Storage

Five DVD ripping tools

DVD ripping software allows you to extract a movie from a DVD and convert it to a format that you can watch on a mobile device.

Today's tablets, smartphones, and portable media players make it possible to take movies with you on the go. Most of these types of devices have access to a movie library through which consumers can purchase or rent movies. That's great if you want to watch the latest new release, but if you have some old classics on DVD you probably aren't keen on the idea of paying for the same movie twice. DVD ripping software can solve this problem by allowing you to extract a movie from DVD and convert it to a format that you can watch on a mobile device. This article lists five DVD ripping products.

Additional screenshots are viewable in the accompanying TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

Before I Begin

Before I get started, I need to keep the lawyers happy by explaining that digital piracy is a crime and that none of these products should be used for illegal purposes.

DVD Decrypter

DVD Decrypter is a free product that has been around for quite some time. In spite of its age, it seems to work really well for ripping all but the latest movies. The software is designed to be paired with another free utility called RipIt4Me. RipIt4Me is a wizard that greatly simplifies the DVD ripping process. In fact, the wizard even provides a one click mode that makes ripping a DVD really simple.

In preparation for writing this article, I spent some time working with DVD Decrypter and RipIt4Me. The software seems to work best for ripping a DVD to a computer's hard drive (where it remains in DVD format). There are many other software applications that can be used to convert the now non-copy protected movie to another format.

Magic DVD Ripper

Magic DVD Ripper is a commercial DVD ripping utility that can extract a movie from a DVD and save it in a number of different formats. My favorite thing about Magic DVD Ripper is that the software offers a number of built in profiles for various mobile devices. For example, I use a Zune HD to watch movies on the go, and Magic DVD Ripper includes a Zune profile for converting DVD movies to a Zune compatible format.

Magic DVD Ripper sells for $34.97, and includes free upgrades for a year. The upgrades are an important selling point, because DVD manufacturers sometimes change their copy protection methods and the only way to make sure that you will be able to rip any DVD that you want to is to make sure that you are running up to date ripping software.

Easy DVD Rip

Easy DVD Rip is another utility for ripping DVDs and converting DVD contents to various other media formats. One of the nice things about this particular application is its flexibility. For example, the software allows you to remove or merge DVD chapters. You can even control if (or how) sub titles are used in the ripped content.

Easy DVD Rip is free to try and costs $34.95 to purchase.

Xilisoft DVD Ripper

Xilisoft DVD Ripper is designed to rip DVD content and convert it to popular formats such as MPEG or WMV video. Like some of the competing products, Xilisoft DVD ripper has options to convert DVD contents to formats that are compatible with devices such as iPods and other media players. Some of the more unique features include the ability to extract DVD audio and save it to an MP3 file and the ability to produce DVD screen captures.

Xilisoft DVD Ripper comes in three different editions. The Standard Edition costs $39.95 and should be adequate for most users. The Platinum edition ($49.95) and the Ultimate edition ($59.95) contain additional features which are primarily related to video editing (such as cropping a video or adding a water mark).

DVD Shrink

DVD Shrink is a handy (and free) utility for anyone who wants to create a backup copy of a DVD movie. Whereas most of the DVD rippers that have been discussed focus on extracting video from a DVD and converting it to a format that is playable on a mobile device, DVD Shrink seeks only to copy content from a DVD to a DVDR. In doing so, DVD Shrink is able to reduce the size of the content so that it will fit on a recordable DVD, hence the name DVD Shrink.

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About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

43 comments
AltRockAddict
AltRockAddict

Hi!  I am a grandma who worked with computers... in 1979 and beyond.  But this is now WAY beyond me.  I don't understand the lingo or how to ask what I want to know, so please excuse me for saying anything politically incorrect.  

I want to copy a concert DVD to another DVD so I can take it with me when I travel and leave the original with my daughter for safe-keeping.  I bought an LG portable DVD writer, but have found the original DVD in encrypted.  What now?  (In non-binary English?)  Download software: OK  cost: up to $40 OK, Easy: YES PLEASE!  nothing is blu-ray.  Thank you in advance for pointing me in the right direction!  


