All this talk of bit rot is starting to get to me. For years I have been burning the family videos to DVD and collecting commercial DVDs. While I only own a few DVDs for my use, we have stacks of the things for the kids. The problem is, the kids watch DVDs repeatedly and beat the hell out of them.
So a few months ago I started to look at ways to convert the family DVD library to a digital format. In the process, I discovered an excellent application called RipIt. This application, released by The Little App Factory, takes just about any DVD you throw at it and create a mirror image file on your hard drive.
It doesn’t just extract the primary movie files but gives you the whole enchilada. The process takes about an hour and when it’s done you can eject the DVD, click on the file, and begin browsing the DVD menu as if you still have the DVD in your computer.
This has numerous advantages. If you’re watching the movies on your laptop, there is no need to spin a DVD and it will use less power. Once the DVD is ripped, you can put it back in its case and on your shelf and not worry about it being subjected to scratches, maple syrup, a game of frisbee, and any of the other amazing things our children conspire to do with DVD media. It also can save room. All of my ripped DVDs are now consigned to a cabinet in the garage and out-of-the-way.
In a world where most video transcoders have more buttons and sliders than the cockpit of a fighter jet, RipIt is drop dead simple. You insert the DVD, click the button, and go do something else. You come back in about an hour and it’s done. I have never had it fail to rip a DVD. According to the developer, it has been proven to work with over 250,000 unique discs. They guarantee that if you find a disk it will not work with, they will go buy a copy and fix it.
While rip it does a great job of mirroring the DVD, it does not take the next step of putting the media into iTunes for you. For that, you need to pull out the individual tracks. I have been doing this with the open source application, Handbrake.
If you do have munchkins in your house that have creative uses for DVD media or just want to make backups of your DVD library, you need to check out RipIt. A license is $19.95 which can be expanded to a household pack (five licenses) for another $9.95. You can learn more at TheLittleappFactory.com.
You can listen to this review on the Mac Review Cast.