make Front Row DVD see/play disk images

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catmistake's picture
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make Front Row DVD see/play disk images

Many h4x0rs backup their DVD titles (whether all their DVD titles are in the Public Domain, or they are exercising their fair use rights under the DRMA to have a backup of a DVD title they bought) onto a HD. There are many ways to accomplish this (which I'm not going into), and the 2 main ways to do it (without loosing data or quality) are either by extracting the VIDEO_TS directory, or by making a disk image of the DVD (a dvdr/cdr master, which is necessarily UDF (uses a Universal Disk Format, or udf, filesystem)), which I believe can also have any one of these file extensions: .bin, .dmg, .img, .iso, .nrg, .mdf, .toast, etc.

For the purposes of Front Row and this hack (convoluted as it may be... ok, its mostly just a workaround), the better of the two ways becomes using disk images (even though, yes... disk images use a tiny bit more space on the HD than a VIDEO_TS folder alone)

You may have noticed that Front Row will only play actual DVDs inserted in the optical drive and that there's a smattering of complaints about this around if you google. The only reason you would care is if you wanted to use the Apple Remote with the DVD Player.app to watch a (backup) DVD image instead of off of a DVD (as DVD Player.app by default, alone, without the Front Row front end, doesn't seem to be controllable with the Apple Remote, excluding third-party software (which I'm not aware of)). The complaints out there, if you look closely, are that, though DVD Player.app will play VIDEO_TS folders (either by holding down the command key in the Finder, and dragging and dropping the VIDEO_TS folder onto the icon for DVD Player.app, or from the File menu), there's no way to open a VIDEO_TS folder using Front Row — unless its on a mounted DVD, that is — and this 'hack' doesn't actually address that directly, but the ends are pretty much the same).

So... Apple's disk image mounter utility,
/System/Library/CoreServices/DiskImageMounter.app

By default, many of the different types of disk images automatically mount when you double click them... because, just like any other document, they happened to be 'tied' to an application... that application being DiskImageMounter.app (in the Finder, select a disk image and type command-i, and notice the application under ">Open with:")

Roxio's Toast Titanium can also mount disk images... but it does it a little differently (apparently!)

Included with Toast Titanium is a little Universal executable
Toast Titanium.app/Contents/MacOS/ToastImageMounter

When you use this to mount an image, when the image is a dvdr master (UDF), the icon in the Finder is TOTALLY different (you may have noticed this... DiskImageMounter.app mounts disk images using a default icon that is very similar to the default firewire drive icon, but its all white without the firewire logo, but Toast mounts UDF images in the Finder with what looks like the DVD icon (you know, the original Sony DVD Optical Disc icon that we all know and love).



The same disk image (in this case, an .iso) mounted 2 different ways (simultaneously).


When you mount your UDF dvdr master, (whether .bin, .dmg, .img, .iso, .nrg, .mdf, .toast, etc) using ToastImageMounter,
Front Row DVD sees it as if its a DVD in your optical drive!

[if anyone really knows what the differences are between how DiskImageMounter.app and ToastImageMounter mount images, spill it... esp. if there's a way to do what ToastImageMounter does without ToastImageMounter -- or if anyone is aware of other executables or apps or command line mounting tricks to achieve the same, i.e. mounting a disk image in the Finder such that Front Row will see it as a DVD, stop holding back already and let us know]

In the Toast installer, I think, there's a way to install ToastImageMounter as a function of right-click... but I thought that was lame. I'm not sure if ToastImageMounter is part of an actual .app (other than Toast.app and Popcorn.app) that simply mounts disks in the Finder like DiskImageMounter.app does... meaning... ToastImageMounter is an executable, not a bundle like a .app... so if you copy ToastImageMounter from Toast Titanium.app/Contents/MacOS/ToastImageMounter to somewhere else... it doesn't really work in the Finder like a normal app.

You can set any/all disk images to open automatically with Toast (or Popcorn, which also includes ToastImageMounter), but it doesn't mount the disk automatically then go away.

But, as has been mentioned elsewhere (but is undocumented afaik), ToastImageMounter can be called from the command line.

