Best way to rip DVD library onto HDD

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by leec1979, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. leec1979 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hi all,

    I have a large number of DVDs taking up space in my living room. I'd like to rip them all onto a big HDD and then play them through my Mac Mini that is hooked up to my TV. This will mean I can free up some space by moving the physical DVDs out of the living room.

    What is the best way to go about ripping the DVDs onto my Mac? I'm planning on buying a 1Tb drive (either FireWire or USB) for storage. I want to lose as little picture/sound quality as possible. I've been playing with Handbrake but keep getting a nagging feeling that there might be a better tool for the job.

    The final problem, and probably the most important one, is ease of use once they're on the Mac. Playback has to be as girlfriend friendly as possible. If it can be done via iTunes that would be fantastic.

  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    Check out the thread that is stickied at the top of this forum...all you need to know to make this as painless as possible.

    I've been doing this and it's simple and easy.
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
  4. leec1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    That automation guide looks great. I might have a play and see what the results are like.

    nutmac, if I use RipIt how do I then play the DVDs? Can the images be played from within iTunes?
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    I would look at Mac the Ripper over RipIt. With Mac the Ripper, you can just copy the movie files only and use Plex to play them. I have this set up and it's super wife/gf friendly. The rips can't be played in iTunes unless you convert them with software like Handbrake.
  6. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    +1 for Plex---great media application for use on the Mini. It takes a bit of time/patience to set it up initially but once you do, the results are well worth it. You don't need to have your library of media iTunes either--it points directly to source folder where you store you movies/TV shows. From there you can use any number of remote apps on the iPhone or iPod Touch, the apple remote, or even programmable universal remotes (I have a Harmony One configured--automatically starts Plex with a specific activity soft key and shuts it down when I'm done--very wife/girlfriend/kid friendly).
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Rips look fantastic on my 42" LCD through AppleTV! I dare say some of my DVDs look better on AppleTV than they do played through my DVD player. DVD hooked up through Composite video while ATV is HDMI...probably at least a bit of the difference.

    The automation is cool...especially for naming your movies and pulling info and 'posters'...stuff that is a pain otherwise. Plus you can schedule the encoding processes to run overnight. No downside at all to this procedure so far for me.

    It still amazes me that more folks here just ignore this really is simple and easy.

    The only issues you will have are 'extreme'-copy protected DVDs...they use multiple files of similar size (I believe) to confuse the encoders to not know which is the main movie file...that takes some jumping through hoops to get to work properly (manually choose the correct file to encode...etc). Disney DVDs are notorious for this.
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Like others have said, for iTunes, you need to use Handbrake. But if you don't want to lose quality, it has to be either DVD image (which RipIt does) or MKV (MakeMKV).
  9. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    I'd suggest Handbrake's Universal setting as mentioned. Good quality, low file size, support for subtitles, 5.1 audio, plays on pretty much all of Apple's video devices (except the older 5G video iPod) and looks great upscaled on the Apple TV.

    My videos are anywhere from around 500 - 750 mb for a 40 minute to an hour video, and most of my movies range from 1.25 to 2.25 gigs depending on length, number of audio tracks, aspect ratio and type of movie (dramas tend to need a lower bitrate than action flicks, some of my films only have one AAC track, some have an AAC track and a 5.1 track, some have AAC, 5.1 and one or two commentary AAC tracks, etc.)

    But it's nice to not have to search for a disc.
  10. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    RipIt creates a file that plays with Apple's DVD player app. I love RipIt. I rip using RipIt for the DVDs I own, then compress with handbrake/vlc using the AppleTV preset. Tag it with MetaX, add to iTunes library, then sync to both my AppleTV and/or my iPhone. Plays great on both. I keep the uncompressed movie file stored on a large external drive to save space on my laptop, and have multiple backups of my iTunes library.

    With the AppleTV preset on Handbrake, my movies files are approximately 1.2 - 1.6 GB for a 2 hour movie.
  11. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    dude just use handbrake. It's free, and is awesome. I swear by it, and it also converts video files.
  12. leec1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Wow, lots of advice here. Thanks everyone.

