The Tech-pert: Free DVD Ripper Copies Your Movies to iPhones, iPods, Other Devices
If you buy a CD, you're allowed to copy the songs from that CD to your iPod
or other MP3 player
. So it stands to reason that if you buy a DVD, you should be able to copy the movie to your phone, tablet, or other portable player.
Alas, it's not that simple. Most DVDs
are copy-protected, meaning you need special software to work around Hollywood's annoying restriction. And it's not uncommon for a "DVD ripper" to sell for as much as $50.
From now until June 10, however, you can get WonderFox DVD Ripper 2.0 free
of charge, no strings attached.
After downloading and installing the program, be sure to activate/register it using the lengthy registration code shown at the top of the promotion page.
(Here it is again, just in case:
True to its name, the software "rips" DVDs, copying the movies (or TV shows
) from your discs and converting them to mobile-friendly formats. Thus, you might choose AVI for viewing the movie on your netbook, or just select a format that corresponds to whatever device you own: iPod, iPad
DVD Ripper 2.0 can circumvent most copy protection. My advice: play fair, and rip only those discs you own. Likewise, don't share the ripped files with friends, family members, or the Internet at large. That's piracy, plain and simple.
This free version of WonderFox DVD Ripper is fully functional, but it's provided without tech support. Also, you're not entitled to any updates the developer releases. That's not likely to be an issue unless some new form of copy protection comes along.
In the meantime, this is a great way to get a little more use out of your DVDs. I use my DVD ripper to copy the kids' movies to the family iPad for on-the-go viewing.
Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for
over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently,
"How to Do Everything: Palm Pre." Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.