Software to grab DVD scenes
March 24, 2007 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Is there software that will let me convert a scene from a DVD?

I want to be able to convert short clips from DVDs to a standard movie format, like an AVI or MPEG.

Most of the DVD ripping software out there is geared towards ripping entire DVDs. If I want to grab just a couple short (30 seconds) scenes from a couple different DVDs, it would be a hassle to rip the whole thing just to cut it down again.

What program should I use? (I have both Mac and Windows, but Mac would be better.)
posted by RobotHero to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jaimev at 11:27 PM on March 24, 2007

On the Mac, the canonical free utility for doing this is MPEG Streamclip (there is a Windows version of it too). It's one of the most amazing little tools you'll ever use...a veritable Swiss Army knife for converting/demuxing/re-muxing video formats for free.

Handbrake is only useful if you want an MP4 file from your DVDs, which I'm not sure you're looking for.

If you want to be able to choose an in/out point on a DVD, then export it out to a standard format that Quicktime can play, MPEG Streamclip can do it, although non-free tools like Cinematize and DVDxDV have more elegant interfaces for doing this.

Oh, and assuming that you're converting clips form commercial DVDs, you'll need to strip out the CSS encryption and Macrovision first using the venerable MacTheRipper. None of the aforementioned tools will work unless you have an unencrypted MPEG-2 file to begin with.
posted by melorama at 3:18 AM on March 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've used both MPEG Streamclip and Cinematize (both on Mac and PC). They both work quite well, I'd suggest trying out Streamclip first because it is free. The only other thing I would suggest is opening up the DVD in a normal player on your computer first and marking what Titles and Chapters you need. Each time you open a new chapter in Cinematize, it takes a minute to load in that specific footage. You can save a lot of time if you know exactly where you're going, although be aware that the times won't always match up - the clip is 14 minutes into the DVD, but that is actually 3 minutes into the second chapter, and the clock in Cinematize only shows the time for the chapter you're working in.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:37 AM on March 26, 2007

I've used imtoo's DVD ripper platinum to do this, with good results. $45, though.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:10 AM on March 26, 2007

Response by poster: Mac the Ripper let me narrow down the choice as far as a chapter, then Streamclip let me convert the sequence I wanted into something I could use in Imovie.

It'd be best to have something that was one step, but this is good for cheap-to-free.
posted by RobotHero at 8:41 PM on March 27, 2007

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