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RealNetworks To Introduce a Simple DVD Copier 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the why-must-there-always-be-drm dept.
langelgjm writes "The New York Times reports that RealNetworks will begin selling RealDVD today, a software program designed to make copying DVDs a trivial task for the average user. Unlike free alternatives, which generally require some technical knowledge and make it difficult to copy an entire DVD with extras, etc., RealDVD claims to be able to copy the entire DVD, menus and all. While sure to raise the ire of Hollywood, the program does have significant limitations: the DVDs it makes will only be playable on the computer where they were created; or, users can pay $20 per computer to play the DVDs on up to five additional computers."
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RealNetworks To Introduce a Simple DVD Copier

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  • Slashvertisement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:24AM (#24918813) Homepage Journal
    Worst Slashvertisement ever!
    • by monsul (1342167) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:30AM (#24918887) Homepage
      If this is a Slashvertisement, they've got the audience wrong. I'm pretty sure everyone here knows how to copy a DVD without having to pay 20 bucks to Real Networks
      • by aliquis (678370)

        The question is why one would use this program? And why Real think it's ok that they look your file to a single computer.

        Sounds like a pretty bad deal, why use this crap? Not that we already knew everything "real" suck.

        • by Provocateur (133110) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:42AM (#24919031) Homepage

          The question is why one would use this program?

          The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I have these 4,000-odd clips I need to save from this website...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by electrictroy (912290)

          This is nice software, but I don't usually copy the whole DVD.

          I only copy individual episodes, and store them as AVIs or XVIDs. What I need is a program that can automate that process so I can (for example) quickly and easily insert a Stargate DVD, and come back an hour later to 4 episode AVIs on my C: drive.

          • by EvilIdler (21087)

            Handbrake will do that, I think. I like Toast Titanium on Mac, though; it converts damn near any format to another in a batch job. DVD to iPod, Blu-Ray to Xvid etc.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            I love my DVDFab Platinum. Best money I ever spent.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            If you find it, tell me. So far, what I've done is used ddfmrip.bat, AutoGK, AutoGKAdd (it's a hacked-together AutoIt script) and some homebrew batch files tying these together. The downsides are;

            - I still have to tell it what VTS/PGCs I want done (honestly, I have no idea how any program could work this out - a lot of DVDs have 2 chains for some episodes and not for others, so doing it by approximate time is out)

            - It requires a lot of hard disk space

            - The programs aren't properly named (I can get as far

            • by GuldKalle (1065310) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:24AM (#24919531)

              Huh, AFAIK Handbrake is for both win, linux and OS X. Did I miss something?

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                Yes.

                The part where the output looks like something that iTunes
                spat out rather than the raw output from cdparanoia or
                dvdbackup.

                A bunch of files like this:

                        THEPRETENDER_S4_D4_A.1-1.vob

                just don't cut it for most people.

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by alanthenerd (639252)
                  If your looking for simplicity FairUse Wizard (www.fairusewizard.com [fairusewizard.com]) is pretty good.
                  It's been a while since I used it but I remember it being easy and quick with good output.
                  • by jedidiah (1196)

                    No, simplicity is something more along the lines of...

                            dvdrip.sh
                            vob_rename.sh
                            captions.sh
                            convert-x264.sh ...but without it being a bunch of shell scripts
                    and without the end user manually typing in all
                    of the episode titles.

                          The "dvddb" concept is what's really missing.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by tepples (727027)

                AFAIK Handbrake is for both win, linux and OS X

                Handbrake on some platforms cannot decrypt CSS. Can you name three new releases without CSS?

          • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:34AM (#24919695)

            What I need is a program that can automate that process so I can (for example) quickly and easily insert a Stargate DVD, and come back an hour later to 4 episode AVIs on my C: drive.


            i=1
            for title in {3,5,7,8}; do
                    mencoder "dvd://$title" -o "episode_$i.avi";
                    i=$(($i+1));
            done

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:08PM (#24921603)

              Brilliant- I just sent that code to my mom so now she'll be able to rip all of her DVDs on her Dell. Couldn't be simpler.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by sootman (158191)

              I also recommend the GUI and CLI versions of HandBrake. [handbrake.fr] The CLI can be scripted and the GUI can create a queue. It just so happens I'm ripping Seinfeld; using the GUI to queue up the job (4 episodes and 8 extras ripped at 640x480 2-passs H264, and the four episodes ripped as 320x240 MP4s for iPod) took less than five minutes. To make it easier I just name each file 1.mp4, 2.mp4, 3.mp4, etc. to begin with and then rename the episodes when done. The GUI takes the guesswork out of figuring out what to do for t

        • by jank1887 (815982)
          "The question is why one would use this program?" well, depends how quickly the registration hack comes out, and if it really an easier interface. At a minimum, if it does something innovative, free alternatives can copy the idea and incorporate it into their own products.
        • The question is why one would use this program?

          Because you want to watch movies on your laptop, but you don't want to carry around the original copies of your DVDs with you, both because you don't want them lost and because they're extra crap you don't want to have to carry around with you.

