This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

iTunes Movie Ripping? Again?

You buy (or more likely bought) a CD and now you want to listen to it on your iPod. iTunes does the conversion, with as little fuss and drama as you could wish for (generally).

Chances are your iPod will show movies, maybe you've downloaded a trailer from the Apple website or even converted one of your own home movies. A process which reminds you of the dark ages of computing.

If only you could just put your movie into iTunes and have it rip the film into the digital file you need. Now wouldn't that be great.

There have been suggestions in the past that this feature would be added to iTunes, it does seem to me and many other people that this is the "missing link" in the entertainment flow, all the more important now that Apple TV seems to be gaining ground. You can handle all sorts of entertainment products, but that DVD you bought, well .... you're on your own for that.

So I was interested to see a footnote to a recent post on Mac Rumors noting that a forthcoming release of iTunes will have a facility to download Blu-Ray DVD data from Gracenote (the database currently used to source your CD metadata). OK, it's a major leap from that snippet to concluding that DVD ripping will be offered soon, but if you add it to all the other suggestions it could be that a major new feature upgrade is on the near horizon.

Put it another way, why add movie database features if you're not going to offer movie ripping?
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Error Code 39 - Vista - Lost DVD & CD Drives

If I ever get famous I shall use my position to publicise what will become known as Underwood's Second Law of Computing - never start a quick job on a Friday afternoon.

Client rings up, he wants some music put onto his iPod from the backup DVDs we supplied when we ripped his CD collection last summer. As he's off on holiday he wants it done quickly, and his PC has broken. Can we help? Yes, this is one for our great standby program XPlay 3 which enables you to move digital music files onto (or off) an iPod without using iTunes. "Great" says client (who lives in Chelsea) "I'm on the A12, about 10 minutes away, can you do it while I wait?"

Of course, we did, and client went away to his cottage in Suffolk very happy. But afterwards I couldn't use either of the DVD drives on the PC. They were there in the System properties boxes but with a yellow warning triangle next to them. Looking into properties it said something about Code 39, a driver being out of date. I fiddled and fiddled, by which time it was 18:00 and I had to be somewhere else. But it nagged at me all weekend, I put in an hour on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday, but no joy.

Today, Monday, I just had to get the DVD Reader / Writers back so I sat down to crack the problem. Which I eventually did. I won't bore you with how but I will tell you why it went wrong.

Connecting an iPod to a computer incurs the risk that it will be grabbed by iTunes and automatically synchronised. Client's iPod should be linked to his PC, even though that's broken. So I didn't want to run the risk that all his music would be lost, specially as he was sitting in my kitchen reading The Times. So to be absolutely safe and sure I deleted iTunes from that PC.

Now I find that a consequence of deleting iTunes in Vista (plus a few other programs according to Microsoft's website) is that the uninstall program deletes key values in Registry. It is Registry that lets your operating system know what is attached, so the computer thought the DVD devices were corrupted.

The fix was achieved by running a downloadable fix from Microsoft, equally it would probably have been fixed when I re-install iTunes for the project that begins tomorrow. So there you have it - if you lose your ROM drives, if you get the yellow triangle and driver error code 39, you know what to do - but most of all, if you plan to attempt a quick computer job, don't do it on Friday afternoon.
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Ripping Movies in iTunes?

So you can rip CDs, you can play CDs. You can download tracks from iTunes Music Store.

You can download movies from iTunes Music Store. You can play them in iTunes. So what's missing? Ripping DVDs.

We could be a step closer to the missing link in the entertainment puzzle, thanks to a recent ruling in America. Given Apple's great position with Apple TV, iTunes and video iPods surely ripping movies in iTunes is the logical next step.

This facility would unleash additional iPod, iMac and Apple TV sales. At podServe we have strong interest in this facility.

Watch this space. My money is on this happening in the next three months.
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