Stephen Connell
Stephen Connell

I was asked this question but not sure how to answer it;

If  the creator of DVD Decrypter  was forced to shutdown by the powers that be because of Piracy fears why  are products like DVDFab allowed to be sold freely to consumers when they can cut through all the copyright protection  currently used?  I realize that people should be aware of piracy laws etc  but the product is out there and  a small percentage of people will us it the wrong way.yet DVD Decrypter was slaughtered when its the same product as DVDFab.

Richaldanny
Richaldanny

I have use Leawo DVD ripper(http://www.leawo.com/dvd-ripper/) and it is very helpful for me to copy my dvd movies to my tablet.Other dvd ripper like winxdvd, I have heard of it, but don't have the chance to try.

Promodisc
Promodisc

The new dvd chronicles is now available. Get the details from the post CD duplication

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

to get it you have to go to the Medibuntu website and download it there.

dingbat01
dingbat01

I would like any one of these to do rips to more than one format at a time... For example I rip for personal use only, to PS3 Ipad Android I would like to have a checkbox list where I can select all three at the same time and leave it running overnight, voila, all three formats happily for the family. Not having to get up at 01:00 03:00 and 05:00 to change and start a rip again would be fantastic.!! regards

iT_BANDiT
iT_BANDiT

DVDFab? An all-in-one suite for making 1:1 clone copies of DVDs, and ripping to virtually ANY format! I can't believe this is not on this list! http://www.dvdfab.com/

Gisabun
Gisabun

DVD Shrink does the job 99% of the time [it can also trash unneeded subtitles, audio tracks, extras, etc.] but there is the odd time where it doesn't work. I had this commercial DVD I wanted to back up and the way they created the DVD led me to believe it was some copyright protection as the VIDEO_TS totaled over 40GB for a dual layer DVD. In that case, I used DVDFab [the free edition].

stevehess1
stevehess1

No mention of Handbrake or anything pertaining to Blu-Ray disks? How about 3-D issues?

Haligonian
Haligonian

Another great tool (or suite of tools) is AutoGK. It hasn't been updated in a few years, still produces great results. It is slower than some but produces great looking avi (divx/xvid) output.

Kragom
Kragom

DVDFab is a product I found was very good at ripping the most stubborn DVD. Exists in free version too (Fab HD and similar...)

sdmagic
sdmagic

My DVD ripper of choice is: Handbrake ( http://handbrake.fr/ ) which I use in combination with DVD43 ( http://www.dvd43.com/ ). Both programs are free. DVD43 is a small (809K) Windows tray program that monitors the DVD drive. When a commercial DVD is inserted, DVD43 does the on-the-fly decrypting job. Handbrake is a video transcoder that can convert a DVD or a video file to a variety of formats. If the provided presets don't fit your needs, you can build your own using the multitude of options that are available in the program. Typically, I select the iPad preset and deselect the Large file size checkbox. With Handbrake setup this way, the resulting video is playable on our Google Nexus 7 or our Kindle Fire (original version) or our iPhones or on our TV using XBMC as our media player and entertainment hub. There are only a few DVDs that this setup hasn't been able to handle, but those are few and far between. Whenever we buy a DVD, we convert it to a file on our NAS and put the disk in a box in the closet.

count_zero_interuptus
count_zero_interuptus

This is more readable. Also AnyVideoConverter, free, is nice and many formats supported. Also DVD Cloner. for a fast rip/burn

dcolbert
dcolbert

Are why corporations LOVE mobile OS device platforms like iOS and Android, why they would also *love* to see the traditional PC become a dinosaur and a relic. Traditional PCs are a genie that is out of the bottle and can't be put back. Whereas almost all modern technologies and platforms have been designed with an eye to taking that control *back* from the technically adept consumer. (And restoring it to the corporations that control and distribute IP). That is, HDTV, HDMI, BluRay and 3D - as well as mobile OS platforms from both Apple and Google - have built in support for making it anywhere from far more difficult to nearly impossible to bypass built in DMCA protections. As we wonder what we give up going forward into the Post-PC era of computing, remember this. I think very few people really understand the significance of how we are losing control of our media and our devices.

