Video ripping tips
sudo apt-get install k9copy
- When ripping to the X264 video codec, I prefer the Handbrake application, but because my DVD player will not play X264/H.264, I continue to rip to XVID (which Handbrake no longer supports).
- To accomplish audio/video conversions, DVD rips, or associated tasks, a variety of modules ought to be installed on your system. Normally, the installation of k9copy will install most of them as dependencies. However, you can also ensure that they are installed from the command line (the worst that will happen is an error that they are already installed):
sudo apt-get install mplayer mencoder ffmpeg transcode sox lame libmp3lame0 libsox-fmt-mp3 mp3gain dvdauthor sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly
I realize that not everyone will use all these modules, but as time goes on and your conversion desires become more specialized, you may find that each of these modules are required in some way by the A/V conversion programs. Unfortunately, unless you read every word of the instructions, you may not realize why an A/V conversion program does not work from the lack of one of these modules.
In addition, there are a battery of video and audio codecs that can be installed in a single step:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted extras
To play encrypted DVDs, the libdvdcss2 package is essential. libdvdcss2 is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption. More information about this package can be found at VideoLAN.
- You can install libdvdcss2 as a 64-bit .deb package without installing the Medibuntu repositories:
wget -c http://packages.medibuntu.org/pool/free/libd/libdvdcss/libdvdcss2_1.2.10-0.3medibuntu1_amd64.deb sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.10-0.3medibuntu1_amd64.deb
- or a 32-bit .deb package:
wget -c http://packages.medibuntu.org/pool/free/libd/libdvdcss/libdvdcss2_1.2.10-0.3medibuntu1_i386.deb sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.10-0.3medibuntu1_i386.deb
- You can also use guidelines provided at Medibuntu. This will install the Medibuntu repositories on your system and then install the libdvdcss2 package:
sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/jaunty.list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2
- You can also install 32 bit or 64 bit Windows multimedia codecs (if you haven't already done so using kubuntu-restricted-extras):
sudo apt-get install w32codecs
sudo apt-get install w64codecs
- Instead of downloading directly from Medibuntu, you could also use the script included with the libdvdread3 package to download and install libdvdcss2:
sudo apt-get install libdvdread3 sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh
sudo apt-get install libudf0
Other tools are useful:
sudo apt-get install udftools libudf-dev
Copy a DVD with k9copy
- k9copy settings by default will copy a DVD in a one-click. It is set to use standard DVDs with 4.7 Gb max size (although this can be adjusted if you want to use "double" DVDs or blu-ray or other fancy type of DVD). It automatically converts a ripped video down to the approrpiate size to fit (by default 4.4 Gb). further, you are able to select which items from the DVD you wish included. Extraneous content on a DVD can merely be de-selected and will therefore not be included in the copying process.
k9copy is not intended to be used to copy copyright-protected DVD content. Do not use it for this purpose; this is illegal. k9copy does not make efforts to circumvent copy-protection schemes.
Rip a DVD with k9copy
- Some DVDs are not able to be easily copied due to the authoring mechanims used in creating them. Further, many devices used to view videos are not able to use DVDs but use files only. For these reasons, ripping DVD content that you own to a file is often desirable.
- There are many formats of video files, but many are proprietary. While the best is X264/H.264, this is proprietary and many devices will not read it (I do not have a single DVD player that will recognize it). The most widely recognized video formats are MPEG-2, MP4, or XVID/MP4 (the open source equivlaent of DivX) and of these the highest quality, most compact format is XVID (so that is what I usually use).
- Similary, the AAC audio codec is a good format, but it is also proprietary and many devices will not read it, either.
Although MP3 is proprietary, it is fairly universally recognized (even my DVD players recognize it), and it is compact. AC3 (aka A52) is the default audio format for DVDs and is therefore almost universally recognized as well. Therefore, all my video files use wither AC3 or MP3 for the audio. (MPG-a, or MPG-audio, is also acceptable, but it is of lower quality and not very compact).
- A "container" packages the video and audio components and makes sure these stay synchronized. Examples are .wmv, .avi, and .flv, .mpg, .mkv, and .mp4. I don't have a single device that reads the Windows proprietary WMV by default (it requires a lot of extra modules), and .flv is a propretary Flash video format of relatively low quality. My DVD players will not accept the .mp4. My DVD players only accept .mpg and .avi, so I use one of those two, of which .avi is the superior format.
While the open source .mkv (Mastroska) is one of the best containers, few of my devices recognize it, so I avoid it for now.
- Therefore, almost all my videos are currently ripped to an AVI container with XVID for the video codec and AC3 or MP3 for the audio codec. Such a decision is a personal one, and depends on your own collection of hardware on which you intend to watch videos. If you always use VLC on all your devices, it doesn't matter: the VLC Media Player can handle all video codecs, all audio codecs, and all container types (provided you have the codecs installed on your system already).
- The hardest part of ripping with k9copy is setting it up to use your desired codecs, and to set the options for those codecs. This is a highly personal decision, and the following are recommendations only.
- Many people now watch video on portable media players with limited memory. Because prior to this a number of people actually archived videos on CDs (instead of DVDs), those video files had a maximum size of 700 Mb, and this has remained as somewhat of an established tradition. However, it is somewhat arbitrary. Still, keeping the size of a ripped video down is important if you intend to have several videos on a device with limited storage.
- The screen size is also important of viewing devices is important, too. I still have old televisions with 4:3 ratios and 10% overscan (which cuts off the outer 10% of images). All my videos must therefore have a maximum width of 648. Widescreen monitors are almost universally 720 pixels in width (with no overscan or perhaps 5% overscan at most), however, and if you don't need the special dimensions, a 720 pixel video width is usually fine.
- By default, k9copy crops rips to 720x480. I personally don't like this. I don't like any cropping of my video whatsoever (I'd prefer to have black "letterbox" bars around the image instead.) this is the default setting of k9copy I dislike the most.