A friend recently asked me how to convert DVDs to digital formats so that her daughter could watch them on her iPad during a road trip. I remember when some DVDs would come with free digital copies. Now I see Walmart and others are charging for the service.
Following is a tutorial on how to install the open-source application HandBrake and get those digital copies free.
1. Use the link provided above to download the software. There are other links using HandBrake in their URLs, but they’re ads for other paid programs, and some of them may contain malware. This tutorial focuses on the Mac installation, but Windows is available as well.
2. Give your computer permission to download the app. This may mean temporarily turning your firewall off under System Preferences. When you’re done with the installation, remember to turn your firewall back on.
3. After unpackaging the software, you’ll get a screen like the one below. Now you just have to show the app the movie you want to encode. Click “Source” and find your DVD.
4. I select my DVD, “Cooley High,” from the source pane to the left of the window that appears after I click “Source.” :
5. Next, click on the Video_TS file. Click “Open” in the lower right corner of the window after the Video_TS file is opened.
6. A bump in the road: My older DVD is 32-bit, while the current version of HandBrake is 64-bit. I click on the button to the far right, download a software package, and in three minutes, I’m back in business.
7. I click “Start,” and the DVD encoding begins.
8. The flyout menu to the right shows my encoding options. I set them for my iPad. Settings are available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Apple TV and Android devices as well.
9. A cute alert that my digital copy is ready. The 1-hour, 47-minute, 27-second flick took 38 minutes to convert.
10. “Cooley High” is ready to transfer to the iPad.
11. Whoomp! There it is…