SKDTech
SKDTech

Handbrake remains my go-to DVD ripping and video conversion software of choice and it is free. Unfortunately, they do not provide a decrypter so you need another program such as DVD43 (hasn't been updated since 2009) or Slysoft's AnyDVD to be able to rip encrypted DVDs. Another one I have been trying recently has been Freemake. It works well but Handbrake is easier for me to queue up a mass of dvdrips to be converted for my HTPC. When I have a multi-disc movie though Freemake allows me to join the video files and is the only free software solution that I was able to find to do this.

vaughndumas
vaughndumas

There are also a few programs out there (e.g. Badaboom) that rip using your GPU's power. It increases the speed of the rip quite significantly.

zefficace
zefficace

In case anyone is interested, I have a suggestion for Linux users. Nothing wrong with Windows or its tools, this is just a friendly suggestion. Anyway, K9copy does a really good job, and it's easy to use. With libdvdcss, it will rip any DVD and make a nice ISO / burn it for you. It is worth installing the few QT librairies, even if I use XFCE/GTK.

rey
rey

A review that doen't even mention SlySoft? You loose all credibity!

Loaded4th
Loaded4th

Slysoft has an excellent ripper that is freqently updated for a wide variety of DVD's and Blue Ray disks to a significant variety of formats inclunding an ISO image of the disc content. I mainly use the CloneDVDmobile app that is also available. I also use K9 (totally free) on my Kubuntu (Linux) desktop.

dcolbert
dcolbert

But again... this is the kind of thing that makes Linux less than suitable for end consumers and prevents widespread adoption of the platform. It is good for people willing to endure these kind of hassles - but most users aren't willing. I bet this fixes my problems up, though... ya think?!? :) Grabbed it, installed it... put in Avengers... Executable: k9copy PID: 1955 Signal: 11 (Segmentation fault) Ka-boooom. My old friend, the Seg Fault.

james.graham
james.graham

You could use a seperate ripper such as DVDFabHD to create your .iso then use Handbrake to batch encode to each output format. Each output file type would need to be set up, but once you have determined and set your output preferences you can save them as a profile that can be easily recalled. Then all you need to do is add the encode jobs to the batch list seperately. It sounds like you are using an all-in-one ripper/encoder, which in your case is adding work.

SiO2
SiO2

As a musician and artist, the thought of pay-per-view and pay-per-listen is extremely attractive, but only if it means that it isnt another revenue stream for the industry that bleeds our work for its own continued existence. If you think that piracy is something that the thieving public do to the virtuous paragons who provide our security you'd be mistaken. The system exists solely to make money from other peoples hard work, although technologies are also beginning to spring up to circumvent their slice too. I have no problem with people viewing my work for free; this is advertisement to a creator, and isnt viewed as wrong. What IS wrong, is greedy scumbags who wish to charge ME to listen to songs I've written and recorded myself, as well as charging those I'd consider customers myself, for which I'll never see a penny. The industry is a giant scam, and always has been... We never did have much control over our work once recording and distribution became a means to itself.

stevehess1
stevehess1

I tried this one today and it worked great on a DVD! It says it will work on Blu-Ray by pointing the program at the m2ts file you want to convert. I'm sure that's true, but if you want to convert the *main movie* as with a DVD I don't see any way to do it effectively. Any hints?

