Backing up DVD on MacOSX

Having a screaming child who wants yet another cartoon every half-an-hour which does not work due to little fingerprints and simply takes time to put into DVD, etc I finally was fed up. Am I lazy or not? I definitely am! A solution to this problem is hooking up a PC (laptop) and getting all DVDs be played from the single source.

Having a screaming child who wants yet another cartoon every half-an-hour which does not work due to little fingerprints and simply takes time to put into DVD, etc I finally was fed up. Am I lazy or not? I definitely am! Therefore I took my old Inspiron 5160 with broken LCD (who needs the screen if you have a TV? :)) and hooked it up to the TV. In this way I have one source for all children zombie-pleasures (if you even seen a two years old watching the infamous ‘Dora The Explorer’ or something similar you know what I mean :)).

The next thing was to install xbmc, which surprisingly worked, although required some tweaks like disabling animations to avoid P4 2.8 Mhz hanging (I thought it was rather advanced when I have bought it some years ago :)).

But the next thing was getting the DVDs to xbmc. Logically, you need to rip them and then convert to something like .avi to let xbmc do the rest.

Getting DVDs to .avi

Get the MacTheRipper or a similar tool. This will give you the DVD content on you hard disk. The second step is to convert the .vob files to something that can be played and won’t take that much space, so e.g. .avi. To encode to an .avi you have a one-for-all library called ffmpeg.

Building ffmpeg under MacOSX (I took the latest stable 0.5.1) failed for me with the following error message:

    make(9876) malloc: *** vm_allocate(size=4273000448) failed (error code=3)
    make(9876) malloc: *** error: can't allocate region
    make(9876) malloc: *** set a breakpoint in szone_error to debug
    make: *** virtual memory exhausted.  Stop.

thank to this post, the solution is simple, and installing make 3.81 will resolve the problem.

Finally, perform

sudo rm /usr/bin/make
sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/make  /usr/bin/make

To install the new version.

The rest is pretty straightforward, so doing the standard

./configure
make
sudo make install

will get theffmpeg install done.

Conversion itslef is done by using e.g. the following command:

ffmpeg -i VTS_01_1.vob -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 -b 800k -g 300 -ac 2 -bf 2 \
    -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -s 704x384 -deinterlace -vtag divx Movie_1.avi

This has to be repeated for each VOB, so you end up with several .avi files which have to be merged using e.g. the D-Vision.

Alternatve
There is also ffmpegX available, but seen the last update in 2008 it felt a bit outdated.

p.s. the DVDs were legally bought, and the copies were only meant for the family viewing.