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MakeMKV and HandBrake are often mentioned together as DVD and Blu ray ripping tools. Do you know the reason for that? Today I will uncover the fact and tell you how to use MakeMKV and HandBrake for DVD and Blu ray ripping. After reading this article, you will find a good place to save your discs currently in a cabinet or shelf surrounded by dust. So now follow me to learn how to back up movies, TV shows, etc. with the widely used DVD & Blu ray ripping tool – MakeMKV & HandBrake.
Rip DVD/Blu ray to MKV with MakeMKV
Before learning how to use MakeMKV to rip DVD and Blu ray, be clear about “What is MKV”, “Is it legal to convert DVD and Blu ray”, “Is MakeMKV free and its limitations” as well as “Preparations before how to use MakeMKV”.
(1) What is MKV?
MKV stands for Matroska video. This video format is similar to MP4, AVI, WMV, etc., in format, but contains more video, audio, image and subtitles tracks than them in use. That’s why DVD and Blu-ray collectors hope to learn how to use MakeMKV to convert DVD or Blu-ray to this format.
(2) Is it legal to convert DVD and Blu-ray?
As to whether it is legal to rip DVD or Blu ray, think before you leap based on your region law. No matter it is commercial DVD/Blu-ray discs or personal ones, be careful and keep away from delinquency. Otherwise learning how to use MakeMKV is a waste of time.
(3) Is MakeMKV free and its limitations?
Definitely, MakeMKV is free and it provides you with a 30-day free trial. But there are some limitations followed behind MakeMKV beta download unless you pay $50 or more for a lifetime license.
Limitations in how to use MakeMKV beta:
- First, the service in MakeMKV beta is time-limited. MakeMKV changes its beta key every two months, so you have to download the new version of MakeMKV following this update.
- Second, the MakkeMKV beta doesn’t support HD-DVD, so they may be not available in this software. And even if they can be decoded, not all the audios and subtitles won’t be preserved.
- Third, in order to run MakeMKV beta version, Windows administrator privileges are required.
(4) Preparations before using MakeMKV
In order to learn how to use MakeMKV to rip DVD and Blu ray, you need to prepare such things.
- Big hard drive
DVD and Blu ray take up large space, so you should ensure your hard drive is big enough to hold DVDs and Blu-rays you are going to rip. Generally speaking, a single DVD will be 4.7 GB or so, while a Blu-ray disc will be about 50 GB.
- Optical drive
Which kind of optical drive you need to prepare depends on ripping DVD or Blu ray with MakeMKV. If you use MakeMKV to rip DVD, a DVD drive is enough. If you have a Blu-ray drive, any CD, DVD, and Blu-ray can be ripped with it. Many people purchase an optical drive like PioXeer BDR from Best Buy, Amazon, or other stores. You can also give it a try.
(5) How to use MakeMKV to rip DVD and Blu ray
- Launch MakeMKV in Windows, Mac, or Linux
- Insert a disc to your optical drive or USB cable
- Click “File”> “Open disc” and select the target disc
- Click the button like a drive – Wait for MakeMKV to analyze your disc
- Look through the disc content – Tick off the boxes you want to rip (video, audio, subtitle, etc.)
- Set the output folder
- Click the “Make MKV” button – Convert DVD/Blu ray to MKV
Notes: If there are several tiles in your disc, you’ll get one file for each.
How long will it take to rip DVDs or Blu- rays with MakeMKV?
There are two factors influencing the time spent on DVD and Blu-ray ripping with MakeMKV. First is the video quality you have selected. The higher the quality is, the longer the time is. So you have to give up demands for quality if you want to rip DVD or Blu-ray fast. Second, the performance of your CPU matters a lot. If it is strong enough, DVDs and Blu-rays will be processed fast.
Cons of ripped DVD and Blu-ray with MakeMKV?
Use MakeMKV to rip DVD/Blu ray to MKV and the output file will be huge, as much as 30-40 GB. Then the big MKV file will cause iOS device full, trouble in video streaming even if your home Wi-Fi is smooth and strong, as well as incompatibility with most mobile devices.
In order to solve such problems, you have two ways with the help of HandBrake.
Convert MKV to an Apple-compatible format with HandBrake, so that you can add it to iTunes, Apple TV, or other iOS devices.
- Download HandBrake on Windows, Mac, or Linux
- Start HandBrake and click “File” under “Source Selection”
- Load the MKV file ripped by MakeMKV
- Reset the file name and destination based on your preference
- Click the button of “Encode” and HandBrake will convert DVD/Blu ray to MP4 format
Decrease MKV size with HandBrake but retain MKV format.
