Best of All - 2013

Best of All - 2013

Standard Disclaimer

Contrary to the title, I don’t do “best of the year” lists. My “best of” list always includes material released in previous years which I discovered during the current year. Purists may (and do) complain, but they can suck a nut. Nobody likes purists.

Best Movie

A Band Called Death. It’s amazing from start to end. I can’t say enough good things about this movie.

Winter’s Bone is a close second. The acting is all-around top notch. It’s a great story and I highly recommend it. I’m watching it (again) as I type this.

Best Album

Rush’s Snakes & Arrows. The more I listen to it, the better it gets.

Death’s For All The World to See is my #2 album pick for the year. I’ve listened to it more times than is healthy. It’s awesome stuff and it’s hard to believe this was recorded in 1975.

Best Music Streaming Service

Rdio has served me well this year. Most people are pushing Spotify, and that’s fine. For me, Rdio’s mobile and web interface have been awesome. I might ditch them at some point, but that point is not on my radar. I’m happy with Rdio. You can connect with me at spiritofnine.

Best Movie Streaming Service

Netflix keeps cranking the dial. Their original material is top notch (hello, Orange is The New Black) and their archives keep getting better. Netflix is the future of television. Get on board now.

I also highly recomment Roku and Plex. They’ll change your life.

For newly puchase movies, I use Amazon. You can stream them over a Roku simply by adding the Amazon app. Apple does not play well with Roku, so I don’t use Apple’s services.

DVD Ripping

On OS X, RipIt is king. I’ve yet to find a DVD it can’t rip.

Encoding

Once RipIt is done, just drag the file to HandBrake, click the Large file size and Web optimized boxes, click Start and you’re good to go. Put the new file into your Movies folder, delete the RipIt file, update Plex, and you’re rocking.

Roku + Plex + RipIt + HandBrake is a killer combination.

We’re still a few years away from the ultimate, but the services and software I’ve found have made things as painless as can be. All in all, 2013 was a great year on the entertainment front. Great music, great movies, and great TV, all available at minimal effort. It could be easier, and we have to look to the future for that.

Bring on 2014. Let’s do this thing.