My First Mac Archive

This article was first published on 2008-03-26. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.

So imagine you just went out and bought a new DVD.  Or maybe you’ve had your favorite movie on DVD for a while now.  You also have an iPhone or a computer you want to put it on.  You might think, “What?  I can’t just click and drag the DVD to my computer and then sync it with my device?”  No you can’t.  That doesn’t mean it’s not possible to transfer it to your computer though.  There are a couple ways to do it. 

One: transfer it from the DVD.  Companies like 20th Century Fox and now Lionsgate are now making it possible to just drag the movie from the disc to your computer. 

Two: use a process called ripping.  Basically what this is, is a program reads the information off the disc and decodes it into a file on your hard drive which can then be compressed to put on your iPod, Apple TV, etc.

Method number one is very easy to learn and very easy to use.  However, there aren’t many DVD’s that offer this option yet.  The first one that offered what is known as a digital copy was Family Guy: Blue Harvest.  You begin by inserting the disc into your computer and open iTunes.  It will show up as a new device and there will be a screen asking if you want to transfer this digital copy to your computer.  The answer would most likely be yes and you just enter in the code that came with the DVD and it begins to copy.  One sync of your iPod or iPhone and its ready to view.

Method number two is a little more difficult but offers more options.  The most popular program to use is Handbrake.  The most recent version 0.9.2, only works in Leopard on Mac OS X, while version 0.9.1 works in Tiger and Leopard.  The application works the best on a Mac because you only need one step.  For Windows using Handbrake isn’t the easiest way.  There is however a way to do it and I found a nice YouTube video that shows exactly that. 

On a Mac what you do is download Handbrake and install it by dragging the application to your application folder.  Then, you take your DVD and insert it into the optical drive.  Select the DVD from the pop-up menu Handbrake has and click open (if you don’t see anything select Open Source under the File menu).  Wait while it searches the disc to find the movie. 

After it’s done, is when you can customize how the video will look.  If you don’t understand all the stuff located on the bottom, don’t worry.  Handbrake comes with over fifteen built-in presets to chose from.  Just select the one you want and it will automatically change the settings to that preset to optomize the video.  The main ones you’ll want to focus on are iPod High/Low-rez, iPhone, Apple TV, and Normal (for viewing on the Mac).  After that just click start (located at the top) and wait while it rips and compresses the movie to the file you want.  When that’s done, if it hasn’t already added it to iTunes, do so and then sync your device for watching.

Some people might look at Handbrake and say, “What are all those big words and numbers do at the bottom?”  In a nutshell increase or decrease the quality (and therefore size) of the file.  The biggest one of note is the quality section. Here you will find target size (choose how big you want the file) constant bit rate (another way to limit the file size) and constant quality (how good you want the movie to look). 

Two other options you might find helpful are under audio and subtitles.  The first is adding another audio track.  This is new in 0.9.2 (Leopard only) and can only work on devices that allow multiple audio tracks.  The iPhone and iPod Touch (with the software upgrade) are such devices whereas other iPods aren’t.  The second is subtitles.  You can select which subtitles you want in the video but keep in mind that the resulting video has them burned in.  It’s not like the audio in that you can choose which one (or none) you want showing in your video once you have it on the device; it is burned into the picture.

Do you have any tips getting DVDs into your Mac to share? Give us your questions and answers in the Comments section below!

13 Responses to “My First Mac Archive”

  1. Nell says:

    I like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the superb works guys I’ve included
    you guys to my blogroll.

    My blog: world cup soccer news

  2. Roberta says:

    I benefit from looking at your website. With thanks!

    my site 2014 world cup news

  3. Phoebe says:

    How goes it, tidy internet site you’ve got going here.

    My blog post: latest soccer news

  4. Martin says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

    Also visit my web blog :: liposuction

  5. Adeline says:

    You might want a car to ferry your large family around to school, clubs and outings.

    Dealer Invoice is the actual cost paid by the dealer.
    Though it will probably take you years to learn what you need to learn.

    my web blog :: best value small car (Jeanna)

  6. Billie says:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am
    not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You are amazing! Thanks!

    Also visit my site … Alloy wheel refurb Barnsley (Anderson)

  7. Eugene says:

    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to
    be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things
    or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

    Feel free to visit my blog: omega 3 max, Roseanne,

  8. Carmelo says:

    There’s certainly a lot to learn about this topic.
    I love all of the points you made.

    Here is my homepage :: 服飾小物

  9. Matt says:

    Australia’s seven State and Territory based motoring clubs have acknowledged three Hyundai models as class-winners in the 2010 Australia’s Best
    Car national awards. Most will give a slight increase in MPG, but some
    of these can really have significant gas mileage improvements.
    This can be attributed to the fact that at the time, car makers from Germany,
    Japan, Italy, and America were all competing amongst
    themselves for dominance in the worldwide automotive market.

    My blog post ::

  10. Gidget says:

    Thanks for supplying these kinds of awesome subject matter.

    Review my blog – soccer news transfers

  11. Ivey says:

    Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this
    site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of
    a good platform.

    Stop by my blog :: 20/20 Tax Resolution Tips videos

  12. Stephany says:

    Google Chrome has ƅеen called the fastest internet webb browser and iѕ basically ɑ stripped
    down version of most web browsers and thiѕ is whаt
    ǥives chrome іt’s “speed” and it ɦas good malware and fraud
    protection. Simply typing іn words relevant to your
    subject mіght not neϲessarily yield tthe most usefսl informatiоn. It
    is aboսt geting pekple tο notice аnd react to yоur brand so as
    tо write a review or share thedir personal tҺoughts
    ɑbout іt оn tҺeir

  13. Peggy says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead
    of that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

    Here is my web blog loi des finances 2014 immobilier

Leave a New Comment Related to "My First Mac Archive"


0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments)