Going Digital: Converting my entire DVD library to mp4

Converting DVDs to digital mp4 really isn’t all that difficult, especially if you are a Mac user, but when you have a DVD collection like mine—you’re looking at a very long process.

A couple of years ago my wife bought me the Apple TV, and in that time I have managed to convert a few of our most-watched DVDs and purchase a half-dozen or so must-have digital editions to the ever expanding Carter Video Collection. Now, I’m on a mission to convert the entire collection into mp4 for use with our Apple TV and box-up the actual DVDs for backup only.

Why would I want to convert all my DVDs into a digital format?

There a dozens of reasons, but the best reason is convenience. Having all your movies available to you through Apple TV is like having only the best of Pay-Per-View without the “Pay-Per”. Similar to On-Demand, but with your own personal collection of movies and you only had to pay for them once—no monthly fee.

Sure, there are other good reasons like organization, portability, space conservation and so on — but convenience has the most motivation for me. Well, that and organization. It’s just so darned easy to know what it is you have to watch…


Now with my collection already in digital format it is easy for me to load select movies to my iPhone for trips or for my daughter to watch. It’s also possible to take them all on a trip with me since they are stored on an external drive… or load a couple on the laptop. Get the idea?

It’s not something I would do often, but it is something to think about.

How am I converting my DVDs?

This is as simple as pie and I don’t recommend any other alternative. Buy Mac DVDRipper Pro! It kicks butt and makes the entire process painless (almost).

The reason I say almost is because you still have to (if you are like me) grab the meta data like artwork, year published, summery, etc… There is also the issue with TV Episodes. Mac DVDRipper Pro does not handle TV Episodes well and that is why my TV Episodes will be the last thing I convert — there is rumor that the next major update to MDRP will support episodes.

So how many more DVDs do I have to convert?

Too many! BUT… I am enjoying having all my family movies, children’s DVDs and most of the best titles available at a click of a button. Give me a few more months and I’ll have them all converted. After all, it’s not like I have that much time to convert video.

One thing I try to do now is, for the titles I really want… I try to buy them with a digital version included in the DVD/BR purchase. This saves me a whole lot of time and in many cases the quality of the digital copy provided is better than a RIP — especially if the digital copy is through the iTunes store.

One thought on “Going Digital: Converting my entire DVD library to mp4

  1. Tim C

    Sounds like quite an undertaking. I did something similar with my CD collection. It took many many months but when I had all of them ripped and added to the Amazon Cloud it was well worth it. So much easy to use now.

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