DVD ripping, second edition

HandBrake is a tool with the worst website possible: The screenshot that’s presented on the index page leaves behind a completely wrong image of the application.

When you just look at the screenshot, you will get the impression that the tool is fairly limited and totally optimized for creating movies for handheld devices.

That’s not true though. The screenshot is the screenshot of a light edition of the tool. The real thing is actually quite capable and only lacks the capability to store subtitles in the container format.

And it doesn’t know about Matroska.

And it refuses to store x264 encoded video in the OGM container.

Another tool I found after my first very bad experience with ripping DVDs last time is OGMrip. The tool is a frontend for mencoder (of mplayer fame) and has all the features you’d ever want from a ripping tool, while still being easy to use.

It even provides a command line interface, allowing to process your movies from the console.

It has one inherent flaw though: It’s single threaded.

HandBrake on the other hand, can split the encoding work (yes. the actual encoding) over multiple threads and thus can profit a lot of SMP machines.

Here’s what I found in matters of encoding speed. I encoded the same video (from a DVD ISO image) with the same settings (x264, 1079kbit/s, 112kbit mp3 audio, 640×480 resolution at 30fps) on different machines:

  • 1.4Ghz, G4 Mac mini, running Gentoo Linux with OGMrip: 3fps
  • Thinkpad T43, running Ubuntu Edgy Eft, 1.6Ghz Centrino, OGMRip: 8fps
  • MacBook Pro, 2Ghz Core Duo, HandBrake: 22fps (both cores at 100%)
  • Mac Pro, Dual Dual Core 2.66Ghz, HandBrake: 110fps(!!), 80% total cpu usage (hdd io seems to limit the process)

This means that encoding the whole 47 minutes A-Team episode takes:

  • OGMRip on Mac mini G4: 7.8 hours
  • OGMRip on Thinkpad: 2.35 hours per episode
  • HandBrake on MacBook Pro: 1.6 hours per episode
  • HandBrake on MacPro: 0.2 hours (12 minutes) per episode

Needless to say what method I’m using. Screw subtitles and Matroska – I want to finish ripping my collection this century!

On an additional closing note, I’d like to add that even after 3 hours of encoding video, the MacPro stayed very, very quiet. The only thing I could hear was the hard drive – the fans either didn’t run or were quieter than the harddrive (which is quiet too)