Q: How do I transfer my DVDs to my iPod?
– Many iLounge Readers
A: Unfortunately, due to the various laws in different jurisdictions, Apple has not provided any direct method for importing DVDs into iTunes. Most commercial DVDs are copy-protected, and in some countries, including the United States, there are legal issues with circumventing copy protection mechanisms.
The result is that those users wanting to import DVDs into their iTunes library for use on their Apple TV or iPod are going to need to look for third-party solutions to do this. That said, there are essentially two stages to transferring a DVD onto an iPod. The first step involves extracting the video content from the DVD itself, and the second involves converting it to an iPod-ready format such as H.264. Some third-party programs will handle both of these tasks for you, in other cases separate applications are required.
Be aware that many commercial applications that extract or “rip” DVDs will only do so for unprotected DVDs, such as home-made or non-commercial DVDs. If you look carefully, you can usually see this indicated in the fine print on such packages. If you intend to purchase a software package for this, always ensure you check the fine print. For those in countries where DVD-to-iPod transfer is legal, there are tutorials in our iPod 101/201 section that should get you started on the path to transferring DVDs to your iPod on both the Mac or Windows platform: