Ripping a DVD to an iPod Video

From Mac Guides

Jump to: navigation, search
This article or section is based on a forum post written by clayj.


The following steps will allow you to rip a DVD into a format that is viewable on a 5th generation iPod ("Video iPod"). The resulting movie looks quite nice on the iPod's screen.

Note: Ripping copyright protected DVDs may be illegal depending on the country on which you are residing in. Please consult all local laws before continuing with this guide.

Contents

Ripping Steps

  1. Download MacTheRipper and Handbrake. (You'll have to use Google for the current location of MacTheRipper.)
    NOTE: Yes, you can skip using MacTheRipper... but there have been instances where trying to use Handbrake to rip directly from a DVD does not work.
  2. Insert your DVD, and kill (Force Quit if you have to) the DVD Player application if it starts.
  3. Launch MacTheRipper and wait for it to detect the DVD. Click the Mode button, and from the dropdown list, select Main Feature Extraction. Then, click Go!
    Extraction should take 45 minutes or so, but this will vary from DVD to DVD. Once extraction is complete, you can then quit MactheRipper and eject the DVD.
  4. Then, launch Handbrake. In the dialog box that appears, select "DVD Folder / Image". Click Browse. Select the folder that MacTheRipper created (this will be named "[something] Main Feature"), and click Open.
  5. Once Handbrake has scanned the ripped DVD folder, you will see the main Handbrake dialog box. Here are the settings to set (use ONE of the two following sections):

H.264 Video (better for iPod-only playback)

Destination Section

  • Codecs = AVC/H.264 Video / AAC Audio
  • File = [specify any file name you like, ending in ".mp4"]

Video Section

  • Encoder = x264 (Baseline profile) (This is critical! do not select "Main profile", or the video will not play on your iPod!)
  • Quality = select Average Bitrate and type a value no higher than 640* in the box
Why 640, you ask? Because the MAXIMUM bitrate supported by the iPod with H.264 is 768. Since we are specifying an average bitrate, we need to specify a lower value that will prevent spikes over 768 in the video. 640 is a nice, high value that has worked for many users. 640 will provide the best quality while ensuring that the file is actually playable on your iPod. If you enter 768, the video will almost certainly not play on your iPod.

Audio Section

  • Sample rate (Hz) = any value up to 48000 (higher value = better sound quality = bigger file)
  • Bitrate (kbps) = any value up to 160 (higher value = better sound quality = bigger file)

Picture Settings

Click Picture Settings.

  • For iPod-only playback: Using the arrow controls, drop the Width value to 320.
  • For TV playback: Change the settings as you like, but Width times Height should not exceed 230,400.

In either case, you should leave the "Keep aspect ratio" checkbox checked; if you uncheck it and change the Height value manually, your video may be distorted and/or cropped. Then, click Close.

When you've set one of the above sets of settings, click Rip. Ripping the DVD folder into a working MP4 file will take a while, possibly as much as 3 or 4 hours, depending on the DVD and the settings you choose. Wait until Handbrake gives you a "Done." message before you quit Handbrake or do anything with the new file!

MPEG-4 Video (better for TV playback, since it supports higher resolution)

Destination Section

  • Codecs = MPEG-4 Video / AAC Audio
  • File = [specify any file name you like, ending in ".mp4"]

Video Section

  • Encoder = FFmpeg
  • Quality = select Average Bitrate and type any value up to 2000 or so in the box (For iPod-only playback, a value of 1024 will do nicely; for TV playback, you might want to specify a higher value. The maximum supported by the iPod with MPEG-4 is 2500, but since we're specifying an AVERAGE bitrate, you shouldn't go higher than 2000 or so.)

Audio Section

  • Sample rate (Hz) = any value up to 48000 (higher value = better sound quality = bigger file)
  • Bitrate (kbps) = any value up to 160 (higher value = better sound quality = bigger file)

Picture Settings

Click Picture Settings.

  • For iPod-only playback: Using the arrow controls, drop the Width value to 320.
  • For TV playback: Change the settings as you like, but Width times Height should not exceed 230,400.

In either case, you should leave the "Keep aspect ratio" checkbox checked; if you uncheck it and change the Height value manually, your video may be distorted and/or cropped. Then, click Close.

When you've set one of the above sets of settings, click Rip. Ripping the DVD folder into a working MP4 file will take a while, possibly as much as 3 or 4 hours, depending on the DVD and the settings you choose. Wait until Handbrake gives you a "Done." message before you quit Handbrake or do anything with the new file!

Notes

  • Important: you need to wait until Handbrake says "Done" before you do anything with the file it creates. Failure to get a good "Done" will result in an MP4 file that will not play! So even if it says 100%, wait a while; if you wait for more than a couple of hours and it doesn't give you a "Done", kill the Handbrake process and try again. Remember: No "Done", no usable movie!
  • One user has been able to successfully rip over 20 movies to play on his iPod using these steps, without any problems. The file sizes will vary from movie to movie, depending on the length of the movie and how complicated visually it is. (For example, THX 1138, which contains many stark, bland white scenes, is a smaller file than Black Hawk Down.)