VuULF Dot Com Geek, Tweak and Game

15Feb/090

How can I backup my DVD for free? Can I put them on my iPod or PSP?

Is there a free way I can backup my DVDs to a disc, iPod or PSP?

Being a father of a rather rambunctious 5 3/4 year old, I know that those DVDs you spend a fortune on can get scratched and hatched and made completely unusable in a few seconds. I also understand that, while I may not choose to watched an animated postage stamp on a portable media player, it is much easier to carry around a PSP or an iPod with a collection of their favorite movies than it is to carry around a bag full of DVDs and a portable DVD player. While the monopolistic powers that be (namely Apple and Microsoft) are slowly coming around to their senses by promoting Digital Copy, a copy of the film that needs to be activated and can be placed on your media device, what of all of your old DVDs? Here it is - for all of you who asked, this is how you can backup your DVD media, put it on your iPod or PSP or just burn it to a backup disc that the kiddies can use and you can do it all at the low low price of: FREE!

If you do an Internet search for products that will backup your DVDs or transfer your DVDs to a portable device, you will come up with umpteen billion hits, trying to sell you software for anywhere from $1.99 to over a hundred clams! The funny thing is, when you get the software installed on your computer you discover that it won't copy all of your DVDs, in fact, if your DVD is CSS protected, you just bought yourself a wonderful piece of absolutely useless software. This is where a handy little program called DVD43 comes in. This program runs as a service in Windows and will decrypt you DVD. Be warned: If you do an Interent search for DVD43 you will come up with a plethora of websites that offer their own products behind links that say they are giving you DVD43 and they can include all forms of nastiness such as spyware/malware/viruses/etc. The following link is one that is absolutely safe:

http://dvd43.superarne.net/DVD43_4-4-0_Setup.exe

This link comes from this (http://dvd43.com/) website, which also has a link to the DVD43 Forums.

OK. Now you have a service that will decode the CSS protection; what can you use to backup your DVD media? While a number fo commercial programs are compatible with DVD43, the best Open Source and freely available software that I have found anywhere is called Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr). Handbrake is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and other Unixes. They also explain on the website what you will need to decode protected discs on OSes other than Windows. You can Download Handbrake here: http://handbrake.fr/?article=download

Now, in order to backup those protected discs, you will first need to install DVD43. You will know it is working as a little smiley face that animates when you insert a DVD is installed and located in your system tray. You may safely forget about that piece of software now, it is doing it's job. Now install Handbrake. When you run the program you will see a lot of handy presets on the side bar that will help you backup your disc, put your DVD on your PSP or other portable device, and a roster of features you will probably never even touch. Select your device from the list, specify the source and then a destination file and you are set. Copy the media on to your machine, and there you have it. Ripped DVD on yor iPod, PSP or media player.

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