2-Step DVD-to-PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past years figuring out how to get my DVD collection onto my PC so I can use my Home Theater PC (HTPC) to play my library on my TV. The following is the two step process I’ve come up with to do this; all other programs I’ve used either are not free, install spyware, or desync the audio.

Step 1:

Install and use DVDFab HD Decrypter.

dvdfab1   2 Step DVD to PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

The settings here are pretty straightforward. Select “Full Disk” and where you want to save the file. Click start, and about 40 minutes later you will have your DVD on your hard drive and ready to encode.

Step 2:

Install and Launch Handbrake.

handbrake1   2 Step DVD to PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

Handbrake is a cross-platform (Win, Mac, Linux) program which is a collection of command line utilities that are used to convert DVD files to media files for use on your PC or iPod.

Handbrake really can’t make things too much simpler. First, open the directory where you just saved your DVD to. It will then analyze the DVD for you.

You can then select your options manually, or use some of the pre-built presets available on the right to automatically convert your DVD for several devices. Devices include iPod High Res, iPod Low Res, iPhone/iPod Touch, PSP, PS3 and more. Generally speaking, all of these profiles use H.264 to encode the video – this codec is arguably one of the best ones for quality/size tradeoff. Also, Xvid is available to encode your video. If you are converting video and you only wish to transfer to your iPod, select the iPod profile you need (I generally use iPod Low for the iPod Nano).

Finally, select the “Destination” and file name for your converted file.

Click “Encode Video” and up pops the command line window and you will be able to watch your encoding progress via this window.

handbrake2   2 Step DVD to PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

If you want to encode your video for storage on your PC, you can tweak the settings to your liking. Feel free to experiment with these – I find that selecting AppleTV profile generally suits my needs – this saves the video in a high quality format which you can then convert later to lower quality ones if you need to.

Hit encode and your PC will start processing that video! In my experience it takes roughly 2 hours to do a full conversion in high quality – iPod video takes much shorter since it is lower quality.


If DivX is more your fancy (with more and more DivX compatible devices and connected appliances coming out) then there is alternative software to use. Dr. DivX 2.0 OSS is the open source version of Dr. DivX program.

drdivx1   2 Step DVD to PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

There are some quirks with this program, and it could take some ‘massaging’ to get it working without crashing. A problem I ran across was that the version of AC3Filter I had installed was not compatible with it; I had to go back and install AC3Filter 1.11 to keep it from crashing when I imported the DVD files.

With Dr. DivX, you select all of the video files you want to convert to a DivX file. The best way to do this is to open the DVD’s VIDEO_TS Folder and look for the first VTS files which are over 1 Gig. Select all of them up until the file that is less than a gig, as seen in the screenshot below.

drdivx2   2 Step DVD to PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Tools

With these tools at your disposal, you should be able to get through your DVDs pretty quickly – converting them to a friendlier PC based format really makes it awesome for viewing on your TV without the hassle of searching your your disk and putting it into the DVD player.

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Just started using dvd fab to back up my dvd’s. DVD Shrink is a pretty ace app too if you want to make a .iso and then burn to make a copy DVD.

Dave Drager

DVDShrink is great if you are planning on making a backup copy of your DVD!

It removes sections of the DVD you may not need, and also compresses it down to one DVD.


I personally use dvd-video-soft.com/dvdconverter/cucusoft-ultimate-dvd-converter.html Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter. It converts DVDs to play on almost any portable device including iPod, iPhone, Zune, PSP, video capable MP3 players, video capable mobile phones, Pocket P.C.

It works very well for me.


Thank you so much for this! I’ve tried this before, but the second bit would never work. Handbrake is wonderful.

Ok, so this may seem like a dumb question, but I just need to confirm.
Can you delete the files made from DVDFab once you have the mp4 file?
Thank you.

Dave Drager

Yes, once you have the mp4 file, you can delete the source on your PC.

I would first make sure that the mp4 file plays properly. A few times I’ve encoded the file only to find out that the audio is out of sync.

