grab some video with my video camera.  The unfortunate part of the experience was security’s constant nagging of pictures being taken.  I’m accustom to this experience, as it happens all the time.  I’ve been asked to stop taking pictures and video in all sorts of different establishments, and always comply.  I personally was never asked to stop recording at the Glamorama event, but always wonder why the policy is never made clear from the get-go.  Like the sign illustrates above, as an establishment, you must set an expectation to a have grievance.  This year’s security personnel finally gave up.  Unlike previous events in the last couple years, the shear volume of patrons recording and documenting their experience was too vast to control.  The entire row of 20-something women in front of me, each had a device, recording their experience at will.  That was about a dozen people to try and control.  It was literally impossible for security to make them all stop, so they basically quit asking.  That was the first experience of mine where this has happened, and wonder if this is the first step into a more open experience for people to freely document their experiences at concerts and events.

Have you had similar experiences?

Update:  To be clear.  The point of this post is not to pick on the staff at the Orpheum or organizers of Glamorama, as this experience is pretty normal for all concerts and events.  The purpose is to open a dialogue about how this experience needs to change.

Gary Vaynerchuk is Writing a Book. Why?

I’m not going into detail of the email that sparked a small debate around Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book release. You can read John Cass, who covered most of the conversation on his blog, the comments from this other post. I personally think it was more of a tempest in a teapot situation. Gary apologized numerous times, and I think all is good.

John Cass emailed me after I left a partial comment on one of his blog entries on this topic. Here’s part of what I wrote back on what I viewed from this situation:

“I find it odd that Gary would write a book. I get he’s doing it for the cash, but it runs contrary to all the tools, platforms, and channels he used to create all the buzz around his brand and content. He’s not the only one to do this, as online “micro-celebrities” are cashing in for main stream distribution all the time. He’s going for reach and frequency, rather than Gary doing what he does best; having his advocates help him get the word out. It just seems akin to Gutenberg having scribes duplicate directions on how to use the printing press.”

I really don’t believe that writing a book that can help others is a bad thing. He’ll probably do well with it financially. Gary succeeds more than anything from his passionate personality. His ability to convey that passion through online video, is a large part of why he is, where he is today. I don’t know how many emails he sent out, and I haven’t read the book yet, so maybe the editors were able to convey that same passion in writing, as Gary conveys in video…but I’m skeptical. It just seems like the wrong medium for his message, and further away from his sweet spot; online video.

Update: I’d like to offer Gary and his wife congratulations on their new child.

Revision 3 Canceling Shows – Rev3

The word is out about Revision 3 canceling three shows: Pixel Perfect, Pop Siren, and Internet Superstar.  They are also not renewing distribution with Epic Fu, and Wine Library TV.

I’m not quite sure how Revision 3 decided on the cancellations for the first three shows, as they have multiple distribution channels for all of their shows.  It would be interesting to know what they mean by ” Just as in the past, when we ended shows that just weren’t building audiences or driving revenue, we had to make changes.

It is one thing to not have a large viewership, but did any of these shows have a loyal viewership?  How did they measure this metric?  Did the sponsorship to the shows that didn’t “drive revenue”, not match the loyal viewership?

It has been my experience, that a smaller viewership with more loyal viewers, typically has the ability to generate more revenue or conversions through correctly identified sponsorship.  Was their ad model wrong?

I also have difficulty believing how much it cost to produce this programming.  Wasn’t this content supposed to be cost efficient?  They could not have invested that much in building or distributing this content, as most of these channels and distribution are free.

I’m very interested to hear more on this matter.

Update:  There seems to be a lot of comments on twitter: