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Have you ever tried copying a file or folder from a protected DVD directly to your desktop? If you have, you know by now that common methods like copy + paste or drag & drop don’t work with these types of DVDs. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. You can definitely copy and even convert files found on protected DVDs but you’re going to need a certain type of software to do it. This type of software is known as a DVD ripper.
As with most types of software, there are plenty of DVD rippers out there to choose from. However, some are clearly better than others. Well, in this article we’re going to introduce you to the best of the best – DVDFab DVD Ripper. What’s great about this particular software is that it’s a free DVD Ripper that also has a premium version for those who need certain special features. We’re mainly going to talk about the free version here but we’ll also mention a few things regarding the paid one. That way, you can compare them and decide which one works best for you.
DVDFab DVD Ripper is available in three different versions – Full Trial, Free, and Paid. Upon downloading the software for the first time you can take advantage of a 30-day trial that lets you use all of the software’s available features for the duration. However, you can only rip a total of three discs while using the trial.
Once the trial version expires, the software will automatically switch to the Free version. This version doesn’t have a limit on how many discs you can rip but you do lose access to most of the advanced features found in the Trial and Paid versions. We’ll talk more about those features later on in this article but for now let’s take a closer look at how you can rip a DVD using the Free version.
Download and install the DVDFab 11 software suite from the official website. Open the software and select the Ripper module from the top menu (the second icon from the right). Insert the DVD you want to rip and the software should automatically read it and load it up for you. Alternatively, you can use the “Add/+” buttons to navigate to the disc and load it that way. The free DVD Ripper also works with locally stored ISO images or folders. Use the drag & drop method if you want to load one of those.
Go to the Profile Switcher located in the upper left corner of the UI and select Format -> Video to pick the output format. The DVD Ripper usually supports a wide variety of different formats, however, the free version is limited to just two – MKV Passthrough and MP4.Free. We’re going to pick MP4.Free for the purposes of this article but feel free to go with MKV Passthrough if that format works better for you.
It’s worth noting that picking any other format besides the two mentioned above will open a new window that asks if you want to upgrade to the Paid version in order to unlock access to the rest of the options. Closing this window will cause the software to automatically pick MP4.Free for the output.
Click the little wrench icon to access the Advanced Settings window. Here, you can change a number of things depending on your specific needs. In the Video category, you can pick a different codec, frame rate, resolution, encoding method, and overall video quality, among others. Here, you can also choose to split the DVD by chapters and select a custom bit rate or output size for the video.
The free DVD Ripper has a few limitations and will only allow you to change things up to a certain point. For example, you will only be able to pick Fast Speed or Standard from the Video Quality menu. Likewise, the available options for the resolution will be somewhat limited as well, though you still have quite a few options to choose from here.
You can freely adjust the Bits/Pixel bar to customize the video quality but only until you reach the equivalent of Standard quality. Trying to push the bar further or select High Quality directly will again open the window that describes the limitations of the free version. As a side note, if you’re not sure what certain options found in Advanced Settings do, it’s probably a good idea to leave those options at their default values.
Moving on to the Audio category, you can use the options here to pick a different codec, sample rate, bit rate, channels, as well as adjust the volume of the output file. You can freely adjust any of these options with the free DVD Ripper except for the channels. The free version only supports mono and stereo, with the multi-channel options being reserved for the paid version.
Finally, at the very bottom of the Advanced Settings menu you can find a third category labeled Subtitle. Here, you will find a dropdown menu that lets you choose how the subtitles will be displayed on the output video. Selecting “Direct render to video” will result in hardcoded subtitles that cannot be turned on or off while the video is playing.
Selecting “Remux into file” or “Extract to idx/sub file” will result in subtitles that can be turned on or off. The main difference between the two is that the first option will embed the subtitles into the video itself while the second one will extract them into separate files
The DVD Ripper’s editing tools can be accessed by clicking the little icon found to the right of the Advanced Settings menu. This menu may seem a little bit intimidating at first glance but don’t worry because we’re going to break things down for you to make things easier to understand.
Add Text Watermarks
Click the Text icon found under the Preview window and you’ll notice that a few new options will appear in the bottom part of the menu. Add your watermark by typing something into the text field and then use the other options if needed to change the font, text size, transparency, and color. Your watermark will show up in the Preview window as you’re making the changes so don’t hesitate to adjust the settings until everything looks perfect.
Add Image Watermarks
Click the Image icon (next to Text) and upload the picture you want to add as a watermark. By default, the image will show up in the upper left corner of the video but you can change its position along with its size by simply dragging it around. If you want to use a different image, click the little folder found towards the bottom of the UI. Use the slider at the bottom to set the picture’s transparency. This is particularly useful for images that don’t come with a transparent background by default.
