Savvy Hacker

How To: Some Basic (And Not-So-Basic) Photo Management

I recently consolidated and organized my photo library. At the start of the project, I had 13,000 photos dispersed between a number of locations: DVDs, an external drive, an android phone (and Google plus/android instant backup), a Macbook Air, a Windows desktop's hard drive, another internal hard drive, and Dropbox. It was what anyone would call a "cluster." Also, it was more than a little daunting since photos were duplicated across several locations with various names, states of Exif data (present, corrupted, or not present). This is the evolving story of how I got it together and my plan on keeping it from becoming another cluster in the future.
*Edit: I'm afraid I've buried the lede with this How-To. For the really good stuff, head down to step 5.
Goal Oriented Setup: What We're Shooting For
  • A naming and filing convention that makes sense. If you sort the files, they maintain their order chronologically. Also, it must be something that is easily maintainable. Here's what I landed upon based on the tools that I planned on using:
YYYYMMDD-hhmmss-#.jpg
  • A single, backed-up storage location.
  • Not reliant on a single piece of software to maintain the library (not iPhoto. eff iPhoto).
Note: Picasa can work as a tool for this library (since it doesn't move the photos around), but the library is not reliant upon Picasa to be useful.
Basically, I want to be able to find a single event/photo easily and have a system that is easily maintainable.

Step 1: Consolidation

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As someone who has had, over the years, a number of phones, cameras, as well as collections of photos from other people's cameras, it's time to get your photos all in one place, separated by a logical, simple system. I would strongly urge most people keep it less than 10 total mutually exclusive folders. Having too many folders that split up your library can make it harder to find 'that photo' quickly. For old photos, I'd keep big boxes (5+ years) and as you get closer to the present, make the folders cover a smaller time range (1 year or 1 semester). Folders based on events can be helpful, but are not date sortable unless you name them smartly (like "YYYYMM event name" or something). Everyone's system can and will be different, but I've set it up like this based on major life events like college, cities lived in, and years:
1985_2005, 2006_2007, 2007_2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
You should be pretty easily be able to divide all your photos into these big buckets. As I did, you might have duplicate photos with a variety of filenames. That's what you'll be tackling next.

Step 2: Deleting Duplicates

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Once photos are messily tossed into your buckets, it's now time to organize. Unfortunately, you're going to have to download a piece of single-use software. Luckily, you should only have to do this once and the software should be free. I was very impressed with Fast Duplicate File Finder for my Windows 8 64 PC, but there are a ton of others on all OSs. The one I used was good because it wasn't looking for filename similarities, but it looked for actual file similarity (I think it uses some sort of checksum). If you have good, free alternatives for this or other OS's, please weigh in below because I don't have any insight.

Step 3: Cleaning up Exif Date and Time

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Here's another step that there are lots of tools out there to help with, but none really do a particularly bang-up job for free. In Windows Explorer, go through your photo buckets using the 'details' view, add the "Date Created" column and sort based on that. You should be able to find images with bad Exif data by ones that are too old (default camera setting 1/1/2001) and too new (date they were moved between two hard drives). Most cameras and phone cameras should have already put the correct information on your photos. Exif data is important to get in order because you want to use picture's metadata to rename files in a way that makes sense. You can edit Exif date/time via a number of ways. Picasa (Under 'Tools'), Windows Explorer (Files Properties>Details). Both Picasa and Windows Explorer can modify multiple pictures' Exif "Date Taken" date, but Explorer can't edit the time in Win8, annoyingly. For pictures that have date/time that had a camera that was set incorrectly, you can use Picasa to shift the Exif by a set amount. Careful of timezone codes.
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If the filename already has the date/time info in it, there are ways that you can automatically use that to populate the Exif data using Exiftool. I'm still getting the hang of this powerful tool, but it can do a lot in terms of helping with this process. We'll be looking more at this tool later on.
This can take a long time! But it's the most important step toward getting your files in order, since you'll be using the Exif data to rename them. I was mainly going for sortability based on chronology, so if I had a set of pictures that didn't have a date/time, I just got it in the right month and called it good.