How I did it:
If
/usr/local/bin

is in your path (already was on my machine... to find out how to add commands to your path, google til your ears bleed),

Quote:

$ sudo cp Toast Titanium.app/Contents/MacOS/ToastImageMounter /usr/local/bin/tmount

basically... I copied ToastImageMounter to /usr/local/bin and renamed it "tmount" (because ToastImageMounter is too long, and "tim" is taken... and I didn't feel like soft-linking, or aliasing/editing a file, though I likely will do one or the other eventually)

checked to make sure it was seeing it in my path:

Quote:

$ which tmount
/usr/local/bin/tmount

when I type tmount at the command line now:

Quote:

$ tmount
Syntax:
ToastImageImounter imageFileName [-readonly] [-hybrid] [-shadow] [-nomount] [-imagekey Pardon
ToastImageImounter imageFileName [options]

[I can't find a man page online or in Roxio's docs... so if you know about it, spill it]

and when I type:

Quote:

$ tmount ~/Movies/Example/Movie.iso

my disk image mounts in the Finder with the DVD disc icon, and when I activate Front Row, the DVD Player.app sees it, and (wait for it...) the friggen' Apple Remote will work with the DVD Player.app just the way you expect it.

NOTE:

I see there is now a new Front Row Update 1.2.2, which requires a restart. Maybe Apple fixed Front Row so it can open VIDEO_TS folders now? or Maybe they fixed DVD Player.app (also) so that it works with the Apple Remote without Front Row? or Maybe all they did was break this hackaround? To find out, tune in post-update! Same fritter time!! Same fritter channel!!

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man mount_udf

me thinks with the correct syntax, mount_udf will do all that ToastImageMounter does in the hackaround above (my grammar's horrible... please give some examples of correctly using mount_udf at your convenience)

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I am so perplexing sometimes

ok... whether or not the Apple Remote works with DVD Player.app... whatever... forget that part altogether... this is a hackacround to allow Front Row to see a mounted disk image (and as hackarounds go... its kind of incomplete... still need correct mount_udf syntax to eliminate the need for 3rd party software).

---

also...
If you backed up all your movies into just their VIDEO_TS folders, then this

hdiutil makehybrid -o TheFlick ~/Movies/TheFlick/ -udf

will create a UDF .iso disk image "TheFlick.iso" of a fictitious movie's VIDEO_TS folder, assuming that VIDEO_TS folder is located ~/Movies/TheFlick/VIDEO_TS and there's nothing else in the folder ~/Movies/TheFlick

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ToastMount???

I used to use ToastMount for this back on Panther - don't know if it'll work with Front Row though (I don't have the app). The source is available so it might be tweakable.

http://toastmount.sourceforge.net/index.php

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so . . . ehhh . . . why even bother with DVD images?

Seriously, why bother with any of that when you can just rip flicks to .mp4 using Handbrake?

By the by, can recent versions of iTunes catalog and play mp4s you've ripped yourself, or just movies you've purchased from the iTunes store? If so, then all you Front Row fans could use FR/iTunes to playback your ripped flicks too.

dan k

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Itunes has been able to play

Itunes has been able to play all mp4's since version 6 came out I believe, but it will not allow you to edit its info. I've been using handbrake+itunes for video and audio on my g5 for a while.

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compression

Quote:
Seriously, why bother with any of that when you can just rip flicks to .mp4 using Handbrake?

Your point is taken... personally, I have 3 2GHz MacBooks Pro sitting within 10 feet of me, and I've got them all ripping stuff to .m4v right now. I'm not sure what you've got (ok, I have an idea), but archiving DVD vids to VIDEO_TS, and even adding an extra step to put it on an .iso image takes about... uh... I'd estimate... 12 hours less than ripping to .mp4 (.m4v is what you really meant, right?)

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bingo

nice... thanks.

If it mounts images like ToastImageMounter, it will work.

the download page for toastmount

---
oops! Will this work without having other Roxio software installed (like Toast 6?)

also... the app isn't universal, like ToastImageMounter...

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re: 12 hours less

Wha...? It takes my ancient dually 800 QS less than 4 hours to 2-pass rip a 1.5 hour movie to a 700MB .mp4 file (at ~20-25 fps, depending on the material.) I'm not sure I understand about the 12 hour difference which you report.