The out of sync issue is one that plagues a lot of people. Apparently this is a result of errors on the DVD while ripping the disk. I haven’t found a bullet proof solution to fixing the audio sync; usually switching the audio encoder from AAC or MP3 fixes it for me!


thanks guys! ur website rocks! so simple and user friendly its amazing, I dont think I have ever been on a site as clear and as useful as this! I have been stuggling with putting DVD’s on my ipod for a while and your article really cleared things up!
keep up the good work

jimmy timmay

Thanks for this article. I have been using some other out dated utilities and these seem to work better.


very nice tutorial!
but i always use wondershare dvd ripper to help me do that. it works perfectly for me.
though not free, it is well worth the money.
share it with you here http://www.dvd-ripper-copy.com/dvd-ripper-platinum.html


I use ConvertHQ , it’s not free but it is simple and easy to use.

R San

I was wondering about quality of final product. I have found that when I use any kind of DVD Decrypter, the quality of picture goes down. Does this conversion maintain equivalent copy of original DVD ?



I use aimersoft dvd ripper, it can easily convert protected dvd to any popular video fromat with high quality, and the rich movie edit functions is also very useful, you can check it out here for free:


I also use DVDFab to decrypt the DVD but I prefer DVDx ( http://www.labdv.com/dvdx ) to handbreak.


I`s very good.
Thanks a lot


The quality with ANY one or two click encoder is going to be shit. If you enjoy your movies looking like crap, go ahead and do this. Or, learn about what encoding is and how it works. No one click encoder comes up with anything like a “good” final product.

Handbrake can be an incredibly powerful and degrading it by not understanding it is just… shameful.


The codec is x264.

How can you attempt to retain credibility when you clearly have no idea what you’re doing or talking about?

Oorza’s a tool

Oorza should read the title of the article… it’s not “How to Become a codec expert and make near perfect copies to DVD’s”

Oorza, go read the article “How Not To Be A Douchebag”


for linux use dvdrip with transcode. it does everything you need.


Hey Oorza,
How about you write us a ‘better’ tutorial.

Great work Dave. Thanks!


nice article Dave. . you simply stated a FREE solution and have “the experts” needing to put in their two cents.. by me even saying anything guess that puts me into this category but I am no expert…. I just wanted to say great article for the general masses. oorza-We cannot all be experts on video encoding since most people have lives to attend to and can be experts in other areas. You need to be more positive in your comments because your method of educating the ignorant masses (me) sucks. Dave took time to put together a decently written article which gives a good simple method of getting one’s dvds into their media collection on their hard drives. Cheers Dave


Why step 1? Why waste time copying gigs of DVD to the hard disk? Use DVD43 instead – it’s a 500k tool that decrypts the DVD in two seconds, allowing you to then use Handbrake to rip it.


i use the mediacoder ipod edition, its free and can convert just about any video/audio format within the need to install any codecs.

Dave Drager

Just tried out MediaCoder and I am very impressed so far!


@Dave and @stephen: Wow, thanks for this post and for the note about MediaCoder. Only one hiccup getting started: When first run, it strangely involves their Web site. The NoScript addon for Firefox didn’t like this at all, but the workaround is reasonably simple.

Right click the NoScript icon, select Options…, select Advanced tab, and the ABE tab. Select SYSTEM, then click [Disable] and [OK].

Then click the Start MediaCoder button on their Web site, but be SURE that you also select the “Skip this page” check box before you click the start button to avoid this hassle in the future.

Afterward, of course, you have to go back and [Enable] the ABE SYSTEM setting. Other than that, it’s pretty amazing software.

BTW, since converted movies/tracks don’t have DRM, you can simply use iTunes in Manual mode to drag n’ drop vids into the Movies folder. Works for me.


Do you need a Blu-ray Drive player to rip movies onto your PC? Or does a normal DVD-RW drive do?


I use Super C for format conversions. It’s will convert anything to anything. It’s a free tool, but I’m not sure is there is any spyware attached. I have not checked. (but i’m sure there isn’t)

I’m always looking for alternatived, So I will try the above 2 step tutorial.

cheers M8


I use the videora Xbox 360 converter instead of Handbrake. It uses ffmpeg in the background for it’s conversions, so it’s basically just a front end, with really easy to use and configurable settings. It also handles basically any video file that handbrake covers, and more.

Dave Drager

I had a lot of popups come along with Videora, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone for that reason alone!


Just a note, in your DrDivX example, if you select all the vobs that are part of the main feature, this will work on most movies but will bomb on multi-angle movies. You need to either (1) rip the main program stream separately, or (2) process it with an app that parses the IFO file (such as handbrake).