Step 4: Renaming Your Files

So let's take stock. You have all your photos in an organized location. There aren't any duplicates. They have accurate Exif data (at least in terms of date/time). Now you want to make the pictures uniform in filename so they are sortable by name and still maintain their chronologality (sorry, English). That means using a filename system like YYYYMMDD-hhmmss-#. For example, 20031231-235900.jpg for exactly 60 seconds before new years, 2004. The # is for if you have more than one photo with the same timestamp in the Exif data. This can be the case for photos where you didn't have Exif data so you fudged it or ones that were taken in burst mode.
Initially, I used Namexif to do this (written up by the venerable LH guru, Gina), however I found the interface to be buggy since it was written a while back. I switched to another piece of software, Bulk Rename Utility. It's free and powerful. Here's how it should be setup:
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This tool is very fast, but you need to make sure you're using the right date/time from the Exif. Generally, it should be the "Taken (original)", but it might be the "Taken (digitized)" or the "Modified" based on how the camera saved the data. Look before you leap and make sure the preview name looks good.

Step 5: The Best Part. Seriously Easy Peasy Organization.

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This deserves it's own post.
After already doing the renaming with the above tool, I found a more complex, but extremely powerful tool called Exiftool. In an effort to automate and streamline my future picture filing, I have figured out a way to run a batch file that: calls the tool, looks in a directory for all .jpg's, pulls the "Taken Date/Times," renames the files, and places the files in a specified folder (my 2013 folder). Um, woohoo! Using this batch file, you should be able to simply run a script (on a schedule or just manually), and your watch folder will auto-magically organize new pictures and file them away to your picture location. You could easily have the same batch file run the same command over multiple directories. To change the destination folder, simply edit the batch file.
Here's the contents of my .bat file after downloading the Exiftool and placing it in C:\Windows on your drive:
exiftool -d %%Y%%m%%d-%%H%%M%%S%%%%-c.%%%%e "-filename
This should go without saying, but please take the time to understand everything here before you run off and start executing batch files. Big props to Phil Harvey for an awesome free tool, amazing documentation, and a lot of forum support. The syntax would need to change when running something similar on OSX or Linux. Here's a post about someone who set something similar up in Mac using Automator. I'll break down each argument in the batch file in the comments below.

Don't Forget: Backup

You probably should already have this in place, but since we're doing some rearranging, it would be good to revisit your crash plan. You'll also want to backup the location where your photos are stored on an external location, either in the cloud via carbonite or something or a backup drive using Windows File History or OS:X's Time Machine, or equivalent.

Add Feature Heavy Bluetooth to Your Car


Sure there are cheaper Bluetooth dongles that do similar things. But the Moto Stream does this with the added benefit of NFC to connect and allowing up to 5 devices to connect at the same time. Which makes for very fun (or annoying) road trips. It also works with iOS devices, android, Chromebooks, PC's and Mac's. So its universal.Things you'll need
1. A Moto stream
2. An Auxiliary cord input
3. A car ( presumably)
Once you've got those items, just plug the Moto Stream into the auxiliary cord, and into the power. Then bam, all ready to party! Like I said, there are definitely cheaper ways to do similar things, but this way is much more feature heavy than the basic Bluetooth dongle. As an added bonus, the device stays connected up to 300 feet, and is really well built. Definitely worth the price in my opinion.
Moto Stream: http://goo.gl/6e4Vgz

