Say you have one of those nifty iPod thingies that play video and stuff. Say you’ve got a bunch of DVDs that you’d like to watch on said iPod thingy, but you’re not hip on buying another copy of the movie through iTunes. Movie studios have even resorted to “value-adding” with special features on DVDs these days by including an extra DVD that contains a digital version of the movie “For your iPod or PSP!”
Well, folks. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need either of those things. If you already own the DVD, there’s a software right under your fingertips that will enable you to rip those DVDs into a handy iTunes/iPod/iPhone friendly MP4 format. It’s called HandBrake.
HandBrake is this nice little open source program that converts those bulky discs into nice, compact digital files. It’s available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux and has presets for all video-playing portables from early video iPods to PSPs and some I’ve never heard of. So for example, I would like to be able to watch old episodes of Friends on my computer or iPod video. Even though it’s taken me a while, I’ve been able to successfully rip 10 seasons (at about 23 episodes per season) of Friends for digital consumption using HandBrake.
Sure, it’s time-consuming (particularly naming all the episodes, using this nice OS X-only tool called Lostify), but the work is mindless and the reward is massive.