dcolbert
dcolbert

If I were doing this kind of thing, (which I'm not,) WinX DVD Ripper Platinum would have replaced Handbreak for me for as my top choice for ripping DVDs to digital format.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Here is the thing about Linux solutions... as far as consumer convenience, how does setting up K9Copy compare to installing software like Slysoft AnyDVD and CloneDVD, or Digiarty's WinX DVD Ripper Platinum? You had my interest until you got into, "with libdvdcss... it is worth installing the few QT libraries, even if I use XFCE/GTK..." at which point I went, "That sounds like a typical Linux hassle." Reading the article - the author mentions DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink. The problem is that DVD Decrypter has been a dead project for several years. "On June 6, 2005, the developer, Lightning UK!, announced[1] via the CD Freaks[2] website that he received a cease and desist letter from Macrovision.[3] He later stated it was within his best interests to comply with the letter, and stopped development of the program. By June 7, 2005, a mirror site was up,[4] which allowed people to download the final version (3.5.4.0). On November 27, 2005, Afterdawn.com, a Finnish website, announced that it complied with a letter received from Macrovision demanding that DVD Decrypter be taken down from its site. Shortly thereafter, an "original unofficial" mirror site with no connection to Lightning UK! reappeared" This seems to be the problem with most DVD decrypting software that isn't commercial (and would therefore seem to apply to Linux ripping solutions as well, in my mind). It can't keep up with evolving encryption - and you spend a ton of time making coasters or waiting 20 minutes for a rip that ultimately fails. As the Wiki article goes on to point out: "Under United States Federal law, making a backup copy of a DVD-Video or an audio CD by a consumer is legal under fair use protection. This provision of United States law conflicts with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibition of so-called "circumvention measures" of copy protections. In the "321" case, Federal District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California,[5] ruled that the backup copies made with software such as DVD Decrypter are legal but that distribution of the software used to make them is illegal." So basically, the best bet is to buy a commercial product that is consistently updated and made, supported and distributed by a non-domestic company. Of course, as neurotic as the US Federal Government is about DMCA enforcement and interpretation at the moment - the best bet is to just be a good little consumer and don't mess with this kind of technology at all.

Haligonian
Haligonian

Have to agree about Slysoft. Have been using AnyDVD for years. The great thing about it is that it sits in between you copy protected DVD and your ripping software, making your DVD appear to be non-copy protected. This makes a whole bunch of rippers that can not handle copy protected content available to you such as Roxio, Nero, and Koyotesoft's Free Video Converter. AnyDVD makes a tool like DVD Decrypter obsolete.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

is it any worse than what happens in the Windows world where you have to go wandering around the Internet finding things out to find the programs you need to do things - programs like Winzip, etc. Sure you can find proprietary software to do things quicker and easier in Windows, but that's also possible for software you pay for in Linux too - not all the software is free due to various US laws.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I'm a content creator. I understand wanting to get paid for your efforts. I agree, this isn't about the creators, it is about the content distributors. Those are the corporations who see the lion's share of the profits for intellectual property - and they're the ones pushing technologies that are not consumer friendly. As far as pay-per-view... if I write a book, and someone buys it, the content of the book remains MINE (or the publishers, more likely) - but the book itself the physical medium which contains my IP, should be *theirs*. If they want to digitize it so they can read it on an eReader and they have the equipment to do so, that shouldn't be any hair off my chin. If they *redistribute* that copy to someone else, they've broken the law. If they take a copy without paying for it, that should be illegal. If they publish it without permission in another medium for further consumption, THAT should be illegal. Those are all reasonable protections of my IP. But that isn't the direction we're headed in with IP protections.

