Saturday, 18 February 2012

Mac DVDRipper Pro

I have a Mac mini under my TV, with an NFS mount to 2TB of RAID-1 space on the other end of a gigabit ethernet home network. So it makes perfect sense to get rid of physical DVDs, putting them in a box in the loft after ripping them into digital form. So I've been looking for software that does this well, and stumbled across Mac DVD Ripper Pro a few days ago. It even managed to rip/transcode some troublesome DVDs that seem to resist other means of doing the same.

MDRP offers an on-the-fly transcode feature which looks to be built on HandBrakeCLI.

All things considered, it's a pretty good converter: simple, slick and reliable. That said, I'm not sure how its proprietary license works with the GPL'd HandBrake underneath it.

Update 19-Apr-2012: I ended up not really bothering with transcoding my DVDs: the storage on the NAS is such that I could avoid the re-coding overhead and just rip the VOBs directly with MPlayer:

mplayer dvd://1//dev/sr0 -dumpstream -dumpfile "Some DVD"

This way, I get all the audio and subtitle streams, and with the help of lsdvd can pick out just the movie track (which MDRP can do as well).
One potential gotcha is to remember, particularly with subtitled/multi-audio movies, is to grab the .INF files from the DVD, too. They contain the names of the tracks and the palette used in rendering the subs; the subs may render strangely without this information.

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