DVDs come with crappy use-restriction technology built in that is supposed to stop you from copying your discs to your hard drive and playing them from there. Luckily, there are some excellent -- and ever-improving -- tools for defeating Hollywood's paranoid technology-locks. Mark Pilgrim has published a fantastic HOWTO detailing the steps to rip a DVD to your Mac using Handbrake, a free, open source program.
I used to buy a lot of DVDs, but since I split my time between the US and Europe, I found that half my discs wouldn't play on my Powerbook. Apple only lets you switch regions five times (though the studios actually say you're allowed to do this 25 times -- Apple actually imposes more restrictions than it has to), so I quickly ran out of region-switches and just gave up on DVDs for a while.
But I recently scored a little 2.5" hard-drive enclosure that can play any video stored on it -- in practically any file-format -- on a TV or through your laptop. I put an 80 GB hard-disc in it and started ripping my DVDs, throwing on my downloaded Daily Show clips, etc. Mark's HOWTO will be a great boon to me, since the method it details for DVD ripping is much simpler than what I've been up to thus far. And of course, a ripped DVD is a region-free DVD, so I can once again enjoy my movie-collection. Thanks, Mark, for giving me back the access to my property that the MPAA and Apple took away.
Update: D'oh! Xeni blogged this yesterday as part of her awesome video iPod roundup.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]