How to rip CDs and DVDs

Because of the many streaming services that are currently available, for music, but also for your favorite movies and series, CDs and DVDs are actually outdated. If you still have a few laying around, you might be able to rip them. Then you immediately have your music and films digitally and you can dispose of your discs. That clears up!

Tip 01: Disk space

Before we get started, it's important to make sure you have enough disk space. Music doesn't take up much space, but of course movies do. If you are going to digitize a collection of films, you really need a few hundred GB. We therefore recommend that you use an external hard drive or a NAS. The latter is also extra useful because many NAS have a built-in media server, so that a smart TV can easily access all the movies, series and music files on your NAS.

Tip 02: Illegal?

There is still a lot of uncertainty about whether or not you are allowed to make a copy of a CD or DVD for your own use. Fortunately, the rules are pretty clear. Stichting Brein says about this: 'It is allowed to make a copy of music or film (CD or DVD) if it is not intended for commercial purposes and is exclusively intended for yourself. You may not make a copy of a computer game or other software, not even for your own use.' bypassed or disabled, including for making your own copy. Now of course the question is who will ever find out if you don't share the files, but it's good to know the rules.

If you make a mistake, it can cost you dearly. If you intentionally infringe copyright, that is punishable as a crime. Penalties can be up to 4 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros, according to Stichting Brein.

Insert a CD and iTunes knows exactly what to do

Tip 03: Set up iTunes

iTunes may not be the most loved software in the world (to put it mildly), but it is a fantastic program for ripping your music CDs. Before we put the program to work, it is important that we first adjust a number of settings. Start iTunes, then click . in the menu at the top To process and in the expandable menu on Preferences. In the tab General do you see the option When inserting CD. Click on the drop-down menu and select Import and eject CD. Normally that is very annoying, but if you want to convert your collection quickly, this is ideal. click on Import Settings and decide if you want your music in aac format (.m4a) or mp3 format. Aac is of better quality, but you may be more familiar with mp3. Finally click at Institution in the drop-down menu on Amended and indicate which sound quality you want. Note, the higher the bit rate, the larger the file. If you have no idea what all this means, you can join Institution just choose High quality (128 kbps). click on OK and again OK to apply the settings.

iTunes no longer works for products that run on macOS Catalina. iTunes will still work on older versions of macOS and on Windows computers.

Tip 04: Insert CD

The nice thing about this setting is that you don't have to do much other than insert the CD and watch iTunes convert it to a digital file. The great thing about iTunes is that the program has access to a huge database, which automatically downloads album, artist and track names, just like the album art. Now there is a chance that iTunes will not find Father Mouscron's Hyper the Pipe Hurray, but in that case you can fill in the information yourself. Once the information is loaded, iTunes will immediately begin converting the CD to digital files. A separate file is created for each track. The converted files are stored in the iTunes folder within the Music library on your hard drive.

Tip 05: Library

The fact that it all works so easily isn't the only reason we chose iTunes as our music conversion program. While ripping, iTunes also adds the music to your iTunes library right away, meaning everything is neatly organized. In the program, in the left pane you will see your library, where you can click Artists, Albums, numbers, Genres and so forth. iTunes has a terrible reputation, but it's just really good at this.

Tip 06: Download software

While ripping a CD has always been fairly easy, it was different for DVD for a long time. Still, if you search for DVD ripping software, you will find a lot of junk. The program we recommend to you is WinX DVD Ripper. We say right away: this program is not free. We have used several free programs over the years and always run into the same problems: they are buggy, extremely slow, crash every once in a while and/or put a logo on your video unless you choose the paid version. WinX DVD Ripper costs 30 euros and that's a lot of money if you only want to convert one DVD (in that case a slow program is no problem). However, we go for your entire DVD collection and then good software is simply important. WinX DVD Ripper also easily bypasses most DRM thresholds (which is actually not allowed) and that saves you a lot of hassle. Please note, purchase the product via this url and not via the homepage, otherwise you pay 60 dollars instead of 30.

Free programs are often buggy, slow, crash or put a logo over your video

Tip 07: Set up software

Just like with iTunes, we're going to first adjust the settings to make sure the video file is generated exactly the way we want it. Launch WinX DVD Ripper and then click Options. You can now indicate in which language you want the audio file of your DVD to be ripped by default, but don't worry, this can also be done later during the actual ripping. More important here is that you can specify where exactly you want to save the file. This is especially important if you don't have enough space on your hard drive to rip a DVD before copying it to your external hard drive or NAS. In that case you can choose the right location right here. In addition, you can indicate whether you want your PC or laptop to be closed when the ripping is finished. This is interesting because ripping can take some time. Thanks to this option, you can rest easy once the ripping has started.

Tip 08: Choose profile

Now it's time to put the DVD you want to rip into the DVD player. Unlike iTunes, WinX DVD Ripper itself will not take any action. When you have inserted the DVD, click the button at the top left disc. Then you indicate how you want to format the file. If you would like to rip the movies to watch on your smartphone, you can indicate that. The file will then be smaller (but the quality will also be slightly less). we go for MP4 Videos, because we can then decide for ourselves on which device we watch the video and the maximum quality is saved. You can then also indicate exactly how high you want the quality to be with the profile that you choose, using a slider. The higher the quality, the longer the software will take. When you have made your choice, click on OK.

Tip 09: Choose tracks

What's important to know is that a DVD contains much more than just the movie you're watching. The preludes, bloopers, and all the other bonus features are all separate tracks on a DVD, just as songs are tracks on a CD. It is of course important that you choose the track from the movie and not from the bonus material and so on. Fortunately, you recognize that track quite easily, because it is the longest track on the DVD. Put a check in front of that. You will then see two drop-down menus in that track. The left menu is for the audio, the right menu is for the subtitle. Choose the language you want in both menus or choose Subtitle disabled if you don't want subtitles. If you click at the top now set tag, then you can give the DVD a name and fill in some extra information so that the program in which you are going to watch the video can show some more data. When you have set everything up, click on run to actually rip the file. And now you will see exactly why we are so excited about WinX DVD Ripper, because where other software takes half an hour to sometimes an hour to rip a DVD, this program gets the job done in ten minutes (unless your Lord of the Rings rips).

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