Blu Ray drive for Mac Pro

Johnny Angell

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My BD of The Good Place Complete Series arrived yesterday, and I haven't seen the 4th Season yet, so I ripped that to watch at my leisure.

It's interesting how the BD authors decide to do things sometimes.

I wasn't paying attention and just ripped the entire contents of Disc 1, not noticing that the "play all" option provided in the BD menu goes to an entire file unto itself of over 40 GB, rather than doing a playlist of the episode files (which I assume is an option in the authoring process). I was wondering why the rip was taking so long, and then when I was ready to do Disc 2 I noticed this massive file and realized what was going on.


:emoji_shrug:
So they duplicated the the contents of the disc for a play all. Jeez that’s lazy authoring.
 

DaveF

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Hey Dave, great post on the options for converting discs to digital files. Your post reminded me of something I want to eventually do. You mentioned once you copy everything on a disc with MakeMKV, you have all the files you need to extract things like audio commentaries. I’m interested in extracting the audio files, such as commentaries and isolated music tracks. That I gather is done with additional software?

As an aside, there is now two blu rays for To Catch A Thief. I did convert the 2020 version into a MKV file. At first Plex didn’t like how I tried to name it a 2020 version. But I was able to later rename it as To Catch A Thief 2020 (1955). I‘d like to try to do this for the 2012 version and hope there isn’t an issue in naming so I have both versions. I’ll give it a shot and see what happens.
MKVToolNix is a toolkit to manipulate MKV files. You can edit the metadata, export audio files, merge multiple files into a single file, and more. I‘ve used it to:
  • Export commentaries
  • Get the Atmos track from UHD into HD file so I can watch it on my HD projector
  • Create an Atmos 3D Wonder Woman
  • Merge the two-disc LOTR movies into a single file.
  • and more...

Now, the audio tracks will be exported as Matroshka Audio (*.mka) files. So you also need FFMPEG to transcode into a format convenient for your listening device.
 

DaveF

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My BD of The Good Place Complete Series arrived yesterday, and I haven't seen the 4th Season yet, so I ripped that to watch at my leisure.

It's interesting how the BD authors decide to do things sometimes.

I wasn't paying attention and just ripped the entire contents of Disc 1, not noticing that the "play all" option provided in the BD menu goes to an entire file unto itself of over 40 GB, rather than doing a playlist of the episode files (which I assume is an option in the authoring process). I was wondering why the rip was taking so long, and then when I was ready to do Disc 2 I noticed this massive file and realized what was going on.


:emoji_shrug:
They just write a separate playlist for a "play all" case. It can be done this way for both dvd and bluray.
As JR says, I think there’s typically a playlist on the disc. MakeMKV exports that as a single file, merging all the individual pieces together. This behavior is seen with internationalized movies, like a lot of Disney films. The movie is broken up into lots of pieces, with the internationalized bits mixed in there. There’s multiple playlists for English, French, Spanish, etc. MakeMKV will export a single movie film based on the playlist.

Also: if MakeMKV exports more data than can be on a disc, then it’s definitely a playlist thing. :)
 

Nelson Au

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A follow up on To Catch a Thief. I had already ripped the 2020 blu ray a few weeks ago. I had titled the folder and the movie file: To Catch A Thief 2020 (1955) and Plex was able to recognize that. What I wasn’t sure is what would happen if I converted the 2012 blu ray. What Josh said above didn’t seem to happen. What I did after ripping the file was name the folder and file: To Catch A Thief 2012 (1955). Plus I captured all those great extras and trailer and named them featurettes and trailer. when I look at the Plex app, I see both films in the library. So I used the cover art for the 2012 disc to visually distinguish them and the 2020 disc has the same cover art as the 2020 blu ray, as close as the Plex options had. That was a pleasant surprise, to have both versions, which is what I hoped for.
 

Nelson Au

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Dave, I checked out that MKVtoolnix. Looks like there is a Mac version and it’s free. I did pay for the main MakeMKV application, so I don’t feel too bad to download it. I have not done that yet. I wanted to read up more on it. Thanks for reminding me of that.
 

DaveF

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MKVToolNix is free, yes. (No connection to MakeMKV. :) )

Its a great tool. I use it extensively every time I rip a disc. I retitle all audio track labels so they display accurately in my HTPC.
 

