Saturday, October 29, 2005

backing up DVDs with DVD::rip

Note: I only use this program to backup DVDs I already own, and do not condone or encourage its use in any other way and take no responsibility for persons who use this tool to make illegal copies of DVDs.

I use ffmpeg in transcode to encode video to mpeg4 compatible video. ffmpeg must be compiled with shared libraries enabled (./configure --enable-shared). then, lame (for mp3 support) and xvidcore must be compiled before transcode is compiled. Then compile DVD::rip according to the instructions on its homepage.

A DVD contains vobs and ifo and bup files. It may first seem confusing to work out which vob represents which title. Well, you don't need to puzzle over that. Use dvd::rip and it works it out for you. It will rip each title to a different folder for you.

However, dvd::rip only reads the titles as different numbers: title one, two, three, etc. If you are dealing with a complex DVD made up of many episodes and extras and need to know what each title contains, then proceed with the following.

You cannot work out the contents by looking at the ifo files, as they are in binary (I think). What you should do is play the DVD on a good DVD player on your computer, one that tells you which title you are on while you play it.

Play the DVD, click on the different titles on the menu, and then note which numerical title the player says you are on when you are playing a particular title. Then you will be able to match the title number with name.

In some cases, DVDs may be arranged very oddly. For example, I had a DVD which had four episodes on it, plus four extras, which should mean that it has 8 titles, plus some odd titles for the menus and adverts. However, dvdrip saw 21 titles on it! I played it with my DVD player and checked it out, clicking on all the available titles from the DVD title menu. Turns out, they only took up 11 titles. The remaining 10 titles on the DVD were simply repeats of the others, or more likely, are soft links or shortcuts to the other existing titles. If i hadn't checked, i would have ripped the same title twice.
I have no idea why the DVD provider authored the DVD in such a way.

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