Thursday, June 10, 2021

Streaming your own content: iTunes movies

A few days ago, we talked briefly about setting up a Plex or similar server to play movies from your DVD collection. However, there's another way that you may be able to play local movies that is a little bit easier, if you have iTunes movie purchases and an Apple TV.

Although I had DVDs before I bought any Apple iTunes movies, I did purchase movies after I got my first video capable iPod several years ago. And, I kept buying iTunes movies after I bought my first Apple TV.

It wasn't aware -- or at least, I didn't think about it -- when I first began purchasing iTunes movies that I could download them to my computer. Then, it hit me that I could do that, so I did.

On my MacBook, I downloaded several movies I had purchased, then launched iTunes, and it showed up on my Apple TV. I was also researching Plex at the time, and tried to see if Plex would see my iTunes movies. It did. However, Plex wouldn't play them because of Apple's copy protection. But, they played fine from the Apple TV device using the built-in process.

So, iTunes was running as a server on my network and was able to play copy protected iTunes content on my Apple TV. No setting up Plex and building a library. iTunes did that automatically. And, if I did rip out content from my DVDs, I could add them to iTunes and watch them too. Even better!

So, for a while, that's what I did. Yes, I eventually moved everything over to Plex, because I wanted to do a couple of things that iTunes couldn't do, but for years this method worked just fine. The few benefits from Plex were countered by needed to remove copy protection from my iTunes downloads.

No, I won't go into how to do all that, because that's not really the focus at the moment. It is time consuming and a lot of work. And, if I didn't really want to do the few things I would need Plex to do, I'd still be doing it that way.

Sure, Apple no longer has iTunes for Mac, so it would be the Apple TV app for Mac to use. Or, with Windows, iTunes is still there and does the job fine.

Using iTunes with Apple TV was a quick and easy way to set up a local streaming server. It may be a good solution for you, too. If so, it will make your Streaming Life easier.

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