How to Rip DVDs

Do you have a lot of DVDs? Do you want to watch them on your computer, iPad, iPod, iPhone or Apple TV? A free program, Handbrake, can rip DVDs into digital files on your computer.

Note: Please do not rip copyrighted DVDs, as that is illegal.

Step 1: Install Handbrake and Load the DVD

Download Handbrake from http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php, and install it. Now you should insert the DVD. Handbrake can only convert standard video DVD’s that you would normally play in a DVD player. Select the DVD you’ve inserted into your computer and press the “Open” button.

Step 2: Select the Source

After Handbrake loads your DVD, in the upper left-hand corner you will find the title drop-down menu. You will need to select the right title. Unfortunately you will only see track numbers and lengths here, so it will take a bit of guessing to find the right one. However there is a trick: The right track will be the length of the running time of the movie, so be sure you know how long the movie is. If you don’t, most of the time it will be the longest of all the tracks listed. (If you really don’t know which track the right one is, you can click on the “Picture Settings”button (bottom right of the Handbrake window) and manually step through several frames of the title to see what you’re ripping looks like. Once you find the right track you want, select it. Also at this time you can modify the other settings for your movie in Handbrake to your liking.

Step 3: Choose Your Video and Audio Settings

Now you need to decide how high or low you want the quality of your video to be. In the video panel, you can drag the Constant Quality slider from left to right to adjust the quality. (Right is higher, left is lower.) Alternatively you can set an average bit rate or use a Handbrake preset for a specific device. After you set your video settings, you can move on to audio settings. Most of the time you do not need to change anything here, but here you can set several settings, such as the audio language of your ripped content.

Step 4: Start the Rip!

Now that all of your settings are set up, you can start the rip! If you are only ripping one file, press the “Start” button on the top. If you are ripping more than one video file, click the Add to Queue button (also at the top) and repeat this process for the additional content. Once you’ve got it all in your queue, go ahead and press the Start button. After the rip, you can open up the DVD in the media player of your choice and watch it on your computer. That’s it! Happy ripping!