DVD and Blu-ray ripping


Your movie library doesn’t need to stay locked away in a pile of shiny discs. Adam Turner shows how Handbrake is the right tool for converting your media collection.

Unfortunately Australia’s copyright rules don’t permit ripping your DVD and Blu-ray movies to your computer. The recent copyright law review is unlikely to change this, although it’s worth remembering that we were ripping our music CDs for many years before Australian law caught up with the times. You’ll need to draw your own moral line in the sand when it comes to copying content which you’ve legally purchased on disc. These days some discs come with a digital download, but it might not be in a format which suits you.

There are several applications designed specifically for ripping movies, but let’s stick with the highly-respected HandBrake video transcoder. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu, and because it’s open source,  it’s completely free.

HandBrake removed its DVD decoding features several years ago, but you can get around this by installing the VLC media player.

Together these two free applications should happily convert your DVD library to MP4 video files which will play on a wide range of gadgets. You can also opt for MKV, but HandBrake ditched support for DivX and XviD several years ago.

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