Digitizing DVDs

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Digitizing DVDs

Postby midinut » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:29 am

My wife and I were discussing our retirement plans recently and the subject came up of how nice it would be to have all our DVD collection stored on a hard drive that we could access when we travel. It got me to wondering how this would be handled in today's times. If you legally bought and own the DVDs and have no intention of reselling or giving copies away to friends/family and just want to enjoy them at your leisure, is it legal to make digital copies and store them on removable media? If it is legal and practical, how would be the best way to begin this process? Any particular hardware/software solutions that come to mind or any of you have tried? Just curious what you folks think.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby soundwave106 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:10 am

Technically, by US law at least, ripping any copy-protected DVD or Blu-Ray is illegal. However, if you aren't sharing your collection to the world, no one's really going to care.

IMHO it's good to do something like this anyways because discs don't always last. When ripping the discs, most were fine, but I did find a couple of discs that already were unreadable (at roughly 15 years age). Makes me question claims of 100 year lifespans you see in places. I don't think there's a big "moral question" if you actually own a disc of 100% of the content on your server either.

For ripping I use a program called MakeMKV (https://www.makemkv.com/). It does basically what it says... reads a disc, shows you the chapters, you select them, and MKV files pop out. Personally, I only rip the main content of the disc, not the extras.

Movies are stored on a very large 16TB NAS (one of the QNAP ones with an HDMI out) which is a accessible within the entire home network. I also have a small server PC that runs Plex (among many other things). The QNAP Kodi application is kinda quirky (have to reboot it a lot). Plex is quite solid though and quite recommended. Plex allows me to access my movies in any of my home TVs with a Roku. In theory, it would also allow me to stream my movies to my phone or my laptop or a lot of other places. (In practice, I haven't tried that yet; I'm not really big on watching stuff on a phone for instance).

One quirk: the file structure for Kodi / Plex is pretty specific. I find a program called Filebot nice for helping to name them correctly.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby ClavAnother » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:25 am

I thought that CDR and DVDR longevity claims were pretty funny. So they invent a new medium and then say it will last X amount of years, but they havent even been around more than a couple years so who can say how long they will last.

Even worse is how the machines are designed to become obsolete so fast. if you rip your dvds in order to save them, there will come a day when the format is unrecognizable to your new system, and it won't really take all that long either.

I'm typing this on a 2006 Mac and dropbox just told me fuckoff last friday. Reminds me of how I was forced out of my awesome G5 a few years ago.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby MetroSonus » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:01 pm

Technically, by US law at least, ripping any copy-protected DVD or Blu-Ray is illegal.


It's a really, gray area legally speaking. It's not out right illegal, what is illegal, is a software company "cracking" the encryption code, as that's protected by law, patent, IP and other stuff. However, most DVDs aren't encrypted. A lot of the Disney ones are. Under US copy right law, you are allowed a copy for back up, transfer and obsolescence of format, provided you keep the original copy and can provide it if asked.

I've worked in several college media departments lol..

I use DVD fab. It's quick and easy. i mostly strip out the main movie for movies and do the whole DVD for TV shows. I don't bother with converting to Mp4 and other things, I just keep it in the straight VOB files. IT's best quality, easy and you can get terrabyte drives that will hold it all now.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby soundwave106 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:40 pm

ClavAnother wrote:Even worse is how the machines are designed to become obsolete so fast. if you rip your dvds in order to save them, there will come a day when the format is unrecognizable to your new system, and it won't really take all that long either.


I'm personally thinking the "major formats" at least will last. Kind of like how MP3 is still the big dog in lossy audio 20 years later, and how JPG and GIF have lasted longer than that for graphics. "You never know" of course, and I consider the entire system (NAS, NAS backup, and physical disc copy) to all be necessary.

MakeMKV doesn't re-encode, so it would be pretty easy to convert that MKV file to a VOB file or MP4 or whatever and be "close to the original". The codec is technically the same as either the original DVD (MPEG-2) or Blu Ray (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1). Sure, if you want to re-encode and save space, you can use Handbrake. With cheap giant hard drives available these days I prefer keeping the original quality.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby christianrock » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:34 pm

Forget digitizing DVDs for future's sake, isn't everything on Netflix and related services now? :lol:

When you're traveling, wouldn't you rather see the new places you're going to, rather than the movies you've already seen?

Re: obsolete formats and computers... I put High Sierra on my 2011 Mac recently, I think by accident (I hate those popups that come up while you are typing and then you hit enter on the "OK" button without meaning to). Honestly, I can't remember upgrading it, but there it is, on the latest Mac OS. I'm very lucky that my MR816 interface still works (I downloaded the driver and tested it yesterday in fact). Officially, High Sierra is not supported by Steinberg tho, this interface is getting pretty old now. So I'm going to try my best not to upgrade to a newer version of the OS...