zefficace
zefficace

Your blowing the "linux hassle" thing out of proportion. Most package managers will install dependencies without the user needing to know them. My being specific has nothing to do with how easy something is to install. In my case, it's just "pacman -S k9copy", and voilà, all that is needed is installed (and I'm on Arch). Ubuntu is probably even simpler. Also K9copy has yet to fail ripping a DVD, ever. So I doubt I would get much more out of "commercial" windows tools. Of course, something might fail eventually, it just never happened until now. I back up all my stuff, including a few things I bought to enjoy with nephew (and eventually my own kids)! The same applies to handbrake, which I also have on my system. Hardly a difficult operation to get that installed, with all the dependancies correctly managed by package manager. I didn't even have to figure out a single dependancy. In fact, I couldn't even name one right now. Frankly if one can't handle that, I do doubt the "free" windows tools would really be of any help. So yeah, the best "is to buy a commercial product", so the PEBCAKs can complain when they managed to screw up the ripping ... ;) I won't comment too much on the legal status of any ripping software in the US. My understanding is that all ripping software is in a precarious legal state in the US, period. The question of the "circumvention mesures" being the biggest problem. Regarding your quotation that: " backup copies made with software such as DVD Decrypter are legal but that distribution of the software used to make them is illegal". The terms are "the software used", meaning all software used to rip. On windows or linux, ripping is a problematic activity in the US, as getting the software demands distribution of it. But, in the end, what ever floats your boat Mr. Colbert. I you give it a go, I seriously doubt you'll find installing K9copy much more difficult than any other software, but I could be wrong.

dcolbert
dcolbert

For an average user who wants to be able to back-up their DVD collection with the least amount of hassle and with the highest rate of success, K9Copy simply isn't going to come anywhere close to the closed-source, commercial solutions available for the Windows platform. This is that same old argument. As far as I can see, K9Copy is the *only* solution for ripping DVDs in *nix. So, there is no competition, and even if there were, what is "competition" when it isn't based on the livelihood of the product and development teams involved? To wit, there are about a dozen different solutions for ripping DVDs and BluRays on Windows platforms. Each one is proprietary, and each is competing commercially for sales against all of the others. So it is a tremendously competitive arena for software development where there is a pressing drive for each vendor to constantly support the *best* solutions on the market. Updates to address new encryption and protection schemes are constantly worked on, because if you let your competition get out ahead of you, they'll start *selling* more product than you do. So, a hot new anticipated title like Marvel's Avengers comes out and it is heavily protected. Those that weren't prepared for this protection have obtained the disk and figured out how to defeat the protection and made an update available within a matter of days. On K9Copy you've got a team of developers who probably have an attitude like this, if my experience with FOSS is any indication - "K9Copy is FOSS and is provided at no cost to you. We all have day jobs, and our development team consists of a group of dedicated and passionate developers scattered across the globe who join and leave the project at their whim. If you are upset that we can't crack the latest DVD encryption, why don't YOU join and contribute to the project - or donate and support the project by providing us equipment and disks that need to be cracked." I appreciate the idealism of the grass roots movement and the frustration that end-users want to treat FOSS projects with the same expectations that they have of huge, for-profit, closed-source publishing houses. But when I want to rip the latest DVD, the FOSS solution is going to run into logistical challenges that the closed-development solution will probably already have solved. How much is *that* worth? Especially to the person who already has a Dell laptop of desktop with an included OEM version of a MS OS on it? If you're one of the 1% outliers who has a DIY machine and skipped the commercial licensed OS for a FOSS OS solution, this is a cheap, workable solution... and it will do the job, more or less... for a LOT less money. I think it is a great thing that Linux is out there and it is making strides in more closely matching what commercial OS platforms deliver. But, it isn't on par with what commercial development cycles deliver - and this is a *great* real world example of that fact in action. Maybe if it was a commercial, for profit, FOSS based DVD decrypter/copy app it could drive things... but my gut feeling is that Linux markets are like Android markets... it is hard to monetize the current user base. The user-base doesn't see the value in paying for things that they can "get for free" elsewhere.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

How easy and how costly would it have been to do it in Windows? If you could do it at all due to their in-built anti-piracy hooks.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Let me weigh in with my results now that I've got libdvdcss installed... Avengers still failed, but after an initial failure and a reboot, Mad Max ripped and the .iso appears to be good. Avengers was, predictably a tough nut to crack... Slysoft cut through it like butter, but my other commercial solutions needed some tweeking in order to rip it right. So, I'm going to say that K9Copy is a pretty impressive solution for the price. It doesn't seem as polished as Calibre, and it is too bad it isn't as cross-platform as Calibre (or is it? Mac and Win version available too, or not?) - but it'll do what it says it will. I'm impressed that it was fairly easy to resolve the issues. Now if I could just get the display to work in 1920x1080 through my KVM switch.

