If you know about using the VLC player to rip a DVD to an MPEG-1 file, then remember it’s not the only way. Technically, this gets the job done, but there are other options available. Storage is very cheap, so why not retain the full image quality and size as well as all the menus, languages, subtitles and bonus material from the original DVD? Using ImgBurn for free (www.imgburn.com), you can rip the entire disc to an ISO file and then use the VLC player to watch the DVD just like you would have if you had the physical disc in your drive.
After downloading and installing ImgBurn, a wizard will appear and offer you a few choices.
You will need to choose ‘Create image file from disc’.
Before we start ripping, we have to prevent ImgBurn from splitting the file into multiple parts. This is because we want a single ISO file of the entire disc. Go to Tools > Settings and click on the Read tab. Under Options, change the value of File Splitting from Auto to None. Click OK to go back to the main screen.
The main screen shows you everything you would want to know about the disc. Under Destination, click the folder and navigate to a location where you want to store the image file. Be sure you have enough space. Look in the window on the right, the value for Size is how many bytes the disc contains (this disc is 4.6 Gigs).
When you are ready, click the button at the bottom with the green arrow. The ripping process will begin and the screen will give you a progress indicator including the estimated time remaining.
This will take some time, so it you might as well occupy yourself with something else! A dual layer disc can hold more than 8 Gigs and you should rip at the lowest speed you can bear for best results.
When it’s done you will have a file called ‘Name of the disc’ .ISO.
Now, start VLC player and select Open > File. Navigate to the ISO file and select it. VLC player will start playing the file and the result will be the same as it would if you were playing the physical disc.
Now you can enjoy the full quality and functionality of the DVD without having to lug around all the discs.
ImgBurn is a very powerful piece of software that does a lot of other things, including burning image files to disc, and it is completely FREE! It runs on all versions of Windows, including Vista and all 64-bit versions of Windows.
One thing ImgBurn will NOT do is rip encrypted discs (discs with CSS and/or Macrovision). For that, you need a tool called DVD Decrypter. The developer of DVD Decrypter no longer works on the software due to issues with the Macrovision corporation and the obvious DMCA violations that the product allows. It wouldn’t be proper to advise you on how to rip protected material or commit DMCA violations, but if you do happen to obtain a copy of DVD Decrypter, you will see that its interface and operation is very similar to that of ImgBurn.