People are legally allowed to use a ripper to make copies of dvds and blu-ray movies as long as they do not give or sell them to other people or send them anywhere over the internet. I've finished ripping all my movie collection onto a 3 TB external hard drive, using two ripping software programs.

DVDFab. They sell several programs, each program does a specific task. You can buy them individually or as a complete package.
DVD Copy (creates an ISO file)
DVD Ripper (Creates a movie file in a lot of formats)
Blu-Ray Copy (creates an ISO file)
Blu-Ray Ripper (Creates a movie file in a lot of formats)
Blu-Ray to DVD Converter

Pro: You only have to buy the programs you want. But you need to be careful because you could wind up spending more on dividual programs then you would if you just bought the complete package for a little more than $400.00 USD

Very good tech support and forums. Technicians and programmers post frequently on the forums, and moderators provide excellent advice and help learning the software.

Cons: Software can be difficult to use, I had to re-rip over 200 movies with another competitor's software due to sound-video sync problems. There are lots of complaints about this on DVDFab forums. This single problem would, in my opinion, make the software useless.

Aiseesoft Blue-ray Ripper. The same program rips both dvd and blu-ray disks. There are no options to create iso files, just movie files in any of a lot of formats.

Pro: Excellent software, I ripped over 200 dvd and blu-ray movies with no problems at all. Simple to use software, doesn't require expert knowledge of movie jargon, and sound-video sync was perfect. Finally, the program seems to rip files faster than DVDFab. A dvd takes about 10-25 minutes depending on the length of the movie, while a blu-ray about 45 minutes.

Con: No tech support or forums. I guess they think their program is simple enough to use that tech support and forums are not needed. In many ways I have to agree.
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According to Derek Bambauer, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arizona

The moment you crack DRM (Digital Rights Managemnt) to rip the DVD, you've violated Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 1201 prohibits circumvention of DRM ... Some courts have tried to leaven this rather harsh rule, but most have not. While it's typically hard to detect small-scale circumvention, the question is whether bypassing DRM is legal. The statute sets up some minor exceptions, but our ripper doesn't fall into any of them. So, the moment a studio protects the DVD with DRM, it gains both a technical and a legal advantage—ripping is almost certainly unlawful.

So that clearly rules out making a backup copy.

It can't be too much of a problem or the government would shut down companies such as DvdFab and Aiseesoft, or at least ban them for sell here. And even iTunes allws me to import music dvds onto my computer.

My post isn't about the legality of ripping movies, but rather to provide my experience with two popular programs.

It's a grey area. Upon further investigation it seems there is pressure (obviously not from Hollywood) to allow making a backup copy, however, it also seems like the act of copying (for personal use) might be legalized, however any software that can break the encryption will still be illegal. Technically, the act is still illegal but getting caught doing it is unlikely.

It still seems to me that by discussing the tools you are tacitly promoting an illegal activity.

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LastMitch

I've finished ripping all my movie collection onto a 3 TB external hard drive, using two ripping software programs.

@AD

Did you compress those movies? I think a bluray is like 15 to 26 GBs, it depends on the movie. If you compress it, it's like 1 or 2 GB and still keep that quality.

The only drawback of ripping bluray/Dvd is that the subtitle doesn't go in sync with the movie. Unless it's an Engliah/America movie it's fine but a foreign movie it's a disaster.

I have used DVDFab before, it's OK. Never used Aiseesoft Blue-ray Ripper.

It still seems to me that by discussing the tools you are tacitly promoting an illegal activity.

@Reverend

It's not like AD going post 3 TB of movies on Daniweb. Then that will be illegal but those softwares are more like a personally used.

It's similiar to Window Movie Maker (it's an awful software but still useful.)

Did you compress those movies? I think a bluray is like 15 to 26 GBs, it depends on the movie. If you compress it, it's like 1 or 2 GB and still keep that quality.

I tried that -- I used two different compression programs, WinZip and something else (I forget right off hand), neither could do much with the files, something in the order of only about 1% compression. Besides, compressed movies aren't of much value to movie players such as Micrisoft Media Player and DVDFab Media Player.

