Ripping DVDs to the PC

While duplicating a DVD may be of limited interest, ripping (or copying) a DVD movie to your hard drive, much in the same way that you rip songs from an audio CD to your hard drive in MP3 format, is probably more interesting to a wider audience. This, too, would enable you to leave the master DVD copies of your movies safe at home while you travel or commute. It also means you don't have to travel with a bunch of discs, discs that incidentally aren't exactly the most battery-efficient thing to watch when traveling on a plane or in other locations where a power plug isn't available.

There are two major problems with ripping DVDs:

♦ First, you need a tool like the aforementioned SlySoft AnyDVD because Hollywood DVD movies are copy-protected and designed so that they cannot be copied to your PC.

You may not need to rip all of your DVDs. There is a growing generation of dual-use DVD discs out there that include both the standard DVD movie (which will, of course, work on all DVD players, including those in PCs) and so-called Digital Copy versions, which come in both iTunes- and Windows Media-compatible versions. The Windows Media Digital Copy version of these movies is a protected WMV file you can copy to your PC's hard drive and then to a compatible portable device. The first Digital Copy-compatible DVD movie, "Family Guy Blue Harvest," debuted in 2008. As of this writing, there aren't many Digital Copy DVDs, but if this format takes off, it could answer a lot of the complaints about fair use and DVD movies. There are even Digital Copy-compatible Blu-ray movies appearing now. Hey, you never know.

You can find out more about Digital Copy-compatible DVD and Blu-ray discs on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/Digital-Copy-DVD/ b?ie=UTF8&node=7 21726011.

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