Introduction

There are two parts of managing your media,

  • Keeping your library updated
  • Enjoying your media, how you use all of it.

Updating Your Media Library

As your media library grows it is important to make sure that all the recent photos, videos, and music are correctly merged with the existing stuff.

Photos and Home Videos

You are still taking photos with your phone, and you want to get these photos into your library, so they are protected with your backup systems. Both photos and home videos are on your phone, and you need to get these into your media library.

  • MANUAL: You can manually copy these from your phone to your PC by connecting your phone to your PC via USB cable or Wi-Fi. This method depends on you consistently copying all the files. The concern here is that you may lose your phone with a lot of digital media on it before you have actually copied it onto your PC.
  • AUTOMATIC: The second choice is to automatically synchronize your phone with your hard drive media libraries. There are apps that will automatically synchronize your phone's photos and home videos to your PC without any manual copying. You can configure these apps to synchronize your phone every time you are on your home network. Problem solved; you need to get one of these apps.

Movies and TV Shows

You are still buying movies and TV shows and you want these to be in your media library. So, you go out (or online) and buy a new movie or TV show and you have a DVD or a digital file.

  • If it is a DVD you need to make a digital copy for your media library.
  • If it is already in a digital form, you just need to add it to your media library.

Either way, once it is in your media library all your backup systems will take over and protect your data. Unlike your photos and home videos, your movies and TV shows are not inherently on your phone. They are more of an "onesie-twosie" deal and to manually add them to your library is not really a sync kind of deal, you just manually add them to your hard drive library.

Media Management Software

There are some software solutions that will take all your media and deliver it up to you where you want it and when you want it. Keep in mind that there is no "Magic Bullet" that does everything you want. But some of these do come close. This is the last step out of the digital jungle.

These applications are dedicated to managing your media libraries. Photos, home videos, movies, TV shows, and music. If you do not need built-in editing capabilities (i.e. photo and video editor), one of these is what you are looking for to organize your media library.

Illegal or Pirated Movies and TV Shows

If you missed this in Step 11: Videos, here is it again. Just trying to make a point.

First, I am not offering any legal advice here. I am not an attorney. I am just making you understand that there are consequences to stealing copyright media.

If you copy, download, or get illegal movies or TV shows, you are robbing the creators of this media. They depend upon sales for their income just like you depend upon sales of your personal labor at work or sales of any products you create. There are penalties for this criminal activity.

Then if you "share" these pirated or illegal files with your friends or family or others using these media management applications, you are compounding your criminal behavior by "streaming" this media. You don't have to charge people to view it to break the law, you simply must share it to break the law.

There are a variety of fines and imprisonment in place for these violations.

In short, stay away from illegal, pirated movies and TV shows. As they always say on TV, "You have been warned."

Conclusion

Keep your media updated as the latest photos, home videos, music, movies, and TV shows are available. Stay away from pirated media. Choose a media management application and start enjoying your media.

 

PHOTOS AND HOME VIDEOS

😎 WordCutter: Read on before you go buy a sync app for your phone. This sync feature is offered as part of some of the applications below.

Here are four of what I consider the best photo and home video software applications that will organize and sync your photos and home videos. There are a lot of others, and it really comes down to your personal needs and wants.

PHOTOSHOP LIGHTROOM

Photoshop Lightroom is part of the Adobe software family. This is a powerful, high-quality application that has all of the professional photo editing tools. It has great library capabilities. metadata identity scanning, and cloud storage capability. There is a companion app for your phone which automatically syncs your phone data with your desktop Lightroom app.

It has a trial period that will let you use it and see if this is the photo application for you. After the trial period ends, you will be paying for the application and around $10 per month.

MYLIO

Another very powerful application that will edit and organize your photos. It advertises itself as "The Ultimate Photo Organizer." It has some nice features like allowing you to edit your photos while keeping the original photo protected without any changes. It has a companion app for your phone which allows you to sync your phone with your PC. Additionally, this phone app uses thumbnails of your PC photo library, so your phone minimizes the photo storage requirements.

