Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Entertainment Downsizing

Moving from a couple thousand square foot home to a 38 foot by 21 foot catamaran is definitely an exercise in downsizing.  I'm pretty sure the closet in the house's master bedroom has more storage space than Rover. So, obviously, you try to save space wherever you can as you move aboard a boat.

One of the things I've been doing since I returned to Colorado is consolidating my music collection onto a portable hard-drive.  It takes a little time, but the result is I can backup my entire purchased music collection on a single hard drive that is smaller than a pair of CD cases (I can actually store most of it on a solid state thumb drive).

I wish there was an easy way to convert old books to a digital format. Converting the pounds of bulky paper into something more potable and storage friendly would be great.  Guess I may have to see if I can find digital versions of my favorite books. I'm also trying to read a number of books so I don't have to take them along, including a number of books I was given as a gift that I intend to pay forward when I get through them.(NOTE: One exception here is repair manuals...when things go wrong I think I want to be able to access those when everything, including electronic devices, fail).

 It would be nice to have a legal way to make copies of movies I own for my personal use...as it would save me additional space.  For the movies, I guess I'll just have to put the DVD's I want to keep into a single, multi-disc, carrying case.

Anyone else have any suggestions on how to reduce the storage space of entertainment items like books, movies, and music?


  1. That is a major undertaking! Sounds like a storage locker may be in order for some things.

    As for DVDs:
    1) If they have a digital key you can register with Vudu, iTunes, Flixster, etc. and then stream them as wanted.
    2) I use AnywhereDVD to clone my high use DVDs to minimize wear. It can rip to a hard drive as well, though I've not used that function. Worth a look anyway.

    1. Oh, I don't have a ton of stuff, but would like to have a little entertainment around from time to time. Trying to avoid having to deal with storage outside of the boat if that is what you meant by the locker.

      As for the DVDs, the issue is purely legal and there is some debate on the legality of making a copy where the format is altered (such as turning a DVD into an AVI file).

    2. Interesting - I was just about to start ripping my vast DVD collection. I thought it was legal if you owned the original copies on DVD?

    3. You would think, but that doesn't seem to be the case as best I understand the mess (in the U.S. at least). It has something to do with the fact you don't own the movie but just a license to watch it. And there are conflicting laws as well...you have a right to make a backup copy but would violate the Digital Millennium Copyright laws when cracking the copy protections on the DVD to make that backup copy. And down the rabbit hole we go...

      I'm no lawyer and don't know if my interpretations are accurate or current, but figure I'll play it safe. Don't want to end up in an expensive legal mess over a silly movie.

  2. Hey Mike, we had almost 500 DVD's that took up multiple shelves in my previous home theater.....but you've already mentioned the solution.....I just got 2 of those mass storage binders and put all of them in there and both take up about 1 square foot of space in the boat. I ended up throwing away 2 moving boxes full of empty DVD cases.

    1. Hey Kevin, Yeah, the binder was about the best solution I could figure out. Definitely reduces space, just not as much as if I could store a bunch of them (legally) on a single hard drive.

  3. Mike I can't tell you enough how happy we are with our Kindles. We have hundreds of books in the cloud on Amazon and they take almost no data time to download them to whatever device you want. We have two actual Kindles but we also sometimes use ore iPads to read on. We have a lot of our manuals on our laptops. We do keep a very few books on the shelf and the main one is a book called How Boat Things Work. Invaluable resource. We also have all our music in the cloud on Amazon as well as in our iTunes libraries. Movies we have in a case just like you talked about.

    S/V Kintala

    1. Kindles or kindle apps on tablets are excellent, guess I'll have to re-purchase the Kindle editions of a few books.

      Maybe it is my aviation training of what happens when all electrical fails that makes me want a few important repair manuals in paper.

      I definitely want music available outside the "cloud". I want to be able to get away...which means I may not have internet for a while...and may still want to listen to some music. And as a software engineer...I don't fully trust "the cloud" or everything I put there will always be available there. ;-)