SiO2
SiO2

Things were so much simpler when you needed a book, or a DVD etc, to contain IP. The word publisher also meant something, when they had to provide resources as well as be our custodians, but now they are little more than a nuisance, certainly in the music industry.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Here are the results from the first DVD I put in the drive after installing K9Copy. donovan@ubudt01:~$ k9copy libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 13 (VTS_13_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 13 (VTS_13_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 14 (VTS_14_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 14 (VTS_14_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 15 (VTS_15_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 15 (VTS_15_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 16 (VTS_16_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 16 (VTS_16_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 17 (VTS_17_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 17 (VTS_17_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 18 (VTS_18_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 18 (VTS_18_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 19 (VTS_19_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 19 (VTS_19_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 20 (VTS_20_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 20 (VTS_20_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 21 (VTS_21_0.BUP). KCrash: Application 'k9copy' crashing... We'll get into more details about how "awesome" my experience has been with getting this far, tomorrow. Decided to give it a second try, being that Avengers is such a new and recent disk. This time I tried Mad Max... which I figured was a pretty old disk... here were my results there: KCrash: Application 'k9copy' crashing... sock_file=/home/donovan/.kde/socket-ubudt01/kdeinit4__0 [1]+ Stopped k9copy donovan@ubudt01:~$ k9copy libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 6 (VTS_06_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 6 (VTS_06_0.BUP). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 7 (VTS_07_0.IFO). libdvdread: Invalid IFO for title 7 (VTS_07_0.BUP). KCrash: Application 'k9copy' crashing... sock_file=/home/donovan/.kde/socket-ubudt01/kdeinit4__0 [1] Exit 253 k9copy [2]+ Stopped k9copy Seems like copy protection based on "corrupt" ifo and bup files isn't something K9Copy can deal with. That seems like a pretty big deal. Is it something I'm doing wrong? Is libdvdcss installed by default as a dependent library on Ubuntu when you install K9Copy?

dcolbert
dcolbert

My Linux box is down at the moment due to a basement remodel (which is where I keep my Linux box, down in the dungeon, out of sight and away from the pretty Mac and Windows 7 machines in my upstairs office). I've gotten myself a KVM switch and already have the Linux box upstairs ready to see the light of day - and honestly, even if it doesn't work as good, if it works at all it is *always* nice to have more alternatives when trying to rip a difficult DVD. For free makes that proposition even better. I *hope* to be pleasantly surprised, but I am a pessimist when it comes to *nix based solutions. My guess is it will work better than OS X solutions, worse than Windows apps.

zefficace
zefficace

But I think it just might work. I have no reasons to think k9copy would not be able to acces the DVD correctly. Just to be clear, I don't really care about "the game" of desktops. I like Linux as a desktop, I can use Linux as a desktop, Linux is available to me, and that is good. (Truly the best things in life is to crush your enemy, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women, but that's another story). That the majority of people would change to some kind of Linux, I don't really care about. You can confirm my position in my choice of distros, as Arch really would not appeal as an "alternative" for the vast majority, including many, if not most, Linux users. ;) Like I said in my first post, k9copy was just a friendly suggestion for those interested.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I'll give it a try and see if it floats my boat. If it is an unnecessary hassle, it will confirm my ongoing suspicions about the practical application of Linux for general desktop activities - and I'll be sure to let you know. You might be right though. Linux is making steps forward. We'll see how easy it is. I'm always interested in good FOSS solutions that allow me to better manage my digital content libraries. I've written up Calibre, which I run on an Ubuntu box - you can read the HowTo elsewhere here on Tech Republic. The game is already lost, though, as far as a Linux desktop alternative ever being a compelling alternative to Windows or OS X solutions, so it is kind of a moot exercise. Question - will it run OK through a VM abstraction layer, or does the Linux need to be on bare metal for it to work? I'm assuming bare metal, but if you have experience otherwise, let me know.

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