Before I jump into the question, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that came out to see Deemable Tech at One Spark! It was wonderful getting to meet those of you that stopped to see us at Ignite Adecco, and thank you to everyone that voted for us. Now, on to the question!
Q: Our DVD player in the van broke. I would really love to download some of my DVDs to my iPad so my kids can watch them in the van, and I don’t want to buy the same movies again. I thought I could rip them in iTunes on my MacBook Pro, but I can’t figure out how to do it.
A: Ripping CDs to MP3 so that you can listen to them on your iPod is pretty easy. All you have to do is pop in the CD and iTunes does most of the work for you. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to rip DVDs to your computer, but it can be done. The movie industry has put protection on most DVDs to prevent you from copying them. If you decide to remove the copyright protection on DVDs that you do not own, or if you try to sell copies of DVDs that you own, or give them away, you are breaking the law. I am completely against piracy. If you use this information to commit piracy, you deserve whatever punishment is doled out to you. However, and I'm not a lawyer, but if you’re removing the copyright protection so that you can make a copy of a movie that you paid for only so that you can watch it on another device, that shouldn't be against the law. The MPAA might not agree, but the law isn't completely clear one way or the other. So, if you decide to do this, understand that you are doing this at your own risk.
It’s not too hard, but it does take a few steps. First, you'll need a program to remove the copyright protection from the DVD. I'm not going to name any names so I don't give the MPAA lawyers a reason to salivate. Just suffice it to say that you'll find what you need just by searching for dvd copyright remover ripper on a popular search engine. Next you'll need to download a program to transcode your DVDs like Handbrake. Transcode is another way of saying convert the file format. Run the copyright remover, and then follow the instructions to run Handbrake. Then, you'll have a file that you can put in your iTunes account and sync to your iPad.
Now, does it seem like I was dancing around the subject, and not just giving you a simple how-to guide? That's because I was. Lawyers scare me. Not all lawyers, just lawyers that are paid lots and lots of money to protect the interests of billionaires. So, forgive me if I was vague in my answer. But, the good folks at Lifehacker and MacWorld are a bit more bold. Check out there full guides on how to rip DVDs on their websites. Oh, you want a link to those articles? Hmm... How about you just search for "Lifehacker rip DVDs" or "Macworld rip DVDs" on a popular web search engine? I think I just heard a BMW 7 Series pull up...