DVD organization project

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Josh Meier, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Josh Meier

    Josh Meier Agent

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    I thought some of you guys might like what my latest project for my budding home theater was. I recently purchased the new Sony 400 disc DVD changer, and my biggest complaint was that choosing a new dvd could take a looooong time because scrolling through their on-screen menu is hideously slow. I got the idea to list all of the movies and their slot number so that you could just flip through the pages and find the movie.

    That was all fine and dandy, but I was like "You know, and index page is boring, not to mention I have to reprint the index every time I add a new movie" and my index page turned out to be 5 pages long. So, I was thinking "I'll do one movie per page, print them out on nice paper, put them in those heavyweight sheet protectors, and then put them all into a nice three ring binder. Each of these sheets would have a picture of the DVD cover, a synopsis, the cast list, and random information about the DVD (running time, rating, sound encoding, etc)

    Now, I have around 300 DVDs already, so this was a big undertaking. I started doing it, and it took me about 2 minutes per DVD to do each sheet just to get the information and save them off. I printed them up using the color laser printer and the quality turned out incredible. The first thing you see when you open the binder is the cover page that I created for it. I named my theater "The Jonny 5" so I had to put that in there somewhere, so I came up with this:

    www dot joshmeier dot com/pics/TheJohnnyFive.png


    Then you see the basic text index which I only update after I have got 10 new dvds as it is 5 pages to print, and the matte white photopaper that I got isn't THAT cheap. Then you start seeing my real pride and joy, the actual cards. I have included 2 samples below so that you can see what they look like:

    www DOT joshmeier DOT com/pics/Apollo13.png
    www DOT joshmeier DOT com/pics/ResidentEvil.png

    As you can see these are nicely laid out, the information is all easily accesible.

    The entire project cost me about $100 + ink..
    $45 for the paper
    $45 for the sheet protectors
    $10 for the 3" binder with a zipper

    I will try to get some digital pictures taken of the finished product, but I need to borrow a friends camera. Overall I am VERY pleased with the results and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    If anybody in interested I can post the specific directions, Publisher template, and fonts used.
     
  2. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    I've been down this road with my 400 disc CD Changer and I plan to buy a DVD Changer in the future. I bought one of those CD albums and put the covers in the book instead of the cd's, then I just stuck an Avery label with the corresponding slot # on each cover, then arranged them according to genre and alphabetically. After all this work I found a way to make a Pronto Remote work everything out so much better that I don't use the book anymore. I think Lyndel Mcgee over at Remote Central has hacked all the discrete codes for all the Sony Mega changers including the DVD changer, this in conjunction with Super Nude List (freeware) allows you to break down all your DVD's and have them listed Alphabetically on the touch screen, so all you do is touch the title on the Pronto and it will play the movie. You can even import the cover art from the internet and have the button hidden behind the cover icon, so just touching the icon will play the movie.

    I have my CD's broken down to the Track's so each CD Title will jump you to a screen with all the tracks, then you just select the tracks one at a time like a juke box and it will automatically store them in the Sony Program list (up to 32 tracks per program) then hit play and Viola, hours of music.

    Updating in my case takes some time because i have changed the SNL layout to my own liking, but if you leave it the way it is you simply add a new title and click a button and it will re-compile the whole list in a few seconds.
     
  3. Chris Pags

    Chris Pags Auditioning

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    Josh,

    Glad your project turned out well and I hope you continue to be happy with it. I also have large CD and DVD collections and people always suggest that I pick up a jukebox to manage them, but it never made sense for me.

    First off, I know that I'll eventually outgrow even the biggest jukeboxes. Then I'd have to contend with a half in the jukebox half out system and the resulting confusion about what is where.

    All that aside, as things are now it takes me all of 10 seconds to get off the couch grab Das Boot and stick it in the player. If I want to see what special features are on it all I have to do is flip over the case and read it. On the other hand you had to go through 10 hours of work (300 CD x 2 minutes per disc = 600 minutes) and spend over a $100 just to get it all indexed. That doesn't even account for the jukebox that forced all this "convenience." No thanks - I'll keep my bookshelves.

    Don't mean to rain on your parade with this post - I can think of plenty of reasons why your approach would make sense in some setups (a space-at-a-premium-apartment springs immediately to mind). If you're as jazzed as you sound then I'm happy you found such a good solution and hope it continues to work for you. For others considering jukeboxes though I suggest really thinking through how much you'll spend in time and money before investing.
     
  4. Josh Meier

    Josh Meier Agent

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    Just an FYI... with the Sony changers at least, you can daisy chain more than one changer together so if you outgrow it you can just purchase another one and hook the two together.

    I am not in a space premium, I am just tired of people "borrowing" discs from me and then I never see them again. With the changer that is a lot harder to do because it is a slight pain to pull discs out of there.

    So far the project has gone over really well, and everybody is really impressed. We'll see what happens tommorow night when I have a big movie night.
     
  5. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    Which brings up the question that I've been thinking about. How do people with large CD/DVD collections organize them?
    Do you do it strictly alphabetically, or do you try to group like movies, you know, Westerns, SciFi...? Or maybe by studio? Production year?
     
  6. Chris Pags

    Chris Pags Auditioning

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    Josh,

    I hadn't thought about the disc borrowing factor - elegant solution. I have an open door policy about my discs friends are welcome to come over at any time and watch movies, but the disc themselves stay put.

    Steve,

    My collection somewhere around 200. Not sure if that counts as large, I'm sure it's small by comparison to others on here, but I organize alphabetically by title, with a few exceptions: Music oriented discs (eg. concerts, music documentaries, and music videos collections) are broken out and stored near my CDs, TV Shows and miniseries are broken out in their own section, sequels are grouped after the first installment (so Fistfull of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good the Bad and the Ugly are all together under FI). Hitchcock movies are grouped together under H (only because I have about a dozen and the Wrong Men Notorious Women box set feels out of place under W when the title of the box set has nothing to do with the movie titles), I also group .

    I toyed with seperating genres, but there are too many hybrid type movies and what's most important is finding movies quickly.
     

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