Have you forgotten how to rip CD’s and DvD’s for any kind of format and do it faster than ever before? The following article found on Maximum PC tells you how to rip CD’s and DVD’s without any hassles.
We’ve become so accustomed to the ease and convenience of iTunes and blink-and-you-miss-’em CD rips that we forget how in the mid-1990s, ripping a CD was a time-consuming process fraught with peril. Shoot, ripping a single disc to a 128Kbps MP3 could take eight hours on a 200MHz Pentium! Fast forward a decade and faster hardware and better software have made CD ripping so mainstream your mom does it.
Now, ripping DVDs is our great challenge. Copying and transcoding the disc’s video into more efficient formats involves math an order of magnitude scarier than what’s required to rip audio CDs. A machine that will rip the latest Miley Cyrus CD in mere moments could take hours to extract and convert your copy of Alien vs.
Predator to an iPod-friendly format. But with the right software, a quad-core-equipped PC, and a little know-how, you can cut your disc-rip time from hours to 30 minutes. Plenty of tricks and traps still await first-time rippers, but we’ll show you the basics and then walk you through some of the most valuable power-user ripping secrets.
“Your first decision is simple: What player are you ripping your discs for? Are you ripping for a portable player, like the PSP or iPhone? Would you rather stream to a device in your living room, like the Xbox 360, PS3, or Popcorn Hour? Or are you simply interested in making archival-quality DVD rips in case you lose your collection?
More likely, you’re looking for a combination of all three of these things. We’ll show you how to rip your DVD to a file suitable for streaming that consumes a fraction of the disk space of a DVD but maintains full video and audio quality. Then you can take that file and convert it for whatever other devices you might have, like a PSP or an iPod.”
With the preliminaries out of the way, let’s get started.
Ripping Your DVDs
With the right software, hardware, and understanding of the issues, you can free video from a movie disc to be used any way you choose.
What You Need
- Modern PC w/DVD-ROM drive
- AnyDVD ($53, www.Slysoft.com) or DVD43 (free, www.dvd43.com)
- Handbrake (free, http://handbrake.fr/)
Several different factors determine the compatibility of your ripped video files. The resolution of the video, the video and audio codecs, the container format used, and even more esoteric things like frame rate can affect whether your video will work on your device of choice. If you just rip discs as you need the content and then delete files afterward, simply rip to the target of choice.
However, if you want to build an archive of ripped movies, we recommend that you use open, widely supported codecs and containers at the native resolution of the DVD and then transcode the files to lower resolutions and bitrates as you need them. Naturally, we’ll show you how to do this.
Your player selection also impacts your choices when it comes to audio tracks and subtitle support. While the most common container formats, MP4 and MKV, support multiple track and subtitle streams in one file, few players will work with multiple audio tracks, and an even smaller subset will work with subtitles. That means you need to rip a single audio track—typically the main movie’s English soundtrack—and burn the subtitles into the video, rather than leave them as separate streams inside the container.
We recommend ripping to the MP4 container; it’s widely supported on both streaming devices and portables. Furthermore, the tools for manipulating the streams within the file are established and easy to use, which makes it easy to transcode your video to a less-supported format for a specific player.
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