Talking tech since 2003

We’ve all been there (or you may be there right now if you are reading this): you want to rip a DVD you own to your Mac so you can watch it without having to pop in the disc every time. Ripping a DVD will also allow you to put the movie on a mobile device such as your iPhone or iPad so you can watch it on-the-go.

I’m going to outline the steps on how to rip a DVD to your Mac below, but before I begin, you need to keep in mind that new Mac’s no longer have optical drives. This is normally a good thing because it means the computer can be thinner and lighter. However, optical drives are necessary for ripping a DVD (and also CDs). So if you have a Mac without an optical drive you will need to buy a SuperDrive from Apple. It retails for $79 and is well worth the price especially if you’ll be doing a lot of DVD/CD ripping.

ripit-iconOnce you have the SuperDrive (or a Mac with an optical drive), you need to download RipIt. In my opinion, RipIt is the best DVD ripper for Mac. It’s not free, but will let you rip up to 10 DVDs with its trial. After that, it costs $24.95.

Ok, so you have your DVD, SuperDrive (if necessary), and the RipIt app installed on your Mac. Now what?

Open RipIt and then pop in the DVD. RipIt will do its best to recognize the DVD (in my experience it usually can identify it correctly). Then you can either rip the DVD exactly as it is or you can choose the Compress option which will rip the DVD and then save the main movie file as a video file of your choosing (via the Preferences).

I personally choose the Compress option because ripping the entire DVD as-is can take up a lot of space, possibly up to 8GB in size, whereas using the compress option will get you the movie file in a high quality format at around 1-2GB.

Before you click on either option, I recommend checking the RipIt preferences and making sure everything is to your liking. You can get to the preferences by going to the menu bar, clicking RipIt, and then select Preferences from the drop down.

With the preferences open, you will see this window:

Here you can select where you want the ripped DVD to be saved, whether or not you want to eject the disc once it’s done ripping, and more. By the way, with the .dvdmedia extension option selected, RipIt will also create a rip of the DVD as-is in a format that can be with OS X’s DVD Player app. Again, this file will be very large in size so use it this option with caution.

After you have the General settings set, head over to the Compress tab in the preferences:

For the most part the default settings on this tab are good, the only thing you may want to consider experimenting with is the Video target setting which lets you change the type of file the ripped DVD is saved as. I personally like High Quality M4V because the video/audio quality is great, the file size isn’t too big, it works on the Mac and can also be played in iTunes/QuickTime, Apple TV, as well as your iPhone and/or iPad.

Finally, once all your settings are set, click the Compress button and RipIt will be off to the races.



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