          • So why not just use the dozens of other utilities out there that already make either 1:1 or compressed DVD-5 copies?
          • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:31AM (#24919663)

            I don't think anyone was questioning why anyone would want to copy DVD's - just why they'd want to do so with this program. Doing so with the free stuff out there isn't THAT hard. When you figure that this software introduces DRM, locks to a single computer, and then tries to extort out $20 for the right to play on more computers, it's a pretty lousy deal.

            PARTICULARLY nasty is the fact that Real seems to think that they can use DRM extortion tactics on content that don't own. That's a situation that is true regardless of whether or not the media is even pirated. If it's a major studio film, then Real has no legal ability to extra money from restricting rights to that. OR, even if it's just your wedding DVD you're copying - you are legally fine to copy it but you own the copyright yourself and Real has no legal right to restrict your usage of it.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by wolf12886 (1206182)

              I wouldn't really consider the DRM to be a restriction of rights, since the only thing thats being limited is the functionality of the company's own program, gimping their own program was a stupid thing to do, but as long as their upfront about the functionality, I don't see why they shouldn't be able to.

              That being said, I'm sure there are numerous DRM free, nearly one-click dvd cloning programs available for free, so I doubt this'll be purchased by any but the ignorant, which kind of makes any debate of th

            • Re:Slashvertisement (Score:4, Interesting)

              by IntlHarvester (11985) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:37PM (#24921207) Journal

              I don't think anyone was questioning why anyone would want to copy DVD's - just why they'd want to do so with this program. Doing so with the free stuff out there isn't THAT hard.

              The only 'real' advantage to this program is that you can go into a store and buy it. It comes from a semi-legit company and probably doesn't have too many spyware and popup modules included.

              Take an objective look at say "Doom9.net - The definitive DVD backup resource". The home page is covered with jibberish about things called "eac3to" and "DGAVCDec" and "AviSynth". Even aside from the vaugely hackerish feel of the site, this is hugely intimidating for the average dumbass.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by maglor_83 (856254)

                It comes from a semi-legit company and probably doesn't have too many spyware and popup modules included.

                When did we stop talking about Real?

        • Legality (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pruss (246395)

          Well, if it turns out that RealDVD works legally, then that would be a reason to use RealDVD, given that most if not all of the free alternatives are illegal.

          IANAL, but I can kind of see how RealDVD might turn out to be legal, while the free options aren't. The free options mostly involve unauthorized DeCSS (a possible exception might be products that capture the output of licensed DVD player software), thereby violating the DMCA. RealDVD could, however, do what I understand Kaleidescope did: use a legall

      • by joocemann (1273720) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:48AM (#24919907)

        If this is a Slashvertisement, they've got the audience wrong. I'm pretty sure everyone here knows how to copy a DVD without having to pay 20 bucks to Real Networks

        ....or install their garbage programs that are basically bloatware with little tricky adware-esque properties to them as well.

        Realnetworks have made *horrible* products in the last 8 years. I will never install realplayer again since it always bloats out into something much much bigger and worthless than most people ever intend. We just want something that will play an .rm because some guy hasn't figured out the concept of mp3 yet. We don't need all the other garbage and *usually* have all of those bases covered without bloaty mcbloaterson's special bloat formula.

        did I say bloat enough?

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Copying a DVD isn't even hard anymore, contrary to the summary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SirGarlon (845873)
      I wish we could mod articles down.
  • It's a good thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rallymatte (707679) *
    Even though it will have limitations to make the DVDs playable on a limited number of computers, the fact that the software cost you money and it isn't open source, because this sort of thing usually spawns free alternatives. I mean, it's not really rocket science to make a software that creates DVDs, but inspiration to make easy to use alternatives is needed.
    • Re:It's a good thing (Score:5, Informative)

      by rootofevil (188401) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:29AM (#24918871) Homepage Journal

      you mean like dvdshrink?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by multisync (218450) *

        or k9copy [sourceforge.net]?

        • Seconded (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hummassa (157160)

          I fail to see DVD copying could be done simpler than with k9copy.
          Insert DVD, click "make DVD copy", wait, done.

      • Re:It's a good thing (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:02AM (#24920083)

        The problem with DVD shrink is that development stopped even before ARCoSS, which means that many newever DVDs can not be ripper directly without additional software. You can eiuther use DVD Decrypter (which is free, but introdues a very cumbersome step into the mix) or you can buy AnyDVD which sits just above the driver level and makes the DVD in the drive appear as a normal unencrypted, non copy-protected DVD. So even with DVDShrink, which is probably the best thing out there in my opinion, you either waste time or money, which is really the same thing anyway.

    • Re:It's a good thing (Score:4, Informative)

      by lysergic.acid (845423) on Monday September 08, 2008 @12:20PM (#24920975) Homepage

      CloneDVD isn't free, but it does everything that this program claims to do, except without any DRM (AnyDVD, often sold together with CloneDVD, helps eliminate DRM and region codes). all it takes is a few mouse clicks on the "next" button after you've popped the DVD and a blank into your computer, and the program starts making a duplicate of whatever movie you want. works on any video DVD, and it will also strip out previews/warnings for you (AnyDVD will also automatically skip over previews/warnings for DVDs you watch on your computer) and let you select the language/audio tracks you want on the copy. if you have a dual-layer DVD9 burner, you can just click "next" without changing any settings at all.

