HandBrake

Forget paying for a program to rip your DVDs to your computer because thanks to the wonders of open source, HandBrake is here to convert disks to MPEG for free. Considering it doesn’t cost a dime, the application delivers exceptional results. Converting any type of DVD through a simple-to-understand UI, the program whizzes through the process of producing an MPEG-4 file to save on your machine.

You’ll need to have the right codec installed for the type of file you wish to convert (DivX, Xvid, OGM, 3ivx, etc.) but HandBrake lets you perform two-pass conversions and to codify a double soundtrack. Another great feature is the bitrate calculator, which alters the quality of the video according to the final file size you wish to achieve. You can even trim the black bands around a movie to minimize the size of the file. Although I experienced a couple of crashes with this version of HandBrake, it’s nevertheless a great open source solution for ripping your DVDs.

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