Using Google Now for Reminders


With Google I/O's many announcements came a long awaited feature. Reminders. For the longest time Google Now only allowed reminders in a rudimentary way, through the alarm app. That's all. But now it's much more in depth and, well, all around cool! Plus, device sync, so if you make a reminder on your Nexus 7, it'll also pop up on your cell phone. Let's take a look.First off you have to know how to create a reminder. This is simple, use the mic button in Google Now or your desktop widget and say remind me to (whatever it is) Or you can simply press the Google Now menu button and select set reminder. You could also say add reminder then input the info manually. I'll mention this again, but let's look at specific reminders.
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There are 2 forms of the basic reminder.
1. Time and date based reminders. Like at 4 am tomorrow I need to pet my dog.
2. Location based reminders. So when I get to HEB (my local supermarket) I need to be reminded to grab milk. Because I always forget that. This is my Favorite out of the 2, because it doesn't remind you until you need it for sure. Like when you actually arrive at the location.
The basic reminder works like this. You can say "Remind me to clean my room" or "Add Reminder" and input it manually.
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Then there is the date when you want it to bug you. You can select tomorrow or a specific date. (Today shows up to if I remember correctly)
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You have selected the date so obviously time comes next. This feature is pretty neato. Not only can you select a specific time, which is expected, you can select a general time; such as morning, evening and afternoon. Which is a really cool feature if you just don't mind when.
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Now we come to the second type of reminder. My favorite. The location based miracle machine! This has less settings since time doesn't matter. Only location. Just click the mic and say "Remind me to get the milk at HEB" or "Remind me to buy Double A Batteries at Target" The possibilities are endless! Also, you can simply say add reminder and select the little location pin or select set reminder as I mentioned earlier to do the same thing.
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Now, when the reminder pops up, it will appear in your notification bar with a vibrate and a light. At the time or location you input.Swipe to remove as usual.
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You can also view past and upcoming reminders by going to menu/settings/ My Stuff/ Reminders
This is a great tool, and I hope Google increases it's functionality deeper in the future. Maybe even a standalone app for reminders. Hope This Helped. :) I have included a video as well.
You can also sat "Remind me to check the water in 10 minutes" then it will remind you in 10 minutes from when you requested. Pretty neat!
Also, here is a reminder in the Google Now Widget.
Using Google Now for Reminders

How to View Saved Passwords in Google Chrome

In this post you will learn how to view or hack saved password in google chrome. It does not  matter for which website the password is saved it will work on all of them. It will work on Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, twitter and many more. If you get your hands on your friend computer  you can hack their password with this simple little trick. It does not require any software or addons to be installed on your computer.

How to do that ?


1. Open any website where password is saved by user. Here i will demonstrate with Facebook, but it will work on any website.
2. Right click on password(Dots or asterisks) as shown in below image.
3.Then click on Inspect Element.

4.Then change Password to text as shown in below picture.
  • Before changing it will look like below:


  •  After changing it will look like below:


5. Done now asterisk or dots will changed to text. 



- See more at: http://www.coolhackingtrick.com/2012/10/how-to-view-saved-password-in-google.html#sthash.fSmFCN0a.dpuf

Credit goes to Nakib Momin at www.coolhackingtrick.com



Hacking Saved Passwords in Firefox

How to view saved password in Mozilla Firefox web browser. This trick can be helpfull if you get your hands on someone computer maybe your friends and they have saved password for certain websites like gmail, facebook,yahoo etc... then you can easily view their password with very simple and easy trick. 


For demonstration purpose there is already a saved a fake email password for Facebook. But it will work on any website. 

How to do ?

1. Open Firefox Web Broweser
2. Then Click on FireFox > Option > Option as shown in below picture

3. Then a POP Up box will appear, In that go to security and click on Show Passwords as show below.

4. Now click on website whose password you want to see ans click on show password as shown in below image. (Note: It will ask for confirmation so click on yes when dialog box appears)

5. Done, You have hacked password of your victim with few simple steps. You can try this at school lab if someone have saved their password. 
- See more at: http://www.coolhackingtrick.com/2012/12/how-to-hack-saved-password-in-firefox.html#sthash.ZgyPKBrG.dpuf

Credit goes to Nakib Momin at www.coolhackingtrick.com

How to save a web page as a PDF file?




1. Open the Google Chrome Browser on your PC or MAC 
2. Then go to the web page that you want to convert as a PDF. 
3. Now press Ctrl+P on Windows PC or Command+P if you are on a Mac to Open the the Print dialog on Chrome Browser. 
4. Now Change the destination to “Save As PDF” and hit the save button.
5. The current web page will instantly be downloaded as a PDF document. 
- See more at: http://www.coolhackingtrick.com/2013/11/simple-trick-to-convert-webpage-to-pdf_2.html#sthash.mJFkTwUB.dpuf

Shutdown a Computer System In A Second

Shutdown a Computer System in a second,just in 3 steps..

