Basic DVD conversion
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I read your excellent three-part series on converting (ripping) DVDs to watch on an iPod. What are the chances that the process will work without a great deal of difficulty for someone who’s not a computer wizard? Are there other conversion programs that you recommend other than the ones mentioned in the articles? And what about transferring DVDs that I’ve recorded from TV? Can they be watched on an iPod?
A: For most users who simply want a simple and straightforward method for converting their commercial DVDs into an iTunes-ready format we generally recommend Handbrake, as it provides the most effective one-step solution for this. It also has the advantage of being updated quite regularly to provide support for new features such as subtitles and Dolby Digital sound (which is now supported on the Apple TV 2.0 firmware). Handbrake’s normal default pre-sets will generally produce more than acceptable results for the casual user, so don’t be intimidated by all of the advanced settings that are otherwise available.
For Windows users looking to copy commercial copy-protected DVDs (ie, movies and TV shows), an additional DVD decryption component is required since the open-source DVD decryption libraries that Handbrake uses on the Mac are not available on the Windows platform. Tools such as DVD Decryptor and DVD43 can be used for this, and are explained in our Windows conversion tutorial. DVD43 is generally the recommended solution for the average user, as it simply sits in the system tray and silently decrypts the DVD as Handbrake reads it, so there is no need for any extra steps.
Users of Handbrake on the Mac should not require any additional software beyond Handbrake itself, as the Mac version includes the necessary DVD decryption components built in.
Note that DVDs that you have recorded yourself from TV or from home movies will not have any copy-protection on them, however, and these can therefore be fed into Handbrake without any additional tools required to decrypt them, so this should be an even simpler process. Other than the copy protection, there is really no difference between converting a DVD that you’ve recorded yourself versus on that was purchased in a store.
It should also be mentioned that the legality of the process of “ripping” commercial DVDs varies in different countries due to the issues surrounding the copy protection itself. For example, in the U.S. the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits the circumvention of technical copy protection restrictions (such as those found on commercial DVDs) for any reason, apparently including fair personal use. You should therefore of course consult the laws in your particular country of residence.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases first developer betas for iOS 9.3.3, tvOS 9.2.2
- More iPhone 7 leaks surface, protruding camera seen
- Apple pulls iOS 9.3.2 update for 9.7” iPad Pro due to ‘bricking’ issues
- Report: CarPlay coming to BMW vehicles later this year
- Report: One iPhone model to use a glass casing next year
- Apple opening Maps development office in India
- Apple eyeing partnerships with Indian phone companies
- Apple engineers visit musician’s home, are stumped by iTunes deletions
- China scrutinizing Apple over security concerns
- Report: Apple to open three retail stores in India before 2018
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)