    I think I'll the automation method detailed in the other thread and straight ripping. Then I'll compare and see which I like best :)

    I tried an episode of Family Guy using the Handbrake AppleTV preset last night. The picture was fine when still, but not good at all when moving. After fiddling with the settings I re-encoded and it looked much better. I get the feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of experimenting until I'm happy :)
  13. walshlink macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    aTV Flash

    aTV Flash plays ISOs...$ need to convert files...saves time...yep, pretty much a winner in my book.
  14. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I agree that HandBrake is the way to go. I have ripped many of my DVDs and converted them to .mp4 format with HandBrake. I store the .mp4 file on a network drive, create an alias for it in iTunes on my MBP, and then have iTunes copy the file to my Apple TV. That way, a copy of the actual .mp4 file is on the Apple TV's hard drive so that I don't need to open iTunes to play it. I have been doing this for several years and it has been the best ripping and video file converting system I have used.
  15. spokes1124 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    is this a new ripit???

    I recently bought a nanobundle online and one of the programs in it was ripit. I noticed immediately that instead of 2 areas to either "eject" or "rip" the dvd was replaced with two areas to "rip" and "beta convert". I tried the convert tab and my dvd was burned and playable in itunes. awesome new feature if you feel like you can wait 35-40 minutes to burn the disk and another 45-60 minutes to convert it. If I am wrong will someone please let me know if it can be done easier and faster. Please don't reply to me about handbrake because I already have it.
  16. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    HUH???? ATV Flash is a patchstick for patching your ATV to play content & etc., not for ripping or encoding. Classic shill post for something which is also FREE BTW!
  17. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    im in the same position as the OP, though ive done quite a few bit of encodes already.

    the only thing i see lacking is the Audio.
    playing the original dvd rip and then the handbrake rip i have to crank up the volume alot more to hear anything.
    its (audio) so scaled down and terrible when using the universal preset in handbrake ( didnt adjust or touch anything, just as is) i increased the drc to 3.00 but really to no avail.

    (except for music/concert videos....the audio is flawless and fine).

    otherwise its a great utility.
  18. Dhelsdon macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2010
    Canadian Eh!

    I use a program called MakeMKV
    So far it's been great, haven't had any problems with decryption or anything.
    It is so fast, only takes about an hour per disk. I love it and would recommend it to anyone. Best of all it is free!
  19. itsjustmeee macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2008
    The problem with MakeMKV is that there is a known audio/video sync issue with the converted files and watching them on Plex, Boxee, or XBMC. Some of my movies are fine, and others tend to get out of sync about half way through. It's showing up on pretty much all of the other forums and from what I understand, there's no way around it yet. Too bad because MakeMKV is an amazing program.

    As soon as someone fixes the problem within XBMC or one of the others, they'll all be fine with MakeMKV files, but for now I would use Handbrake.
  20. walshlink macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    No ***** Sherlock! Is that what that is? :rolleyes:

    My post simply pointed out there was no need to convert files....troll somewhere else.
  21. leec1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    I'm dragging this thread back from the dead a little, but hey, I'm the OP :)

    I've been ripping a few movies and TV shows with handbrake and am generally happy with the quality. The only issue I have now is with upscaling when playing the video back on my Mini. The picture looks tiny on my TV when playing back, whereas when played upscaled through my Blu-Ray player it fills the screen (i.e expands to 1080 size). This is the case in both iTunes and Plex.

    I'm guessing it is because my handbrake encodes are based upon the AppleTV presets. What is the best playback method if I want to upscale to 1080p?
  22. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Weird. I have never had any issue with scaling of the image. Using the automated process, I have very few movie rips that don't 'fill the screen' and those that don't are ones that are greater than 16x9 so they have slight letterboxing...or are originally SD content (4x3) so they have pillars.

    It's only you rips that don't fill the screen on ATV? Or perhaps, is your display set to not show a full screen on ATv, but full screen display on BluRay? I know I can cycle through 'standard', 'stretch' and 'fill' on my HDTV.

    Just throwing that out in case it's an HDTV issue.
  23. leec1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Ah, my stupidity may be coming into play here. It's all SD TV shows and movies. My Blu-Ray player expands them to fit the screen when it upscales. I guess that's not the case in iTunes/Plex.

    I'll check the TV settings too just in case, but this is the first thing I've thrown at the TV which has done this.
  24. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I know that in Handbrake, you can adjust the picture size, so it CAN fill the screen if you want. Be warned that this will cut off some of the imagery. Your BR player is currently cutting off some of the image...or stretching and distorting it. ATV plays the imagery at its 'native' resolution....which in the case of 4x3 movies, will indeed not fill your 16x9 screen without some loss of video information.

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