Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ripping DVDs on Linux

I recently assembled a new computer to use strictly for playing media files on my television/home theatre setup. Sporting just over 2.5 terabytes of storage I decided it was about time to back up my DVD collection. There are a few different programs for ripping DVDs on Linux. The following details my personal experience with four different applications over the last week and a half.

Personally I found DVD::RIP's GUI counter intuitive to use and did not care for the way it has you setup "projects" for each disc. Beyond this it also does not support "queuing" of video files, meaning if you are ripping a DVD that has multiple episodes on a disc you need to baby sit the ripping process to start the next episode after each one ends.

AcidRip is a GTK based GUI front end for MPlayer and MEncoder. It is simple, yet powerful. In addition to the GUI functions it also provides the user with access to editing the ripping command manually should you want to, meaning it does not take any control away from the power user. My only complaint about AcidRip is that it was unable to rip media files using the x264 video format on either of my two Linux systems.

As I'm sure many of you where able to guess from it's name K9Copy is a KDE ripping program. It provides a solid GUI that is easy to learn/navigate and it supports x264 encoding. Like DVD::RIP, K9Copy also does not support queuing media tracks from a disc, however I found that it is easy enough to open a couple copies of K9Copy and have it rip multiple titles at once. My only complaint about K9Copy is that the version provide in the Ubuntu repositories crashes on me every so often (and I was less than successful in getting the latest version to compile from source).

I saved the best for last. HandBrake is my preferred application at this current point in time for ripping video from DVDs. It provides a very sleek GUI that is easy to navigate and intuitive to use. It supports queuing media tracks and x264 encoding to .m4v files. Also worth mentioning is that HandBrake is the only of these four applications that is not included in the Ubuntu repositories, however it is still FOSS.


Fifteen seasons of television shows and a half dozen movies later I am still ripping DVDs, slow and steady. Is there another application you know of for ripping DVDs on Linux that I did not mention here? If so, feel free to drop a comment letting me know what it is.

~Jeff Hoogland

42 comments:

  1. I've had good luck with OGMRip.

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  2. k9copy is the best app I have seen !

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  3. Agree on k9copy. Its never let me down yet and very easy to use.

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  4. I have 3 different media players that do not support h264, so Handbrake is out... I find dvdrip to work fine and can produce files that play on all players...

    The trick to ripping the entire dvd in one go is to select all titles in the RIP screen. You do have to wait for ripping to finish before you can start encoding.

    I don't use the standard encoding and it is clumsy of dvdrip that you have to specify the details of encoding for each title.

    You can encode all titles in one go using the same "trick": select all titles on the RIP screen before starting encoding.

    Peter

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  5. You actually can queue multiple media tracks with K9copy. Simply select the files and hit the rip (copy) button, *without* entering a name for the output files. That does the trick for me, with only on instance of K9Copy running :)

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  6. @Guillaume Good to know, but then how would I know which media files relate to which episodes? I've been ripping 16+ episodes of shows a day for almost two weeks now and it is a god send to have all the files named properly right off the bat.

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  7. You have not mentionned Thoggen (http://thoggen.net): * an easy to use interface: simple though with every essential feature (choice of the language, choice for the size/quality, etc.) track and
    * use of the Ogg/Theora codec: technically excellent and, more importantly, patent-free and royalty-free. It must become THE standard!

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  8. @Jeff You have to rename the output files manually after each disc, but it's quite easy, because they're in the same order as on the disc (by default, the output files are named after the disc name. If the disc is named, say, Evil_Dead, the files will go, in order, "Evil_Dead", "Evil_Dead1", "Evil_Dead2" and so on).

    It's not perfect, but it's not that bad either.

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  9. I've been using thoggen and I absolutely love it! It is in all the repos and rips to the free, public ogg/theora format.

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  10. For GUI apps I also prefer K9copy, but I do a lot with the CLI app xvidenc (there are others too, like divxenc and x264enc). Easy, question-driven app that can live in a Screen session and can be started or accessed remotely with an SSH session. It does have issues with some encryption unfortunatly, so then i fall back to K9copy.

    I think k3b can also rip and encode disks.

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  11. There is also Shrinkta:

    http://shrinkta.sourceforge.net/

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  12. I use makemkv. Not OSS but works great on DVDs & blu-rays.
    -john

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  13. What? No K3b? That venerable, remarkably solid, do anything front end? :)

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  14. I use mythtv's dvd ripping frontend. I simply specify the name for the output file, make a couple of encoding choices and off it goes.

