HandBrake LogoRipping DVD’s to the Hard Drive

While trying to clean-up my “Media Closet” (affectionately referred to as the Server Room), I realized that I have a significant investment in DVD’s which I almost never watch.  The DVDs are cluttering up the closet and the shelves to the point where I decided to pack them all up and store them in the attic — however, I knew as soon as I did that, I (or my wife) would want to watch one of the movies that had been sitting untouched for months.  So, before packing the movies away, I began the Herculean task of ripping the DVD’s to the Mac Mini.

Enter HandBrake

HandBrake is a software program which offers a very simple GUI for ripping DVDs.  This is by no means a “new” application, but it is constantly updated for new features, added stability and convenience profiles.  The profiles are my favorite feature of HandBrake.  They are essentially pre-defined preferences for ripping your DVDs so I don’t need to worry about things like bit-rates, resolution or codecs.  The profiles are generally named after the target for where you intend to watch the ripped DVD, such as iPod, AppleTV, PS3, etc…  There are also profiles for different types of sources such as Animation, Television and Film.

continue reading…