I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not condone piracy. If you choose to use this information to deny copyright owners of their deserved income, that is your choice but it doesn't mean it's right. At the same time, I believe that fair is fair. If you purchase a DVD and retain it in your possession, I think it's fair to put it on your device, and to make backup copies (in part or in entirety) so you do not have to purchase the disk at full price again, just because it gets scratched, broken, whatever. Kids can be hell on DVD's. Make a copy. Let them destroy the copy and make another from the original if and when that happens. DO NOT upload copies to the internet. DO NOT give away copies. DO NOT sell copies. DO NOT retain a copy for yourself if you sell or otherwise give up the original. This is important.
This method I am about to show you, tends to be much faster than other methods posted in the forum and generally gives much less trouble with audio sync and aspect issues. You'll need DVD Decrypter: http://www.mrbass.org/dvdrip/
and Any Video Converter free http://download.cnet.com/Any-Video-Converter/3000-2194_4-10661456.html
Keep in mind that most Disney DVD's Pixar, etc. will resist decryption fiercely. Also keep in mind that most commercial DVD's these days are dual-layer. (DVD-9, or just over 8gb) The only reasons to NOT copy the entire DVD, menus and all, is if you want to put the main movie only, on a regular 4.7gb DVD. Maybe you don't want the extra stuff, maybe you don't have a dual-layer burner, or dual-layer disks. Whatever the reason, if you DO have a dual-layer burner and dual-layer disks, and you DO want to copy the menus, special features, etc., I will get to that later since the method will be different even though it still involves using only FREE software.
Right now, I want to put the DVD main movie on my HDD for the purpose of watching it as-is off of my computer, without the DVD, or for converting it for other purposes such as my zune, iPod, etc., and I don't want to pay for bloated software to accomplish this task.
So.. I pop in a region 1 American commercial DVD of "2 fast 2 furious" and hit "cancel" when that crap comes up(coming from the DVD) about installing Interactual Player. Don't do that. Trust me, it's not worth it.
Then, I open DVD Decrypter already installed on my PC. It automatically detects (usually correctly) the VOB files that make up the main movie. Don't worry about what the other files are right now. You can see where the ripped file is going to end up under "destination" (location can be changed if you wish).
Now go to DVD decrypter's settings < File mode < file splitting, and choose "NONE". Then go to Mode and choose IFO. Then click the stream processing tab and enable stream processing. You will see a list of audio tracks. If you don't speak french, spanish, whatever, then why keep those soundtracks at all? Same goes for subtitles. I uncheck all of those and leave only one audio track checked. I usually just leave only the English AC3 2-channel audio track and of course, the first one on the list, which is the video. But in the case of this particular DVD, the 2-channel track is the directors comments(and DVD decrypter tells me so) so I only leave AC3 6-channel English and the video itself. All other streams are unchecked. Now we're ready to rip. Click the graphic that depicts a DVD to HDD to start the rip.
After the rip starts and you see where it says "read errors", if it remains at ZERO, you're in good shape.
In just about 7 minutes (on my machine) the operation has been successfully completed. Now navigate to the folder that was listed under "destination". Don't worry about the IFO file (the small sized file) in that folder right now. You will see a VOB file. A SINGLE .VOB file in there. It will be the largest file. In the case of this DVD and my stream processing choices, I end up with a VOB with a size of 4,704,312 KB, or 4.48GB. That is your movie! It's unencrypted, and unaltered in quality. It will look and sound exactly the same as the DVD as if, from the DVD menu, you chose ENGLISH audio, and no subtitles. At this point, it really depends on what players you have installed, and what file association settings you have, as to whether or not you can play it from the HDD. WMP will NOT play VOB files, it doesn't like the .VOB extension. But if you set windows to show the extension, and change it to .MPG, WMP will play it because it really is just an MPEG-2 video stream and an AC3 audio stream in a VOB container. WMP doesn't do it justice however, and the time slider will be useless. I don't have to do this because I have Nero Showtime set to play .VOB files and it does so on double-click. Anyway, I play the file. It looks good, sounds good, audio is in sync, in English, Great!
From that point on, you can use that VOB as input into your favorite converter/burner that accepts VOB files and create a DVD, or an AVI using the codec of your choice, make an MP4 for your iPod or zune, WMV for your zune, whatever you want! If I choose to create a DVD of just the main movie, I use the VOB as input into Nero Vision, (came with Nero 7 Ultra which I am using) but you can use whatever program you wish to accomplish that. Nero vision won't bother to re-encode the VOB since it is already the right format, and already will fit on my 4.7GB blank DVD. The result is the same quality as the original DVD and a really fast finish with no menus, subtitles, etc. Just the movie in 6 channel English.
To re-encode (convert) the movie for use on my Zune 120, (should work with 30, 80, and HD too) I open Any Video Converter, click "add files", navigate to the VOB file we just copied to the HDD. Once AVC accepts it, you will see the duration, frame size, and frames per second. In this case, 30fps actually means 29.976 or something like that.
AVC says my VOB file is 720X480. This just happens to also be a 4:3 or "full screen" DVD. In AVC, under "profile", I choose "customized WMV movie" if my target format is for Zune or a number of other uses. For that customized WMV profile, I click where it says "video codec". I choose WMV9. Where it says "video size" I choose a size that matches my VOB. In this case, 720X480. I set my video bit rate to 1500. Under A/V Sync, "default" usually works fine. Then in AVC, I go to edit < options < audio. Under MP3 parameters, I choose CBR, volume=default, quality=5 then click "OK". (these are time-saving settings. Higher quality or VBR will take much more time to complete). You only have to do that once and settings will stay that way unless you choose otherwise. Alternately, you can choose "customized MP4" and set the output settings to be within zune AND iPod specs if you want to use the file on both devices. Just be sure to use the h264 codec and not the mpeg4 codec.
You can set AVC to output the resulting file to any location you choose. Once you're sure of where the output is going, and your settings are selected, click ENCODE. Kick back, relax, and be patient. Transcoding video is a CPU/memory intensive operation. It should be done while the computer has no other apps open, no scheduled tasks, and no connection to the web. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on your machine/processor (fast dual-core is better than slower quad-core) background apps, priority, and operating system. XP will usually be faster at this than vista. Either way, you can count on it taking at least 1 to 5 hours, so relax.
OK. So, a while later, the AVC operation is complete. I now have a 1.2GB WMV which will sync with the zune without further conversion and looks/sounds great. The entire process took just over an hour on my 3.2ghz AMD dual-core. Any questions?