this should be an easy question, but I'm sure I'll drown in stupid answers anyway

Dear Lazyweb,

I have an unencrypted DVD-R (originally burned with iDVD).

I would like to put it in my iMac and end up with a separate Quicktime file for each track on the DVD.

  • By "track" I mean "what the next track button on the remote control does".
  • By "quicktime" I mean: some sane, standalone format for movies, e.g., Sorensen+AAC, not some DVD-oriented VIDEO_TS nonsense.

If you have something to say that doesn't work on MacOS, or that requires me to spend money, or that solves some problem that is not what I asked but that kind of reminds you of what I asked, I implore you to keep it to yourself.

Answer: Handbrake works good.

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10 Responses:

  1. rly says:

    Handbrake can rip by title and chapter, but if it really has to be a MOV, you'd still have to convert from MP4 with Quicktime Pro or something. Quicktime can certainly handle its output, though.

    • edouardp says:

      I second Handbrake.

      And, strictly speaking, and MP4 *is* a QuickTime movie. The ISO people choose the QuickTime file format as the basis for the MPEG 4 file format. Add in the fact that QuickTime has the MPEG 4 Video codecs built-in, and I'm not sure you can call MP4 and QuickTime files different in any real way.

      • jwz says:

        Is there any reason I should want to keep these files in [handwave] instead of this "Apple MPEG4 Decompressor" mp4 file that Handbrake wants to write? As long as it's reasonable quality and I'm able to easily continue playing it in the future, I don't care what it is. (But, for example, I know that VOB files are a fucking pain in the ass, so I know they are the wrong answer.)

        Quicktime Player's UI seems to grind to a halt when dealing with .mp4 instead of .mov. Like, using left-arrow to go back a frame takes a full second if it's an mp4, but more like .1 second with .mov.

        • edouardp says:

          An MP4 file is about as good as you can get I think. A proper standard with both QuickTime and Open Source support. I'd imagine you'd be able to play them for 10 years, or even more.

          I think the QuickTime UI sluggishness is mainly to do with the way the video stream is encoded - to seek backwards you need to find the previous I-Frame (a stand-alone frame like a JPEG image) and then decode all the difference frames forward until you get to the frame you wanted. I've noticed that a lot of MPEG 4 encoded content seems to go five seconds or more between I-Frames, and so QuickTime Player is having to decode hundreds of frames of video data in order to go back just one frame.

          A technical solution inside QuickTime could be keep to keep a buffer of recently decoded frames to support things like going backwards, but I guess Apple have a current belief about the space/time trade-off regarding that.

          VLC is interesting when you randomly seek within an MPEG 4 file - it just starts decoding frames from where ever you seek to. So you get a few seconds of difference frames applied to the wrong base image before it hits an I-Frame and everything comes right. I've always kinda liked that effect...

  2. kfringe says:

    VLC will do the trick by transcoding. The interface for that bit of featurism seems to suck, but it will do it and you probably have it on your drive already.

    Handbrake's interface doesn't suck anywhere near as much for this purpose.

  3. netik says:

    We're using mactheripper at work to put porn online, and we do pretty much the same thing you want to do.

    If you combine mactheripper with a small shell script that talks to ffmpeg, you can transcode to anything you want. It'll output one file per 'chapter', which may be what you're talking about. There are no tracks on DVD, per se.

    DVD VIDEO_TS files are just mpeg2 files, they're nothing special. You'll need a codec that supports mpeg2 for playback, though, and that's where the pain comes in. On a mac, you download the quicktime mpeg2 codec (unfortunately, $19.99) or you play the files with VLC for free. Your choice.

    Another thing you should know is that VIDEO_TS files, being mpeg2 files, can be stapled together with cat (!) and they'll still play. Like:

    cat a.vob b.vob c.vob > finalmovie.mpeg2

    You'll have to do that when dealing with wierd DVDs that have broken catalogs. We see this all the time with el cheapo porn releases. The standard has a ton of room for mistakes and custom formats, unfortunately.

    Remeber that all quicktime is is a wrapper format, much like windows WMV.

  4. ninjarat says:

    Those are called "chapters" in the vernacular. Either Handbrake or Mac the Ripper ripping by chapter will carve up the VOB files the way you want. Handbrake is also a front-end for MP4 and OGM encoders (and a few others) so you can do it in one step with Handbrake. If you use Mac the Ripper then you will need a separate encoder such as ffmpeg or QuickTime Pro.