Layman's Terms - Apple TV, Ripping, etc...

MaloCS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2011
233
371
Hello. :)

I was wondering if some of you guys could help out a completely confused person when it comes to 'ripping' my DVD and Blu-Ray collection for playback on my new Apple TV? I've searched the site and read the results but I'm still confused about the process. I'm not sure if it's the confusing technical lingo or the amount of information given but the processes I've read about just make my head hurt.

I guess I'm struggling with the fact that getting a movie into iTunes is much more complicated then getting a music CD into iTunes. With music CDs I just insert the disc into the drive and drag the songs to my music folder. iTunes then rips the songs to my preferred quality settings, tags them and adds artwork. Is this sort of simplicity achievable with DVD and Blu-Ray movies?

I've come across many different 3rd party apps like Handbrake but then I read that additional apps must be used if the source disk is protected. But then I read about folks just ripping a movie only with Handbrake and no mention of additional apps. Am I missing something here?

I would appreciate it if anyone could just explain this to me in layman's terms. I'm not looking to tweak import settings or use the files on multiple devices; I just want to be able to digitally store the movies I own on a network drive and play them back through the Apple TV.

Thanks. :)
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
If you're going to be ripping Blu-Ray discs you need something like MakeMKV and then a program like subler to do a pass through conversion into an M4V file using Subler, for DVDs handbrake will do it and convert your files to M4V if you select the Apple TV setting.

For tagging just drop everything you've converted into iDentify... you may have to manually add the IMDB code occasionally for it to pick up the correct tags.

It's not a difficult process it just involves a few more steps and takes significantly longer to do than ripping CDs.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,544
3,470
Hello. :)

I was wondering if some of you guys could help out a completely confused person when it comes to 'ripping' my DVD and Blu-Ray collection for playback on my new Apple TV? I've searched the site and read the results but I'm still confused about the process. I'm not sure if it's the confusing technical lingo or the amount of information given but the processes I've read about just make my head hurt.

I guess I'm struggling with the fact that getting a movie into iTunes is much more complicated then getting a music CD into iTunes. With music CDs I just insert the disc into the drive and drag the songs to my music folder. iTunes then rips the songs to my preferred quality settings, tags them and adds artwork. Is this sort of simplicity achievable with DVD and Blu-Ray movies?

I've come across many different 3rd party apps like Handbrake but then I read that additional apps must be used if the source disk is protected. But then I read about folks just ripping a movie only with Handbrake and no mention of additional apps. Am I missing something here?

I would appreciate it if anyone could just explain this to me in layman's terms. I'm not looking to tweak import settings or use the files on multiple devices; I just want to be able to digitally store the movies I own on a network drive and play them back through the Apple TV.

Thanks. :)
For blu ray disks, it's a two part process. Ripping creates a digital copy of the contents of the disk and removes the encryption. Encoding/Transcoding converts (and compresses) that digital copy into a format playable on your chosen device. There are tons of choices out there to achieve either of these but the most commonly references/used seems to be MakeMKV to rip the disk (works for DVD's too, BTW) and Handbrake to encode it.

To use MakeMKV, you need a blu ray drive attached to your computer (read only is fine). Pop in the disk, select the source in MakeMKV, let it do it's thing, select the track(s) you wish to rip, and let it rip (sorry, pun intended :D).

Once you have the resulting rip, select it as your source in Handbrake, choose your settings--I'd suggest using the Apple TV preset (2 or 3, depending if you want 720p or 1080p)--select your destination to the resulting file, and let Handbrake do the rest for you. It can take awhile, depending on your computer and your settings (1080p will take longer than 720p, etc) but you can queue up a series of encoding jobs and let them run overnight.

Sorry, there is a third part. If you want your resulting movie/TV show nice tagged with all the relevant info/artwork, you'll need to use something like iDentify or iFlicks to add that info but that's pretty painless.

That's my process, there certainly are other ways and I'm sure other members can offer additional suggestions/advice.

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If you're going to be ripping Blu-Ray discs you need something like MakeMKV and then a program like subler to do a pass through conversion into an M4V file using Subler.
This is definitely an option, especially if you want to keep as near the quality as the original blu ray but in my experience, the very high bitrates of these files can choke the Apple TV, resulting in stuttering/pixelization. Things may have changed as I haven't done one of these in a while as many of my encodes are done for use on multiple devices, some of which can definitely NOT handle this.
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
If you have many Blu-Ray discs the process of recreating the wheel with handbrake is going to take many, many days. In the end though its about experimenting and finding the encoding format that works best with your media player.
 

TheralSadurns

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2010
682
902
For DVDs I actually use a little App called RipIt.

Whiile Handbrake is awesome, this is the easiest one step process as you can tell RipIt just to rip your copy protected DVD, reformat/transcode it into something AppleTV/iOS devices can work with, and puts it into iTunes.

They also have a free Trial on their website... that is good for 10 DVDs totry out...if I am not mistaken.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,006
156
Arizona
For DVDs I actually use a little App called RipIt.

Whiile Handbrake is awesome, this is the easiest one step process as you can tell RipIt just to rip your copy protected DVD, reformat/transcode it into something AppleTV/iOS devices can work with, and puts it into iTunes.

They also have a free Trial on their website... that is good for 10 DVDs totry out...if I am not mistaken.
Does RipIt also transcode stand alone video? Thats what I like about Handbrake, it does it all.
 

TheralSadurns

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2010
682
902
Nope. RipIt is only for ripping (and converting) DVD media.
Handbrake is much more flexible and powerful... just not as idiotproof.

I use both... depending on what I wanna do.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2011
1,006
156
Arizona
Nope. RipIt is only for ripping (and converting) DVD media.
Handbrake is much more flexible and powerful... just not as idiotproof.

I use both... depending on what I wanna do.
The only issue with handbrake I have had (as far as idiotproofing) is I selected the wrong preset for my :apple:TV. I only had to re-transcode it with the proper settings.
 

Cinephi1e

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2012
107
0
Northwest Ohio
Yes, ripping DVD's and Blu-ray's are more complicated than that for CD's. Basically, the process is actually 3 steps: ripping, encoding and tagging. For CD's this involves first getting the .wav files from the CD, then "encoding" them to .mp3 files (or a lossless format) and finally tagging them (usually with Gracenote). The important point is that CD's are not encrypted so all three of the above steps can done by iTunes and it is easy and fast.

As you may have guessed by now the major problem with DVD's and Blu-ray's are that they are encrypted. So the ripping step will involve breaking the encryption which is considered to be illegal by the film industry even if you have bought the disk in question. The upshot of this is that big companies like Apple will not get involved with this so you have no choice but to go to 3rd party programs. Here it gets more complicated as different programs specialize in different steps: for example Handbrake is almost unmatched for the second encoding step.

By itself Handbrake cannot do the ripping step as it does not have the ability to decrypt a DVD or Blu-ray. However, the decrypting program for DVD's is now so widely available that you can get it by installing a variety of 3rd party programs, most commonly the program VLC. Once this is installed Handbrake can now rip a DVD in conjunction with the decrypting program and encode the DVD. For Blu-ray's you still have to rip it separately with a program like Makemkv. After the encoding process (which can be very long depending on the speed of you computer, length of the movie, etc.), there are a variety of programs to do the tagging, such as Subler.
 

TheralSadurns

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2010
682
902
The only issue with handbrake I have had (as far as idiotproofing) is I selected the wrong preset for my :apple:TV. I only had to re-transcode it with the proper settings.
Well... I don't find Handbrake particularly difficult. But then again... I kinda know what I am doing.
Thinking of peps such as my parents... they would just SEE the many options get scared and not dare touch anything.

RipIt in that regard is much less daunting. You just have 2 giant buttons to press. Rip or Compress.

So yeah... there's just as many tools as there are demographics and wants&needs.