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Ripping to iTunes from DVD?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Is it possible? Several of my favorite 80's albums are being re-released with a bonus DVD (not CD) with 5.1 versions of each track, plus b-sides, remixes, etc. Does anyone have any experience with doing this, is it even possible to rip the bonus tracks off DVD into iTunes? Thanks for any advice.
post #2 of 7
I've had the same request for some time now.

The responders to these types of posts always say use an audio capture program like Audio Hijack or whatever, but I really think there should be some way to copy the DVD Audio files digitally.

In fact, I had wished iTunes 7 would have gained this feature.

2 questions:

1) Is there any way to easily copy DVD audio files without using an audio stream capture program?

2) If not, is there any degrading in the audio quality if you use an audio capture program on slow hardware?
post #3 of 7
Audio Hijack is purely digital, There isn't any analog phase in the process of using Audio Hijack. The biggest drawback of using Audio Hijack is that it only functions in real time -- one hour of music takes one hour to record. Further, you have to be careful that system volume and EQ settings and other programs making noises in the middle of your recording don't screw things up for you and keep you from getting a clean capture. For speed and reliability, it's far better to extract audio content from a DVD as a file of some sort that you can further manipulate at high speed.

Your first major stumbling block is that nearly all DVD are encrypted and copy protected. That protection is easy enough to break these days, but it does mean that any software which rips protected DVD content is in a questionable gray area of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- one could argue interoperability as a legit reason to break DVD encryption, but this has never been tested in court AFAIK.

Given that legal controversy, you shouldn't expect to see DVD ripping of either audio or video in iTunes anytime soon, if ever.

At any rate, is this disc a standard video DVD which happens to have audio content, or a DVD Audio disc?

A few rare cases of video DVDs with stereo LPCM audio tracks aside, the audio content of a standard video DVD is lossily compressed in formats like AC-3 and MP2, which won't play in iTunes, on your iPod, or in most other jukebox apps and MP3 players. Therefore this audio needs to be decompressed then re-encoded for playback. The only way you won't suffer at least some loss of audio quality is by re-encoding to a lossless format like AIFF or Apple Lossless, and that means big, bulky files which can eat up drive space and battery life on an iPod quickly. You'll probably want to compromise on a slight loss (which most people won't even notice) by re-encoding to at least 192 kbps AAC. Using higher bit rates can greatly reduce the sound quality problems associated with converting from one lossy audio format to another.

If this disc is officially a DVD Audio disc (I hate the nomenclature here... all formats of DVD can have both audio and video), you've probably got audio content with more channels and/or bits and/or a higher sampling rate than iTunes or an iPod can deal with. A good two-channel, 16-bit, 44.1 or 48 KHz mixdown from this material, however, will give you results just as good (maybe even ever-so-slightly better when starting with 48 KHz or higher content) as ripping from a high quality CD. With everything set up correctly, even Audio Hijack will get you this level of performance.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #4 of 7
Yes it is possible! I have used this technique to rip audio tracks from DVD to iTunes. It's a bit of a slow process but it gets the job done with NO quality loss.

1. Download "MacTheRipper" from www.versiontracker.com
2. Insert DVD
3. Launch MTR and click on Mode, then select Title - Chapter from the drop down list
4. Click the small "D" for demux, click Streams button
5. Select the audio channel only, in most cases you will want the PCM 2-Channel option. If this is not available you can select AC3 and convert it later. Selecting multiple will rip them all.
6. Use a small utility such as "AIFF From PCM" to convert the PCM file to AIFF. This is a quick process and can be done in batches.
7. Import AIFF file into iTunes and convert to desired format!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidzLA

Is it possible? Several of my favorite 80's albums are being re-released with a bonus DVD (not CD) with 5.1 versions of each track, plus b-sides, remixes, etc. Does anyone have any experience with doing this, is it even possible to rip the bonus tracks off DVD into iTunes? Thanks for any advice.
post #5 of 7
Anyway, the OP is likely speaking about all the Depeche Mode re-releases... very nice, but why put the extra tracks in an unrippable format? Damn you, Mute!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks shetline and s.metcalf for the suggestions, I appreciate the expertise. I'm very amateur at manipulating digital music files, am years behind society at downloading from LimeWire, converting files and suchnot. I wonder if we'll have "iTunes HD" in a couple of years as formats, channels and quality evolve into more robust files.

Tonton, you're right, it's the Depeche Mode re-releases that brought it up. In my experience I end up ignoring any DVD "add-ins", and why not just put the bonus tracks on the CD too while you're replicating the whole album anyway (for $26). I thought the Pet Shop Boys approach was pretty elegant - disc 1 is the remastered original album, disc 2 is all of the b-sides, rarities, remixes etc. from that period, negating all the filler releases like greatest hits and compilations.
post #7 of 7
I forgot to add, if you have to convert an AC3 file, a small utility with the name of "bd4go.app" works for me, though be aware that if you're down-mixing a surround sound AC3 file to 2-channels then there will be subsequent mixing effect and losses.

[QUOTE=davidzLA]Thanks shetline and s.metcalf for the suggestions, I appreciate the expertise. I'm very amateur at manipulating digital music files, am years behind society at downloading from LimeWire, converting files and suchnot. I wonder if we'll have "iTunes HD" in a couple of years as formats, channels and quality evolve into more robust files.
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