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How to rip DVDs to your mobile device

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How to rip DVDs to your mobile device
With carriers switching to data limits these days you might start thinking twice before streaming endless videos to your mobile device, the good news is with increasing onboard storage and lower prices on larger capacity microSD cards, the lowly DVD can get a second life by being ripped to a mobile friendly format.

So before you head out on that next family vacation with a stack of DVDs for the kids or get stuck on an airplane with no way to stream your favorite videos, take some time to read through this tutorial and start ripping DVDs for your next mobile adventure.

There are several software packages available out there that can easily and efficiently rip DVDs while keeping the file size in check so that you can cram a bunch of movies on your favorite smartphone or tablet. For this tutorial we are going to use HandBrake. HandBrake is an “open source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for Mac OS X Linux, and Windows.” In short, it’s free and works on all platforms. It also has presets for iOS and Android devices making it super simple for beginners.

With that being said, first things first, head on over to http://handbrake.fr/ and download and install the correct version of HandBrake for your operating system. Because HandBrake doesn’t include decoding libraries anymore, you will also need to grab a copy of VLC Media Player so that HandBrake can use the VLC libraries. VLC is also free and can be obtained at http://www.videolan.org/.

Because HandBrake can’t handle copy protected DVDs, we need one more file in order to rip our DVDs properly. Skipping this step will cause OS X users to get an error that says, “HandBrake could not find a compatible version of libdvdcss.” Windows users will go through the entire ripping process only to get garbled video and audio.

Follow the correct link based on the copy of HandBrake you downloaded:


OS X users can either download the libdvdcss.2.dylib file and place it in /usr/lib/ or download the libdvdcss.pkg and run the package installer, which will put it in the correct location for you. The second method is recommended for ease of installation.

Windows users need to download the correct libdvdcss-2.dll file. Make sure you download the same –bit version of the file as the version of HandBrake you downloaded otherwise you will end up with unplayable files. Copy that file into your HandBrake’s installation folder. The default location is c:\Program Files\HandBrake\. Finally, rename the file, removing the "-2", to "libdvdcss.dll" (without quotes).

Select Source

Select Source

Once that is installed, you can insert your DVD into the drive and launch HandBrake. OS X users will be greeted by a screen that looks similar to the one on the right. If you didn’t get this screen, forgot to insert the DVD, accidentally hit cancel, or are on Windows, no biggie – simple select the icon that looks like a clapboard that is labeled “Source” on the top left of the menu bar. Then, select your DVD drive and click open.

Once you select your source HandBrake will spend a few minutes or so scanning the source drive. The speed of this step basically depends on the speed of your optical drive; so if it doesn’t finish right away, don’t panic. Just grab a cup of coffee or something and it’ll finish soon enough.

Select Title

Select Title

One that finishes, you want to select the Title that you want to rip. As you can see, the dropbox is filled with Chapter numbers and clip durations. In most cases, you can simply select the one that is the longest and that will be your feature. In other cases, such as a collection of TV shows, a specific special feature you want, or the DVD has more than one version of the film on it, you may need to figure out what clip is what. In our case, the particular DVD that we are using for this tutorial is the unrated edition of Grandma’s Boy. This DVD includes the unrated version and the original theatrical release. In order to determine that you are ripping the correct clip, play the disc on your computer’s DVD player. Once you play the specific content you want, you can view the chapter number.

Title 2 of 31

Title 2 of 31

The method will depend on your DVD player software. For example, in DVD Player that comes with OS X, you can simply click on “title” in the control panel and it will show you which title you are currently viewing. In our case as you can see in the picture, the unrated version of the film is actually Title 2 of 31. Windows users can also use VLC Media Player, that was downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial, to find out title numbers.

Once you select the correct title, you have the option to chose the angle and specific chapters. You can leave this set to the default settings unless for some reason you don’t want the entire movie or your disc supports different angles that you want to capture instead.

Underneath Source, you will see a section labeled “Destination.” At this point you can simply select where you want to save your video file. We highly recommend you output it to your computer’s hard drive and copy it to your mobile device after the rip is complete rather than going directly to your device.

Next we move on to the meat and potatoes of HandBrake – the Output Settings.

