Transferring DVDs To Your iPods

By Beverly Kane

Now that iPods can be used to watch videos, the natural consequence should be to make DVDs which are iPod friendly.  Freewares are indeed available which allows you to transfer DVDs to the hard drive and then onto the iPod for viewing.  If you can add videos to your iPod collection, then storing the videos are more convenient while you are on transit.

The process of transferring DVDs to your IPod involves something called “ripping” which is transferring the contents to your hard drive and then copying the same to your iPod using iTunes.  Several utilities can be used to do this.  Here are some low-downs on some of the popular utilities.

A popular utility used today is Handbrake.  To use this, first put the DVD in the adequate drive.  Then start the program.  Once the program is launched, it will automatically scan the DVD.  In case the disc is protected by any app protection, scanning will not happen and you will read a line saying “no valid title found”.  After due scanning a list of titles will be displayed.  These are all the viewable titles like, the movie, any documentaries, deleted scenes, any extras, etc.  Choose the file which you wish to rip.  In case you can not locate the movie choose the file with the longest duration.  Click the Rip button.  This starts the ripping process of the DVD which can take a few hours to complete.  Once through, you can add the file to your iPod library.

Available at $29 from the makers’ website, another utility is called Xilisoft DVD to iPod converter.  This permits file compression to any size and lets you preview the ripping progression.  Xilisoft is a great utility for beginners but with the added benefits in terms of setting controls, it is a good buy for seasoned users as well.

There are many other utilities also available which permit conversion of DVDs into formats which can be viewed on iPods.  To find out more, do a research on the Net for “Convert iPod to DVD”.  You are immediately directed to many links.  From these you can make a selection which best suits your needs and falls within your budget.

Because of the huge size of DVD files, it is wise to store them in 30 or 60 GB iPods.  With iPod shuffle or an iPod with lower storage capacity, you will not be able to store many videos in your iPod, if you can store anything at all that is.  Remember, the more videos you store in your iPod the lesser will be the number of songs you can store.

There are some copyright issues when you copy DVDs to iPods.  Ripping a copy-right protected DVD to transfer to a iPod is considered illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Of course the law does not give its green signal when you wish to transfer content from your personal collection and utilize the same for personal use.

It seems alright if you as a rightful owner of a DVD copy its content to another portable device.  The law says that it is right to copy DVD contents, so long as the same is not used for infringement purposes.  The Motion Picture Association of America however disagrees when it says that for whatever reason it may be, any copy of DVD is violation of the DMCA.  Since the law does not say anything specific on whether copying DVDs is legal for personal use, every user is needed to access their own views on the subject.  There are many who are of the opinion that DVD copying for personal reasons is legal till there is a law that rules against it.

May be in the very near future, we will have digital DVDs which can be bought and downloaded from the Internet directly into the iPod, without using any external utility.  But till such times, we have to use a utility to rip the DVD content and add to the iPod.

About the Author:

Beverly Kane is a staff writer at Entertainment Digest and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including The Shopping Gazette.

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