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how do I transfer my PC based digital copies to my surface

steve

New Member
Obviously I no longer want to play movies on or even get my laptop out while traveling. My surface is THE device for use in the air so how do I transfer my legally obtained digital copies from my PC. Please don't suggest ripping the movies because I am so sick of trying to get the lame apps that perform this function to work properly (I'm on my second app and still getting artifacts and mismatched sound) besides I own these copies so I should be able to move them right? As you can probably tell I am pretty frustrated by this. I love the surface and this should be a no brainer because my digital copies are wmv files.
 

Mr.NK

Super Moderator
Staff member
First of all, welcome.
Please give us more details:
What's the problem? Transferring or playing these file on your surface?
Where did you buy those files?
Is there any form of drm on those wmv-files?
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Well I know you said don't post about ripping or converting but you should checkout our supporting vendor. Many people have been very satisfied and there are great instructions and update posts on a regular basis. I do recommend taking a look DVD Catalyst.

JP
 
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steve

New Member
The files are wmv and do have drm built in because they are the digital copies you sometimes get when you buy a dvd or blue ray. Getting onto the surface isn't a problem, I just copy them from the video folder on my PC to the video folder on the surface. They will not play using the video player included or via the pressplay application. I assume that the drm is not transferred with the wmv file but surely there must be a way of transferring the drm to the surface just like there should be if I get a new PC.
 
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dvdcatalyst

Guest
The files are wmv and do have drm built in because they are the digital copies you sometimes get when you buy a dvd or blue ray. Getting onto the surface isn't a problem, I just copy them from the video folder on my PC to the video folder on the surface. They will not play using the video player included or via the pressplay application. I assume that the drm is not transferred with the wmv file but surely there must be a way of transferring the drm to the surface just like there should be if I get a new PC.
The Surface RT lacks the functionality required for handling the DRM.

As for converting your movies, I'm not sure if this makes you feel better about the idea, but I actually have a Surface RT. I've been using it with my own movies (obviously converted with my own software) since release day without playback issues.

edit: the Digital Copy WMV files you have can not be converted, but the DVDs can.
 
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steve

New Member
This seems like a huge oversight on Microsoft's part if they want to compete with the iPad. I hate iTunes but at least it will handle the digital copies included with a lot of movies. Microsoft already has this feature on PC's and I can't understand why it wouldn't be standard on a tablet which is far superior for movies when traveling especially with HDMI built in. Come on Microsoft get a grip on this.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Steve, you have to remember you are a fist adopter of a first generation brand new device and brand new OS. I Promise you not even Apple devices did everything right out of the box and in fact there are still a lot of things they don't do. Have some patience.
 

whyjoe

New Member
Steve-- does the iPad itself really play these files? You mentioned that iTunes plays them, but obviously support for a codec/drm on OS X iTunes is a different matter altogether from an iPad being able to play them. I'm just curious about this-- support for DRM WMV on an iPad, that would be a pretty impressive feature, especially since the tech is from a competitor.

EDIT: My admittedly cursory Google search suggests iPad is not able to play DRM WMV files. There is some software out there purporting to remove the DRM from WMV files explicitly for the purpose of watching on an iPad. If that software works, it would also work to let you play the WMVs on Surface (no idea at all if it does.) How to Remove WMV/WMA DRM and Convert WMV/WMA to iPad
 
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TeknoBlast

Active Member
When one buys a Blu ray movie that includes a digital copy, you have the choice between the iTunes version and the Windows Media player version. With the iTunes versions, it's much easier to manage because it's tied to your Apple ID. You can move the iTunes versions from computer to computer and as long as you authenticate the movie with your AppleID, then you're good. The issues I ran into with the WMP player is that the movie is stuck to that one computer. You cant move it to another computer because it has nothing to authenticate it to. This has been an ongoing issue and I wish it was fixed. Just like I like loading up my iPod or iPad with digital movies that came with my Blu-ray version, I would love to load up my Surface with the WMP version of that same movie.

I've used the Catalyst application and it works great. There's a selection where you can select the device you want to convert it to, in case you don't know what version your deveice uses. I usually convert to DIVX because that's what my Surface and Xbox can detect. I've used it for several months and it works great.
 
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steve

New Member
I do accept that being an early adopter I should accept a few quirks but playing movies seems like an awfully big omission (a bit like POP3 mail). I guess I hadn't realized that the DRM was tied to a specific computer. That's the stupidest thing I ever heard - the life of you movie collection is now tied to the useable life of your PC - about 2-3 years if you're like me. I guess I'll take a look at catalyst maybe it will be third time lucky.
 

J515OP

Super Moderator
Blame the music and movie industries for the DRM rules. Software companies don't make the DRM rules and how to apply it, they just implement it. I know it sucks but that is how it is. Apple was able to push their own agenda to a very limited extent because of the size iTunes thanks to iPod dominance. MS is not even close to having the same position.

Eventually they will get set up similar to Google and Android as far as music and movie capabilities but Amazon, Walmart (digital copies with physical sales) and Apple have the most power in that space at the moment. Even then they only have so much room to work with the media companies and the rest is spent trying to figure out how to tie your just to their own ecosystem for what they can sell.
 

whyjoe

New Member
Ah, I see. I rarely buy movies on disc and never pay attention to the digital copies, so I didn't realize they included both.

The DRM issue isn't as cut and dry as you might think. It's not really a simple dumb omission as a complicated story of tech history and old Microsoft technology ("old" like 2003.) Microsoft has changed around its DRM several times. When the old system was in is height ("PlaysForSure"), there were no pervasive online Microsoft accounts of any kind, so there was no identity to tie it to. It also wasn't agiven that a computer would have a regular Internet connection to enforce identity, or verify ownership when files were moved. So DRM was pretty solidly anchored to your PC and rights where handed out to devices when they sync'd via Windows Media Player (depending on the rights rules, obviously.) You absolutely could (and can) move the files to other computers, but you have to do it within specific scenarios and under certain limits. Those annoyances were commonplace in all DRM and a big part of the backlash against it.

Microsoft has long since moved onto a new DRM system, used in Zune and Xbox, and that system is tied to your Microsoft account and very portable. New non-PC devices like Windows RT and Windows Phones do not support the old DRM system. But Microsoft, being Microsoft, can't unilaterally ditch support for the old system. Old media players (remember Rio? Archos?), Windows XP, etc etc still use it, and so obviously do the movie studios. Microsoft will need to work with studios to get them to include WMVs that use Zune/Xbox-store DRM. (How possible that is, I have no idea. You can buy movies from Zune/Xbox and I don't see why the studios can't provide a file that uses that DRM, but how it would get provisioned to your Microsoft account, etc, I dunno. Also, MS might not have the clout to get them to do that, since the Zune/Xbox system is much more tightly under Microsoft's control. In the old system, the studios can create that DRM without Microsoft's involvement at all.)

Edit: oh, yeah, what J515OP said. :)
 
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