The movie industry doesn't want to see their movies copied and re-sold.

From the link Reverend posted. I don't blame them for that. People like me have no intention on selling or giving away copies of the movies.

I haven't used DVD-rippers in a while. But a few years back, before I temporarily moved to Europe, I had a bunch of DVDs, bought in Canada. I could have brought them all with me (as a disk stack), but even then, I could not watch them, since my only movie-watching-device would be my laptop, and DVD players (the hardware, I mean) must be locked to one geographical zone (North America, Europe, Asia,...) with a very limited number of reconfiguring allowed (I could only change the zone 5 times in total). This would mean that any DVD I bought or rented in Europe could not be played on a DVD player configured for North America, and vice versa. This is obviously a market protectionist policy by the movie industry, to avoid competition between world markets. Anyways, this meant the only way for me to enjoy the products that I had legally procured for myself was to "rip" them to remove the encryption and any other DMCA crap. If some Hollywood law firm wants to argue that this is illegal (i.e., enjoy the things you paid money for), good luck to them, they'll need it (or, they'll need to buy politicians and judges, which is probably easier and much more common).

At that time, I just used the good old "DVD Shrink" software, works like a charm. I had to run it under "XP Compatibility", as it cannot run natively in Vista and later.

VLC can also rip DVDs.

For those who use Linux, there are a number of free software that can rip DVDs, mostly based on the same back-end software libraries (mplayer, mencoder), so it is mostly a matter of picking the GUI that looks better, the quality and time will be the same across the board.

I tried that -- I used two different compression programs, WinZip and something else (I forget right off hand), neither could do much with the files, something in the order of only about 1% compression. Besides, compressed movies aren't of much value to movie players such as Micrisoft Media Player and DVDFab Media Player.

Huh??...
I think that LastMitch was referring to video compression, not the vanilla compression tools like zip, 7zip, rar, Gzip, Bzip, etc... Obviously, he meant the audio-video compression algorithms and codecs that are used in most video files like "avi" and "mpeg" files. The typical methods are MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (Xvid), H.264, and Theora / Vorbis (ogg / ogv files).

Obviously, you can't use vanilla compression tools for compressing videos, because those methods are (1) lossless methods and (2) don't understand video or audio (they just compress bytes of data). Video compression is usually lossy, meaning that the compression is done at the expense of image quality, and they can do a pretty good job (often compressing by about 50-75% before you can even notice the difference) because they know what video is (a succession of images) and can use that. For example, if several frames look the same, or partly the same (e.g., a static background), the frame or part of the frame can be reused over that period, instead of being saved multiple times like in the raw video format. And then, they also use the general jpeg-like compression (e.g., making monotone, low-contrast areas into single-color blocks).

So, what LastMitch was asking is whether these DVD-rippers you talked about give you good options for video compression to create reasonably-sized video files from your movies?

commented: Correct Answer +0

I don't know if they do or not -- DVDFab has lots of options, so one of them might do videl compression. I'm certain Aiseesoft Blue-ray Ripper doesn't do that, that program just rips with no optional features.

I use DivX to re-encode videos. My Fuji FinePix camera can take HD video but the encoding is not that efficient. By running the home movies through DivX Converter I get a substnatial saving in space with no noticible loss in quality.

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LastMitch

I don't know if they do or not -- DVDFab has lots of options, so one of them might do videl compression. I'm certain Aiseesoft Blue-ray Ripper doesn't do that, that program just rips with no optional features.

@AD

I should have explain more clearly about compression but Mike explain very well.

3 TB is alot of movies, if you compress those movies you will get alot more space to add more movies

Since you are familiar now, with those Ripper's, you can separate the audio and video.

Then used this:

http://www.virtualdub.org/index.html

to combine audio and video into one and compressed it.

I always used it to compressed movies /TV shows.

It is very easy to used. The software is written in C++, you can modify the code to and run it differently. I only modify it a little with the plugins.

By running the home movies through DivX Converter I get a substnatial saving in space with no noticible loss in quality.

