How to make Philips DVP3880 zone free

Motion pictures publishers may have their reasons, but DVD region copy protection was always an annoying issue, of little value for users.
Continue reading “How to make Philips DVP3880 zone free” »

Mac OS X: How to backup the Mac OS X Install DVD?

ToastI recently decided to make some Mac OS X installation tests, and, to avoid destroying the original Apple Install DVDs, I thought it would be great to first make some backups of the disks.

And so I discovered the intricacies of the Apple hybrid disks…

Continue reading “Mac OS X: How to backup the Mac OS X Install DVD?” »

Mac OS X: How to backup (rip) a movie DVD?

DVD Copy ProFirst of all, this post is not about making illegal DVD copies. My goal is to transfer my DVD library from optical disks to a hard disk (ok, a large one), the same as I did with my music CD library, entirely transferred to iTunes. Well, not exactly the same, since the DVDs are significantly more complex than audio CDs.

The classical audio CDs structure is very simple, just a list of tracks, without any additional information, so ripping it did not loose any content.

On the other side, DVDs usually have a very complex structure, with multiple audio tracks, multiple subtitles, menus, special features, photos, etc.

The common approach when ripping DVDs is to preserve only the main video and audio streams and repack everything using a very high compression algorithm to produce a DivX or MKV stream. For my taste, this approach is not acceptable, due both to quality issues and missing content.

A true backup should preserve the full content and the quality; the only solution I know is to use a disk image format, like ISO.

Continue reading “Mac OS X: How to backup (rip) a movie DVD?” »

DVD Ripping to MPEG-4 with subtitles: Mission Impossible?!

After ripping my CD library and seeing the advantages of managing the entire library from iTunes, I was asking myself why Apple does not provide a similar solution for ripping DVDs, blaming mostly the large movie publishers for not allowing this due to the copyright issues.

Well, if legal and political reasons might not allow a large company like Apple to implement DVD conversion to iTunes, I thought than hackers will certainly find a way to circumvent all these problems and provide a solution.
Continue reading “DVD Ripping to MPEG-4 with subtitles: Mission Impossible?!” »