Ripping Your DVDs for IPod, Apple TV or That Other Video Player




In this Instructable I will be demonstrating how to backup your personally owned DVDs to a format playable on your computer. These file can also be burned to DVD, copied to your iPod (or that other video capable player) and even streamed through the soon to be available Apple TV!

It's perfectly legal (in the US anyway) to backup your own DVDs to protect the original from little sticky fingers, accidents and use with your other Video Players.

There's been talk that the new Apple TV will only work with movies purchased through iTunes. Not true! Any movie that will stream with iTunes will work with Apple TV. Also, you'll be able to stream from up to 4 computers (Macs or PCs) on your network.

All this is possible with a recent merger of two great open-source utilities, Handbreak and MediaFork! The new merged utility, adopting the name MediaFork, is currently available for Macintosh (GUI), Windows (command-line or GUI) and Linux (command-line). I will be covering the use of the Graphic User Interface (GUI) version. There's also a special version for Mac called "Instant Handbreak" that removed all the confusing settings and just does the job for you.

A note about this specific DVD: I've taken the liberty to semi-hide the title to avoid inciting any publisher's anger. Please don't mention the name of the DVD when posting. I chose this particular DVD because it happens to be resistant to any other copying process. As it is, with this software, the first (very important) 7 minutes of the movie are lost.

Very few movies will have problems making a full copy.

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Step 1: Getting the Software

Note. There are many techniques that will accomplish this. Most will require 2 to more packages. This one only requires the one program that will run on any computer under 5 years old.

MediaFork (currently 0.8.0 beta 1) is available for download at for all three platforms. Just choose the version for your computer and download it!

On the Mac, drag the application, MediaFork from the downloaded disk image or folder to your Utilities folder (located in the Applications folder). Then drag the newly copied MediaFork application, from your Utilities folder, to your Dock for easy access.

For Windows & Linux follow the included instructions for installation.

EDIT: The new link to Handbrake is This now has presets for everything!

Step 2: Insert Your DVD

Open your DVD drive and insert the DVD.

On most computers (unless you've disabled it) a DVD will automatically open your DVD Player. Just quit out of the application. If asked, choose not to eject the DVD.

The DVD should remain mounted on your desktop or in "My Computer."

Step 3: Run the Software

Launch MediaFork (or HandBrake if the beta scared you). The program will automatically recognize your DVD and list it as "Detected volume." Just click the Open button.

The next stage will read through the disk and find the largest title (the movie) for you.

Step 4: Select the Movie

As I said in the previous step, MediaFork will automatically select what it thinks is the Feature movie. If the DVD contains more than one movie, or you were more interested in one of the extra shorts included you may want to change this setting.

At the top of the window, the DVDs name appears and the currently selected title. The popup menu will show all found titles by number followed by the duration in the format HHhMMmSSs where HH is hours, MM is minutes and SS is seconds.

Select the title you want if it's other than the main feature. Note that the Chapters are listed and you have the option of choosing the chapters you want. Leave this setting alone unless you only wanted part of the movie! :)

Step 5: Set the Destination

If you're like me, the boot drive is pretty much filled up with Applications and the OS. I keep all of my movies on a set of external drives.

If you want to save the movie to another drive or somewhere other than the default (Desktop on Mac / My Documents in Windows), Click the browse button to choose an alternative location.

You will have to navigate to the location and enter the name of the movie; Then click Save.

Step 6: Decide on the Output Settings

If you're extracting for use with iTunes, iPod or Apple TV, leave the settings at MP4. MP4 is also a very good choice for re-burning to DVD. If you've got another specific application you intend to use, you might change the format to AVI or OGM.

In the lower section it asks for specific encoding settings for the Video and Audio separately. If you're not using iTunes, you may want to change the Encoder to Xvid, rather than FFmpeg.

Don't make any changes here unless you really know what your doing. There's plenty of time for experimenting later!

Note that on this particular DVD, there's an apparently deliberate glitch right after the lion roars... To get around this glitch, change the beginning chapter to 2.

Step 7: Disable Queue

Unless you're converting more than one DVD at a time, you have no need for a Queue. Make sure that the "Enable queue" checkbox is unchecked.

Step 8: Let-r-Rip!

Click the "Rip" button and wait. Go have a coffee... Take the wife shopping... Watch a different DVD. This is gonna take awhile... About 3 hours for this movie.

As I pointed out in Step 6, Ripping stopped at the start of chapter 1 (The lion roared!). This appears to be a copy protection scheme of placing a glitch in this chapter. If this happens, just change the beginning chapter to 2 and live without the first chapter.

Step 9: Import Into ITunes or What-have-you

Importing into iTunes is very straightforward. Just drag the movie to the iTunes icon.

If you've got one of those other programs, I leave it as an exercise for you.

You can also burn the MP4 to DVD using any number of free and not-so-free DVD Burning utilities. This, I also leave as an exercise for you.

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    98 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    im trying to download for windows and it asks me 32 bit or 64 bit whats the difference and wich one is better


    9 years ago on Introduction

    For those who want to rip all episodes or titles into one video files, I think the dvd free ripper should have the "merge" feature, so you won't be interrupted when watch the movie.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i want to add episode 3 season 3 of LOST to my iPod. i have the episode 1-4 disc. i was confused on which one to choose in the video TS file. these are the ones to choose from that i believe are from episode 3... VTS_03_O.BUP - 52KB VTS_03_01.IFO - 52KB VTS_03_0.VOB - 124.5 MB VTS_03_1.VOB - 1023.9 MB VTS_03_2.VOB - 613.4 MB thank you!

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     IFO files are the Information document for the video portion. The BUP is a Backup of the information file in case the DVD player has a read error with the IFO file. The VTS files are the actual Video information. None of them will work on the iPod. That is why you need to rip the video into an M4V (MPEG 4 Video) file.


    9 years ago on Introduction

     You can pay for and use that software, but Handbreak is free and does as good or better job than DVD Ripper.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This DVD Ripperis the most powerful one that I have used before. It has great power to rip DVD to video of all formats.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That's nice as a Windows only solution and if you want to spend money on a commercial package that isn't near as powerful as Handbreak for rripping for the iPod/video player. If you want to rip DVDs to make a backup copy on the Mac, there's no better solution that RipIt, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If you have windows just use dvd shrink to rip your dvd, and videora to convert. If the dvd is new you have to use ripit4me and dvd decrycter. you can find Tutorials all over the web


    11 years ago on Introduction

    after all of my complementing here is a quabble, when i try and load the dvd, it says that i cant find a title file, or that it is copy protected, but it had no copy protection. how do i get it to recognise the files?

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    While Handbrake handles the RPC encoding without problem through the OS, a newer protection mechanism called RCE (Regional Coding Enhancement) that isn't necessarily as easy to get around. Other protection techniques are also being used such as empty or missing VOB files.

    There are other techniques that help get around these issues such asMacTheRipper for the Mac. Some discs are just too difficult to waste much time on...


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    i have found a new piece of software. Imtoo ripper pack platinum. it is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo easy. three steps 1> select dvd 2>select profile (you can make your own, or chose from the 30 or so presets) 3> press rip. i also have the media version that converts files. here is a screenshot of selecting a profile, see how easy it is

    Imtoo Ripper pack platinum screenshot.jpg

    11 years ago on Introduction

    as a message to LasVegas, do you think you could change the link in the intro to as this works perfectly and still works ps it isn't in french

    1 reply