Media Conversion

Converting all of my music and video media is by far the most time consuming challenge of setting up a HTPC.
There are a few great tools for the mac that help this process along nicely.

Automated Setup (DVD)
This is by far the best way to go about converting a big DVD collection:
How-To: Automate DVD & Blu-Ray Backup, Enciding & Tagging) for Mac OS X 10.6

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=805573

However….
After sometime, discs would not copy (bug submitted to forum, but no reply?). I then manually ripped most remaining DVD’s.  All Rips are automatically encoded as the auto workflow still works great, it’s just the ripping component that died on me. Occasionally when the encoder would would select the wrong video file (bonus feature etc, and not main feature), I would use the normal ‘Handbrake GUI’ to encode the title I wanted.

Manual Ripping (DVD)
At times the automated method would fail, so I would manually rip using:
MacTheRipper
Or for some DVD’s with extra tough copy protection (Disney & Pixar…),
RipIt!

Manual Encoding (DVD)
Handbrake is really easy to use and come with a bunch of great presets/preferences.
I did some digging around the web and found some reasonably good settings that produce good looking video/audio with a reasonable file size.
Download my custom preset here, and use the import feature within the Handbrake interface.

Ripping & Encoding Music (CD/AUDIO)
This is incredibly easy… iTunes.
Works great, every single time.