Copy DVD to Hard Drive
Have you run out of slots in your DVD storage tower? Do you find DVDs in the wrong cases, or find a case you've been seeking only to learn it's empty? Many movie buffs have such problems. You can solve this by copying all your DVD movies to a digital library on a hard drive...
How to Copy a DVD to Your Hard Drive
Yes, it's legal to make copies of DVDs that you have purchased, for your own backup and personal use. That way, if a DVD disc gets damaged and unreadable you can burn a fresh copy, for your own personal use. You just can't go distributing extra copies to friends, family, and customers, not even for free.
DVD sellers don't want you to burn a fresh copy of a damaged disc, of course; they want you to buy a replacement. So they make it difficult to copy DVD data from its disc to another storage medium with "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) - encryption that gives you the old "access denied" message if you try to copy a movie file from a disc to your hard drive. Fortunately, there are ways around the DRM roadblock.
To copy a DVD to a hard drive takes two types of software, usually. The first actually "rips" the DVD data from the disc, de-crypting it so it can be copied, and does the actual transfer of data to your hard drive. The second type of software is optional: it compresses the DVD data so it takes up less space on your hard drive. An uncompressed movie on DVD can run up to 8 gigabytes.
The tradeoff in saving disk space is loss of some quality. Compression strips out bits from the DVD data to save space. Compression software lets you set how much you want to compress the DVD data, which also means how much quality you're willing to lose. Unless you have a trained eye and 20/20 vision, you probably won't even notice the onscreen effect of moderate compression.
Free Software to Copy DVDs
Here are three popular and free DVD ripping programs that combine both decryption, copying and data compression in one convenient package. Once you set your preferences, the copying process is pretty hands-free. You insert a DVD, click the "start" button, and go do something else while the DVD is copied to your hard drive.
DVD::rip is an open source DVD ripping program that is written in the Perl programming language. It runs under Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and other Unix-based operating systems.
RipIt4Me runs under all versions of Windows and will decrypt the newer, tougher copy-protection schemes such as ArccOS and RipGuard DVD. But you will also need DVD Decryptor and DVD Shrink, both of which can be downloaded from the same page as RipIt4Me.
DVDFab HD Decryptor is designed especially for decrypting and copying HD DVD and Blu-Ray data.
Of course, all of these programs and other DVD ripping software will copy your homemade DVDs that lack copy-protection, too. Once your DVD library is on your hard drive, it can become the focal point of a hands-free home entertainment system, or a portable movie library on laptop. If you copy your DVD collection to your hard drive you will never lose a movie again -- unless your hard drive fails!
Do you have comments or questions about copying DVDs to your hard drive? Post your thoughts below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 2 Dec 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Copy DVD to Hard Drive (Posted: 2 Dec 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved