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.

Also read: