You pay good money for your DVDs, but they’re hardly the only format you need these days. These five ripping tools ensure you can back them up, keep them on your media server, and load them on your favorite portable player.
Photo by jonasj.
Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite DVD-ripping tool. We tallied up the votes, and now we’re back to highlight the five most popular tools used by Lifehacker readers to rip, backup, and encode their DVD collections.
DVD Shrink (Windows, Free)
DVD Shrink is a free and capable ripping tool that excels at, as the name would imply, shrinking DVDs. DVDs come in two common formats: DVD-5 (4.7GB) and DVD-9 (8.5GB); the Reauthor mode in DVD Shrink helps you to ditch disc extras and strip most larger DVDs down to fit into a standard (and less expensive) DVD-5 disc. DVD Shrink does a good job handling many protection schemes, but hasn’t been updated to remove some of the newest schemes.
DVD Fab (Windows, $50)
DVD Fab is a commercial DVD ripper that supports the removal of all current DVD copy protections. In addition to being current on protection schemes, it boasts a large array of options for stripping and repacking your DVDs once the copy protection is removed. You can rip the entire disc, rip only the main movie, or split it into pieces—among other options. Like DVD Shrink, DVD Fab also supports compressing DVD-9 discs to fit on DVD-5 discs.
Handbrake (Windows/Mac/Linux, Free)
Handbrake is a DVD-ripping tool with a strong emphasis on not just ripping media but recoding it for playback on computers, portable devices, and other non-disc based systems. Handbrake can help you convert DVDs and other MPEG-based video into MP4 and MKV files. You can tweak settings like video frame rate and audio codec playback to your heart’s content with Handbrake, and even batch encode all your media at one time to make filling up your iPod or other device relatively painless. The one major shortcoming of Handbrake is that it doesn’t have any copy protection removal tools built in, which means you may occasionally need to use a 3rd-party stripping tool to prepare your DVD for conversion.
AnyDVD (Windows, $60 per year)
AnyDVD is another commercial entry in this weeks Hive Five. Its not cheap, with a one year license running $60—although the multi-year discounts quickly stack up—but it can boast that it stays on top of current protection and encryption schemes to makes sure youre never locked out of your own discs. In addition to stripping protections from the disc, it also has the ability to control DVD playback speed so that DVDs played on media center computers will play slower and quieter, and it allows you to remove things like forced subtitles, warning screens, and disc material you dont want.
DVD Decrypter (Windows, Free)
Although DVD Decrypter hasn’t been updated since 2005, it still works on a significant number of DVDs and has a strong following resulting from both its original user base and new users who find it cuts through the copy protection on their current DVDs protected with CSS, Macrovision content protection, region codes, and other hindrances.
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over the five most popular DVD-ripping tools as nominated by Lifehacker readers, it’s time to cast your vote for the tool you like best:
Have a favorite that wasn’t featured or a tip for ripping DVDs? Let’s hear about it in the comments. If you have an idea for a future Hive Five send us an email at tips @ lifehacker.com with ‘Hive Five’ in the subject line.