Help me transfer DVD movies to a thumb drive!
March 4, 2010 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Would like to watch my DVD movies on my netbook. How do I transfer these movies to a thumb drive or memory card? Step by step instructions would be much appreciated as I tried Googling this and there was so much various information on what types of programs to use and why it was confusing. Gracias!
posted by MsKim to Technology (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a high level view that will get you started.

I assume that you have another computer besides your netbook.
Using THAT computer, you must:
1) Rip the DVD using the free or paid for software of your choice. Google for choices. For the mac, I recommend Handbrake or Mac The Ripper. Windows folks will chime in with theirs in this thread, I'm sure.
2) This will create a directory for that film and within that directory there will be a VIDEO_TS and possibly and AUDIO_TS directory.
3) Copy that directory and the two sub-directories on your thumb drive.
4) Download and install VLC Media Player on your netbook.
5) Open VIDEO_TS directory with VLC and you are watching your movie.

Easy peasy!
posted by willmize at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2010

Handbrake (also available for Windows) doesn't create VIDEO_TS folders, it converts the movie to MP4, losing the menus and bonus features in the process.

That may be what you want, of course.
posted by Mwongozi at 12:10 PM on March 4, 2010

willmize is correct. I'd say for your needs you definitely only want an MPEG rip of the video, and not the menus and bonus features. Handbrake will do the job nicely. Be aware that reading and encoding the video may take a substantial amount of time, up to several hours depending on your hardware.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:30 PM on March 4, 2010

... And the netbook may not be up to showing hi resolution video. The battery life will be reduced to nothing & the video itself (or the audio) will skip as the computer struggles to keep up.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2010

for Windows, I like DVDshrink--it will rip the DVD into the assorted files, plus it gives the option of keeping or removing things like subtitles, second audio tracks, etc. If your netbook uses the Ion integrated graphics chip, it should manage DVD quality playback with no problem. I don't know how much it will impact battery life, but less so than spinning a DVD would do, I'd think
posted by midwestguy at 12:46 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Second DVD shrink. You can find guides for DVD shrink and all questions dealing with video and sound at
I also second VLC Media player
posted by luvmywife at 1:15 PM on March 4, 2010

When pushed, VLC will stutter the video rather than the audio. Media Player Classic (with a proper codec pack) will do the reverse.
posted by MesoFilter at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2010

nthing DVD Shrink . If you open up the program you'll be able to get through the gui. I would shrink the movies quality a bit for the netbook. Watch with VLC.
posted by lakerk at 1:58 PM on March 4, 2010

DVD Shrink is what you want.

You may want to specify which netbook you own as many are incapable of playing HD video. If you have one of these, you'll have to downgrade your video in order to get smooth playback.
posted by jckll at 1:58 PM on March 4, 2010

Since when did DVDs contain HD video?
posted by Mwongozi at 2:43 PM on March 4, 2010

Some good advice here already, although all of the programs mentioned here will occasionally run into trouble with the occasional newer DVD. If so, DVD HD Decrypter is free and tends to work with even the more problematic disks.
posted by owls at 12:06 PM on March 5, 2010

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