Back Up Blue-Ray Movies With 123 Media Max

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of 123 Media Max. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love watching movies. I have a ton of DVDs and I’m pretty careful about how I treat them. Still, I’ve backed some of my movies up in the past with other software, so I am not unfamiliar with how it’s done. I was given the opportunity, today, to review some software that not only copies DVDs, but is also a Blu-Ray Copy Breakthrough. I don’t have a Blue-Ray player (although I should by now), but I wanted to give it a try anyway, so I did.

Why Should I Back Up My Movies?

Like CDs, DVDs are prone to getting scratched up. All it takes is for you to have a movie night and leave one out while swapping movies because the case wasn’t immediately available. The probability of scratched DVDs and Blue-Ray movies increases exponentially with each child you have in the house. At $15, $20, or more per DVD and Blue-Ray disc, it’s a good idea to back them up.

Copy and Burn Blue-Ray and DVD Movies

The core functionality of 123 Media Max is copying movies, so right after installing, I threw in my Napoleon Dynamite DVD and fired up the software. After choosing to copy a DVD straight, it prompted me for the media I wanted to copy, including my DVD in the list. The selection box was a little small, but I chose my DVD and it told me that my DVD may have copyright protection on it and asked if I wanted to look for a plugin that would get past it. I opted to look and seconds later, I was downloading Boooya to get around the copy encryption. After another quick install, I was copying.

123mediamax copy

In software I tried in the past, I had to run a tray application (all the time) before I even thought about backing up a DVD. Then I would run a second application to do all the work. I like that this uses a plugin that loads only when needed. After about 20 minutes, the DVD data was copied and I swapped the DVD for a blank DVD to write to.

123mediamax burn

After about 40-50 minutes total, I had installed both the application and the plugin, copied the DVD, and burned it to a blank disc. This was also faster than software I had tried previously and easier, too. I tried my new backup and before I knew it, that goofy 80’s kid was distracting me from my review.

Additional Features

123 Media Max has, so far, proven to be better than the software I tried in the past, but here’s where it slaps that other software around and makes it cry uncle (well, almost). After you’re done backing up all your movies, you can get more out of the purchase price by converting videos from one format to another and even downloading and converting videos from the Internet. In about two minutes, I told 123 Media Max I wanted to find video online, searched (within the program) for the Tron trailer, found it on MetaCafe, and downloaded and converted it to an AVI on my drive. The only problem I had was that it didn’t find videos on YouTube that I know exist. Hopefully that will be fixed in another version, but it’s pretty cool even without YouTube. Although I haven’t tried it, 123 Media Max also boasts the ability to convert from DVR and TIVO files as well, which I think is a great feature for anyone with one of these devices.

Conclusions

This software should copy your Blue-Ray movies while maintaining the great quality. In my tests, it performed great and did more than expected. If you don’t want to worry about losing your Blue-Ray or DVD collection, or find that they often get scratched up, 123 Media Max is a good investment for your collection at just under $70.

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Keeping Devices Running Longer With Ecosol’s Powerstick

There’s a couple different ways that portable devices are powered these days, standard batteries, or proprietary. I love the ability to just purchase relatively cheap AA batteries to re-fuel a device when it goes dark, but being able to just recharge a device has it’s own advantages. One disadvantage is that I often need to be near a power source and I have to wait for my device to recharge or at best, I have to stay plugged in to keep using the device. An alternative is to fork over the cash for a second battery and this was often the first thing I did when I bought a new cell phone. My iPhone, on the other hand, requires a different approach, a solution found, perhaps, in EcoSol’s Powerstick.

PowerStick -

What is it?
Just as the name implies, it’s a stick with power. More specifically, it’s a rechargeable battery that has a USB connector on one end to charge it up with power and a female jack on the other, where you attach a device using one of the nine included connection cables. The device can be powered up by the Powerstick to make it last beyond the normal lifetime of its internal power supply. Of course, this only works with devices that can accept external power to run or charge, but those that don’t almost always run off regular AA or similar batteries, anyway.

PowerStick -

Real world testing
Out of the box, the Powerstick had about a 50% charge, so I packed it in my laptop bag for my vacation to Detroit. At the airport, I charged it up on my laptop’s USB port while I worked on my Peek review.

Powerstick - Charging (cropped)

It didn’t take long at all to finish charging up, but it was a little distracting because I kept excitedly watching the little bars load up, waiting for it to show all eight. Although it can be distracting, it’s useful to be able to have an idea of how far along it is charging before it has finished. When it was done charging up, I unplugged it and threw it in my pocket.

Powerstick -I also spent a lot of time on my phone checking and replying to email, so it wasn’t long before I had my phone looking like it could use some charging, so I pulled the Powerstick back out, found the iPhone connector in the ZipLoc bag I keep them in, and plugged it all in. It started charging right away and when I looked back just a minute or two later, I could see that my phone was just a little more charged. By time I had to pack up to board the plane, my iPhone was all charged up again and ready to go.

Conclusions
This review was unique in that I went out and bought this device. One was going to be sent out, but there wasn’t a lot of time between when I had gotten in touch with the PR company and when I was going on vacation and I wanted to really test it out on vacation. That said, the question isn’t about whether I would buy one or not at around $60. What I really needed to decide was if I would keep it or try to recover the money spent on it via ebay or other means. To be honest, the price did make it a little difficult. If it were a little cheaper, I would say no contest and it really boils down to how much use you’ll get out of it. With the variety of connectors, the usability increases greatly as long as you have the gadgets. I have the gadgets and will probably get enough use from the Powerstick, so I decided to keep it. If you find yourself running out of power for your devices a lot, grab one. Just remember to keep it with you when you do.