@Reverend

DivX stuff is bit iffy, it used to be free and the cost was low, I think it's still low. I don't ratherly heard people used DivX products now, maybe Nero or Cyberlink.

I used Nero.

3 TB is alot of movies

That's the size of the hard drive, not the amount of movies. I've only used about a third of it. I don't need to compress them, plenty of hard drive space, for now.

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LastMitch

That's the size of the hard drive, not the amount of movies. I've only used about a third of it. I don't need to compress them, plenty of hard drive space, for now.

I have 128 GB flash drive that I brought few years back on BestBuy. I have 28 movies on it and I only used 54 GB. Those movie I used Xilisoft to rip the movies then I used virtual-dub to compress it. The images doesn't lose quality and audio sounds the same plus I correct the grammers on subtitles.

Once you start doing these editing on movies, it becomes a hobby. I don't put or sell it online. It's personal used, I watch it myself or with family.

You used a 1/3 of the hard drive that is a still a lot. I can understand if it was a game but for movies that is alot space for you used for movies.

I have over 400 movies and tv episodes, and that collection isn't considered very large. A dvd movie is about 1.4 Gig while a blu-ray movie is abut 7.5 gig. Both are ripped as *.mp4 format. I started out by first creating iso files and then ripping the iso file because with DVDFab it produced better sound-video sync but still not perfect. I almost filled up that 3 TB drive doing that so I had to delete all the iso files.

1.4 gig for a DVD movie should give excellent quality with decent compression. Back when blank DVDs were more expensive people would rip a movie onto a CD and I found that the quality suffered. I've seen Avatar ripped from Blue Ray to a 2.7 gig file and the quality of that was also excellent.

From what little I've read about mp4 compression it looks like all it does is convert the mp4 to a different format and quality suffers a great deal. I want something to compress the files with no loss in video quality, but apparently that is not possible.

The BBC series, Planet Earth compresses to 2.14 gig per episode for a 1280x720 display at incredible quality. It's not so much that you want lossless as to have a compression where you can't see the difference. It's like a good mp3 encoding where what is taken out is not audible to 99% of the people.

I used to have DVDXCopy (actually bought the software, since it was THAT good) made a decent copy of the entire DVD, all languages, all features, ... with two simple clicks of the mouse (and a bit of patience, duh).

too bad the creators lost a lawsuit, and had to stop maintenance...
(afaik it only worked/works on Windows OS and) it doesn't work on any os higher than Windows XP.

you also can't install the software anymore (not even if you bought it legally) since the registration servers were taken down. but for those that still have a WinXP machine running: there are 'trial' versions 'out there'. you can only copy the movie with a single language of subtitle, but still, good quality. only difference is you get a 'THIS IS A COPY DVD' notice when you first start up the DVD

Since nobody has shut down this thread I might as well add AnyDVD by Slysoft. Essentially it filters out DRM and region coding.

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LastMitch

Essentially it filters out DRM and region coding.

There's like 6 regional code.

If you are from US/Canada, you are 1

If you are from Europe are 2

If you are from Asia you are 3

I will never ripper any movies that are oversea.

Those PAL's movie are awful. The image doesn't look right, it loses it quality.

Why would the movie industry do these region coding. Can it be 0 for all.

Why would the movie industry do these region coding.

The region codings are there to isolate the markets. The point is that if you produce a DVD for the asian market, it will generally be sold much cheaper than in the north american or european markets. If there were no region codings, people could buy DVDs produced for the asian market and sell them in the western world. The industry that controls the production of the DVDs wouldn't be able to control their prices. This is because the cost of producing and distributing them is almost negligible (it's all profit), meaning that the cost of DVDs do not reflect production cost (or money given to the artists) but rather the amount people are willing to pay for them. They could probably sell them for 50 cents and still make a profit. So, they need to maintain isolated and highly inflated markets where people can pay more (N-A, EU, etc.).

Yet another example of how the corporations say that they should be unregulated and let the free market regulate itself. Unless, of course, that cuts into their profits.