How to rip DVDs to your mobile device

Those of you that have worked with video before will be very familiar with these settings. You can really dive in deep here and create a very high level of customization that is way outside the scope of this tutorial. For the sake of this How To, we are going to keep it relatively simple and work with the presets.

In OS X, if you don’t see the presets drawer on the right side of your window, click the icon labeled “Toggle Presets” in the upper right hand corner of HandBrake. Also, if you are missing any of the presets, make sure you are connected to the Internet and click the gear icon and select “Update Built-in Presets.” In Windows, the presets are always shown and you can update, import, and export them by clicking on “Options” in the lower right corner.

At this point you want to select the preset that most closely resembles your device. For iOS devices, this should be the easiest. iPad users, select “iPad”, iPhone 4 and 4S users select “iPhone 4”, and iPod Touch and pre-iPhone 4 users should select “iPhone & iPod Touch.” Using the correct preset will optimize the resolution for your device. iOS device owners should also keep in mind that Apple has strict video encoding guidelines for its devices. Wandering outside these parameters will render you unplayable video.

Android users have the choice of two presets – Mid and High. If you are unsure of your device’s resolution you can search for your device at PhoneArena.com to find the your display’s resolution. Most full touch screen devices released in the last few years will be best suited by the Android High setting. If you have a QWERTY device with a lower resolution screen or want a smaller file and don’t mind sacrificing image quality, you can use Android Mid.

Both the iOS and Android presets output a .mp4 file using the H.264 codec. That type of file should play fine on other mobile platforms such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry. BlackBerry owners might find it helpful to drop the Picture Size down to match their device. Make sure you select “Keep Aspect Ratio” and then just change the Width to match the width of your BlackBerry's display resolution. This will save you from having unnecessarily large files. Also, many BlackBerry users, especially PlayBook owners, have reported better success changing the Video Quality from “Constant Quality” to “Average Bitrate (kbps)” and entering a value of around 1500. Ultimately, no matter what device you have, it is best to play around with the various settings and save your own preset when you find the combination that works best for you.

Just a quick note to tablet owners – a standard DVD is 720 x 480 so using the iPad or Android High setting will work fine. If you are converting your own HD videos that you made or acquired elsewhere, you can mess with higher output resolutions or just use “High Profile” to take advantage of your higher resolution display.

Once you select the best preset, the other tabs will also have optimal settings filled in, but as always, you have the option to customize everything to your needs. The audio tab allows you to change the codec, mixdown, samplerate, and bitrate. Again, if you are looking for a different balance of quality vs. filesize, you can mess with these settings. Also, if you want a different track of audio, for example, a different language or you want the director’s commentary track, you can select that track here as well.

Unsurprisingly, the subtitles tab allows you render the subtitles onto your ripped video and the Chapters tab allows you to embed chapter markers into your file.

Once you have everything all set up the way you want, you’re ready to rip. If you are just ripping one title off of your DVD, you can simply click “Start” and the process will begin. If you want additional titles, for instance you want multiple episodes from a TV show season on DVD, click “Add to Queue” and work on your next title. Once you have all your titles from that disc in your queue, you can click start and HandBrake will encode all of the files.

When HandBrake starts going to work, you should go do something else. The speed will be greatly dependent on the length of the video and your computer’s specs, but most modern day computers with decent specs will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to rip a standard movie on DVD. Again, that estimate can go way up depending on the source, the computer, and the settings you chose in HandBrake.

When it’s all said and done, you should see this:


At this point you can move your video onto your device and test it out. Congratulations! You just ripped your DVD to your mobile device. Now go out and enjoy.

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23 Comments

1. Ravail

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 14, 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.

3. CharleneSchnepf

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

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

8. StrumerJohn

Posts: 66; Member since: May 18, 2011

Software piracy ftw.

10. jdubtrye

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 08, 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.

11. CharleneSchnepf

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 30, 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.

23. brenty108

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 16, 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

9. GuiltyBystander

Posts: 199; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

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

7. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Apple will sue! :D

16. thebest

Posts: 231; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

okay, then give me the key

2. aaronkatrini

Posts: 242; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

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

4. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 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.

5. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Thank god for Pirate Bay! Nevertheless thanks you!

6. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 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.

12. gaby1451

Posts: 119; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

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

14. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

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

13. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

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

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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.

17. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 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!!!

18. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Use Format Factoryhttp://www.formatoz.com/

19. Otterbox

Posts: 71; Member since: Jun 27, 2012

This is a long and drawn out process.

20. blade

Posts: 32; Member since: May 28, 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 ...............

22. Googlethis

Posts: 179; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

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

24. brenty108

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 16, 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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