Rip Your Existing DVDs to Play on iPod video

by Derrick Story

We've been covering how to shoot movies and the best ways to compress them for the latest iPod. But what if you want to transfer content from a DVD you already own to the iPod?

There's a nifty piece of open source software called HandBrake that lets you convert DVD content to MPEG-4. Here's a tutorial page that explains the process.

HandBrake is available for both Mac OS X and Linux. It was originally developed for BeOS

Finally, you may have noticed that I'm back from the wilds. I've posted a few of the shots I captured while camping. If you like such things, here's an image of a Blue Heron, a 14-point Tule Elk, and a funky Post Office. I'll be posting more over the coming weeks.


2005-10-31 07:16:50
Legal Issues
What about that DMCA nonsense? I think that ripping DVDs in U.S. is not legal. Even if you are converting your (purchased) DVD to your iPod without any intention to provide that rip to anyone else...
2005-10-31 09:08:53
derrick didn't say "commercial DVDs" or "your DVD movie collection." some of us have home movies that were created using iDVD...handbrake has been a great way of converting them to h.264/ people choose to use handbrake is, well, up to the individual.
2005-10-31 12:01:53
DMCA and ripping
I think the DMCA does make it illegal to make 'unauthorized' rips of your DVD content. Storage of DVD content in a computer’s RAM may be legal if it is stored temporarily while you enjoy the content (maybe while the CD / DVD is playing) because the content, in this context, exist[s] for too short a period of time to be exploited in any way other than as a narrowly tailored means to enable the authorized performance of the work.

Specifically, that document at the U.S. Copyright Office states:

We believe that there is a strong case that the making of a buffer copy in the course of streaming is a fair use. Fair use is a defense that may limit any of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, including the reproduction right implicated in temporary copies. In order to assess whether a particular use of the works at issue is a fair use, section 107 requires the consideration and balancing of four mandatory, but nonexclusive, factors on a case-by-case basis.

In examining the first factor - the purpose and character of the use - it appears that the making of buffer copies is commercial and not transformative. However, the use does not supersede or supplant the market for the original works. Buffer copies are a means to a noninfringing and socially beneficial end - the licensed performance of these works. There is no commercial exploitation intended or made of the buffer copy in itself. The first factor weighs in favor of fair use.

The second factor - the nature of the copyrighted work - weighs against a finding of fair use because musical works are generally creative. The third factor - the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole - would also be likely to weigh against fair use since, in aggregate, an entire musical work is copied in the RAM buffer. Since this is necessary in order to carry out a licensed performance of the work, however, the factor should be of little weight.

In analyzing the fourth factor - the effect of the use on the actual or potential market for the work - the effect appears to be minimal or nonexistent. This factor strongly weighs in favor of fair use.

Two of the four statutory factors weigh in favor of fair use, but fair use is also an “equitable rule of reason.” In the case of temporary buffer copies, we believe that the equities unquestionably favor the user. The sole purpose for making the buffer copies is to permit an activity that is licensed by the copyright owner and for which the copyright owner receives a performance royalty. In essence, copyright owners appear to be seeking to be paid twice for the same activity. Additionally, it is technologically necessary to make buffer copies in order to carry out a digital performance of music over the Internet. Finally, the buffer copies exist for too short a period of time to be exploited in any way other than as a narrowly tailored means to enable the authorized performance of the work. On balance, therefore, the equities weigh heavily in favor of fair use.

To allow the legal copying of our own movies for our own use, we will need to amend the DMCA. How?

Support H.R. 1201! Don't know what it is? Download it here ( .

2005-11-01 05:13:11
Don't you get it
The DCMA is a law that allows a media company to keep selling you the *same thing*.

Without it, you could legally use a track from that CD you bought as your mobile phone ring tone.
Without it you could legally watch the dvd you bought on your ipod.

2006-04-07 19:09:28
i am mike, once i have met some problems when i ripping dvd, luckly, i use
href="">AoA DVD Ripper
, it's

powerful and solve all the problems ,i love it!