How to rip movie DVDs to watch on your iPad in OS X

So you have a great DVD movie collection and you have just bought yourself an iPad for that long trip you’re about to take. How do you carry all these movies with you on the airplane and watch them on your iPad? You need to convert the movie DVDs into a file format that the iPad can read and then copy them to your iPad. Let’s look at how to do that on your Mac.

The process involves two steps. One rips the DVD and converts it to the VOB format, and the second converts the VOB files to the iPad video format. The two applications we will use are MacTheRipper and Handbrake. Both of these are free to download and use.

  1. Downloading and installing both of these programs is quite easy. Get MacTheRipper from the Mac Update website. Once you have downloaded MacTheRipper, extract it and copy the app to your Applications directory. Double click the MacTheRipper application icon to launch it. Once the application has opened, pop in the movie DVD that you want to put on your iPad.
  2. When the DVD has been recognized by MacTheRipper, 99% of the time it auto-detects all of the right settings specific to that DVD. Click the GO! button to begin the ripping process. It’s very important to note – copying certain DVDs in certain countries may be against the law. Before ripping the DVD, make sure that what you’re doing is legal where you live.
  3. mac-the-ripper

  4. It can take a while, so you might want to go grab a cup of coffee while you wait.
  5. Once MacTheRipper has completed the DVD copying process, you’ll need to convert the files it created info a movie that’s compatible with your iPad. This is where Handbrake comes in. Download Handbrake, then open the .dmg file and copy the application to your Applications folder to install it.
  6. At the time of writing this article, Handbrake does not support the iPad and the iPhone 4 format out of the box. You can, however, download and install some presets for Handbrake that will quickly allow you access to these formats, ideal for the iPad. To install these presets, first download the preset files. Unzip the file to a folder you’ll remember. Launch Handbrake from your Applications list and go to Presets -> Import in the menu bar. Navigate to the Preset files and add them to Handbrake. You may have to add each of the 3 preset files one at a time.
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  8. Once you have the presets installed they will be available on the right sidebar, as shown in the screenshot below.
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  10. You should now be in business. Click on Source to pick the file you want to convert. Navigate to the VIDEO_TS directory and click Open. Now click the Browse button in the Destination section, and select a folder to save the file in. Select one of your newly added iPad presets to ensure the movie is formatted and optimized for your iPad. Click Start to begin the converting proccess. This process, again, takes a while. You may want to grab a cup of coffee at this point.
  11. handbrake

  12. After the conversion process is complete you will find an MP4 file waiting for you at the location you previously selected. Launch iTunes, click File > Add Files to Library… and select the movie file (or files if you’ve converted more than one DVD). This will add the movie(s) to iTunes. When you sync iTunes with you iPad the next time make sure you check this movie to sync. You could also tick the Automatically add checkbox so that movies in your iTunes library are automatically added to your iPad each time you sync your iPad with iTunes. There you go. Now you have your movie DVD on your iPad!

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6 thoughts on “How to rip movie DVDs to watch on your iPad in OS X”

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