You can stop being a money racket and download VLC player. It has a stream and save options that rips and converts the video in one step. Plus there is a lot of customization that you can do.

Go here to watch a tutorial on how to do it:


Nice guide, it works nice for me. But I’d prefer using aimersoft dvd to ipod converter to rip DVD for my iPod, my friends recommend it to me, it’s not free, but it works nice for me. It also embeds an ipod manager that can help you copy music and video from iPod back to computer, that’s cool, here is a step by step guide about it that I found on its official website:


Is there any software to convert DVD’s to iPod. If the dvd is a ripped un-protected movie?
Handbreak says you need a copy protected source


try 1 click dvd tol ipod. works well.


or for movie files, try nero recode


My OS is based on Mac, and I use Wondershare DVD Ripper for Mac to help me rip various DVD movies for storage on my Mac hard disk and playback on my iPod nano. I was recommended to it not long ago. it works great. here i’d like to share it with you http://www.dvd-ripper-copy.com/dvd-ripper-mac.html


Thanks a lot for the usefull info. This information saves time and money :).



pretty neat. but why the hassel. i got my progrom from http://www.ipod-addicts.com in the downloads section. works like a charm without the extra foot work your guide has. but no-the-less, nice writeup.


My preference for Linux DVD ripping is DVDFabHD Decrypter in WINE. Dump the disc to hard drive then DVD Shrink to well…shrink OR (since Handbrake is command line only on Linux) try WinFF http://biggmatt.com/winff/ based on the fabulous ffmpeg and reencode to whatever you like. BTW – DVDrip (mentioned above) does NOT decode ARcoSS protected discs.


how would one go about putting the files created by dvdfab hd decrypter (the contents of the video_ts folder) directly onto a dvd for playing in any standard player?


I like it .
it’s free.
but it seems can’t work well with vista
another dvd ripper mobile phone
I use for my nokia


I like the freeware and I found free dvd ripper for mobile Phones from Daniusoft.com


cucsoft dvd to ipod converter software is pretty automated and does it all for you. just pop in the dvd and let it rip and then take the mp4 file and put it in itunes and then onto your ipod. that easy. got my copy from here on the free download link. http://www.ipod-addicts.com/cucusoft-dvd-to-ipod-converter-download.html

love it


I got as far as the Handbrake bit with this.

I browsed to the folder where the de-crypted dvd was, and tried one of the presets – all I got was a lot of options colouring themselves red. “This doesn’t look good,” I thought.

I then tried settings manually and Handbrake takes about 1 second to state “encoding finished”, but of course there’s nothing in the converted folder.

Any thoughts, anyone. (I wanted this to work for a Creative Zen). TIA.


I found this amazing website it is a WEB 2.0 that supports all media files conversion it is called youconvertit.com, they can do the following:
1- Convert document, images, audio, video and Archived files.
2- Convert any Youtube and other Online Video to popular formats or download the video
3- Send file(s) up to 300 MB to friends or post it on any forum for 7 days
4- Convert any type of units (Acceleration, Area, Torque and others)

what makes them amazing is you can add up to 5 different file formats, i used them to convert a document and couple of audio files.

Try them and give me your feedback youconvertit.com


site is down


very helpful tutorial!
and if you happen to be a Mac user, you can find lots of excellent dvd conversion programs here mac-dvd-ripper.com


Thanks, Dave nice tutorial! I got a question though since I’m not that techie as the rest of the guys. I have some video tutorials, and they are in mpg format. I want to transfer them in my video ipod. I tried handbrake, with these settings : source-my video.mpg; destination is on my desktop (would transfer later to ipod); then hit Encode. I saw the “encoding pop up” but after that nothing happened. I don’t see the file in my desktop after encoding. Please help. Thanks!


Thanks for your detailed description , which will hlep me be very busy !!


I want to convert files downloaded using torrents (.avi files) to my iPod Touch. I tried the above program but it only lets you convert DVD’s not regular .avi files. Any ideas on what other programs to use or how to use this one for .avi files.


I successfully converted a song to my ipod ,but I don’t know how to share it

with friends. Can some one help me? Thanks a lot !: :confused:


It’s very useful tutorial. but i like e-z converter better


you can try it


Yes,It is great.but i like Cucusoft Ultimate Converter Suite better.