23 Comments
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posted on 08 Jul 2012, 16:47 2

1. Ravail (Posts: 182; Member since: 14 Oct 2011)


This method does work, however, it is rather long and un-needed. Use Magic DVD Ripper and get a key from youtube. Its much easier and effective.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:01 5

3. CharleneSchnepf (Posts: 16; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)


What you are recommending is software piracy. You can certainly purchase Magic DVD Ripper for around $35-$40 though.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:49 7

8. StrumerJohn (Posts: 66; Member since: 18 May 2011)


Software piracy ftw.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 19:01 3

10. jdubtrye (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)


Ironically, it's the subject of the blog entry that's more illegal in the US.

You can get dvd rippers free all over the place. The sites, "Giveaway of the Day" and "CNET Cheapskate" talk about free dvd rippers all the time.

However, technically the act of defeating copy protection violates US DMCA. I believe the UK allows a copy as long as you have the original on hand.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 19:30 2

11. CharleneSchnepf (Posts: 16; Member since: 30 Nov 2011)


The DMCA exception instituted in 2010 allows for the CSS protection to circumvented for certain circumstances, such as using a legally obtained DVD for non-commercial or educational uses. That exemption is valid until 2013 and then it will be reviewed again.

Side note: That exception also contains clauses that make it legal to root and unlock cell phones.

Edit: This is the U.S. I'm talking about, btw.

posted on 16 Nov 2012, 06:50

23. brenty108 (Posts: 7; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


hey i recently redid my pc and these links no longer work under this heading:

Follow the correct link based on the copy of HandBrake you downloaded:

Mac OS X:
Windows (32-bit):
Windows (64-bit

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 18:36 8

9. GuiltyBystander (Posts: 199; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)


It's not piracy, it's sharing.. and we all know sharing is caring.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:38 3

7. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Apple will sue! :D

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 23:49

16. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)


okay, then give me the key

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 16:51 1

2. aaronkatrini (Posts: 239; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


:Yao Ming Face: F*ck that sh*t, i'll go pirate! Arghhh ;)

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:06

4. sprockkets (Posts: 1316; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Na, recommend DVD ripper for most DVDs, DVD fab for those stupid ones with extra protection.

Go to doom9.org for all the up to date stuff you need. And no, that site does not condone piracy either. In fact, it posted the whole transcript of the dumb judge on the DeCSS trial. It dealt with the actual law about breaking encryption, which still says fair use can't be denied. He didn't buy it.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:26 4

5. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Thank god for Pirate Bay! Nevertheless thanks you!

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 17:27

6. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Actually I'd like a post explaining the difference between actual piracy and file sharing because there seems to be much confusion on the internet.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 19:44 2

12. gaby1451 (Posts: 113; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Just finished ripping to iPhone 4. Couldn't be any easier, thank you Charlene! Thumbs up for Kill BIll Vol. 1 :D

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 21:02 7

14. -box- (Posts: 3869; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Good for you, but how do you stand watching it on such a tiny screen?

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 19:50 2

13. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I can finally rip all my men's health DVD and carry then around with me! Thanks for the heads up

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 21:07

15. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6697; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Man I hope is free. I'm running out all of options. I hate to use NERO to convert my DVDs to Mp4 formats on four different files. Everytime i download a free software it says FREE TRAIL which means YOU have to pay. Going to try it out anyway to see if it works.

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 23:52 2

17. roscuthiii (Posts: 1865; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


I thought I was the only person with a copy of "Grandma's Boy"... actually, somehow I have two. :-/
Dear God! They're multiplying!!!

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 00:14

18. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Use Format Factory
http://www.formatoz.com/

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 04:18

19. Otterbox (banned) (Posts: 71; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)


This is a long and drawn out process.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 13:13

20. blade (Posts: 32; Member since: 28 May 2012)


just go to pirate bay and then download a 700mb print no need to rip
btw works awesome on every android phone palys all format i dont think so this is possible in craple hahaha ...............

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 12:58

22. Googlethis (Posts: 170; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


I wonder if this would work on my M*A*S*H DVDS.

posted on 23 Nov 2012, 18:25

24. brenty108 (Posts: 7; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


hey i recently redid my pc and these links no longer work under this heading:

Follow the correct link based on the copy of HandBrake you downloaded:

Mac OS X:
Windows (32-bit):
Windows (64-bit

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