You have a collection of DVDs with video that you want to store on your computer or mobile device. They may be movies or TV shows you’ve purchased, or DVDs with personal videos or slideshows. The goal is to rip your DVDs into digital files that you can edit or simply access and play without having to rely on the discs.
A host of tools are available that can help you in this endeavor, some free and some paid. Ideally, you want a program that can rip digital files from any source accessible from a DVD, including the DVD itself, an ISO image, or folders of DVD files. That latter option means you’ll be able to rip files stored in those VIDEO_TS folders you often find on DVDs. A good program should also let you rip DVDs to a variety of file formats, such as MP4s, AVIs, WMVs, and MOVs, as well as more compact formats designed for a mobile device.
Okay, but is it legal to rip DVDs? You can certainly legally rip your own personal videos, but what about commercial, copyrighted, copy-protected videos? Ripping such DVDs with the purpose of reselling or sharing the copies with other people is illegal and definitely discouraged. Ripping copy-protected DVDs for personal use to back them up or view them on your PC or mobile device is still technically illegal, at least in the United States, as you’re bypassing the copy protection. But the feds aren’t likely to come knocking on your door if you restrict the copies to your own personal use. Now, let’s check out some DVD rippers.
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