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  15. Please remember dvd ripping software is illegal in some countries (e.g. brazil)
    if caught you could end up in prison.

    it never ceases to amaze me how many of these
    types of tutorials / reviews fail to mention that.

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  16. Between K9Copy and HandBrake I've never needed anything else to make an XViD/MP4 from my DVDs!

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    1. I've found handbrake pretty useless. I need to rip a DVD so it both fits on a normal DVD disk of 4.7gb AND absolutely must play on any home DVD player. Handbrake makes mkv's and mp4's, not VOB's.

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  17. I've got a n00b question if I may :),
    I've been looking for ripper/codec/file format that will enable me to rip DVDs while maintaining all subtitles and voice tracks (e.g. English/French/etc).
    Anyone knows of such working combination?

    Thanks,
    Yoav

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  18. Its a Tutorial about DVD ripping , not about Laws in different countries which can be complicated, there is plenty of places on the internet to read about Fair use and the Law.

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  19. Try handbrake-cli with the mkv format, I think it allows multiple subtitles, audio tracks, and even gives you chapter markers like a dvd. OR... consider just copying the video_ts folders.

    My fav is for ease of use is Acidrip! Takes about an hour to rip a dvd to avi.

    Handbrake, on the other hand takes about four hours, per mkv rip (on the same machine).

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    1. Biggest problem is that most people do NOT want to park themselves in front of a computer just to watch a movie.
      Ever have 5 people in front of your computer watching a movie?
      And no, most people do not have their computer in the same room as their TV set.
      I have yet to find a home DVD player that plays anything other then a VOB file...

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    2. Well.... my Samsung 46 inch flatscreen is actually a single-purpose Linux box and plays media files from a USB port. Most of my watching these days is from media files on a 2 Tbyte USB external hard-drive.

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    3. Well my computer isn't in the same room as the TV either, but this doesn't matter for two reasons:
      1) I have a 10 meter HDMI cable which runs from my PC in one room to the lounge.
      2) Everything (TV and laptops) are served by mythtv backend on the PC over the wireless LAN. Simple, consolidated, centralised, FOSS multi-media server ... what more could you want?

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  20. For any non-gui users, good ol' mencoder works just fine, and has never let me down:

    OVCENC="xvid -xvidencopts chroma_opt:chroma_me:vhq=4:bvhq=1:quant_type=mpeg:bitrate=700 -vf scale=384:288 -ofps 30000/1001"

    OACENC="mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=128:vol=3 -alang en"

    mencoder dvd://1 -oac $OACENC -ovc $OVCENC -o VIDEONAMEHERE.DVDRip.XVidMP3.avi

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  21. Handbrake can be easily installed and updated for Ubuntu by using Handbrake's Launchpad PPA.

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  22. Another easy, but un-mentioned method, in Ubuntu or Mint (and I assume other distros as well), simply right click on the mounted DVD, and select Copy Disc, create an ISO of the DVD, and simply play it in VLC Media Player. You maintain the quality, and all menus, and features.

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  23. From the previous poster, ripping the DVDs to ISOs is much faster than trans-coding right from the DVD. To save time you can start by ripping the DVD to an ISO, then immediately start trans-coding... that way you can queue several DVDs over night. The ISO will, of course, be much larger than the trans-coded mp4. VLC can also be used to trans-code and it does an excellent job - no queues though. I agree that Handbrake is the best - though it doesn't support as many codecs as some of the others.

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  24. Happy k9copy user here - just fire up the wizzard, rip the DVD to a 4.3gb ISO image.

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  25. Personally I just use Brasero to rip the DVD. Then I use Handbrake to rip the titles within the DVD iso. It makes it much easier too queue this way since you're not limited to a single DVD drive.

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  26. dvd::rip does have a queue mode, though it doesn't support all the standard dvd::rip functionality. You need to set up a server (which can be on the same machine) and you queue jobs to the server. It is a bit of a hassle to set up but works ok.

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  27. (Hi Jeff, that's ok I understand)

    I use DVDFab! Runs great through Wine.

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  28. Regarding the previous posts suggesting to copy the DVD to ISO, or to do the same with Brasero: how well does that work with copy-protected DVDs? I thought the real benefit of the ripping/transcoding tools was their ability to use libdvdcss (or perhaps some other method) to remove the copy protection.

