Free Software to Rip DVDs

When you hear the term “MPEG,” this refers to the group of compression methods that are designed to encode digital video. For example, videos designated with MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 have the MPG file extension attached to it. However, MPEG-4 differs in that it has the file extension MP4 due to its varying compression standards. When you rip a DVD, you can choose to extract its media and export it into an MP4 digital video file depending on the program you use. Handbrake, SUPER and DVD Shrink are three great examples of the fact that even simple to use programs that extract DVD content into MP4 files can come at no cost.


Available for both Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, Handbrake offers a multiplatform, open-source, GPL-licensed, multithreaded video transcoder that allows you to extract the contents of your media disc and transfer it onto your computer in MPEG-4 format, allowing you to make your DVD contents compatible with supported devices, such as the iPod Touch.

>How to use Handbrake

Step 1: Open your computer’s DVD optical drive and insert the DVD containing the media you want to extract into it. Close the disc drive and double-click the desktop icon for Handbrake.

Step 2: Click “Browse” under the section for your DVD source. This opens a new dialog box that lists your system folders. Locate your optical drive letter in your system hard drive and double-click it.

Step 3: Single-click the folder called “VIDEO_TS” to select it, but do not open it. Instead, click OK to select that folder as your source folder.

Step 4: Click “Browse” under the selection for your media output. This opens a new dialog box that lists your system folders. Pick any folder you will easily remember; this folder is where the program will save your new video file. Ensure that you give it a name. Change the “Save as type” section of the window to “MP4,” and then click “Save” to ready the program.

Step 5: Click the icon labeled “Start” within the Handbrake program, prompting the program to begin ripping your DVD to MP4.


Short for Simplified Universal Player Encoder and Renderer, SUPER is a very simple yet efficient free tool that can rip your DVD or convert any known media type into MPEG-4.

>How to use SUPER

Step 1: Insert your DVD into your computer’s optical disc drive and wait for the computer to recognize it.

Step 2: Launch SUPER and then open the VIDEO_TS folder in a separate window. This folder will contain a primary VOB file that contains your DVD media.

Step 3: Drag and drop the file toward the bottom of the SUPER program. There is a grey field where you can drop the VOB media file.

Step 4: Press the “Ctrl” and “T” keys on your keyboard simultaneously. This opens a menu called Output File Saving Management, and it displays your system folders. Choose any folder to save your ripped media, and then click “Save Changes.”

Step 5: Change the file type to MP4, and then click “Encode (Active Files)” near the bottom of the interface to begin ripping your DVD to MP4.

DVD Shrink

DVD Shrink is another free program that is very versatile in its use of ripping DVD content into MP4 format. In addition to this, you can use its intuitive user interface to reauthor and reencode the movie, and it is very easy to understand to pick what you want to keep and get rid of.

>How to use DVD Shrink

Step 1: Insert your DVD into your computer’s optical disc drive and wait for the computer to recognize it.

Step 2: Launch DVD Shrink and select the “Open Disc” icon. You can find this in the upper right hand corner of your DVD Shrink program. This will open up a new dialog box containing your system folders. Like the other programs, pick your VIDEO_TS folder of your DVD disc drive.

Step 3: Change the file format to MP4 to indicate you want to extract the media to that file type.

Step 4: Click the icon reading “Backup!” within the main menu of the DVD Shrink program. A new dialog box will appear, prompting you to pick where you want to save your new file. Pick a folder location by double-clicking it. This will begin the extraction of the media from the DVD process, and you can find it in that folder when it is done.


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