Some of my Software Essentials, Part 2.

This entry is more focused specifically on media conversion and playback…

MakeMKV: Technically this is a “transcoder” as it does not convert (which would then imply generational loss) but preserves the quality of the original media, this app is essential for “format shifting” shall we say…

MKVToolNix: Useful if you need to concatenate media files together, for example a longer movie that had been spilt across two discs.

HandBrake: This allows you to convert uncompressed video files to a more manageable file size - similar concept as to the difference between the file size of an uncompressed Audio CD versus a converted/compressed MP3 file of the same audio…

VLC: The app with the familiar ol’ traffic cone icon plays almost any media format under the sun - before VLC existed you really needed a multitude of video apps to playback the various formats that different platforms/companies/zaibatsu preferred. It truly is the Swiss-army knife of playing back media formats!

Plex: Although their homepage these days makes it look like a streaming service, Plex offers both a local media server that can run on Mac/PC/NAS allowing you to store a collection of media files, as well as a client that runs on many platforms, including the current Apple TV, which means a nice interface to browse said media from your TV.

Currently listening: Jamie xx - “Gosh”

Jonathan Wrigley @workswellforme