Josh Steinberg

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MKVToolNix is free, yes. (No connection to MakeMKV. :) )

Its a great tool. I use it extensively every time I rip a disc. I retitle all audio track labels so they display accurately in my HTPC.
I should’ve done that but never did. One of these days I’ll run that on the Mac mini that is the server and just chip away at them a little bit at a time.
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Dave- I’m curious what you mean by renaming audio tracks to appear correctly on the HTPC. I know when I open a movie, like Revenge of the Jedi that I just added to the library, the audio options show up as the proper names like DTS MA 7.1 for example. But I do find it more difficult to know what track is the audio commentary. I imagine that might be what you are referring to? That would be good to know.
 

DaveF

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Yes, I label tracks as “Director’s Commentary” or “Dolby Atmos” or “DTS-HD 5.1”. Emby added the display of embedded names back in late last year.
 

Rodney

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I've been using an external SuperDrive to successfully rip DVDs, and now want to do the same with blu-ray discs. I followed Wirecutter's current recommendation and purchased the LG external blu-ray drive. It ripped the blu-ray fine on my Mac Mini, but when I tried to eject the disc, the Finder became unresponsive, and even trying a force quit of the finder failed. I had to force power off by holding the power button down. I then burned another disc, but this time instead of trying to eject from MAKEMKV, I quit the program and tried to eject the disc by right-clicking on the disc icon itself, with the same results, spinning wheel of death on the Finder.

Is anyone else having this problem or knows the workaround?

MakeMKV 1.15.1
OS X Catalina 10.15.5
Mac Mini i7 (2018), 16GB ram
LG BP60NB10 External Blu Ray drive
 

Nelson Au

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Hi Rodney,

I have a Pioneer blu ray drive installed internally on my 2012 Mac Pro Tower. I have the exact same problem. I think I read somewhere that Mac OS was never written to accommodate blu ray drives. It’s unfortunate. If I don’t pay attention to a rip with MakeMKV and I don’t immediately eject the disc soon after a rip competes, the disc is not recognized and I can’t eject it. My work around is to do a shut down. Not a restart, but a shut down.

Once the system is back up, when I launch MakeMKV, the Pioneer drive is seen again and I can rip a blu ray or DVD. But I have found that I have to be in the room and as soon as the rip finishes, I have to eject the disc right away. Then I can leave the app running for days without making another MKV file and it will still work and recognize the blu ray drive. So I don‘t quit MakeMKV.

I’ve been doing this for several months and it’s always worked. Unless like yesterday when I was distracted by work and I didn’t eject the disc right away. I could not eject the disc and I had to do a shut down.

If anyone else has a work around, I’be interested in hearing it. I think Josh has a different solution as his drive is external. So he can pull the USB cable out and reconnect and it works again. But correct me if I recalled it incorrectly.
 

Johnny Angell

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I think I read somewhere that Mac OS was never written to accommodate blu ray drives.
How does Apple get away with this. Seems like I’ve Jobs was strongly opposed to blu ray and I guess that still remains. It’s one thing not to provide a disc, it’s another to oppose it.
 

Cameron Yee

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I have almost the same setup. The only difference is I have 32GB RAM and my BD drive is the Pioneer XD05, bought in 2018. I haven't had things consistently lock up as you've described, even with a no-name eBay-purchased BD drive I was using prior to getting the Pioneer. The problem I had with that one was the drive would not always mount and it started getting worse, so that was remedied with the Pioneer.

Sorry you're having the problems. I'm curious now if I got an LG if I'd have the same problems? Or if you got the Pioneer if you'd have better luck?

I've been using an external SuperDrive to successfully rip DVDs, and now want to do the same with blu-ray discs. I followed Wirecutter's current recommendation and purchased the LG external blu-ray drive. It ripped the blu-ray fine on my Mac Mini, but when I tried to eject the disc, the Finder became unresponsive, and even trying a force quit of the finder failed. I had to force power off by holding the power button down. I then burned another disc, but this time instead of trying to eject from MAKEMKV, I quit the program and tried to eject the disc by right-clicking on the disc icon itself, with the same results, spinning wheel of death on the Finder.

Is anyone else having this problem or knows the workaround?

MakeMKV 1.15.1
OS X Catalina 10.15.5
Mac Mini i7 (2018), 16GB ram
LG BP60NB10 External Blu Ray drive
 

Rodney

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I hooked the external blu-ray drive to another Mac I have that is running OS X 10.13.6 (High Sierra) and it works fine. I think the problem is Catalina, the OS that seems to have more trouble than any in recent history.
 
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Nelson Au

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That’s great news Rodney. My Mac Pro can’t upgrade to Catalina. So that’s good to know that Catalina is your problem.
 

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