Step 1: Create a New Shortcut First Right Click Desktop and Select New->Shortcut

Step 2: Type It Shutdown -s -f -t 000 This is will one box, type this "shutdown -s -f -t 000" without double cotes

Step 3: Finish It After typing click Next, and put one name as shutdown.exe then click Finish Step 4: Now It Is Ready.. At last it will create desktop icon, now where ever you want to Turn OFF your system just click the icon you will create.

Windows Shortcuts

Windows Shortcuts for beginners 
CTRL+C (Copy)
CTRL+X (Cut)
CTRL+V (Paste)
CTRL+Z (Undo)
DELETE (Delete)
SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)
CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)
CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)
CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)
CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)
CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)
SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text
in a document)
CTRL+A (Select all)
F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)
ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)
ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open
simultaneously)
ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)
ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)
F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)
CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)
ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
F5 key (Update the active window)
BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)
ESC (Cancel the current task)
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)
Dialog Box Keyboard Short-cuts
CTRL+TAB (Move forward through the tabs)
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the tabs)
TAB (Move forward through the options)
SHIFT+TAB (Move backward through the options)
ALT+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option)
ENTER (Perform the command for the active option or button)
SPACE BAR (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
F1 key (Display Help)
F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
BACKSPACE (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Shortcuts
Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
Windows Logo+M (Minimize all of the windows)
Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore the minimized windows)
Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)
Accessibility Keyboard Shortcuts
Right SHIFT for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN (Switch High Contrast either on or off)
Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK (Switch the MouseKeys either on or off)
SHIFT five times (Switch the StickyKeys either on or off)
NUM LOCK for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys either on or off)
Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)
Windows Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts
END (Display the bottom of the active window)
HOME (Display the top of the active window)
NUM LOCK+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
NUM LOCK+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
LEFT ARROW (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
RIGHT ARROW (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder)
Short-cut Keys for Character Map
After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the
keyboard short-cuts:
RIGHT ARROW (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
LEFT ARROW (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line)
UP ARROW (Move up one row)
DOWN ARROW (Move down one row)
PAGE UP (Move up one screen at a time)
PAGE DOWN (Move down one screen at a time)
HOME (Move to the beginning of the line)
END (Move to the end of the line)
CTRL+HOME (Move to the first character)
CTRL+END (Move to the last character)
SPACEBAR (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected)
Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Main Window Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+O (Open a saved console)
CTRL+N (Open a new console)
CTRL+S (Save the open console)
CTRL+M (Add or remove a console item)
CTRL+W (Open a new window)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the MMC window menu)
ALT+F4 (Close the console)
ALT+A (Display the Action menu)
ALT+V (Display the View menu)
ALT+F (Display the File menu)
ALT+O (Display the Favorites menu)
MMC Console Window Keyboard Shortcuts
CTRL+P (Print the current page or active pane)
ALT+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
SHIFT+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
CTRL+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
CTRL+F5 (Restore the active console window)
ALT+ENTER (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
F2 key (Rename the selected item)
CTRL+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut
closes the console)
Remote Desktop Connection Navigation
CTRL+ALT+END (Open the Microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
ALT+PAGE UP (Switch between programs from left to right)
ALT+PAGE DOWN (Switch between programs from right to left)
ALT+INSERT (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
ALT+HOME (Display the Start menu)
CTRL+ALT+BREAK (Switch the client computer between a window and a full screen)
ALT+DELETE (Display the Windows menu)
CTRL+ALT+Minus sign (-) (Place a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server
clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)
CTRL+ALT+Plus sign (+) (Place a snapshot of the entire client window area on the Terminal server
clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing ALT+PRINT SCREEN on a local computer.)
Microsoft Internet Explorer Navigation
CTRL+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
CTRL+E (Open the Search bar)
CTRL+F (Start the Find utility)
CTRL+H (Open the History bar)
CTRL+I (Open the Favorites bar)
CTRL+L (Open the Open dialog box)
CTRL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address)
CTRL+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
CTRL+P (Open the Print dialog box)
CTRL+R (Update the current Web page)
CTRL+W (Close the current window)

Upgrading and Electronic Hacking for Your Video Game Console

Turning your video game console into a home media center powerhouse would be amazing right? The folks on lifehacker.com posted a great article on just that, so we decided to share that with our readers. We hope you enjoy this as much as us.

