Rip your DVDs for playing on Apple’s new video-capable 5G iPod

“What if you want to transfer content from a DVD you already own to the iPod? There’s a nifty piece of open source software called HandBrake that lets you convert DVD content to MPEG-4. Here’s a tutorial page that explains the process,” Derrick Story writes for Mac DevCenter. “HandBrake is available for both Mac OS X and Linux. It was originally developed for BeOS.”

Full article with links to the HandBrake application and tutorial here.

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Related article:
Free AppleScript converts Quicktime Player’s frontmost movie into iPod-readable video – October 28, 2005
Podner will reformat your movie collection for Apple iPod and iTunes – October 27, 2005
Using QuickTime Pro to create videos for playback in new Apple iPods – October 13, 2005


  1. Can anyone here who knows about legal things in the States, explain to me why it’s legal to make copies (digital or otherwise) of music CD’s you own, but not DVD’s? Excuse my ignorance if that’s actually not the case… it’s just that that’s the impression I’ve always gotten from the FBI piracy warning displayed at the start of movies.

  2. Simple, R. It’s illegal to copy or backup your own DVDs, even for private viewing, in direct contradiction of Fair Use copyright law, simply because powerful, wealthy Hollywood bozos had their lackies lobby our very pliant government for that. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 is a government handout, plain and simple, a case of blatant corporate welfare, in the form of legislation rather than cash.

  3. Nice.

    Speaking of which (and if you have QuickTime Pro) .. Doug Adams just last night released a free AppleScript droplet which will convert many (but not all) movies to H.264. Slick and easy conversion, it would seem. Here’s how he describes it:

    “Drop to Make M4V Movies is an AppleScript “droplet” that will convert movies to “.m4v” (H.264) using QuickTime Pro, save them to your “Movies” folder, and then add them to iTunes. Requires QuickTime Pro 7.0.3 or higher and iTunes 6 or higher”

  4. It’s legal to make a copy for backup purposes, it’s illegal to break the copy protection to do so.

    It’s retarded, because once you own something you can do what you want with it. But not with DVD’s.

    Two pieces of software to get around it, SnapZ Pro X which will screen and sound record (even in viPods screen size with some possible cropping) into a nice Quicktime MPEG format for viPods or full screen Quicktime (others too) for importation into iMovie/iDVD for burning. Watch the movie and record it.

    Or Fast DVD Copy, which will copy and burn directly a DVD.

  5. CHM – whats the origin of this file?

    I’m not about to install something that came from a weird website like that. Why is this not on the original handbrake website?

    Also – as far as i can read – the DMCA allows breakage of encryption for the purposes of compatibility.

    I’m making the DVD’s i’ve legally purchased compatible with my iPod. Period.

  6. Debate the legalities all you want. The fact is, the inevitable success of the 5G iPod will rest solely on the shoulders of HandBrake. The Apple Music Store will eventually beef up its video content, even with long-form. In the meantime, however, the word will get out that you can’t own a new iPod without HandBrake.

  7. To R

    My understanding of the DMCA is basically that yes, you can copy any media you own due to the Fair Use Act.

    But ….. it is illegal to break the copy protection placed on that same media. Since most audio CDs have no copy protection, you are free to copy them for your own fair use. Most (if not all) commercial DVDs are copy-protected, hence the criminality of the act.

  8. Copy what you like. Who is gonna know. Even if they raid your place, say looking for drugs or some other matter, and find your secret stash of ‘The Waltons’ on video tapes, I don’t think they could do anything because it’s not what they were originaly there for. It’s not on the warrant.

  9. Jarret…
    Get Mac The ripper. Google search. Basically it copies the full DVD to your hard drive stripping out the copie protection. From there, shrink the file using DVD2One. This will compress it a little to fit on a standard 4.3gig disc. (I know the box says it’s 4.7 but it is actually 4.3 to 4.4gigs). Then if you have Toast choose the burn video from VIDIO_TS option, drop the entire shrunk file there (in the Toast window) and Toast will make you a DVD. If you dont have toast get DVD Imager which will make an .img of the disc which should burn in the finder or with other burning software.

  10. to the other steve jobs:

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I have no idea what the origin of that source is, but I have installed it and it works great. Basically, the Handbrake available at the Handbrake website uses the main profile for H.264 encoding, which is not iPod compatible. This special build uses the baseline profile for H.264 and is therefore, iPod ready (if you set the resolution, video and audio bitrates rates properly). It’s pretty great, one step from DVD to iPod ready video. Also, this build enables the queue, so you can line up multiple jobs for it to do.

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