I run linux on my rip box, no defragging ever, thats a windows problem, heck it only takes about 2 seconds to setup a reiser journaling filesystem versus the hour it might take to create an error checked NTFS partition on a 250GB drive.
The other advantage is I can write very easy to write scripts to do most of it automatically, linux has several shells and scripting languages to choose from. To go from xvid or mpeg4 for example I just type in one command and an hour later my dvd burner fires up or asks for a disk and then burns it on a dvd. Or in the case of a whole bunch of files I can tell it to do the whole batch with one command. Plus with the cron jobs or 'at' command anything and everything can be set to run at a specific time, its all automated. Still, you end up dealing with a bunch of really big files.
I run gentoo amd64 all compiled from scratch for 64 bit, I wouldnt touch fedora if you paid me. All the apps arent written for 64bit but the ones for encoding and the majority of the OS are at this point. It makes about a 10-20% difference.