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Best Digital File Service

addiesin

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So, it turns out Legion season 2 isn't coming out on Blu-ray. A disappointment to me, but I think I can make my own (might even purchase the DVD to mimic its structure and get its special features). The bitrate discrepancy per episode probably isn't as big as it would be with a single film, comparing digital download to optical disc. But that leaves me in unknown territory. I need to get digital files that are capable of being transferred to disc.

What's the best service to purchase and download digital files from with the easiest/simplest DRM to deal with? I suspect there won't be an option without DRM, so I'm thinking it's iTunes and a purchased DRM removal software, but does anyone know enough about the subject to help inform my choice? 

I have Amazon prime and access to Google play, and am pretty much unaware of other services and their advantages and restrictions. Does any service in particular offer higher or lower video or audio bitrates? 

Should any services be avoided like a plague?
 

DigModiFicaTion

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iTunes is the only option. The other providers allow downloads but their files aren't accessible outside of their native programs. iTunes' M4V video files can be downloaded and accessed by a DRM removal tool. It's relatively easy and saves a ton of time when compared to blu ray ripping, but your file is only 6mbps.
 

Dr. Chim Richalds

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Ditto on what DigMod had to say but if you're a mac user, it becomes a lot more complicated (DRM removal doesn't work on the newest operating system - Mojave - at all as of month ago no matter the program).  If you're Windows, you should be set.
 

addiesin

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Thanks guys. 

@"Dr. Chim Richalds" I wonder if you could get some Windows software that would work with a Windows VM on Mojave. 

I think you can transfer files from the computer to the VM and vice versa, so that might be an option for upgraded Mac users until a more long-term solution arrives.

(Virtual Box is free to use here https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.0.4/VirtualBox-6.0.4-128413-OSX.dmg
And Microsoft provided free trial versions of Windows for Virtual Box at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ )
 

Dr. Chim Richalds

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addiesin said:
Thanks guys. 

@"Dr. Chim Richalds" I wonder if you could get some Windows software that would work with a Windows VM on Mojave. 

I think you can transfer files from the computer to the VM and vice versa, so that might be an option for upgraded Mac users until a more long-term solution arrives.

(Virtual Box is free to use here https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.0.4/VirtualBox-6.0.4-128413-OSX.dmg
And Microsoft provided free trial versions of Windows for Virtual Box at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ )

That's a great suggestion.  And thanks for the link.  I'm gonna try out the new program DigMod posted the Giveaway of the day link to yesterday and see if it'll work.  I've been using a very old macbook still running a much older OS (Yosemite?) with PavTube for the time being.  But it's less than ideal.  So yeah, this might be the way to go.  For a lot of other Windows only things too!

I'd be interested to hear from any other Mac users who have used it...  Easy of jumping between OS's?  Any disruption to Mojave function?

Thanks again!
 

addiesin

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Dr. Chim Richalds said:
addiesin said:
Thanks guys. 

@"Dr. Chim Richalds" I wonder if you could get some Windows software that would work with a Windows VM on Mojave. 

I think you can transfer files from the computer to the VM and vice versa, so that might be an option for upgraded Mac users until a more long-term solution arrives.

(Virtual Box is free to use here https://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.0.4/VirtualBox-6.0.4-128413-OSX.dmg
And Microsoft provided free trial versions of Windows for Virtual Box at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ )

That's a great suggestion.  And thanks for the link.  I'm gonna try out the new program DigMod posted the Giveaway of the day link to yesterday and see if it'll work.  I've been using a very old macbook still running a much older OS (Yosemite?) with PavTube for the time being.  But it's less than ideal.  So yeah, this might be the way to go.  For a lot of other Windows only things too!

I'd be interested to hear from any other Mac users who have used it...  Easy of jumping between OS's?  Any disruption to Mojave function?

Thanks again!

The link I posted for the free Virtual Machines on Microsoft's site is intended for legacy browser testing for web development. So I can make a website on a Mac and make sure it functions in Internet Explorer. However, it is a fully functional build of Windows, so I can, for example, install Chrome and Firefox and test that same website on the Windows version of those browsers. I say "a", but they offer several, really, depending on version of IE you want to test. So it's organized by IE/Edge versions instead of Windows versions, but it's all clearly labeled so you won't accidentally download the wrong build.

