The thing with DVDs, as with all kind of optical media, is that they are pretty easy to damage. DVD players need the DVD to be in a specific format. Computers don’t have such restrictions and you can easily play content from your hard drive without needing the DVDs every time.
The obvious solution, at least for playing them back on your computer would be to copy the content of the DVD onto the hard drive and play back the copied content instead of the actual DVD. The problem with this approach is that even if you are able to copy the contents, the files are oddly named and require more disk space.
Av even better option is to actually rip the DVD to the hard drive in a file format of your choice. What’s more, you can tweak various options so that you are able to view the file on your iPod and mobile phones.
Before we go any further, keep in mind that people have been ripping DVDs for the wrong reasons as well. So most DVDs are copy-protected, meaning that copying or ripping its content is rendered more difficult. While you can circumvent such restrictions, that is not the topic of discussion here. Let’s quickly jump over to ripping DVDs.
A number of software are available that will let you rip DVDs with ease. I prefer Handbrake for the simple reason that it is easy to use and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Handbrake also requires you to have VLC installed on your computer. So if you don’t already have the awesome media player, go ahead and [NO LONGER WORKS] download it as well.
Install Handbrake (+ VLC) and get ready with the DVD you want to rip. Insert the DVD and fire up Handbrake.
Point Handbrake to the DVD you just inserted. Handbrake will now scan the DVD’s content and get back to you after it has scanned the entire disc, offering you suggestions as to what you might want to rip to your hard drive.
Choose whatever it is that you wish to rip. Generally, the movies and/or shows are longer in durations and are much larger in size; making them easier to identify as opposed to other trailers and menu screens.
Choose where to store the ripped files and choose from among the various presets if you want to rip the video for iPhones or PSPs. You can also specify custom settings such as cropping the picture, applying video filters, adding or removing subtitles or audio tracks and much more. If you don’t know what all these mean, just choose a preset and you are good to go!
Hit Start to begin the encoding process. This might take some time depending on your computer’s hardware and the length of the video file. You might also experience high CPU usage during the encoding process, which will make it difficult to use your computer during the process. So go and enjoy a cup of coffee!
Do you rip your DVD collection to a hard drive to keep them safe? What are your favorite applications for the task?