How to rip and compress DVDs in Mac OS X
This article was revised December 30, 2007 to accommodate a newer version of HandBrake and reflect my refined process for ripping DVDs.
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But what if you want to use these devices to watch the DVD movies you already own? I’ll show you how to rip and compress DVDs in Mac OS X so your movie collection is never more than a couple button presses away.
1. Insert a DVD in your Mac’s DVD drive
These directions are optimized for feature films, not TV shows or other things you might find on a DVD. However, with a little creativity you should be able to adapt these instructions to serve your purposes.
2. Use HandBrake to rip and compress the movie
There are not many programs that know what to do with a raw VIDEO_TS folder. But nearly any video player can handle an MP4 file (iTunes really likes them), so that is what we will convert this movie into.
When you open HandBrake, it prompts for a source DVD, then scans the disc titles and lists them in a drop-down menu. Generally the feature will be title #1 (also the longest title).
HandBrake provides a wide array of controls, and fortunately the included presets are pretty good. Most of the time, I want my movie to play on an Apple TV, so I use the “AppleTV” preset. This is what my HandBrake settings look like:
For playback on a Mac, my goal is maximum quality, so I make a few adjustments and my HandBrake settings look like this:
In either case, I use an MP4 file format with h.264 video and AAC audio.
3. Add to iTunes, and enjoy!
To access the video file from either Front Row or Apple TV, I add it to my iTunes library, then choose
File › Get Info to edit the movie metadata.
Give it a try!
Feel free to try this yourself, and let me know if you have questions!