A good friend of mine asked me a couple of days ago at the gym whether or not he could rip DVDs to his computer. (He also had an entire other scheme to go to the library and rip those DVDs to his computer, but that’s a whole other can of worms and I wouldn’t advise you go down that road.) Nonetheless, the question resonated with me: back when I used Mac OS X, I’d turn to Handbrake almost exclusively. Now that I’m in the Windows environment, what kind of DVD Ripper should I use?
One tool that came to my attention is BDlot DVD Clone (referred to BDlot from this point on). I know the name isn’t exactly the most original or entertaining, but it’s actually a very decent piece of software. For one thing, it makes ripping DVDs a very simple process, and has a bunch of unique capabilities.
The primary function of BDlot is to rip movies from DVDs. There’s a very simple tool that allows you to extract only the film part of the DVD, and leave out the chapter information and DVD menus in order to save storage space.
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There are three main parts of this function, called DVD Title Backup (clicking the highlighted button 1 in the screenshot will take you to this screen). The bottom left section 3 allows you to manually select which parts of the DVD you want to copy. I didn’t find the need to modify this part at all, but some of you who want to get into specifics might. You can choose which parts of the DVD to rip, and options range from the full movie to specific chapters, or video and audio only as seen in the middle section 2 of the screenshot.
If you want to select a specific chapter, the boxes inside BDlot change to allow you to select which chapter. This is extremely useful, because editing a movie can take a lot of processing power! I once wanted to rip a specific clip from my copy of 21, but my computer could barely load the whole movie in the editing software, let alone make the edits.
The entire clip of the movie is a 5GB mpeg-2 file, which is pretty hefty given the typical sizes of .avi files being 700mb. Nonetheless, the resolution and quality of the video is really quite nice.
Yeah, I ripped Hitch onto my computer — definitely one of my favorite DVDs and one of the funniest and the most well-made romantic comedies (chick flicks) of all time. Click the image for an example of video quality!
You also have the option of cloning the entire DVD, chapters and information and all, simply by selecting the Full DVD Disc Backup option.
In this case, you can simply press the big blue Run button. As a side note, I’m aware that BDlot should read the DVD’s information and display it in that big light blue bottom part of the screen (beside the highlighted Run button), but in my case this didn’t happen. Not sure if it’s a regional thing, or if my DVDs just don’t contain this kind of information. (I assure you they are legal. :P)
You also have the option to remove DVD region codes, UOPs, CSS encryption, and check Disney’s fake.
I found BDlot to be definitely very speedy on my computer, but speed does greatly depend on your computers processing power, RAM, and your DVD drive speed.
With such a bunch of features conveniently bundled into one piece of software, BDlot is definitely well worth the money.
We love our readers, and we’re giving away copies of BDlot DVD Clone Ultimate to all Guiding Tech readers till July 22, 2011. Use this key: BU-TUUMUWYX-HGOFRNfor a free unlimited user license for the software.
Unfortunately, we can’t give away free external hard drives for those of you with extensive DVD collections, but if you’ve always wanted to backup that special edition of Godfather or Goodfellas, now is the time to do it.