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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied Network
I have two computers -- a Power Mac and a MacBook. I have massive amount of storage space on my desktop, but for portability's sake, I don't typically connect hard drives to my MacBook. This means I keep all my movies on my desktop. But what if I want to watch them on my MacBook? I don't want to deal with plugging in hard drives, or waiting for a movie to transfer over the network before I start watching.

So here's what I do. I first begin a file transfer across the network of the movie I want to watch. (I typically do a file copy, not a move, so when I'm done, I can just trash the file on my MacBook.) I wait a second to let it get a head start, and then open the partially-transfered movie in VLC. Note that opening from the Finder won't work; either open the file inside VLC, or drag the file onto VLC in the Dock.

Now, VLC is going to think the file is broken, and ask if you want to repair it -- don't. Your movie will now start playing, and assuming your transfer speed is fast enough to keep up with the movie's speed, you should be able to watch the movie while it transfers in the background.

[robg adds: I've posted this because I think it's interesting that VLC will start playing an incomplete movie without (too many) complaints. However, for general viewing, it'd be much easier to just actually stream the movie using VLC. Just connect to the Power Mac over the network, mount the volume that holds the movie, and start playing. You my have to adjust VLC's cache settings to avoid stutters and drop-outs; for more on that, see this hint.]
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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: frgough on Jan 23, '09 08:31:39AM

If you use encodings that iTunes understands, you can just watch it via iTunes from the shared library, which seems to me, a whole lot less complicated and involved than this hint.



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: rjbailey on Jan 23, '09 08:36:09AM

I've used VLC to begin watching downloaded movie files before downloading is complete. A typical downloaded mp4 file is not viewable by double-clicking in the Finder until it's been fully downloaded. That's because the browser (Safari, at least) stores the actual "movie.mp4" file inside a "movie.mp4.download" package in the download directory; when downloading is done, the package is replaced with the mp4 file and you're good to go. But in the meantime, you can select the "*.download" icon in the download directory, right-click and select "Show Package Contents," and another window will pop up showing the actual (partial) mp4 file. Drag this to VLC and the movie will begin playing.



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: simonpie on Jan 23, '09 09:54:04AM

Vlc is also very tolerant of partially downloaded files via html. It is also probably the most stable reader for partially downloaded bittorrent flies.

By the way, there is no moving of files over network. Everything is a copy.



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: Michael.Massing on Jan 23, '09 11:09:39AM

To the side point: Copying is the default behavior volume-to-volume; the override for move is triggered by adding the option key. This appropriately mirrors the behavior for intra-volume moving, where moving is the default and the option key turns the move into a copy. Not quite the same as "there is no moving of files over network". Best to all, M.

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Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent.
- Porky Pine to Albert the Alligator (Pogo by Walt Kelly)



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Command key
Authored by: MJCube on Jan 25, '09 08:29:28PM
the override for move is triggered by adding the option key.

I puzzled over this for a while and I think you meant the Command Key. Dragging items from one volume to another will copy; the Option key doesn't change that. But adding the Command key will simulate a file move, where the original is deleted as soon as it's been copied.

Of course it's still a copy-&-delete even though it looks like a move, and that was simonpie's point. I'm not sure what the anonymous tipster was referring to there.

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Command key
Authored by: Michael.Massing on Jan 28, '09 12:38:06PM

My bad on both counts: thanks for the correction and clarification. Best, M.

---
Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent.
- Porky Pine to Albert the Alligator (Pogo by Walt Kelly)



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streaming video locally - VLC vs iTunes
Authored by: zahadum on Jan 23, '09 11:33:48AM

@drfrough:

the format compatibility issue is not a limitation of itunes itself but rather of QuickTime.

you can play a wide variety of (drm-free) video if you install the appropriate plugins for quicktime: the two biggies (both free!) are Flip4Mac for microsoft codecs & Perian for almost every other codec available.