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media Center

Your video game console is great for playing games, but you might not realize it's also one of the best media centers around. Here's how to set up all of the modern consoles so you can stream videos and music to them right from your computer.
The PS3 and the Xbox 360 both have media center capabilities built right in, so they're easy to set up. The Wii (and Wii U) don't have as much built-in, but have workarounds that can turn them into media boxes as well. In this post, we'll break down how to set up each console, as well as the best practices for getting the best quality out of your stream.

What You'll Need

For the Xbox and PS3, we'll use PS3 Media Server (despite it's name it works great on the Xbox 360) because it's simple, free, and cross-platform, but you have plenty of other options. With the PS3 and Xbox 360 you can also copy videos directly to the hard drive (or play via a USB stick). It's cumbersome compared to streaming wirelessly, but we'll talk a little bit about that at the end. For now, let's stick to the power of wireless streaming.
We've talked about plenty of custom home theater builds, including a powerful $500 one and even a $35 one made from a Raspberry Pi. But the best part about using a game console as a media center is the fact it's already in your living room. Provided you already own a console, you don't really need much to get started:
When you're all set up, you're able to stream videos, audio, and photos to your TV and home entertainment center wirelessly with just a couple clicks. Ready to go? Jump to the console of your choice:

How to Stream to Your Xbox 360

While the media center capabilities are a little hidden on the Xbox 360, they're easy to set up. Here's how to do it.

Set Up PS3 Media Server for the Xbox 360

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterBefore we dig into the Xbox menus, we need to get PS3 Media installed and running.:
  1. Download and install PS3 Media Server.
  2. Launch PS3 Media Server
  3. Add your media folders to PS3 Media Server by clicking Navigation/Share Settings > Shared Folders.
  4. Click the "+" sign and add any folders you store your media in, including videos, photos, and music. You can also share your iTunes library, as well as any other application-specific libraries like iPhoto or Aperture.
It's also worth clicking over to the "Transcoding" tab to make sure you have the video codecs needed to play videos on the Xbox. Transcoding is how PS3 Media Server makes it so your Xbox can play more formats than the Xbox 360 allows. Essentially, your PC changes the video format on the fly so it's readable by the Xbox.
For the most part, you can leave these settings as is and not worry about them. If you do experience some trouble with video playback, you might need to look into the codecs you have installed on your computer so you have everything you need to play videos. If you struggle to get something to play, the PS3 Media Server Forums have a ton of settings for different formats, as well as tips for getting subtitles and everything working properly.

Set Up Your Xbox 360

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterGetting to the right place on your Xbox is kind of a pain, but once you're there it's easy to start streaming videos:
  1. From the main Dashboard, select the TV and Movies tab.
  2. Select "System Video Player."
  3. Select "PS3 Media Server."
  4. Select a video and start streaming.
That's really it, once your video is playing you're good to go. Sometimes pausing, fast forwarding, and rewinding doesn't work as well as it should, but for the most part it's as seamless as playing video right on your computer.

How to Stream to Your PS3

The PS3 is a powerhouse of a media center. Since it supports more video formats than the Xbox 360, you don't need to transcode the video as often (which means youl get a clearer picture and put less stress on your computer). If you have a choice, we recommend using the PS3 instead of the other consoles.

Set Up PS3 Media Server for the PS3

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterPS3 Media Server has a ton of options you can tweak, but for the most part the only thing you need to get it running smoothly on the PS3 is to point PS3 Media Server to the right folders.
  1. Download and install PS3 Media Server.
  2. Launch PS3 Media Server
  3. Add your media folders to PS3 Media Server by clicking Navigation/Share Settings > Shared Folders.
  4. Click the "+" sign and add any folders you store your media in, including videos, photos, and music. You can also share your iTunes library, as well as any other application-specific libraries like iPhoto or Aperture.
It's also worth clicking over to the "Transcoding" tab to make sure you have the video codecs needed to play videos on the PS3. Transcoding is how PS3 Media Server makes it so your PS3 plays more video formats than the PS3 allows. This isn't as much of a necessity on the PS3 as it is on the Xbox, but you still may experience problems with certain video types so it's worth knowing where to look.
If you do experience some trouble with video playback, you might need to look into codecs to ensure you have everything you need to play videos. If you do have problems, the PS3 Media Server Forums have a ton of different settings for different formats.

