The Best DVD Ripper Software for Digitizing Your Disc Collection
Multimedia • Jan. 28, 2020
DVDs are dirt cheap storage solutions that we’ve been using for ages now. Be it for watching a movie, playing/installing a game, listening to music – there is no doubt that they are all around a great storage solution.
However, I think we can all agree that nowadays, it’s much better to have a single terabyte drive – or even half of that, rather than swapping out hundreds of DVD discs time and time again.
Also, there are a huge number of people who loved to showcase the DVD collection on the shelf right in the center of the living room. Playing DVDs used to be a fun activity. Now it’s just tedious – especially when compared to pulling out your phone and tapping on a button.
Using DVD ripper software is the best way to solve that. So, without any further ado, let’s check out some of the best options to digitize your complete DVD collection.
Is DVD ripping legally and ethically correct?
Most of the time, like 9 times out of 10, DVD discs are read-only. This means that if you try to manually copy them to your computer, they won’t allow you to do so or they won’t work due to DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection.
That’s because the producers and the companies behind those DVD discs don’t want anyone going around creating copies and selling them or just giving them to others. And the reason behind it is pretty simple.
If you create a copy and give it to another person, then that friend of yours gets to enjoy the work of the creators without having to pay them for their work. This, of course, may be beneficial to your friend, or you, if you sell the DVD. But it’s obviously harmful to the creators.
At this point, you can probably see why creating and distributing copies of a DVD is wrong both legally and morally. But that’s only as far as distributing and pirating is concerned.
If we’re talking about creating copies for personal usage only, then things change a lot. There is no doubt that there’s nothing morally wrong with creating a copy for yourself – be it on a hard drive or in another disc. Nobody is getting harmed by it.
On the legal side, however, things are a bit more complicated. Some regions, such as the Netherlands and Spain don’t see a problem with you making copies for personal usage. Other places such as the US and the UK, on the other hand, generally consider this to be illegal.
Of course, no creator is going to be mad at you because you copied a movie to your hard drive. So, we’d say that it’s generally okay.
With Handbrake around, why should I pay for a ripper?
As you probably already know, there are quite a lot of free DVD Rippers out there with Handbrake being one of the most popular ones. So, what’s the point in paying for a premium one?
Well, first things first, there is a reason that premium Rippers are, well, premium. The developers behind such programs spend a lot of time and resources into perfecting them – which is why they tend to work more often with advanced DRM protection.
Do keep in mind that some kinds of protection, such as Sony’s ArccOs, can end up damaging your original disc if you try to create a copy of it. Unfortunately, that’s a risk that you have to take with freebies like Handbrake.
So, if you want our opinion, premium DVD Rippers are worth it not only because they work more often with more formats and forms of DRM protection, but also because you’re not running the risk of ruining a disc or multiple ones.
Our favorite pick — WinX/MacX DVD Ripper Platinum
WinX or MacX, depending on the OS that you’re using, is top rated and most trusted software from the same developer – Digiarty.
Leaving features aside for a moment, one of the things that we absolutely loved about it is how easy it is to use it. In this article, we review the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum in detail.
Using it is as simple as opening it and following the 3 simple steps that it displays in the welcome screen. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
In terms of features, you can expect to find full compatibility with pretty much every kind of DRM protection, tons of output options, hardware acceleration for shorter conversion times, and more.
The various conversion profiles are very useful for literally everything from simple file formats to custom-made rips for latest devices like smartphone, tablet and gaming consoles.
There are additional quality settings that you can manage before you start the ripping process. For example, you can choose which codec to use, change the resolution, the frame rate, and the aspect ration, among other things. If you don’t know what any of these things are though, you should leave them as they are. WinX DVD Ripper will know which settings are best for the format you’ve picked.
Now, granted, the exact time that you’ll have to wait for a conversion to finish will differ from computer to computer. Mostly due to hardware differences. Processor power, optical drive speeds, etc.
Speaking of which, one of the few downsides, if not the only one that we discovered with WinX is that it only supports hardware acceleration for Intel and Nvidia hardware. So, AMD users are missing out a bit in terms of performance.
Still, most modern computers shouldn’t have any issues with such lightweight software. WinX can run on pretty much anything.
Now, if you’re interested in numbers, you’ll be glad to know that this software:
- Converts a DVD video with an average time of just 5 minutes, at 47x faster speed (Again, that time can greatly vary from PC to PC.)
- Offers more than 390 formats – including some of the most popular like MP4, AVI, MOV, and WMV.
- Supports conversion with an average speed of 300-500FPS (Frames per second).
- And it supports decryption and conversion of 99-title movies.
Price and avability
WinX and MacX DVD Ripper are built by Digiarty, a leader in home-use video/audio applications for Windows and macOS.
WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is fully compatible with Windows 10 and lower systems, and also comes with a MacX variant supporting macOS Catalina and earlier.
The normal price of WinX/MacX DVD Ripper is $59.95. That includes lifetime free upgrades and unlimited technical support. Currently there’re 50% off so you can get WinX DVD Ripper Platinum or MacX DVD Ripper Pro for $29.95 instead of $59.95.
Upgrade pick: Wondershare UniConverter
Wondershare has long been known as one of the most popular software creators. We’ve actually previously included one of their video editors in one of our top listicles, so this just goes to show how great they are at making software – and UniConverter is not an exception!
