Thursday, September 06, 2007

How To Rip A DVD For your PC or iPod with Handbrake

Over at the Snapstream-BeyondTV forums someone asked what was the best way to convert a DVD over to Beyond TV to watch it. I think one of the better ways to do this is using Handbrake.

The free, opensource Handbrake can do this and more. It will rip a scene from a DVD or the entire DVD to your hard drive. From there you can view it in Beyond TV, iTunes/iPod, Apple TV, PowerPoint or in any video player.

Here's how to do it:

  • Download & Install the latest version of Handbrake.

  • Insert a DVD of your choice. If DVD Player automatically opens, shut the dvd player down.
NOTE: Handbrake will not decrypt DVD's with copy protection. You would need to use something like DVDDecrypter, AnyDVD, DVD43 or something similar along with Handbrake to do that. I won't go into that for obvious reasons since those programs are easily found by doing a simple internet search. Just don't copy anything that you don't own.
  • Run the Handbrake program.

  • Select the browse button for "source". Here you will want to select the folder where your DVD is located -normally your DVD drive and then Video_TS folder.
  • Select the title. If this is a movie, then you will typically want to pick the longest file as the other shorter ones are the extra features on the DVD. If however you are ripping a multi-series DVD such as a TV DVD that has episodes 1-4 for instance, you will want to select each of the four episodes individually. Start by selecting the first one.

  • Select the beginning and ending chapter. Typically you want all of them so start with chapter one and end with the last chapter (this should be selected by default).

  • Select your destination. Pick the folder, file name and extension (mp4, m4b, avi, ogm, mkv). For Beyond TV, I always pick avi. NOTE: If you are ripping multiple files BE SURE you make each file name unique or it will just copy over itself each time.

  • Select your encoder: This can be MPEG4, Xvid or H.264. For Beyond TV I usually select Xvid or H.264 for iPod, but use the one that will work best for your video player.

  • Select your Audio Encoder. Here I always use AC3.

  • I leave the width/height aspect ratio blank

  • There are many advance customizing options available, but I typically just leave everything else at the default for ease of use.

  • Now select the "add to queue" button. If you have another episode or movie you want to convert in a batch add them now. and then start the batch - it will look like the following screenshot with multiple files.

  • If you are only converting one file, select encode video and it will start working. Note that it will take at least 20 minutes for each hour of video being converted and likely longer for many PC's. Just let it run until its finished.

  • Once it's done, move the file to your shows folder or where ever you store the video files and test it out to be sure everything went okay. All done.

Handbrake can do even more than this. It can convert DVD's to iPod or other portable music player formats, rip a movie clip to a PowerPoint Presentation, it can Rip movies to many other formats as well. It should be noted that Handbrake works with both Windows and Mac.

Try out Handbrake over at their website.

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed HERE