I recommend getting the version with Windows 7, it's the smallest file and only dvd5 size, around 4.5gb, compared to Windows 8 and 10, which are more than double that size. 
Steps:

1 Download and install VirtualBox. Open this program to start and stop VMs, and for VM setup.

2 Download the version of Windows you want. It's good for 90 days, but you can always remove the VM and re-add it, for another 90 days. They even say on the Microsoft page I linked that you can create "snapshots" to avoid the hassle of resetting after the 90 day limit altogether, so I'm only suggesting following their advice to make it easy on yourself. 

2 After downloading, unzip/decompress the zip file, you'll be left with two files. One is an ova and one is a dsk. Ova is the big file I think.

3 Double click the ova file. If I'm slightly wrong and it's a different file extension, it's just my bad memory, not a bad file. Double click, it'll open the VM setup wizard with some defaults. 

4 In the wizard. If your actual computer is capable, I recommend doubling the VM's ram during setup. From experience I can tell you it'll be smoother. No other settings need to be changed, click through the OK's until the VM shows up in VirtualBox. You can double click the graphic to start it up, or click it once to change more settings. Change whatever you want. 

5 I think you may have to enable a setting to move files between the real computer and the Virtual Machine. I'm not sure exactly where this setting is, but should be googlable.

6. Once you have it setup, start it up and check out Windows 7,8, or 10, whichever one you picked. Install your new software you found free or purchased, and try to convert your files.

It should actually be really easy to at least try out. It at least won't cost anything to get Windows running.
 

addiesin

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I've found a free method of removing iTunes DRM from this tutorial: https://www.howtogeek.com/291612/how-to-remove-drm-from-itunes-movies-and-tv-shows/

Unfortunately the program (Requiem) requires an old version of iTunes. I was still able to do this on my work-issued Mac laptop by creating a Windows 7 Virtual Machine, so it wouldn't interfere with my Mac's version of iTunes or mess with my Apple ID which is different for work. I used a previously purchased episode of Venture Bros in SD (chosen because it was fast to re-download with iTunes). I'm not sure all this is necessary, but it appears to have worked correctly. So my plans for a Legion Season 2 Blu-Ray may continue... when I have some cash to burn on the series and of course after my current ITW project is finished.

Edit:
I also found out thanks to Amazon reviews that the season 2 dvd is barebones, it has no special features, not even subtitles. Good to know, I don't need to purchase it to have everything it offers, because I will already own the episodes. Next step is figuring out how to convert the DRM-free files into something compatible with Blu-ray without losing more quality than the original iTunes encode already lost. I'm still pretty confident the end result won't be much different from an official Blu-ray of a tv show, quality-wise.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I've tried Requiem, but never got it to work. Certain iTunes files don't even work with older versions.
 

TV's Frink

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I hear Requiem is a dream to work with.
 

addiesin

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DigModiFicaTion said:
I just tried this one out and it linked to my current iTunes files. It's called Free DRM Removal

Excellent. If Requiem doesn't work with new (or maybe HD) files, which my Venture Bros test wouldn't have confirmed, it's great to know there's another option. Hopefully this will be helpful to others too.

People probably don't care about Legion as much as I do but from what I've gathered Fox just stopped producing Blu-rays at some point for their shows past season one, possibly during the Disney purchase but maybe before that.
 

addiesin

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Found the snag. I went ahead and bought the series, but Requiem requires iTunes 10.4 and you can only download up to 720p in any version under 11.0. Requiem works on the 720p files but they're not the highest quality available. So I backed up those files in case my next attempt is fruitless, it's better than nothing. I can at least watch them.

My next step is to redownload on a newer iTunes version for full 1080p and try that software you linked, Dig.
 

addiesin

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DigModiFicaTion said:
I just tried this one out and it linked to my current iTunes files. It's called Free DRM Removal

Turns out there's a five minute limit on this software. Not sure if it's always been like that.
 
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