Cucusoft Ultimate Converter Suite converts all the media file to play on almost any portable device including iPod, iPod touch, iPod video nano, iPhone, Zune, PSP, video capable MP3 players, video capable mobile phones, and Pocket P.C., etc. Meanwhile, it can also support output almost any audio/video format including Video format(H264, MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, RM, 3GP, flv, SWF, mpeg-1, mpeg-2, VCD, SVCD, DVD, etc.) and Audio format(AC3, AAC, MP2, MP3, MP4, RA, WMA, etc.).


I am using it. It is cool.


Thanks heaps for the advice – clear and straight to the point.


Nice guide, I found a nice DVD to iPod guide for Mac user, it’s easy to understand, share it here


hey i thought you said dvdfab was free. how come i only got a thirty day free trial? nice work though cheers


The guide is very detailed and helpful. But I think it is a little complext for a novice to do the whole thing. I like idealdvdcopy.com/dvd-to-iPod.htm Ideal DVD to iPod Converter, it combines decryption and converting. You may convert encrypted DVD to iPod format just by one click. If possible, maybe Dave can consider writting another guide about converting DVD to iPod in one step. :-)


The ‘Ideal DVD to iPod Converter’ is not free!

ADF News

Very, very sweet. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be able to stream my DVDs to my iPhone using Orb.


whaT Do you do after encode video, i can’t find the file after hand brake says it is done encoding


same problem here. And nobody cares to answer it


Here is a tutorial about how to save youtube to iPhone.



Nice tutorial for Freeware.

For video conversion, I find yet another Freeware from any-video-converter.com . The Free version of Any Video Converter is the best in terms of the video formats, conversion speed and neat interface.


Besides any video converter, Leawo Video Converter is also a good choice I have used! It also have multiple free versions for most specific demands!


I use Any Video Converter Freeware:



Ripping was a breeze. I chose “Full Disk” and the folder is 6.69GB, with 105 files, however when I followed the directions for Handbrake, the file it converted was only the first preview on the disk. Hmm. It seems like the files are there…but why doesn’t it recognize and encode them in HB?

wayne knowles

Hello. I know this is a dumb question to you folks but… . I am kinda knowledgeable about PCs but no expert by any means. I have a 9-10 minute DVD I would like to copy to another and/or put on my computer (no copyright protection either so this is legal). From what I am reading, if I install this program, I can do that—is that right? Thank you for any assistance, wk.

wayne knowles

Free download? Yes but then it states you must register at a 39 buck minimum–some free. Ha.

mac dvd ripper

thanks ,the following show you the ripper for DVD.



mike for convert DVD to ipod

I used called DVD decrypter which is a free software, click my name and there is tutorial for that.


Hey, i was just wondering what format to select during the handbrake program because I was looking for HTPC but it was not there. And if i convert it to mp4(apple tv) will it work on any tv or even windows media player?

-Sorry if this is a dumb question but I would very much appreciate the help. Again your product is great, it’s just that I myself am not entirely sure how to use it. Thanks for making it available.

dvd to ipod

I heard that isquint is also a freeware could copy dvd to ipod,anybody know how to use it?



I downloaded Handbrake at the following link


and selecting the “GUI (Intel, DMG only)” option.

However, I’m not seeing it in my finder. I’ve a Mac btw.

Why is that?



i have an Omnia which has a divx player. how do i then put the song in my phone?


thank you


thank you

I prefer Aiseesoft DVD to iPod Suite


thank you

I prefer Aiseesoft DVD to iPod Suite which can help me copy dvd to my ipod, put my download youtube videos to my ipod, even backup my ipod video and music to my PC


My friends recommends me Tipard DVD to iPod Suite. It can easily convert any DVD and video to iPod MP4 video format and MP3, M4A, AAC audio format. It can also backup the files on iPod to computer. It also has strong editing functions. So with the only one converter, you can deal with all the problems with your iPod.
For more information, please come here:


Thanks for the excellent guide – really helpful for me. I just have one problem.

“I find that selecting AppleTV profile generally suits my needs – this saves the video in a high quality format which you can then convert later to lower quality ones if you need to.”

The bit above doesn’t seem to work. Handbrake converts the DVD file to Apple TV but does not convert files from Apple TV to lo-res options such as iPhone. I find I have to keep the original DVD file (which is very large) to convert to other formats. Obviously I would rather delete the main DVD file if possible.