Add External Subtitles
Click the Subtitle icon (next to Image) and upload the subtitle file you want to use. Once uploaded, you can adjust the subtitles by using the options found near the bottom. For example, you can pick a different font and size or add a delay. You can also make the subtitles bold or italic and even change their color or position. Once again, you can see how everything looks in the Preview window so don’t be afraid to experiment with the options.
Adjust Video Proprieties
Click the first icon from the second row to begin making changes to the video proprieties. Here, you can find sliders for Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation along with two additional icons that let you rotate the video clockwise or counterclockwise by increments of 90 degrees.
Trim the Video
Click the third icon from the second row to open up a new set of options that will allow you to trim the video. Drag the little red arrows to adjust the start and end time of the portion of the video you want to trim out. Alternatively, use the options found just underneath to manually adjust these values. If you want to trim out more than one clip, drag the blue arrow to the start time and click the Trim icon again. Use the two extra red arrows to repeat the process. Finally, you can trim out the inverted parts of the video by clicking the Trim Invert button found near the bottom of the UI.
In case you’re wondering about the middle icon from the second row, that’s normally where the cropping tool is located. The free DVD Ripper doesn’t support cropping so you would only be able to access this tool if you have a Paid license.
In addition to everything we discussed so far, there are a few more settings you should be aware of. Next to the movie title in the main interface you will notice a dropdown menu, which is usually set to Standard by default. You can use this menu to quickly pick a video quality preset without having to open the Advanced Settings window. Next to that menu, there is another useful feature found under the Choose Other Titles button. Using this button will allow you to rip only certain titles from the DVD.
Underneath the movie title there is another set of options that might come in handy. First off, clicking the movie title here lets you quickly rename it to something else. Further to the right, you can select which chapters of the movie you want to rip. Leave the selection as it is to rip the entire disc. Next to that, you can also find dropdown menus that let you select which audio tracks and subtitles to rip. Not all discs include multiple audio tracks and subtitles so the options you see here may vary.
If you’re not happy with the default output folder you can always change it by using the bottom dropdown menu and the adjacent icons. Click the menu arrow to quickly select from a list of locations, which include not only local folders but also any connected mobile devices and your DVDFab Movie Server if you happen to own the product.
If you want to select a different destination, simply click the little folder icon and navigate to the folder where you want the free DVD rip to save the output file. Meanwhile, the globe icon will allow you to upload the output video to your YouTube channel. You’ll first need to sign in to your YouTube account and connect it to DVDFab 11 before using this feature.
Once everything looks good, it’s time to start the ripping process itself. You can fire up the free DVD Ripper by clicking the green button labeled Start. Clicking the little arrow next to it will allow you to schedule the process for a later time. It’s worth noting that you will be prompted via a new window to log into your DVDFab account upon starting the process. Use the new window to create a free account if you don’t already have one.
Once the process is ongoing, you can use the three buttons located in the lower right corner to cancel, pause, or postpone the ripping process for a later time. Meanwhile, the menu located in the lower left corner can be used to tell DVDFab 11 to exit the program, hibernate your computer or shut it down once all tasks are completed.
While the free DVD Ripper can be very useful for ripping certain discs, this version has quite a few limitations when compared to the Paid one. We already mentioned a few of them, such as being able to convert only to a couple of formats or not having access to the cropping tool. That’s just scratching the surface, though.
The Paid version of DVDFab DVD Ripper comes with many benefits, including the ability to rip adult DVDs and DVDs containing multiple VTS protections. The full version also supports all the newest protections, 4K/H.265 conversion profiles, and even hardware acceleration.
Upgrading to the Paid version can be done at any point and we strongly recommend you consider it if you want to take advantage of the all the features DVD Ripper has to offer. You can learn more about the differences between the free DVD Ripper and the paid version by visiting the homepage of DVDFab DVD Ripper.
There are plenty of good reasons why somebody would want to rip DVDs but probably the most important one is to make sure that the disc contents remain safe for the long run. We all know that discs deteriorate with time even if they’re not being used and it’s a real shame when the inevitable day comes that they stop working altogether.
However, with DVDFab DVD Ripper you can prevent that from happening by ripping the contents of your DVDs and storing them on your computer. The free DVD Ripper allows you to do that while also letting you customize and edit the output video in the process. Granted, the software does have some limitations but you can always upgrade to the Paid version whenever you want to get rid of them.
If you are also looking for a free DVD copy software program, please check the best free DVD copy software to copy DVDs.
① Rip and convert DVDs to watch on PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.
② Extract the audio tracks from DVDs and output as pure audio files
③ Support all the popular audio & video formats like MP3, MP4, MKV, etc.
④ Support to edit the videos like cropping, trimming, and more
⑤ Support GPU hardware acceleration to convert much faster
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