Wednesday, February 17, 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. 

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