You’ve got a bunch of DVDs sitting around your house, but you can’t even remember when you last saw your DVD player, and your laptop doesn’t even have a disc drive anymore. It’s time to modernize your collection. Here, we’ll show you how to rip your DVDs to your computer using the swiss army knife of video conversion tools: Handbrake.
The main tool we’ll be using to rip DVDs is called Handbrake, which you can download here. Out of the box, Handbrake can rip any DVD that isn’t copy protected…but almost all DVDs you buy in the store are copy protected. Getting around this is a weirdly gray area legally, so applications like Handbrake can’t legally include the software needed to decrypt copy protected DVDs. You can, however, download it separately—as long as you’re just using this to watch a movie on your computer and not starting a bootlegging business, we promise we won’t tell on you.
We’ll be using a free DVD playback library called libdvdcss. This will let Handbrake read your encrypted DVDs and rip them to your computer. The process is a little different for Windows and Mac users, so we’ll go through each one individually. Note that you don’t have to do this every time you rip a DVD—once libdvdcss is installed, you can skip to Step One each time you rip a new disc.
First, you’ll need to download libdvdcss to your computer. For 32-bit versions of Windows, download this version. 64-bit users should download this version. If you aren’t sure which version of Windows you have, check out this article.
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