...also, I now gotta reinstall Komplete 8 and Alicia Keys piano because in the new OS it does not see them at all. Oddly enough, FM8 was still there so I had some fun with that last night. Absynth and Reaktor are there too, but not the rest of Komplete. I'm glad I bought the DVD version of the software (which I always do if I have the chance). That's next on my list... and I might be actually synthing soon :eek: :eek: :eek:
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby Plink Floyd » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:43 pm

midinut wrote:retirement plans when we travel.
Just curious; what sort of travelling will this be? RV or camping type travel? If so, you have my interest. I've always thought I'd like to spend some of my retirement sojourning about the continent in a wheeled house of some sort.

I think that having a hard copy video library would be useful in that environment, not only for rainy campsites and insomniatic attacks, but during long stretches of boring roadways. I was trundled across the great prairie when I was eight or so and it was brutal. And all I had for entertainment were comic books.

I have hundreds of hours of unseen content in the can, just waiting for some free time...
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby midinut » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:20 am

Plink, that is exactly what we are planning. We have been looking to retirement and buying a small RV. Not sure whether we want to full-time in it or just meandering about whenever we want. Went to an RV show here in Charlotte this past weekend and looked at a Thor Vegas 25.2 RUV (The U being Utility). It's not much bigger lengthwise than an SUV. Wife and I are also into Jeeping (climbing rocks, blazing trails, breaking axles, etc.) and plan to get a small car trailer to pull our Jeep behind us and go out to Moab and also the Rubicon Trail (2 off our bucket list). We also look forward to just lots of sightseeing and photography/videography/drone type of stuff as well. And as CR said, we don't want distractions from the scenery or serenity as much as something to do on rainy days or during downtime in not-so scenic areas. So that was our retirement plan anyway. The RV show just pushed our desire to go ahead and get the ball rolling and start enjoying that stuff sooner than later, because you never know how much longer you got. So thanks for the feedback. I may just learn to pack a small crate of DVDs each time we leave and have it in there just in case, and rotate them out as needed.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby Plink Floyd » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:52 am

midinut wrote:I may just learn to pack a small crate of DVDs
Na mang, do this:
http://computermusicguide.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=422&start=40&hilit=raspberry+pi#p55584
You can use that mkv ripper SW was talking about, or the free one that I use: https://www.dvdshrink.org/
It's old and unsupported nowadays, but it works (just not bluray).
With the mkv thingy, you could probably put every dvd you own on a flash drive.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby MetroSonus » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:31 pm

I actually think that's a good idea... rip shows series everything. Yeah you should be out and about, but sometimes it's too cold, rainy, you're tired and hey, you've got stuff to watch.

I like the self sufficiency angle. You don't need good cell service to hotspot your phone and laptop / tv. No dish to put up.. you can take some favorites that hit the spot right in that moment.

Maybe it doesn't matter in the end, but I still like that feeling that you're not connected to anything, wires or wireless. Maybe it's the hippie in me :lol: I'd get library cards if you spin through the same towns while you're going to and from. You can get DVDs there too.

I'd love to do the same thing..
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby christianrock » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:00 pm

Yes, the small crate of DVDs sounds like a good idea. That's what I would do. With CDs I had always used cases that hardly take a lot of space and it's always nicer to browse through actual CDs or DVDs when trying to find what you want, than through a folder on a hard drive... something like this wouldn't take much stpace and you could carry all the movies you'd ever care to see. Without fear of your hard drive falling and/or failing on you in the middle of the trip... I use a smaller 96 capacity one that for me is just right and it's about the size of a book...
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby gregwar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:56 am

there are huge flash drives that could store hundreds of movies...

another idea would be to put them in a huge binder without the dvd cases

one of the pretty crappy camps i worked out of (fox den?) had no cell service or wifi except of course the last month of my second winter. anyways it was nice to bring my laptop with lots of stuff to watch and read.

logic was on there for making beats and at my nicer camps (like a huge purpose built hotel for workers) i would bring my ilok 2, uad apollo, an external hard drive and a sm58 and record stuff.

it turns out my uncle, who flies on vacation to a tropical place once a year, brings a whole 88 key piano/keyboard on the plane and jams and learns songs whilehe’s chilling in jamaica or whatevs.

ps. dvds are already digital. i thank you :wave:
Last edited by gregwar on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby ElectricPuppy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:48 pm

gregwar wrote:it turns out my uncle, who flies on vacation to a tropical place once a year, brings a whole 88 key piano/keyboard on the plane and jams and learns songs whilehe’s chilling in jamaica or whatevs.

I like your uncle. :thu:
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Re: Digitizing DVDs

Postby midinut » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:58 pm

ElectricPuppy wrote:
gregwar wrote:it turns out my uncle, who flies on vacation to a tropical place once a year, brings a whole 88 key piano/keyboard on the plane and jams and learns songs whilehe’s chilling in jamaica or whatevs.

I like your uncle. :thu:


You think I could get him to adopt me? :grin:
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