How to rip, edit, and customize Blu-ray videos like a pro

“Blu-ray movies deliver an amazing viewing experience, with stunning image quality, advanced audio features, and awesome special features that let you control playback and access additional content while you’re watching your movie,” Michael Smith reports for IDG Creative Lab.

“Unfortunately, Macs don’t ship with Blu-ray support, and mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone are quickly rendering disc media obsolete,” Smith reports. “The good news is that turning your favorite Blu-ray movies into portable digital files has never been easier.”

“Before you can rip Blu-ray discs on your Mac, you’ll need a Blu-ray drive. You can pick up any number of external Blu-ray drives that hook via USB for less than $50,” Smith reports. “With a Blu-ray drive connected to your Mac, you’ll need a good Blu-ray ripping app to convert your movies into digital files. ”

Read more in the full article here.

39 Comments

    1. As others have mentioned, the inferior quality of digital downloads is a given. But, the other problem is that most downloads (including Apple’s) also have DRM on them. That DRM is MUCH more difficult to remove than what’s on Blu-ray, which makes editing and customizing video – a major point in the article – a much more difficult challenge.

      The bottom line is that digital downloads aren’t really even relevant to this discussion.

      1. ecrabb-ula, some blu ray disc include an option to download a digital copy… yet they are crapola… ok – that is what others were referring to not the Apple downloaded HD movies with DRM. Alrightie now!!!!

    2. Or you can get an external bluray drive and then rip it with your favourite ripper s/w and then burn a blank bluray disk with Toast or play it back with vlc (it’s supposed to but I can’t get it to work)

      I use Mac Blurayripper Pro and Blu-Ray Player. Job done.

      I like Blu-ray disks, got hundreds of them and will keep buying them as the quality poops on any download by a very noticeable margin.

      1. makes sense yet blu ray disc have a much shorter shelf life compared to other recordable disc media such as cds and dvds… your investment in data shall fade

  1. That article smells like an advertisement for those video ripping tools of questionable integrity and functionality that are all over the web and offer ‘Pro’ or ‘Platinum’ version for just $50 that will do all sorts of conversions and formats, and in the end, it turns out that half of the discs cannot be decrypted.

    I’m not sure why MDN chose to put this one in; they usually don’t fall for these types of shameless plugs.

    1. Admission of smell statement near the top of the article:

      This sponsored article was written by IDG Creative Lab, a partner of Macworld, and not by Macworld’s editorial staff.

      Key word: SPONSORED. This is an infomercial.
      :-Q******

    1. You’re talking about extracting movies from Blu-ray disks. What is really needed is the ability to create Blu-ray disks with user menus and content.
      When Apple first released iDVD, they were way out in front. That product was a killer app. It was pure gold. Making DVDs was suddenly a reality and it was 100x easier than any apps you could find for Windows.
      However, Apple never took the logical next step with Blu-ray. They abandoned it. And, then they dumbed down iMovie. In my opinion, Apple lost its direction. It retreated. Instead of moving forward with incremental improvement, it devolved into just another platform with some video apps.

      1. That direction all stemmed from what Jobs said about Blu-ray licensing when it first arrived: That it was a “bag of hurt”.

        I understand that the licensing may have been expensive, difficult, or problematic, but somehow, much less innovative, less user-centric companies were able to overcome the challenge. Instead, Apple just wrote creative video pros like me off for the most part.

        For years, I’ve wished I could make Blu-rays, but I refused to spend hundreds of dollars on crappy Windows software, so I can’t. One of the Steve Jobs’ and Apple’s biggest failures of the last 10 years in my opinion.

          1. You sound troll to me!

            Blu-ray forces three forms of DRM (digital rights manglement) on the user including Internet surveillance of what the user is doing with the media. Microsoft bought the bag of hurt and turned Windows into a user surveillance system via Blu-ray. It sucked bad.

            This was actually a classic Job’s wise move, pointing out why Apple, who had supported Blu-ray from the start, is the most user-friendly oriented company on the planet. Sony’s bullshit DRM is not and never will be acceptable. Apple (and I) want nothing to do with it.

            1. Historically, Apple took the complicated and made it uncomplicated and intuitive. That was their core strength. But, when it came to Blu-ray, Apple surrendered where others were able to prevail. The “bag of hurt” claim was BS salesman talk from a guy who would prefer to sell you downloadable content. Apple changed from giving us what we want to giving us what makes them money. It was a wrong turn.

            2. No, it wasn’t BS sales talk. I’ve made the matter quite plain. I got to play with the system level crap that’s built into Windows in order to satisfy Sony’s paranoia and bad attitude toward Blu-ray customers. I could not be happier that Apple did NOT infect Mac OS X with that garbage.

              As for Apple moving into downloadable content, that’s certainly the case. Whether there was any connection to the Blu-ray mess, I don’t know. It certainly is possible to write Blu-ray media discs on Mac, as has been the case for years. But none of the DRM crap is built into OS X. You have to inflict it yourself.

              As you can tell, I have no tolerance of DRM. It’s just more of the same old ‘Screw Thy Customer’ bad attitude of today’s biznizziz. And you can clearly see the retribution Sony’s customer’s have visited upon them. Well deserved.

      2. Apple will likely never bother with Blu-Ray authoring. This is pure Steve Jobs legacy. Nine years ago, at MacWorld 2005 in January, Jobs declared 2005 the “Year of the HD”, introducing the iMovie HD and Final Cut Studio / Express, both of which supported HDV and hi-def editing. From then on, Jobs and Apple purposely pushed aside optical media authoring and strongly favoured online solutions (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc).

        Besides iDVD, Apple also had DVD Studio Pro (for high-end professional DVD authoring). They abandoned both applications and there is no longer a way to author complex DVDs from FCP X (or iMovie, for that matter). They have completely removed ALL references to DVDs and authoring from the iMovie. While you CAN create a simple DVD from FCP X, menus, chapters and the rest cannot be done, and Apple no longer makes any tool for that.

        Apple simply believes that there is only a marginal number of their users who are still interested in authoring their video content for optical media.

        The cheapest way to add optical media authoring ability to iMovie / FCP X is Toast Titanium with BD/HD plug-in.

    2. I rip with MakeMKV and then use Handbrake to make reasonable sized file out of it. MakeMKV is not real user friendly though, I frequently select the wrong track to rip.

  2. whatever happened to audio commentary for movies? Isthat dying along with DVD’s? Ever since i listened to the audio commentary of “the Thing” with john carpenter and kurt russell, I thought it was a great feature. I guess there is no incentive to do that now with downloads, or maybe i’m wrong

  3. Most of us don’t have the visual acuity or the display screen to actually see any difference what so ever from HD 1080p and Blu-ray. This is all just an academic exercise for a bunch of spec chasing geeks. Us scientific measurements on yourselves and your equipment and be objective.

    1. I respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree.

      Actually (IMO) for most people, it’s less a matter of visual acuity and more a matter of pure convenience… and how so many are willing to accept low quality for the sake of convenience. IMO (again) nothing else really explains the success of YouTube (and similar sites).

      It’s not that people can’t distinguish the visual quality… it’s that they just don’t care about it. I’ve seen similar behavior in many other human activities. From what I’ve seen over the course of my life is that for most people, good enough is… good enough.

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