I do most ripping while the QS would otherwise be idle anyhow, overnight usually. A nice thing about the latest Handbrake is the ability to que up multiple rips. I just ripped my Monty Python DVDs and I could set up the rip of all episodes on each disk and just let it run while I slept, in the morning 3 or 4 more episodes were to be found in the 'ripped MPFC episodes' folder. If one had multiple DVD drives of course one could que up multiple DVD rips.

Since you have access to a MacIntel, why not boot to a win32 OS and use DVDshrink to BU your DVDs to .ISOs. There's really no functionally better solution out there for archiving DVDs.

dan k

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multipass

well.. I don't do a single pass... I believe the software I have does like 5 or 6 passes for better quality... and since dvds use 29.93 fps, or whatever, that's the frame rate I use... so, I suppose if that doesn't matter to you, a single/double pass will do in about the time you say.

Regardless, still takes much less time for MTR to pull the VIDEO_TS to the HD (um, maybe... ~8 minutes), and throw it onto a udf iso (another 8 minutes, maybe)

Quote:
There's really no functionally better solution out there for archiving DVDs

I beg to differ. Roxio's software is pretty darn nice. Both Popcorn and Toast are reasonably fast and make wonderful image files, compressing if you want from DL to SL, while Popcorn will rip to .m4v, Toast does a great job of, say, converting PAL to NTSC, or vice versa, if you need it. Also, running multiple instances of both apps works fine (last night, I was running 2 instances of Popcorn and 2 instances of Toast on a single machine, both copies of Toast were converting PAL to NTSC, and the Popcorns were both ripping to .m4v's) And... even if I wanted to try that... I see no reason to actually boot to a win32 os... that's just asking for pain.

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My solution to playing DVD's in Front Row

Rip your favorite DVD's with Mac the Ripper(free). When you do this select the option to just extract the main title (this is something I do to save some space). Then use MPEG Streamclip(free) to open the VOB files from the rip. Let MPEG Streamclip open all associated files for you DVD(it should do this automaticaly, if it does not try opening a differnt vob file). Once MPEG Streamclip is finished openning your vob files select, fix time code breaks, from the edit menu. This will connect all the vob files correctly. Then select, convert to MPEG with MP2 audio from the file menu. Name your file the title of the movie. Once have done this for all you DVD's creat a alias to the folder where you have stored the movies (this can be on the Mac's hard drive or an external). Place the short cut in the Movies folder in your home directory. Now start Front Row. All your DVD's will now be able to be played without having to make a disk image, mount the disk image bla bla bla. The video quality is exaclty like the DVD. I am not sure about audio ( I have heard that QuickTime does not support 5.1).
Time to rip (20-30min per dvd)
Time to save file from MPEG Stream clip, about 25-35 min.

The advantage to useing this methode is that you don't loose any quality. The disadvantage from Handbrake is the file sizes are 2 to 3 times larger.

This method works for 95 percent of DVD's that I own.

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This solution appears to work

This solution appears to work quite well, however I am running into what appears to be a 4GB limit in QuickTime or the QuickTime MPEG2 component. I have ripped an entire film (~6GB) in size. After MPEG Streamclip is finished with the conversion, the Finder reports that the movie is ~4GB in size. If I open the file in MPEG Streamclip, the entire film is there. If I open it in QuickTime, only 75% of it is there. Seems to be a file size limit. Have you experienced this in your conversions? Is there a workaround for it?

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can't doubt

when someone posts, I rarely doubt what they say... so I didn't respond to this alternative, but now that someone else has, I just gotta say... my way is little simpler and a little faster. Blum 3

Quote:
All your DVD's will now be able to be played without having to make a disk image, mount the disk image bla bla bla.

I know what you mean... the day I don't have mount a disk image can't come too soon... what a PITA that can be, espescially when you're tired. /sarcasm

Am I the only one that thinks its extremely cool that OS X will MAKE a friggen' DVD video without any extra software?
Besides,
I don't think what you are left with is anything like a DVD. Front Row isn't seeing your "DVD"s, its seeing a ripped, converted video file. And how about getting that back onto DVD? Can you do that?

