Friday, April 18, 2014

The Great DVD Purge

Kids are tough on DVDs.

Especially when they are super strong like Owen.  And can force open the movie cupboard and start trying to rip out the papers that tell about the DVD.

And in the process of getting the paper, he dumps the DVD out of the case.  And a DVD on the floor is super fun for Simon and Sydney. Thankfully those two aren't as stealthy about their fun.  And someone usually hears their giggles and gets the movie put away.  But, damage can happen quick.

Which means that we have a lot of scratched DVDs.  For some reason, I've been hanging onto them, hoping that one day they'll just magically play.  But I know they won't.  And my  repair attempts (polishing with banana, using Vaseline, just cleaning with window cleaner etc.) haven't worked on too many of them.

But now...Now I'm ready to let go.  It's time to get rid of DVDs. Except we decided we wanted even the good ones out of the living room...completely!

After doing some research, Bryan bought an Apple TV unit.  And we've been converting all of our DVDs to digital format using DVDFab.  Then we put them into our iTunes library, and can select them all to play on the TV. 

If they are too scratched to convert correctly, I am tossing them.  That's where the purging part comes in.  Getting rid of stuff is such a freeing feeling!  Makes me want to get rid of more stuff. 

We have the majority of our playable DVDs copied over.  Once they are on the network, we take the DVD and are storing it in the basement.  That way they won't continue to get destroyed.  Out of sight, out of mind.

As new DVDs come in, we'll convert them immediately and bring them downstairs.  No more scratches!

And we'll soon be getting the cupboard that held the DVDs out of the living room.  Which is good.  The top of it has been an easy place to put things, so it keeps being a clutter catcher.  So the living room will just look neater without that.  And it'll be even more Owen proof.  Which is good! 

Our current movie cupboard.  Note the flat surface on top that gathers stuff.

A bonus?  Owen is able to really easily pick movies on his iPad now.  Because in order to keep things neat on the Apple TV, we downloaded a picture of the movie case and assigned it to each movie.  So now on the iPad (and everything else connected), the movies show up as pictures of the movies.

See--his movie choices actually look like the cover of the movie.  Very nice!

Owen's favorites?  Wreck-It Ralph, Toy Story and Lady and the Tramp.  Never would have guessed that last one.  I don't think I ever selected it as a movie for him to watch before.  I guess it shouldn't surprise me--he loves dogs.  He's picked each of those for his bedtime movie several times now, so I know it's not just an accident.  He knows which ones he likes.  And works hard on scrolling through to find them.  

It's great when he is able to communicate just a bit, and we can get a glimpse into Owen.  I know the iPad holds great potential for opening up this door.  We just need to keep practicing in fun ways, so he gets better at finger isolation and selecting what he actually wants.

Now I just need a way to convert our VHS tapes to digital.  Any ideas? 

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