This program is actually a video converter. However, it thankfully also makes for a DVD Ripper – and a great one at that.
Now, sure. It’s definitely nowhere near as simple and easy to use as WinX. But you get used to it fairly quickly.
And while we’re at it, let us not forget to mention that you can use this program not only to write files from a DVD to your PC but also to write a file from a PC to an empty DVD (Burn). Why? Well, maybe for taking a music CD with your old car or something. The option is there and that’s what matters.
But, as we mentioned above, as far as UniConverter is concerned. It’s not all about DVDs. In fact, there’s much more to it than what meets the eye.
There are things such as the metadata editor, a compressor, an image converter, a screen recorder, a VR converter, and so much more. It’s frankly one hell of an overpowered program.
And if you want to talk about numbers:
- More than 1000 supported formats
- Can optimize videos for more than 5 different devices (Android phones, iPhones, tablets, laptops, etc)
- 30x times faster than conventional free software (According to Wondershare’s claims)
- And offers tens of features into one package
Overall, if you feel like getting multiple programs into one package that’s easy to use, consider investing in Wondershare’s offering instead.
Wondershare UniConverter is available for both macOS and Windows. You can keep using the free version, with some limits, but the full version is priced at $39.95 per year or $59.95 for Lifetime.
Other options we considered
Let’s have a quick look at the other DVD ripping software we had considered in the review.
DVDFab is all about, well, DVDs! Apart from standard DVDs, you can also use it with Blue-ray discs, 4K Blu-rays, or even as an online video/music downloader.
Similar to WinX DVD Ripper, the Ripper function converts a DVD to your computer in standard formats, it can also rip only the audio. So if you’d like music from a film or show, then DVDFab can grab it for you.
It’s obviously nowhere near as advanced as Wondershare’s UniConverter. It’s a bundle of software tools (Copy, Ripper, Converter, and Creator) dedicated to the work on DVD Copy, DVD ripping, Video Conversion, protection removal from DVD, 4K video converter and much more. DVDFab DVD Ripper is a function of the bundle. But, then again, that’s one of the reasons that it’s not in our top 2!
You can find it on both Windows and Mac – just do keep in mind that it’s rather expensive, which is probably the only downside that you’ll find. The full package generally comes in at more than $200. So, it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea.
Check DVDFab out on its Website
DVD Shrink is more of a compressor rather than a full-fledged DVD Ripper. But, at the same time, it’s freeware that gets the job done. So, at the very least it’s worth a mention.
It may not come with the most beautiful interface around. But, hey, it’s free and it usually gets the job done – which is all we could ask from it.
If there’s one big downside, then that’s not in the actual app – it’s with its website. The big ad on top of the website makes it hard to navigate and finding the actual download button is a challenge when you’re constantly trying to avoid the donation button.
And while we’re all about supporting developers, there is no doubt that some of them need to take a step back.
Check DVDShrink out on its official website
As the name suggests, MakeMKV is a program that, well, makes MKV files. It basically converts and stores everything you throw at it into the MKV format which is supported by a variety of different programs – including the very popular VLC player.
Just like the rest of our freeware options, MakeMKV uses that dull looking UI. And while that doesn’t prevent us from using the program per se, it can definitely become a bit annoying for some people.
This program has been on Beta for quite some time now and we’ve no notion on when the stable version is going to be released. So, don’t blame us or the developers if you come across a bug or two while using it.
Check MakeMKV out on its official website
This is another very simple DVD Ripper/Decrypter. It basically does the same thing with MakeMKV.
All you have to do is give it an optical drive to work with then you select a destination folder and that’s about it. After that, the program copies the DVD over to your selected destination in .MKV format where you can do whatever you want with it.
It’s completely free to use and while official support has been dropped for a long time now, you should still be able to use it on a modern machine without any massive issues. Sometimes it bugs out for us while we’re trying to close it – but that’s something that can easily be fixed with task manager.
Check DVD Decrypter out on its official website
Aurora Blu-ray Copy
Aurora comes in multiple variants with Blu-ray Copy being one of them. As the name suggests, this variant is mainly focused on ripping Blue-ray discs!
You can find it for free on both Windows and Mac computers. But, just like most of the other freeware that’s out there, the UI and the overall experience of using it is kind of subpar compared to the premium variants.
But, hey, if all you need is some basic Blue-ray ripping for free, it gets the job done.
Just keep in mind that on the Windows side, the program seems to be made for Windows 8. And while it’ll probably run just fine on Windows 10 computers, there is no doubt that it’s outdated which is something that slightly raises security concerns!
Check Aurora out on its official website
That’s all we’ve got for now. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, we generally recommend getting premium/paid DVD Rippers rather than free ones – especially if you’re dealing with a ton of different DVD discs.
Not only because they make the process much easier while also offering a ton of other features that can come in handy, but also because they support a bunch of extra formats and different forms of DRM.
The free programs that we mentioned as alternatives are a decent option if you’re broke or don’t want to spend any money. But remember that they generally offer the most basic of features.
Not to mention that they are often outdated and have the risk of corrupting a DVD with Arccos or a similar form of DRM. Sure, it’s not like this never happens with premium offerings. But at the very least the chances are much lower. So, pick your poison.