I decided to start ripping DVDs and saving them on the mini. First up, Lexx - a dark and sexy sci-fi romp thru The Two Universes. It's quite a bizarre show - I don't think I've ever seen anybody captured in a giant condom (5:15 - 5:30) before.
The first season of Lexx is comprised of 4 movies, each of which feature a well known guest star: the first has Barry Bostwick (asshole!), the second Tim Curry(sweet transvestite!), the third Rutger Hauer and finally Malcolm McDowell. If you're a fan of Red Dwarf, Craig Charles and Hattie Hayridge appear in the 4th season.
I decided to do Lexx first because the DVDs are out of print, which I discovered that back in 2009 when I spent a few months tracking down the rest of seasons 3 and 4 to finish my collection.
To rip the DVDs I'm using Handbrake on the mini. The mini doesn't have a DVD drive, so I'm using OS X's Remote Disc feature to access the drive in my MacBook Pro. I could rip the DVD on the MBP, but it's quite a bit slower - the MBP has a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo while the mini has a 2.6 GHz i7 (quad core). The MBP rips at 31 fps while the mini is over 3x faster at 99 fps.
To help in tagging the videos I picked up iDentify based on the suggestion of my friend Bryan. It uses the online databases tagChimp, The Movie DB and The TVDB to fill in information such as the original air date and episode summary that can be seen in this screenshot:
At the moment I have plenty of disk space, though I plan to pick up a Drobo 5D later this year. It's a raid system that connects to the mini via Thunderbolt (it also supports USB 3.0). I plan to configure it for Dual Drive Redundancy so 2 drives could fail without the loss of data. Bryan has one of the older Drobo models and is quite happy with it.