Set Up Your PS3

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterGetting video to stream to the PS3 is easy, but before you start you need to make a one-time change to the settings:
  1. Enable DLNA by heading to Settings > Network Settings > Media Center Connection (you only need to do this the first time).
  2. Go to the Video section (or audio if you want music).
  3. Select "PS3 Media Server."
  4. Select the video you want and it'll start streaming.
That's it, from here on out, you just need to start PS3 Media Server on your computer and you can stream videos to your PS3 instantly.

How to Stream to Your Wii

The process of using your Wii as a media center is a little more complicated than the PS3 or Xbox because it's not directly supported. It's still really easy to set up by tapping into your home computer through the Wii's browser. If you want to make the experience a little more fluid,MakeUseOf has media center guide that requires setting up your Wii for homebrew. It's not complicated, but we're going to stick to a simpler method we outlined a few years ago.

Set Up Orb Caster

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterInstead of streaming through the software on the console itself, you do it through the web browser. For that, we're going to use Orb Caster.
  1. Download Orb and select to install "Orb Caster" during the setup wizard.
  2. Select the folders you want to share (video, audio, iTunes, etc), and let Orb index everything (it might take awhile if you have a large library).
  3. Open the Orb Control Panel from the taskbar (or the menu bar on a Mac).
  4. Click the "Libraries" tab.
  5. Select "Enable Orb Remote" and create a remote access account with Orb (it's free).
Once that's all set up it's time to head over to your Wii to gain access.

Set Up Your Wii


Next, load up your computer's media library from your Wii's browser:
  1. If you haven't already, head to the Wii Shop Channel and download the Opera browser.
  2. Launch Opera.
  3. Point Opera to mycast.orb.com and enter in your Orb username and password.
  4. Select a video you want to watch and stream away.
That's it. The process is a little convoluted, but it's surprisingly easy once you're all set up.

How to Stream to Your Wii U

Since the Wii U still relatively new, there isn't a really solid streaming option yet. VidiiuStreamer, which is currently in beta, works well enough. You can also stream MP4 videos directly through your Wii U's browser if you prefer.

Set Up VidiiuStreamer


VidiiuStreamer is incredibly easy to use, and while it only supports MP4 video files right now, transcoding is on the way. Here's what you need to do on your computer:
  1. Install VidiiuStreamer.
  2. Point to the directorys you want to share.
  3. Click "Start server."
  4. Copy down the URL VidiiuStreamer gives you.
Once VidiuuStreamer is running, it's time to move over to your Wii U.

Set Up Your Wii U

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterTo get videos from your computer to your Wii U, you can use either the gamepad or the TV. Do this through the Wii U's browser.
  1. Open up the Wii U browser.
  2. Type in the URL Viddiiu gave you.
  3. Select a video and stream away.
That's it. The whole process is very simple, and it works pretty seamlessly.

Other Tricks to Turn Your Game Console Into a Media Powerhouse

The Complete Guide to Turning Your Video Game Console Into a Living Room Media CenterWhat makes your game console a great media center isn't just how easy it is to stream media from your computer to your TV. It's also the fact that you can load up Amazon, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and other video apps so that you have access to pretty much every movie on the planet. You can add these apps directly from your console's app stores (though of course, you'll also need an account with Netflix, Amazon, and the other services you want to use). On the Xbox, you also need a Xbox Live Gold Membership ($59.99/year) in order to stream movies from Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.
Additionally, if you don't want to deal with wirelessly transfering your videos, you can transfer video using a USB stick or play it directly from the stick itself. USB support is limited to just formats the consoles recognize (and you can't transcode), but it's useful if you need to just bring a clip over to a friend's house and it's in the right format. You can always convert it to the right format with Handbrake first, too. Photo by Jorge Glez.
Title photo remixed from Evan-AmosCornischong, and Evan-Amos.