October 17, 2006
DVD Audio format-shifting on the Mac

OK, Mac gurus - how do I rip the audio from a DVD to MP3, so I can listen to it on my iPod, preferably using open source software?

I own the DVD in question, FWIW. ;-)

Update: Mac the Ripper and ffmpegX did the job between them. Thanks.

Posted to Mac by Simon Brunning at October 17, 2006 12:37 PM

I rip (my own :) DVDs to divx for my media centre with Handbrake - http://handbrake.m0k.org/ . You could see if that will rip the audio only.

Posted by: Chris Miles on October 17, 2006 05:08 PM

I use Handbrake, too, to make MP4's of my DVDs for my iPod, but I don't think it will rip to audio.

Perhaps there's something that will extract audio from an MP4 file?

Posted by: Simon on October 17, 2006 05:15 PM

http://www.ffmpegx.com/ is a graphical front end for a number of other conversion programs on OSX, it's a bit technical, but I've used it with success in the past.

Mac the Ripper ( http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/22715 )is a pretty good ripping program which I've also used and you might need it to get the VOB files off of the disk in the first place.

The bad news is that, given that it is still illegal to rip an audio CD down to MP3 in the UK. (really.) It's probably also illegal to rip a DVD down to MP3 as well.

FWIW, this is one of the things that I'm trying to change.

Posted by: Ryan Alexander on October 17, 2006 05:25 PM

Unlawful or illegal? Important distinction. ;-)

But FWIW, the BPI has said that it isn't going to be suing anyone for format-shifting material that they legitimately own[1], so I should be OK.

Thanks for the steer to ffmpegX, Ryan - I'll take a look. I was aware of Mac the Ripper (cool name!) but I've never been able to work out what I can do with the files it creates...

[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5053658.stm

Posted by: Simon on October 17, 2006 05:32 PM

And since we're on the subject, can any PC experts point me towards free software for ripping DVDs to MP4s. And yes, I know that is "illegal", in much the same way that ripping my CDs to MP3s is, but since I own the damn stuff I have absolutely no moral problem with converting it to a different form. I've looked, and I can only find programmes I have to pay for.

Posted by: Katherine on October 18, 2006 04:13 PM

HandBrake has an experimental Windows version, I gather, Katherine. But if you have no luck with that, can anyone else help?

Posted by: Simon on October 18, 2006 04:15 PM

Katherine, first, apologies if I'm ranting on about stuff you already know.

Ripping commercial DVDs to other formats is complicated by the fact that DVDs are encrypted to prevent copying.

You can download the freeware DVDFab Decrypter Beta (not the DVDFab commercial product) to read the encrypted DVD and make unencrypted versions of its files onto your hard drive - be prepared for 4 to 8 GB of data. Once unencrypted you can use a wide range of tools to reformat it, including Windows Media Encoder.

DVD Shrink is another freeware package that decrypts DVDs onto your hard drive but in my experience it is foxed by some protection schemes DVDFab deals with. DVD Shrink contains functionality to 'shrink' the size of the files it creates by reducing the quality slightly - enables you to fit an 8 GB DVD copy onto a smaller single-sided DVD, or to take up less space on your hard drive.

Did you know that you can simply rename the .VOB files from a DVD to .MPG to 'convert' their format..


Posted by: Paul on October 18, 2006 05:17 PM

Last time I looked at the Handbrake beta there was something not quite going on, but I'd have to check. Thanks Simon, I remember you telling me about this the last time I whinged on to you.

And Paul, thanks for that - I'll have a look. I know very little actually so absolutely no apologies required. Educated layman and enlightened user is about as much as I can claim for myself on the subject of computers. Oh, and friend to geeks also.

Posted by: Katherine on October 19, 2006 11:20 AM
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