(vlc can playback mpeg2, including the css drm used by DVD; whereas apple requires that you pay extra for the mpeg2 codec, on account of it being a member of the intellectual property pool that cross-licences mpeg2. This hidden tax does not apply to mpeg4/h264, which are not encumbered by the same IPR regime as the legacy mpeg2 format is).

so, the confusing issue here us not what formats itunes can play back (the QuickTime plugins should handle most formats); the genuine compatibility issue is how iTunes & iPod inter-relate. There is a special marker (which is known quicktime as an 'atom') that signifies whether a movie meets all the specs for an apple media device - ie iPod/iPhone/appletv.

it is this extra piece if information that explains why a movie can play in iTunes on a computer (which is the largest of all if apple's media players) yet can not play back on these other devices.

with that distinction in mind, then yes, iTunes is a simpler tool for streaming video than vlc because no special menu command is required - ie streaming is not a special case for iTunes, it is a standard/invusible feature ... with only two exceptions.

first, iTunes is restricted from streaming locally (apple disabled Internet streaming, though there are work-arounds available). vlc does not have this limitation.

second, iTunes (QuickTime really) requires a special paid plugin from apple in order to playback mpeg2 used for DVD's (which is why the apple DVD player is a stand-alone from the rest if the apple media architecture - it also incorporated the drm to manage css). vlc does not have this limitation: it can playback mpeg2/css files from anywhere to anywhere.

result: iTunes is easier to use most of the time; however vlc is always useful to fill the breach when itunes/QuickTime fail to do the job (not to mention that vlc has a simple playlist manager whereas quicktime player does not).


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mailto:osxinfo _at_ yahoo.ca



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streaming video locally - VLC vs iTunes
Authored by: frgough on Jan 24, '09 11:22:06AM

LOL. That was a very long-winded way of basically saying: If iTunes understands your video, it's easier to stream over it.

Let's say the unspoken here.

With VLC, I can stream my pirated videos I downloaded over bittorrent easier.



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streaming video locally - VLC vs iTunes
Authored by: zahadum on Jan 24, '09 09:06:14PM

@frgough:

1) man, what a short-winded way of saying that a) you are a loser b) wasting everyone's time, c) (still) don't know what you are talking about!

2) no, the streaming issue has NOTHING to do with iTunes: format compatibility is governed only by QuickTime ... how much simpler do you need it? - d'uh!

3) the reason for a fullsome explanation was to help undo the damage done by your technically ill-informed mistatement, so that noobs would not led astray by your ridicuculous & misleading over-simplifications.

so why don't you just shut up & stop complaining when other people have to clean up the mess you make ...

you hint-tard! (with apologies to FSJ)





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mailto:osxinfo _at_ yahoo.ca



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streaming video locally - VLC vs iTunes
Authored by: zahadum on Jan 24, '09 09:11:14PM

@frgough:

... and of course by "loser" I simply mean "pirate" ....

I, um, naturally I was not making any comment about you, er, personally.

... but u still r a hint-tard :-)

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mailto:osxinfo _at_ yahoo.ca



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streaming video locally - VLC vs iTunes
Authored by: frgough on Jan 26, '09 07:38:31AM

LOL.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: Wuffel on Jan 23, '09 07:52:27PM

Or.... you could start using an Airport extreme network.



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: louish on Jan 24, '09 11:39:49PM

At home I have a 2TB NAS box (buffalo tera station pro, old verson), there I have folders named - Movies (700+) Audiobooks and Music. From my MacBook Pro, my linux work station and My daughters windows xp box, I have drives mapped or mounted to these shares. From the Mac I usually use iTunes to navigate to the content, the Linux and windows boxes just open up in a file folder. From there any movie I want to watch I just "stream" it from the NAS box, I never have to copy any files, I not sure why you do that, but VLC will stream the file fine, without any loss. Sometimes my daughters and I will be watching the same movie,without any issues at all.

regards,
Louis



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Use VLC to watch movies before they're fully copied
Authored by: guillaume.kh on Jan 28, '09 05:31:29PM

Not all incomplete files work well with VLC. In my experience, incomplete MKVs deal very badly with fast-forward/backward.



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