Personally, I did not like the phone app layout, not bad but just not my kind of layout.

You can have up to three clients (two phones and one PC for example) that have full access to everything with a 25,000-photo limit. So, you can try it out and see if you like it. If you like it, you can use it with the free three clients as long as you like. If you want more clients or more photos, it is $10 per month.

ACDSEE

Powerful, organized, photo-editing application. It has all of the professional editing features plus metadata identity scanning. There is a phone app that synchronizes your phone photos with your desktop, but it does not have a gallery feature for viewing your desktop library on your phone.

There is no trial period and the software costs about $60.

GOOGLE PHOTOS

OK, I like Google Photos. It comes with most Android phones and synchronizes your phone photos with the Google Photos Cloud. Google gives you unlimited space for all your photos. Google Photos scans your photos for identity and location (if you want). It has a bunch of album and collage features.

It's not the application for professional photo editing. It's mostly about copying your phone photos and saving your photo library.

This is a free application.

MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

You are still buying movies and TV shows and you want these to be in your media library. So you go out (or online) and buy a new movie or TV show and you have a DVD or a digital file.

  • If it is a DVD you need to make a digital copy for your media library.
  • If it is already in a digital form, you just need to add it to your media library.

Either way, once it is in your media library all of your backup systems will take over and protect your data. Unlike your photos and home videos, your movies and TV shows are not inherently on your phone. They are more of a "onesie-twosie" deal and to manually add them to your library is not really a sync kind of deal, you just manually add them to your hard drive library.

MEDIA MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

These are not streaming media services; all they do is manage your existing content. UPDATE: This is changing right now as Plex has started offering free (with commercials) movies and TV shows.

All of these are client/server applications. This means that you install the main application (the server) on your desktop PC and then install the client application on your device (phone, TV, tablet). Then the desktop application (server) does all of the media organizing work and make it all available to your devices or clients. Whatever you include in your server will be available to your clients.

These applications make it easy to share your media with your friends and family or anyone else you choose. You just need to give them your secret password and they can become a remote client.

KODI

Home Theater Software: This is an open-source application that comes as the basic organizing engine and has a ton of add-on plugins to enhance your library.

You point KODI to your library files and it will organize a visual display of your libraries. It will put all the TV show episodes in order, your photos by date or by album, it is quite impressive.

Basic KODI is free. Streaming one device = $5-month, Simultaneous streaming three devises = $8 month and five devices = $10 month.

PLEX

Powerful and easy to use, the PLEX application is about as close to a "Magic Bullet" as you can get. It creates an exceptionally good visual display of your media libraries on your home TV's and on your phones.

You install the PLEX server application on your desktop PC and configure it to see your media files. You can then use it or access it with your web browser. There is a companion phone app that lets you watch everything on your phone. A nice feature of the phone app is that it can automatically synchronize your phone photos with your desktop so that problem is resolved.

You can also put your home antenna local channels in PLEX. It also offers its own PLEX streaming movies and TV shows, podcasts, and more.

PLEX offers a 30 day trial period to try it out. Monthly = $5, Annual = $40 or a lifetime subscription is $150

EMBY

Emby is awfully close to PLEX, both are client/server systems. You install the Emby server on your desktop and stream your media to your Emby clients (TVs, tablets, phones) in your home.

  • Offline media: You can download your media to your smartphone.
  • DVR: Record programs
  • Cover art
  • Cloud sync
  • Backup and restore
  • Folder sync
  • Podcasts
  • Smart home

Subscription rates are $5 per month, $54 per year, or a lifetime subscription for $119.

😎 WordCutter: UPDATE: Here are two more media management applications worth checking out. MediaPortal and Stremio.

CONCLUSION

Keep your media updated as recent photos, home videos, music, movies, and TV shows are available. Stay away from pirated media. Choose a media management application and start enjoying your media.