Ripping Hole

Okay, the title sounds a bit gross. Let me explain. I have a tendency to go down rabbit holes, that is to say becoming obsessed with a task that isn’t strictly a priority but somehow becomes very  important to me. Thus I’m spending my festive season ripping my entire DVD, CD and software collection.

This was made easier by a beautiful piece of serendipity. I walked out my front door and found an abandoned PC. I took it upstairs and found that the DVD drive was still working, as well as a USB/flash drive hub thing. The DVD and CD drive on my desktop had both packed in and the external drive I got for my Netbook is a temperamental beast. So I took them out, installed them in my desktop and voila, the perfect gift from Santa.

There is an almost valid reason for doing it. I’m in a phase of my life where I’m moving a lot. I moved three times last year and I’ll probably have to do the same again this year. The reason being that I keep my rent down by staying with friends, either in their spare room or as a flatsit. I have too many things, so I’ve been trimming down as much as possible in order to make moving less of a hassle.

To rip the DVDs I needed a free software package. I found MakeMKV which rips discs to a video format called MKV. This format can keep hold of subtitles and different audio set-ups within the file and can be essentially lossless. It is with this software anyway. It’s very quick at ripping, the only drawbacks being that there didn’t seem to be an obvious way to change the quality of the rip to reduce file size and when I played back in VLC the subtitle file loaded automatically. There may be ways to change this but since I largely wanted lossless video and deselected the subtitles unless it was a foreign film this wasn’t a serious problem for me.

Some of the files, like extras, didn’t need to be such good quality so I used Pazera MKV to AVI Converter to reduce the file size. This process was very time-consuming, mostly due to having old computers

There’s probably a more efficient way to do this, but it works for me.

The leftover discs will be sent to Disk Recycling.