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  29. Older copy protected programs work fine. However, for the newer copy protection - DVDFab6 will decrypt just about anything and as previously posted, it works well in wine. If you use Dvdfab6 to decrypt and copy the disk to the hard drive, it can then be ripped with any of the above or just use Dvdfab6 to rip it.

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  30. With all media libraries installed on Ubuntu 9.10 I have been able to rip DVDs as old as 2000 and as recent as this year using HandBrake and Acid Rip.

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  31. I, too, prefer Handbrake. It's worth mentioning (which was not detailed in the review) that Handbrake is cross-platform - it's available for Linux, OSX, and Windows. There's something to be said about a familiar UI when using different platform OSes.

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  32. 'vobcopy' from the command line

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  33. I also like vobcopy and use it to copy the entire main movie to one large vob/mpg file. However vobcopy does have problems with some of the newest forms copy protection. DvdFab works better and works with wine, DvdFab also has a vob copy, as well as an option to rip to various formats. Some times I will use DvdFab to decrypt the dvd, then just use mencoder /pathtomovie - ovc copy -oac copy -forceidx -o movie.mpg . This creates a movie file that plays on the Tivo rather than use a dvd player. This method works to time shift a rented dvd if you don't have the time to watch it. However, if you have Netflix "instant" or streaming, you have very little need to rent dvds.

    Devede is a another great linux program that works, take those flash files and make a playable dvd or mp4 etc. Every linux user should also have WinFF which is a GUI for the command line video converter, FFMPEG. It will convert most any video file that FFmpeg will convert, and is very easy to use.

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  34. It's not illegal if you own the copies and you use it for back-up. Re-distribution may be illegal, with vague and un-enforceable laws, but don't get scared into not ripping DVD's so you can't watch them on your netbook


    Don't forget to check out "Linux Tips and Tricks "

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  35. its technically illegal to even watch DVDs on your linux box in the USA thanks to the DMCA ans libdvdcss2 circumvents the copy protection

    its unenforcible and legally questionable but still technically illegal

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  36. No, it is not illegal in any way shape or form to copy a DVD that you own (i.e. store bought).

    You have the absolute right to make a back up copy under fair use law in the USA.

    Just because you use Linux doesn't make it illegal.

    The DCMA and other laws are a mute point due to the fact that copy protections are aimed at windows users and so is the software. Even in Windows you can copy a DVD.

    If you have to decrypt it just to watch it on your computer then that is a software limitation of the copy protection and not the fault of the Linux user.

    Should the DCMA get too rough on Linux users, I am sure that the ACLU could get involved.

    Roughly 9% of the world's computer users utilize Linux. Or about 3/4 of a billion people (estimated).
    There were at last check about 234 million computer users int eh USA. 9% of that is how many? That is a LOT of civil rights violations and discrimination lawsuits to be considered.

    If the DCMA wants to enforce their immoral copy protections then they should FORCE everyone to include the exact same software and gui's that windows users must use, all for the linux and mac users to 'enjoy'. (Open Source).

    Under US law, no software is supposed to come with a way to circumvent copy protections unless 'authorized' under the DCMA or copyright holder.
    So, adding libdvdcss doesn't make anything illegal.

    Remember, Fair Use is a very strong protection guaranteed under the copyright laws.
    And it is very fair to make a digital copy of your DVD's since many of them will not be available for sale. Example would be certain Disney movies. They come out once every 20 years. If your DVD happens to get scratched there is no replacement you can buy. So a digital copy is fair use.

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    1. I agree with most of what you are saying, but most people don't see purposely bypassing protection as a "software limitation". Also, saying that 9% of the population uses linux therefore 9% of the US uses it is incredibly wrong. A good portion of that 9% comes from countries where linux is more accessible than Windows.

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  37. Something worth mentioning for the benefit of ripping newbies is the value of using a Linux live CD which allows you to test various Linux-based ripping applications without having to install them to your base system. Also, I'm sure Jeff will appreciate my noting that currently, my live CD of choice for doing this is none other than Bodhi Linux--not just because it's extremely light on resources while still sporting an excellent, rich desktop experience, but because it allows you to easily boot into memory which of course frees the DVD writer for use by your ripping software. I'm able to run Bodhi in memory for days on end on a 6 or 7 year old home-built system with only 1GB ram, ripping one DVD after another (to a USB drive) using Handbrake and with no change made whatsoever to my installed Linux system which I normally use as a backup file server. Kudos to Jeff and the rest of the Bodhi/Enlightenment development/design teams!

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