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DVD Ripping, Linux-Style

Posted by anjilslaire on August 21, 2008

Yeah, I’m a slacker. been 2 weeks since last post. That’s a problem with Linux: Things don’t often break when you get it up  running 🙂

OK, today I’m going to give a rundown on how to rip & encode your precious DVD movie collection from the original disc to xvid format (.avi) which is playable and convenient to stream across your LAN to your display of choice, therefore removing the need to keep using (and potentially scratching) your discs.. In my case, that’s a TV with an XBMC-enabled xbox.

1. Ripping from the original media
Most DVDs are encrypted with some scheme to prevent your backing up of your own purchased media. Now, truth be told, the decrypting tools native to Linux are not on par with those available to Windows. Sony’s ARccOS protection is pretty crafty, and frankly does a rough job to the dvd standard spec. Luckily, there are relatively few discs with this garbage on them.

In many cases, the now-defunct DVDShrink works great to rip the vast majority of titles, and works perfectly under wine. Just install it, and set the Windows version to XP. I have mfc420.dll, quartz.dll & riched20.dll set to native/builtin. Yes, K9Copy in Linux does this, but I’m a fan of DVDShrink, and I know it has great quality. Your choice.

However, for more stubborn titles, DVDFAB HD Decrypter works great under wine as well, and is even ilsted as supported under Linux via wine by it’s developers. I run it under wine as Windows 2000 with mfc42.dll in the library as native.built-in

Use one of these 2 apps to rip the main movie only, including the single language track of your choice (English 5.1 personally) to your hard drive. DVDFAB does this with no compression, and you need to manually override it in Shrink, unless you’re looking to put it back on a single layer dvd. But that’s another post 🙂

2.Encoding
After you have the decrypted files on your harddrive, (they are in a VIDEO_TS directory, comprised of several .VOBs, .BUPs, and IFOs), you’ll want to re-encode them into a cohesive single high quality file for playback. My preference is XVID, because its open source, and high great quality. For encoding, enter Acidrip. It’s in the Ubuntu repositories, and is simply a sudo apt-get install acidrip away.

Launch Acidrip, go to the Video tab, and configure it as follows:
Codec: lavc
Passes: 2
Options: vcodec=mpeg4:vhq:v4mv:vqmin=2

Now, the tricky part. Well, not really. You want the bits/Px to sit at .200, which the hint on this window tells you is a great ratio and the picture will be good. Not too high (wasteful) and not too low (blocky/pixelated). So, go to the Path window and point it at your source directory (where your .vob files are) and hit Load.
Change the bitrate until the bits/px reach .200, and it should change to a grey color. You may need to enable the Lock box to change the bits. On most movies, this ends up with a bitrate of 2067, or somewhere abouts. You can now save your settings, although I prefer to save it without the final destination listed in the Load field, as it changes depending on the film title.

Oh, enable Crop, and hit Detect. This will detect th formatting and avoid processing the blank black bard on a widescreen movie. Saves on quality, and video size. Why waste time & size on blank space?

OK, with all that set, flip over to the General tab, name the movie, and input the destination in th File name field. I prefer this:
/home/username/movies/%T. This puts them in my movies folder, with a filename the same as the Track Title. Handy, huh?

In Audio, I prefer the following:
Codec: mp3lame
Options: abr:br=128
Leave Gain a 0

I don’t include extra subtitle racks, so the rest is empty.

Whern you’re ready, click Start, and away it goes. On my Athlon 3200+ 2gigs ram, the average 2 hour movie takes a couple hours. YMMV. I suggest not doing anything else remotely intensive with the CPU in the meantime.

When it completes (remember, 2 Passes. It improves the quality), be sure to delete the original DVD files to save space, unless you want them for something else, or to burn a backup. I’ve discovered that most movies processed this way have a great picture (on a 31″ standard TV, as well as a monitor) and good sound (through a 100watt receiver) with a file size between 1.2 – 2 gig each.

When I’m done, I store them on a share on my server, and stream them to my XBMC systems connected to each TV in my house (living room and bedroom) It works awesome, and I never have to see the annoying spam & adverts on a movie, or search for my discs stored away in a box or a shelf somewhere.

Enjoy 🙂

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