Anyone who’s ever ripped a movie using the free AutoGK bundle knows that it’s effective, but that it’s also a pain in the ass to use. Assuming you get all the different bits and pieces of AutoGK working together, there’s a pretty strong chance you’ll end up with a great-looking movie and a crisp-sounding audio track that are completely out of synch with each other. That’s just what you want after spending two hours ripping a disc to Divx—not. We love DVD Copy because it takes the guesswork and trial-and-error out of the DVD ripping process.
For ripping DVDs to Divx, WMV, H.264, or just another blank DVD, there’s no easier piece of software to use. DVD Copy is easy to configure, powerful, and fast. To rip a disc, simply select the portion of the disc you want to rip (or you can let the software automatically select the main movie for you), select a codec, select the target resolution, the audio track, and the subtitles, and press the rip button. Performance varies by codec, but the multithreaded WMV and Divx encoders will speed through a full-resolution DVD transcode at about a 1:1 ratio. You can manually set the output to match your player—even on portables like the PSP and iPod Video.
This latest version adds the ability to rip entire DVDs as images, which you can then add to the batch processor’s queue. The batch processor lets you transcode multiple movies, one after the other, even if you’re not there to change the disc every few hours. Although the batch editor is a touch confusing, it’s worth the hassle the first time you encode six movies overnight.
But, naturally, there’s a catch. DVD Copy doesn’t include any software that will decrypt CSS-protected DVDs—in other words, most commercial DVDs. In order to rip those, you’ll need software that decrypts the disc’s contents on the fly, such as AnyDVD (www.slysoft.com). Having to purchase AnyDVD adds another $40 to the cost of the program, and kills any chance of a Kick Ass award.