Quote:
The advantage to useing this methode is that you don't loose any quality.

How is this an advantage OVER what was previously described?

My criticism notwithstanding, MPEG Streamclip looks very useful... it will replace my Drop2DV that I used sometimes on PPC to accomplish the same, but MPEG Streamclip is Universal.

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I agree that your way is simp

I agree that your way is simpler and the ideal.

One issue I ran into with the Toast method is that I'd like to be able to mount multiple discs and choose which disc to watch in Front Row. However, Front Row appears to only support 1 drive. Therefore, whatever 'disc' you mount first is what Front Row chooses to see.

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tru dat

Front Row only sees one at a time. You can see them all, just not in a specific order. As you watch one... then done... Front Row can "Eject the Disk"... once it does that, it will see the next mounted disc. I see no logic in which disc Front Row sees first.

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DVD Assist

I've cooked up an AppleScript applet that allows Front Row to play VIDEO_TS without creating disk images. You can navigate a whole library of VIDEO_TS folders from within Font Row, and select which one to play from the Movie menu (not the DVD menu.)

If you want to take a look...
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=714917

(Yeah, yeah, this is pure self promotion, but I am looking for feedback.)

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The problem

Here is the problem I was tring to solve.

How to play any of my dvd's from Frontrow just like I would play any song. I can select Movies from Frontrow, scroll to the movie I want and then play it. I also wanted to keep the same quality.

From what I understand about the other solutions to this problem you still can't select any movies from the 1 to hunders someone might have. I can select any of my dvds, once I have gone through the trouble of conveting them, in any order, stop them, pause them, start another, play a song in itunes, go back to the movies. It is seemless. It is bug free.

To answer a question about file size while using Streamclip the answer is yes. I too have had an issue with Streamclip creating files that do not contain the whole movie. When I am in Streamclip the movies show up beging to end but sometimes it greats a mpeg that does not contain the whole movie. I am not sure it is realted to files size because I have had the problem with 4 gigs to 5 gigs. I have sent the author several emails but I have not heard back from him. This happens on about 5-10 percent of the movies I have tried.

I will give the aplescript method a try. Sound interesting. I am not a programer but just a simple user who likes to try stuff out.

Good luck to us all!!

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I have the same problem

If you find a work around for this size limit issue please post it.

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MPEG Streamclip

The problem isn't with MPEG Streamclip. It is the Apple MPEG2 codec. The Apple MPEG2 codec can't handle a file over 4GB in size. It will only play up to the 4GB mark, and then stop. MPEG Streamclip must use some trickery behind the scenes to get past the 4GB mark.

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MPEG StreamClip

Thanks for the info Squishy. I am very dissapointed. Is there an alternative codec that one can purchased so that you can play an MPEG file greater than 4gb in Quicktime?
All this just to be able to watch a dvd in Front Row. It is drving me crazy. Creating the one large MPEG files works great for files less than 4gb but with larger ones I am reduced to using Handbrake (which is great) but there is always a loss of quality. The one advantage of using Handbrake is that you can rip all you dvd's with MTR and then set up Handbrake to rip all the dvd's automatically. If only the quality was the same.

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again...

just another reminder here...

Quote:
All this just to be able to watch a dvd in Front Row.

Whatever it is you're ending up with, whatever you are watching in Front Row, it is no longer a DVD. Dig the thread title. You guys are burying your ideas under the wrong thread. I suppose they are related, but really, a converted movie file isn't even like a DVD. Why differentiate? Just rip your dvds to a movie file, throw it in your Movies folder and be done with it (I guess... with lots of movies, soft links become very useful).

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ISO Support

I've modifed DVD Assist so that it can deal with DVD images as well as VIDEO_TS folders. So for all that have built up a library of DVD images, you can navigate them in Front Row. (A small placeholder movie is required for each disc image, but that is reasonably painless to set up.)

Here is the post that details the changes...
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8388745&&#post8388745

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mount and link to videos in disc image

Could you simply mount the iso file as a drive/volume, then create symbolic links to the Video_TS files to play iso videos in Front Row?

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