Rip Different

MacTheRipper icon

I saw on BoingBoing that Macrovision is threatening VersionTracker for listing MacTheRipper. I had forgotten what a wonderfully useful program MacTheRipper has always been mostly because I’ve taken it for granted.

Basically what it does is strip the CSS, Macrovision, region encoding and menu blocks from a DVD to allow you to create a usable VIDEO_TS file onto your hard drive suitable for burning or down sampling down to a single layer drive.

“Fair” uses

Most people are probably stripping out the DRM with this tool and then using Toast or other tool to remaster the movie onto a single layer disc for copying.

I don’t find that interesting since movies and TV shows on DVDs are reasonably priced compared to going to a theatre or sitting through an entire season of commercials. What other things can you do with it?

  • Rip a couple DVDs to your hard drive before a long flight if you fly coach. This way you can watch without potentially damaging your DVDs or DVD boxes and using so the battery draining DVD player if you are without an outlet.
  • Do the same as above, but then transcode it to a Video iPod using HandBrake. I was able to jet Caitlin a bunch of TV DVDs the night before using her iDisk to watch on her iPod, which really helped when she was stuck four hours in O’Hare.
  • If you have a Netflix DVD that has been sitting at home over a week—one you know you are going to watch, but haven’t felt in the right mood for it—just rip to the hard drive to timeshift it so you can have another one in your queue
  • Caitlin is building a list of various examples of cinematographic techniques (whip-pan, vertigo, etc). You can have a copy of it a few seconds long by using HandBrake and then using DVDxDV to make a usable copy you can import into Final Cut Pro. Throw away the rest.

I’m sure there are other ideas out there.


If you want to download the latest release, check out this posting. (The next release betas are available only via donation.)

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