- Find the “Presets Drawer”
- Click the disclosure triangle next to Matroska
- Choose one preferred preset
Recommend preset (HandBrake doesn’t support H.265):
Blu ray: H.264 MKV 1080p30
DVD: H.264 MKV 576p26 or H.264 MKV 480p30
Note: VP8 and VP9 are Google codes that are unavailable on Apple devices.
What is the difference between converting MKV to M4V and converting MKV to MKV?
Let me give you some data to make it clear. Suppose the size of an MKV file is 30-40 GB. If you convert it to .M4V, it will become 6-10GB. However, if you convert it to H.264 MKV 1080p30 preset, the size will be 3-4 GB. It is a huge difference in size, right? So decrease MKV to smaller MKV saves more space than converting MKV to other formats.
How long will it take to convert a big MKV file to a small MKV file?
Nearly the same with the duration of your DVD or Blu-ray movie.
So choose the bundle of MakeMKV & HandBrake will spend you 4 hours in total to convert DVD/Blu-ray to MKV and make the output file smaller in size.
The difference between ripping DVD and Blu-ray with MakeMKV
After MakeMKV rips your DVD, the output files will be saved using the movie title. While if you rip Blu ray using MakeMKV, the output videos will be named as Title_01, Title_02, Title_03, etc. So maybe you need to rename such files another time.
Naming a ripped file needs skills rather than give a name at will, otherwise, a video player may fail to locate and read it. So there are some tips on how to name a file for you.
- How to name a movie: \subfolder\movie name (Year)\somefilename.mkv
eg.: \Movies/Avatar (2009)\somefilename.mkv
- How to name TV shows using one folder: \TV Shows\TV name (Year)\Season number\TV name. Episode number – Filename
eg.: \TV Shows\House (2004)\Season 1\House.S01E01 – Everybody Lies.mkv
Rip DVD and Blu ray with HandBrake
Besides using MakeMKV to rip DVD and Blu ray and deal with the output MKV files with Hand Brake, HandBrake itself works to rip DVD and Blu ray disc, and it has much common with MakeMKV. For example, both MakeMKV and HandBrake are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux as well and they are able to convert DVD to MKV. Besides that, HandBrake can also rip DVD to MP4, while MakeMKV enables you to choose subtitles free. If you choose HandBrake to rip DVD, “Forced Subtitles” will be used to translate foreign languages. And Blu ray discs will use a different system to display subtitles.
DVD/Blu ray ripper with more output formats
Now, let’ me introduce a MakeMKV alternative – DVDFab DVD Ripper. This free software can rip DVD with more output video formats besides MKV and MP4.
(1) Download and install DVDFab DVD Ripper
DVDFab DVD Ripper is compatible with Windows and Mac. Get it launched on your machine first. Remember to choose the module of “Ripper”, which is very important.
(2) Import your DVD video
DVDFab DVD Ripper supports DVD disc (2D $ 3D), DVD folder, and DVD ISO image file.
(3) Choose output format and folder
Click the option of “Choose Other Profile” and select a preferred output format for your DVD movie. Then, set the output folder using the options at the bottom. Click “Start” and wait for your DVD movie in your favorite format like MP4, FLV, MKV, etc.
Is it easy to use DVDFab DVD Ripper to rip your DVDs? If you want to make a digital backup copy of Blu-ray discs that you have legally purchased, turn to DVDFab Blu-ray for help.
Display Ripped DVD and Blu ray Better
After ripping DVD and Blu-ray with MakeMKV, many people choose a VLC media player to play it. In fact, there are also other MKV players available.
(1) Metax – Play MKV on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
After launching this player, click the option of “AUTOTAG” on the top. Then Metax will scrap a cover from the Internet based on your movie name. But sometimes, the bug is Metax may fail to find such a cover, so you have to download a cover and add it to the section of “Select File”. Then play your ripped DVD or Blu-rays featuring a corresponding cover.
(2) DVDFab Player 6
This free MKV player defeats almost 99 percent of video players in performance and ease of use. It offers PC mode and TV mode, scrapes and downloads the most beautiful covers from the Internet to display your videos and music in the library. And it never fails to do that. You can use it to play any DVD/Blu ray disc or videos encoded by H.264 and H.265. There is also a menu mode provided. You can create a playlist and watch it in the best video and audio quality.
Have you had a full picture of how to use MakeMKV to rip DVD and Blu-ray movies? Follow the instructions above, you will get plenty of DVD and Blu-ray movies in your favorite formats. In the future, it will be easy for you to enjoy your DVD and Blu-ray videos on a PC, iPhone, iPad, and any other mobile devices.
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