DVD copying

So, here it is – my first new post of 2008.

There are 2 ways you can look at the information here: 1) the breaking of media protection is necessary for consumer rights such as backing up and the ability to play on a medium of choice, or 2) it’s plane piracy and it’s bad.

I’m not going to tell you what this should be about. It’s to do what you think it is about. For what it’s worth, I definitely condone profiting from piracy.

Despite owning a DVD-RW drive in my computer, I never entertained the fact of copying. I had no reason to and the seemingly hard protection layered onto titles put me off the idea even more.

But copy protection seems to have been easily broken – for standard DVDs at least. It’s easy for consumers (in this case Windows PC ones) to implement, and bar the expense of a drive and blank media, the software is free.

The two pieces of software I’ve toyed with are DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink. The first piece of software is only needed if you don’t have burning software that supports DVD video burning (i.e. Nero Express) and want a faster and more efficient to-disk rip than in the latter. Guides are available such as this to hold your hand the first time or so.

DVD Decrypter can be used as the only program if you’re ripping/copying single layer DVD 5 (maybe called this because the content totals less than 5gb, or 4.5bg to be exact) discs. Shrink will be needed if you want to, well shrink, dual layer titles to fit on a standard DVDR. Shrinking can be achieved by compression and/or the removing of unessential materials. On an example I tried, shrinking worked on compression only, and still there was no real startling difference in quality from the original.

You can copy your CDs easily (well, most of them), so don’t fear about tackling these thicker discs. You’ve bought the item, so it’s up to you what you do with them within normal social reason.

Also, if you want to rip files into computer playable video formats, try VLC. It’s a multi platform, multi media format player (yes, you Mac and Linuxers too) that can also ‘stream and save’ what it sees quite effectively, via a number of different codecs.

So, that’s that.