Recently I needed to make duplicate copies of my wedding DVD video for distribution to family and friends. While trying to figure out how to do it I learned quite a bit about ripping and duplicating DVDs. Here I will detail two freeware softwares that I feel are good enough for the job.
HandBrake lets you RIP your DVD to your computer in MPEG-4 (MP4) as well as XviD formats. You can then use any DVD burning software like Nero or CopytoDVD to burn the video on a DVD. It also gives quite a few options to control the output audio/video like language, subtitles, audio quality, video quality, file size/ bitrate, codec, frames per second (FPS), video cropping, frame size and a few other settings. You can either select the output file size or the bitrate based on your requirement. If you are too much concerned with the file size you can specify the size of the output file you want or if the quality of the output audio/video is important then you can specify the bitrate. However, you cannot make an exact ditto copy of your DVD preserving all the languages, subtitles and region code with HandBrake.
If you need to make exact ditto copies of your DVD for backup preserving all the languages, subtitles and region code(s) then DVD Shrink is the best option. You can use this software in conjunction with any DVD burning software of your choice, to make a backup copy of any DVD video disc. DVD Shrink will automatically burn your backup DVD, if you have installed the latest version of Nero or if you download CopytoDVD. And if you already have another DVD burning software then the output from DVD Shrink can be saved on your hard disk as a DVD folder or an ISO image which can then be burned on to a DVD R or DVD RW using any DVD burning software.
DVD Shrink has to following advantages over other free DVD backup softwares:
- Most Commercial DVD titles are often encrypted to prevent you from either copying them to your hard drive, and if you manage to do so, being able to play the resulting files. DVD Shrink has built-in decryption algorithms to overcome this problem.
- Most DVD video titles are simply too large to fit, without modification, onto a single recordable DVD-R disk. DVD Shrink compresses or "shrinks" the data from your original DVD. DVD Shrink's compression algorithms comes close to those found in the best commercial softwares.
- It allows you to re-author your DVD so that you can make your own compilation from one or more source DVDs, or select only the parts of a DVD which you intend to view, thus preserving more space on your backup for the highest quality viewing.
There might be other, probably better DVD ripping and burning softwares available out there in the freeware jungle. But since I was kinda satisfied with the results of HandBrake and DVD Shrink, I stopped with my search right there. If you think there are better freeware applications out there then please do HashOut! » Continue reading