How do you organise and watch home movies?

I am trying to work out the easiest way to store, search and view short family video clips. I put them all in iMovie at one point but to be honest don’t use the editing features. I could put them in Photos but am a bit concerned about the size of the Photos library making the experience a bit unwieldy. I assume the TV app is able to facilitate this but they would be mixed up with all my own rips of movies ( I could make playlists but that is a bit of a faff).

My requirements ideally are a) ease of import b) ease of browsing and c) ease of viewing.

What you you folks do?

As far as I can tell there are three main ‘built in’ ways in Mac OS:

  • Photos app
  • iMovie
  • TV app

All I need t do

I use plex for this:

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I run Raspberry Pi as a Plex server.

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I use an old MacBook as a Plex server (with 20TB of disks attached).

Despite it being a 2012 model (updated to 16gb ram) it has no issues streaming 4K.

+1 for Plex. All of my films, TV shows, music and videos are stored there.

+1 for Plex

The server app is running on my NAS and my “Home Movies” live in a folder structure.

Plex offers the convenience I like to have when I want to watch them. I am able to share them. And they do not go anyhwere: there is no need to get them out of Plex, if Plex ever should become obsolete because they sit in a well-organized folder structure that can be accessed with everything that is capable of browing folders. :slight_smile:

Ah so I hadn’t thought of Plex. Although the networking aspect might be good, if I just run from iMac and watch on iMac is it still a good option and not overkill with one device?

I used Plex to review and tag our family’s entire video collection of a dream holiday to Disney and it still gets watched ALL the time e.g. ‘Magic Moments’, ‘Character Meetings’, ‘Funny Moments’, ‘Magic Kingdom’, ‘Epcot’, ‘Hollywood Studios’ etc etc, you get the the idea…you can give videos multiple tags leading to brilliant discovery and the Plex interface on Apple TV is gorgeous!

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So Plex sounds good. Is there a dongle solution that doesn’t need Google or Amazon products? My Apple TV is v3 so can’t get Plex app.

I’ve not gone into Kodi yet - is that it?

You can install Plex on Roku devices. They have a device called the Streaming Stick+ which might be an option for you.

What are these like for privacy and security? Will I need a Roku account and give my data to Roku?

I’ve heard about jailbreaking Amazon Fire sticks - is a jailbroken Fire stick a bit more ‘dumb’ and therefore more private? (p.s. I know it’s difficult to be truly private but humour me).

I’m not sure if you need an account with Roku. I do not have any of their devices so I am not sure if you need an account with them to install the Plex app. I am just aware that you can run Plex on Roku devices. I have no idea about jail breaking Fire devices; I have never owned one.

No issues with horsepower?

I have the RPi 4 which is a decent computer by itself :slight_smile:

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If the video is already in a format that you device can natively play then a Raspberry Pi will work well as a low powered Plex server. For example, if you have a copy of a movie in your Plex library which is using the correct CODECs to play on an iPad or Apple TV then all the Plex server does is provide the video to be played across your network. However, if the video cannot be played natively on your device (for example an older AVI file) then the server would have to transcode it (convert it) to a format that the iPad or Apple TV could play. This requires a lot more CPU power and the Raspberry Pi might not be able to do this.

So the answer to your question is, it depends. If the video is in the correct format then the Pi will work well. If the video format is not compatible with the device you are streaming to then the Pi might not be able to convert the video quickly enough.