DVD and Blu-Ray Back ups

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by wmachotze, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. wmachotze macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2011
    Just picked up a mac mini to use primarily as a HTPC. I have an extensive DVD collection as well as a growing Blu-ray collection. I would like to load them onto an external hard drive for use with the mini, both for ease of access and filing of them as well as insurance against the growing number of scratches they receive in the hands of little ones.
    A couple of questions
    1) What software has anyone found that works best for ripping/copying from disc to hard drive? Ultimately they will stay on the drive but would like the option to burn onto a disc if the need arises.
    2) I would also like the ability to convert file types so they can be played on iphone, ipad, ipod.
    3) Can a blu-ray be ripped/copied through an external mac superdrive? It doesn't appear that it can so, do I need a designated external optical blu-ray capable drive or can I trick the mini into picking the blu-ray up from a stand alone blu-ray player with the right adapters between the two pieces.

    Thanks in advance.:apple:
  2. Alucardx03, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011

    Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    When it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray ripping, the fact of the matter is there are much better options on Windows. People will recommend MacTheRipper and other comparable programs for OSX, but they just don't match what Windows has to offer. I've tried almost everything out there. Here are my recommendations;

    Purchase a cheap copy of Windows and run it on Bootcamp.

    Purchase AnyDVD HD from Slysoft. It's the best solution out there for a number of reasons, primary among them is the frequency of updates. They're very committed to the software and typically roll out new versions multiple times a month. You'll very rarely encounter a disc you can't rip, and when you do, it's usually fixed in the next version.

    So, rip the movie (DVD or Blu-ray) to a folder format using AnyDVD HD and create a disc image (ISO) from the folder using ImgBurn.

    You've got a few options for playback. If you simply want a backup of the disc and don't want to play it back, ISOs are fine. If you want to play it back, I'd recommend MakeMKV. Simply open the ISO in MakeMKV and create an MKV file of the movie. Super easy and very quick to do. You can play this file back with almost any solution you want-- VLC, Plex, XBMC, etc. Or, if you want a solution to play an ISO natively, look into a Popcorn Hour C-200 or Dune player. Both are good options.

    If you'd like, you can always use MKV combined with Handbrake to convert it into iOS-compatible formats for use on the iPhone or iPad.

    And, I know of no way to use a standard Blu-Ray player (intended for consumer entertainment use) as a external drive. But really, does it matter when Blu-Ray readers can be had for less than $80? Save yourself the trouble of the research and hassle and just make the purchase.

    It's also important to keep in mind the sheer amount of space the Blu-Ray rips will take up. You've got to account for about, on average, 40GB per disc. I've had discs hit the 50GB mark (Avatar, for example) and discs as low as 16GB (Horrible Bosses).

    On a 2TB drive, that means only about 50 movies, give or take. DVDs are around 7GB on average. And, if you want redundancy, double that storage need.

    Really, ripping DVDs and Blu-Ray is an expensive proposition. Do your research and understand the total cost, both short-term and longterm.

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