I've been sitting on this post for quite a while.
Then the MakeUseOf blog beat me to the punch:
- 2-Step DVD-to-PC or iPod Video Conversion using Free Software - MakeUseOf.com
Read this post or read Dave's. Either way, it's all handy.
My search for a workable solution for putting on of our personally purchased DVD's onto an iPod began with Alvis's Christmas gift of a new iPod nano.
Up to this point we have had only shuffles and a Classic iPod so video playback has never been an issue.
However, with the new nano, came Alvis's desire to place one of her favorite movies on the nano.
I had experimented with the process of making a DVD to DVD duplicate before and it was very successful.
But this was new material for me.
There are lots of different options and software choices available to do this, and everyone has their own favorites.
So this is the combination found which worked very easily for me, almost too easy.
Step One - Rip the DVD
I have tried various free DVD ripping programs. However the one that I am using now and works best is DVDFab HD Decrypter. It is free, has a great GUI interface, and seems to work great on the handful of DVD's I've tossed at it.
Launch the program after you have installed it.
Insert a DVD.
Click "Start" to copy the DVD contents (the Video_TS folder) to a specified location on your hard drive (make sure you have the space).
Rip times do vary, but generally take around 15-20 minutes or less depending on the disk size.
When completed you should have a local copy of the video's Video_TS folder on your system.
Now we need to get it prepped for the iPod.
Step Two - Apply the Handbrake
Go get, download and install the freeware utility HandBrake.
In the "Source" section, browse to the location of the Video_TS folder you saved the DVD rip to.
Set your Destination source to place the file you will create.
On the right-hand side under "Presets" select the iPod "low rez" option. (You can try others, but this seems to work best for the nano's).
Punch the "Encode Video" button and the bottom.
A command-line window will appear and the re-encoding will begin.
Note: Go out and relax, do some errands, watch a movie. Do something. This recoding process will usually take up to an hour or two to complete, depending on the speed of your system. It something just takes a long time to do.
Put it in iTunes
When the conversion process is done, just simply drag the file you created and drop in into iTunes. Then you can add it to your nano (or whatever).
The few that I have done have resulted in very good quality conversions and the video/audio sync is almost always flawless...something that other applications and methods have trouble with.
I ONLY rip our own personal DVD's and realize copying it onto my Apple device could be seen as a copyright usage problem. I like many others believe that porting a movie (or CD I own) onto a device I also own so that I can enjoy the movie on multiple devices is well within the intent of "fair use" laws.
I DON'T rip movies I rent or borrow. I DON'T share these files with ANYONE outside of Lavie and Alvis's nanos. I DON'T upload or offer them for sharing on the Net. I run quite a few security layers and DON'T keep the original rip files in a shared folder in our network.
I DO strongly recommend you to use these applications appropriately and within the parameters of copyright law and your country/local laws. I am most assuredly not a lawyer and the laws regarding "fair usage" seem to be changing on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, many of the older DVD titles we purchased still aren't available anywhere else so this remains the only option to enjoy them "on-the-go".
How To Put DVD Movies on Your iPod - Helpero
DVDFab HD Decrypter copies DVD's, removes protections - Download Squad
"How do I convert a DVD movie for my iPhone and iPod?" - Ask Dave Taylor! Tech Support Blog
Handbraked! - Random Thoughts of a Random Fellow
How to rip a DVD - A Tutorial by Elliott C. Back
How to copy a DVD-9 using Ripit4Me and DVD Shrink 3.2 - my-guides.net
StaxRip - planetdvb
Shrink DVDs down to size with Amok DVD Shrinker - freewaregenius.com
DVD Rip Automates One-Click DVD Ripping - Exclusive Lifehacker Download
AVS DVD Player - freeware - alternative DVD player for folks who don't have DVD playback software on their Windows system. Quite nice. Site does load pages slowly sometimes.