Ask the team behind HandBrake (Free) what their software is all about and they’ll tell you it’s “an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.” In simpler terms, it converts DVDs into videos you can store on your Mac and watch on all of your Apple devices, at no cost. There’s no better way to get videos ready for your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, and the latest version’s freshly released with bug fixes that make this awesome app even better.
Although you can fine tune the audio and video settings, we’re big fans of the presets that come built-in. You can choose which device you plan on watching the video on—iPhone 4 or iPad, for example—or choose Universal to optimize it for the whole Apple ecosystem, a choice that might diminish quality a bit but will guarantee compatibility. Due to varying copyright laws in different countries, Handbrake should only be used for DVDs that you have the right to rip, but it’s super-useful. A how to use Handbrake tutorial is available here.