Any help much appreciated.


nothing on this page has helped me. i cant get anything to go on my ipod and i think this is all bs.

Baker (:

this website was such a huge help – was getting really stressed because i couldnt do it. So glad a mate directed me here
nice on to the guy that wrote that guide and got the links


Nice guide. Thanks. I’m also looking for something which can help convert the files copied from a VCD into an AVI file or some other video format. Any suggestions anyone? Thanks in advance.


I personally use Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter. It is a best DVD converter can converts DVDs to play on almost any portable device including iPod, iPhone, Zune, PSP, video capable MP3 players, video capable mobile phones, Pocket P.C., and so on. Meanwhile, it can also support output almost any audio/video format including Video format(H264, MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, RM, 3GP, flv, SWF, mpeg-1, mpeg-2, VideoCD, SuperVideoCD, DVD, etc)



waoo~a nice software and helpful to me~~

And I also recommend daniusoft.com/video-converter.html this software to you!


I would stay away from the free tools if I were you. The dvds to ipod I use aren’t free, but they work…and no spyware or trojans.


I like this DVD to iPod Suite which can help me copy dvd to my ipod, put my download youtube videos to my ipod, even backup my ipod video and music to my PC


I like this <a href=”DVD to iPod Suite which can help me copy dvd to my ipod, put my download youtube videos to my ipod, even backup my ipod video and music to my PC”>DVD to iPod Suite which can help me copy dvd to my ipod, put my download youtube videos to my ipod, even backup my ipod video and music to my PC


free ipod tools for Win/Mac site:
(4udl.com/topdvdtoipod/) Top DVD To iPod best dvd to ipod converter

Dan Stanley


I am looking to take some DVDs of my old band playing and load them on my computer… hoping to eventually end up being able to put them on YouTube, etc.

These are videos that were originally VHS, but have been copied onto DVD and all I want to do is save them in my computer… what do I need?

Someone told to use Movie Maker, but I’m not having any luck finding Movie Maker for Windows XP.

Anyone have suggestions?



I have a site where I compared 23 different DVD to iPod converters. I downloaded each software and converted a copyright DVD movie I own (or attempted to convert in some cases) to MP4 to play on my iPod. I rank all the converters from 1 to 23 and have links to download a trial version (3 free full conversions for the #1 Rated DVD to iPod Converter) so you can try them out yourself. See what you think — dvdtoipod.tv — thanks, hope this helps — Andy :-)


I share a (dvd-video-tool.com/dvd-converter-suite.html) dvd converter suite.
It is a combination of dvd ripper and video converter
It can rip any dvd to your iPod Touch/Nano/Classic
It can convert any video to your iPod and iPhone.

apple lover

I recommend you a free software which can help you convert Rip DVD and Convert Video to your iPod. It called Cucusoft iPod Video Converter Suite . It is easy to use, and it can convert video to suitable format that can be played by iPod.

Some other software need two steps: 1. convert DVD to avi; 2. convert output avi to iPod. That solution wastes lots of your time. But for this converter, you can direct convert video DVD to iPod.


I Collected some best Video Converter


I would use aimersoft video converter ultimate which is all-in-one video converter that can rip dvd, convert videos, burn dvd, add subtitle, transfer video to USB device, etc.


i often use this iMoviesoft DVD to iPod Converter
it can convert DVD (DVD folder, ISO file and IFO file) to iPod video/audio formats easily. It works as converting DVD to MP4, DVD to M4V, DVD to MOV, DVD to MP3, DVD to M4A, etc.


Unfortunately, the newest version of Handbrake pulled out AVI/DIVX support. Since I’ve bought several DIVX-enabled DVD players over the last few years, this makes the newest Handbrake useless to me. I’m now using SUPER 2010. (Do you hear us, Handbrake devs?)


Yay! This one is my favorite!!! :D


Now this might be a mighty stupid question, but what about step-3: How do I get my file on the iPod? As a total newcomer I really don’t know but I don’t seem to be able to do it vie iStore…

iPod File Converter

With the Converter iPod File Converter one can make conversion of their all video and audio files in iPod. I too had used the converter and get my files converted easily. Now I can enjoy my favorite videos in myiPod anytime and anywhere.