Convert Your DVDs to Digital Movies for Free
Remember all those DVDs you bought back in the days when watching a movie meant watching a DVD? Now they’re probably collecting dust on a shelf, having been replaced by the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and maybe even Vudu. (Ha, ha, I know: good one.)
Yep, those discs are veritable dinosaurs these days, about as practical as vinyl records and VHS cassettes. And yet it’s possible to resurrect your DVDs for a very practical purpose: Watching those movies on your PC, tablet, or smartphone. All you need is the right software.
Specifically, a DVD ripper. Don’t let the name scare you: the process of “ripping” merely means copying the movie files from a disc and converting them to a format that’s compatible with the aforementioned devices.
A good DVD ripper, meaning one that can circumvent the copy protection on most movies, can cost anywhere from $30-60. But here’s your chance to get one for a lot less.
To get either version, just click the big green Download button. This will start the download of a Zip file containing two items: the program itself (which you’ll install like any other) and a “readme” file that contains an activation code. You’ll apply this code the first time you run the program, effectively unlocking the trial version and making it the full version.
MacX DVD Ripper and WinX DVD Ripper are highly automated tools. Just pop your movie into your computer’s DVD-ROM drive (internal or external, doesn’t matter), then select an output format (and destination) for the “ripped” file.
The programs have built-in presets for the majority of popular devices: iPhones, iPads, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and so on. That eliminates a lot of the guesswork that would normally be involved, like what resolution to choose, what audio format, and so on.
When you’re done ripping a movie, you just copy it to your device. Easy-peasy.
It’s worth noting that this giveaway comes without technical support or the promise of free upgrades to future versions of the product. But I’ve used WinX for years and have found it an excellent tool. If you’re looking to make your DVD library mobile, there’s no better way to do it. Certainly no cheaper way.
Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC World and Wired.