Disclaimer: Before you even think about ripping a DVD, you need to ask yourself whether or not doing so would be a violation of copyright. There are plenty of fair use cases for ripping a DVD, but if you are unsure whether or not your particular case is within the confines of the law, you can consult our blog post about Fair Use here or contact Duke’s Scholarly Communication Officer, Kevin Smith, for more nuanced cases. All patrons of the MPS are fully responsible copyright compliance.
First off, you need to download and install the latest version of HandBrake (http://handbrake.fr/) and VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/) for whatever operating system you are currently running. You’ll need both installed before you can begin.
Step One – insert DVD you wish to rip.
Step Two – Open HandBrake, you should see a screen that looks like this:
Step Three – Click on the SOURCE button on the top left hand side of the screen, you’ll be taken to screen that looks like this:
Step Four – Click on the DVD you wish to rip and navigate to the VIDEO_TS folder on that DVD. Once it’s highlighted, click OPEN.
Step Five – HandBrake will now scan your DVD for a few seconds.
Step Six – Upon completion of the scan, HandBrake is set up in its default configuration and you should see a screen like this:
At that point you can click on the START button and HandBrake will begin the process of ripping you’re DVD to a video file, saving it by default to your Desktop.
While I recommend using these default settings for the majority of users, there are a few more advanced options, which are worth noting:
Title and Chapters – These allow you to choose which film (if there are multiple) and which chapters within that film you would like to rip. Most of the time, the main feature of the DVD defaults to 1 and you can double check by looking at the duration on the right hand side.
Destination – If you click on the BROWSE button you’ll have the option to choose where you want your video file to go when it’s finished ripping.
Subtitles – if you click on the SUBTITLES button you’ll have the option of including any available subtitle track on the DVD. It should be noted that these subtitles are not like the subtitle tracks on a DVD because they are hard coded into the video file, so they cannot be turned on and off.
And with that, you are fully prepared to rip DVDs to your hearts content within the generous guidelines of copyright and fair use law.