09-21-2010 08:43 AM
This is somewhat aside, yet poor ripping software(WinXDVD) has caused me to post several complaints here about the WD not handling Dolby 5.1 properly. It took me some time and wrangling to discover that the software was in fact ripping only 2 channel, when I clearly asked it for 5.1. My posts can be seen in the latest Beta software discussions and was helped by downloading MediaInfo software to validate what was truly in the AVI file.
That said, I have since asked for a refund but need a replacement product which will rip DVD's tp AVI format and include the 6 channel(Dolby 5.1) audio.
If anyone has used such software successfully - please let me know, thanks - H
09-21-2010 08:56 AM
You're actually asking two different questions.
There are tons of good rippers out there but, like with anything else, you don't want it to be a Swiss Army knife and also be a good DVD to AVI convertor (not only that, but the Live prefers the MKV container anyway). So I'd suggest you first consider getting the gold standard of rippers, AnyDVD (or AnyDVD HD if you ever want to do blu-rays). That will handle anything you throw at it.
Then you next need to consider putting that into the right container (again, MKV). MakeMKV will do that, and it's freeware AFAIK. For me, I always compress so Handbrake (also freeware and superb) does the trick. But if you don't need compression and want menus just rip to an ISO (and AnyDVD will do this just fine).
09-21-2010 09:16 AM
Thanks Mike but I know nothing about MKV or Containers. I'll need to do more research.
I "assume" that (ugh - I assumed):
- MKV is a file extension(format) which the WD Live Plus can play ?
- you're suggesting I rip to MKV rather than AVI ?
But, I infer that I cannot rip directly to MKV, but must first do something else, and only then put it into a different container ?
Sounds like too much effort for me. Ideally I'd like to rip and watch - nothing more.
I am familiar with ISO and have used them to burn DVD's, but they are too big for my needs.
And, I use the UpNP access for my media, not network shares, and ISO does not work for UpNP w/ WD in my experience.
A 1.5 GIG AVI with Dolby 5.1 was my current average target.
Regardless thanks and I will investigate.
09-21-2010 09:38 AM
MKV is a container type, like AVI. They are sort of a "wrapper" around which the various video and audio streams are inside. Those streams are encoded (and then decoded -- thus CoDecs) in various forms like DTS, AC3, H264.
The MKV container is relatively new ("new" being a difficult thing to define in this fast paced world -- in the last four or five years) but has become widely accepted as THE container type, replacing the cantakerous AVI container (AVI was so ill-defined that it often would not work in many situations). The Live *loves* MKV containers and it also offers advantages over many (it can hold DTS, sub titles, meta data of all sorts, etc.).
You can't rip directly to MKV (nor can you to AVI) but need to first rip and then process. But it shouldn't scare you -- Handbrake just points to the rip and using the High Profile preset (but changing the output type to MKV and passing through the DTS or AC3 audio) is all you need do. It will reduce your DVDs to about 25% of the size of them without changing quality one whit, and you can queue it up so that it will process many of them overnight (so you can rip 10 or so DVDs and have them converted to playable files by the morning). My typical encodes are around 700MB for a quality DVD movie (however, I usually encode blu-rays, which are considerably bigger).
There is a free trial of AnyDVD and, as I said, Handbrake is freeware, so you really aren't out anything to give it a shot. Many of us (most?) use this workflow -- rip with DVDFab or AnyDVD, and encode with Handbrake. Nothing plays better with the Live (which is why we call it the gold standard).
09-21-2010 10:09 AM
Am still uncomfortable somewhat with the price of AnyDVD, as well as the multiple steps required to rip.
A quick Googling returned many other products which rip straight to MKV, here's 2:
I will try AnyDVD as well as others listed above and post my general experiences...
Ultimately my real needs are:
- Time! Needs to work fast. I cannot mess around with multiple steps (2 youngin's at home)
- No desire to tinker. Some things I want to play, tinker, and learn - this I do not.
- Small-ish size. anything under 2 gig average per movie is good.
- Must have Dolby 5.1 sound
- Lack of DVD menus no big deal
- And most importantly - IT must work 99% of the time or better. (Not sometimes Dolby, sometimes not...)
09-21-2010 10:47 AM
Probably the most popular program for mkv is MakeMKV.
09-21-2010 04:48 PM
MakeMKV ripped a 1.5 hour movie to 2.8 gig in under 6 minutes on an OLD 1GHz machine.
I used Mediainfo and have verified the 6 channel audio.
Going to try and play it on the WD Live plus in a bit - once the wife and son have finished watching YouTube Dionsaur stuff ;-).
...and, I think MakeMKV is free (saw no sales ads on their site and it ripped whole movie)
Will post more later. AVI may be a thing of the past for me.
09-21-2010 05:25 PM
MakeMKV does sound quick but (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) I don't think it actually compresses the file, so they'll be as big as ISOs.. in which case you could just use ISOs and save yourself the hassle (plus you then have files you can easily burn to disc if need be).
Both are free.
The resulting files should be significantly smaller for little to no quality loss. The downside is it'll take longer to encode.
09-21-2010 05:38 PM
You're right, Grant -- no encoding. That's why it's fast, of course.
In general the old "Good, Fast, Small" rule applies (pick any two). Thus you can definitely use MakeMKV to make good, fast MKV files, but they won't be small. You can use other software to make small, fast MKV files but the quality won't be any good. And, of course, Handbrake produces great, small MKV files (at the cost of taking a few hours on a slow machine, although on my i7 I can generally do a DVD movie in around 30 minutes).
Quite frankly, anyone with a kid shouldn't be scared of the AnyDVD (or DVDFab)/Handbrake combo -- it's FAR less complicated than raising a child <bg>.
09-21-2010 05:41 PM
Oh, and I should also mention that I'm a *very* old man, and if I can handle the AnyDVD/Handbrake combo (and rip thousands of DVDs and blu-rays without a single issue) anyone can do it. And don't complain to me about time -- I have FAR less time than any of you kids around here <bg>.