Free DVD Software?
May 24, 2004 5:42 PM   Subscribe

What's good (free) software to rip my DVDs to a compressed format: Avi/DivX etc, for back-up/usability purposes? Ideally something that allows me to preserve widescreen and is 'user-friendly'.
posted by Blue Stone to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
You'll almost certainly want the recently released MPEG4 compliant XviD 1.0 for the Codec, and you could use Vidoma for a friendly front end.
posted by holloway at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2004

I've had great experience with Auto Gordian Knot. As a user of the original Gordian Knot, I found that Auto GK gets results as good and sometimes better than doing it all manually, and it doesn't make stupid mistakes that I, as a mere human, often do when confronted with a dozen different tasks that have to be done perfectly to get even a decent rip. So give it a try. There's a nice tutorial and everything.
posted by Grod at 6:26 PM on May 24, 2004

Good video ripping is a bit of an art, but it's not a very difficult art to master. Sure, you can use XVID to compress your DVD's, but unless you're two-passing it, it won't look very good. And if you are two-passing it, prepare for hours of encoding. Then, there's the decoding problem with XVID's -- namely, that little codec requires a shitload of processing power just for playback.

Compare that with a properly encoded DivX 3.11 video, which will be just as small, use little system resources, look smooth as butter and take less time to encode.

Granted, there are a couple more steps involved, but honestly, it's not like you have to be a programmer to understand the stuff. Just memorize (or write down, or take some screen caps) a couple of values, and you can make videos as good as the pro's.

My personal recommendation: VirtualDub (with the MPEG mod) to frameserve the video to Nandub, which then does the encoding. I can give you step-by-step instructions if you're interested in this method. Of course, if you don't care that much, you can just use a one-step DVD2AVI program -- there are several out there.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:20 PM on May 24, 2004

Wow, I just took a look at AutoGK and think I may be a convert. Thanks, Grod!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:49 PM on May 24, 2004

Anyone know of Mac OS X software that does this?
posted by donkeymon at 1:13 AM on May 25, 2004

Well, it doesn't do reencoding to AVI, but if you want to recompress MPEG2 for burning to DVD-5 it's pretty much the best solution out there for OSX: DVD2OneX

For transcoding, maybe take a look at ffmpegX and this handy HOWTO, or perhaps something like DivXRay. I don't know squat about either one, but ffmpegX descends from some pretty respectable code.
posted by majick at 10:37 AM on May 25, 2004

os x: handbrake

rips to quicktime. Push one button and walk away. doesn't do special features or subtitles.
posted by mecran01 at 12:56 PM on May 25, 2004

Is there an easy way to rip multi-track DVDs? For example, I would like to put all of my Star Trek DVDs ripped on my server, so I can watch them from my TV computer at any time by just clicking.
posted by benjh at 5:03 PM on May 25, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, people.
posted by Blue Stone at 3:06 PM on May 26, 2004

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