Ripping a DVD for Projects

Many times clients will come to me and say “Hey, I have this video. It just needs the sound changed and that’s it. Well, I would like to change one or two things. I only have it on this DVD, but that shouldn’t be a problem, right?”

No, it isn’t a problem. But it is still something that I feel a little hesitant to do. I don’t think anyone understands how compressed the project is when they give it to me. The real problem though is wondering if I am ripping, extracting, or un-compressing the best way possible.

While there are my solutions to the problem, I would love to hear what other people have found to be effective. Here are a few different options I use. They are not in any particular order.

Option 1:
Programs needed: MacTheRipper & Toast (pretty much any version)
Approximate cost: MTR is free. Toast is roughly $80 I believe.
Rip the DVD, either by title or chapter, in mac the ripper. It makes the file into another file, readable by Toast. Import the video into Toast and hit export. Choose the options you want.

Option 2:
Programs needed: MPEG Streamclip
Approximate cost: Free. You may need to pay $20 to Apple to download an MPEG2 codec/reader though.
Open MPEG Streamclip. Copy the video ts folder off of the DVD on to a hard drive. Open the recently copied file using mpeg streamclip. Convert to how you want it.
The nice thing about this program is that it repairs any timecode or other breaks in the media. It is also very easy to set up the file you are exporting to be what you want. I prefer using this method.

Option 3:
Programs needed: Handbrake, Quicktime Pro.
Approximate cost: $30 if you do not have FCP Studio.
Convert your file on handbrake to be some sort of H264 item that will leave the piece at full resolution. Open the file in QT Pro and convert it to what you want it to be.

Maybe I am making this harder than it really is, but this is how I do it. I know there are not a lot of specifics here, but we can hit tutorials later.

If I should change something, let me know.