      RealDVD is worthless plain and simple. it's not going to spawn anything except some suckers who are willing to waste their money on crippled software/DVDs.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:25AM (#24918819)

    If it won't produce something that will play on a standard stand-alone DVD player, then IT'S NOT A DVD AND THIS IS NOT A "DVD Copier." This is just a ripper that adds an annoying layer of DRM to the files (umm...no thanks). And you get to pay for the privilege, no less. Woo hoo!

    There are any number of one-button DVD rippers that are just as good, just as simple, and produce an actual DVD. And many of them are free. DVDfab [wikipedia.org] is just one example. It produces an actual DVD, it's as simple as it gets to use, and it doesn't cost a dime (unless you want the premium version).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

      This is just a ripper

      I don't think so. With regular ripped DVDs, I suspect you're at risk of having your laptop seized at the U.S. border. With the files produced by this tool, since it's supposedly fully licensed, you may be ok.

      • by yincrash (854885)

        DVD ripper, a computer application that copies the contents of a DVD to a harddisk

        I think what you meant was referring to "unlicensed" rippers. This is still just a ripper.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by russotto (537200)

        I don't think so. With regular ripped DVDs, I suspect you're at risk of having your laptop seized at the U.S. border. With the files produced by this tool, since it's supposedly fully licensed, you may be ok.

        Right. Like the customs people will actually know the difference. Do you really expect them to distinguish between a legal copy of a DVD produced by this tool, and an equally legal copy of a DVD produced by another (illegal, according to the DMCA) tool?

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:42AM (#24919033) Journal

      OS X comes with something better than this seems to be. It's called Disk Utility. Put in the DVD, hit the 'Make Image' button, and get a disk image out. You can play this in Apple's DVD Player (also included with OS X), or with VLC or any other DVD player. I don't think you can burn it to a DVD without removing the CSS (which Disk Utility doesn't do - it's basically a GUI on dd).

      Possibly this recompresses as well, but with hard disk space so cheap there doesn't seem much point (and recompressing at decent quality still takes some hours on even a reasonably fast computer).

      • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:49AM (#24919111) Homepage

        That's just the same as "dd if=/dev/$dvd of=my.iso"

        Nothing special. Any *nix box can do this, assuming you are dumping to a filesystem that can deal with file sizes > 4GB.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          I'm fairly sure I said that. Oh yes, I did:

          (which Disk Utility doesn't do - it's basically a GUI on dd)

          The difference between Disk Utility and dd is that one is usable by anyone barely computer-literate who is capable of clicking on a single button, and the other isn't.

          • Yeah, I know. I didn't hit escape fast enough after submitting :-). The mods, apparently, weren't paying attention either.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            All dd requires is someone to work out the necessary GUI hooks
            of the sort that have existed on operating systems other than
            the Mac since 1985.

            Just because the tool is a TTP, it doens't mean that it necessarily
            has to be user hostile. (This means you guys at Canonical)

        • by sootman (158191) on Monday September 08, 2008 @02:49PM (#24923223) Homepage Journal

          And if the DVD has CSS you'll wind up with NOTHING of use by doing that. Simply copying the VIDEO_TS folder to a new DVD or disk image will result in CSS-scrambled content that can't be unscrambled because the key to unscramble it is in a non-normally-readable portion of the disk. Meaning, a program designed to read video DVDs can get at the key, but it isn't in the filesystem that the OS sees.

  • by Spazholio (314843) <slashdot@le[ ].net ['xal' in gap]> on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:26AM (#24918827) Homepage

    "the DVDs it makes will only be playable on the computer where they were created"

    Doesn't this make it *not* an actual DVD, but rather an encoded video on a disc that just happens to be shaped like a DVD with the capacity of a DVD? Kind of like how all those DRM'd CDs can't actually be called "compact discs" because they don't adhere to the red book standard?

    • by Piranhaa (672441) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:33AM (#24918921)

      It's still a DVD and still a CD. However, if you add DRM to a CD it cannot bear the Compact Disk Digital Audio symbol since it violates the Red Book specification. DVD is also the same in the sense that it wouldn't allowed to be called DVD Video because it wouldn't be following the standard set aside for it. DVD (Digital Versatile Disk) is still the name of the actual medium being written to.

  • PCs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:27AM (#24918835) Journal
    Let me know when this DVD copier actually lets me copy DVDs that can be played on a DVD Player.
  • Useless (Score:2, Interesting)

    by monsul (1342167)
    People who want hassle-free DVD copying are usually the ones that like to watch DVDs in a DVD player, sitting on the couch of their living rooms. Why? Because they are not very computer literate (or can't be bothered, doesn't matter which).
    • Or because they have a 52" or greater television to watch on in the living rooms. Some of us even own whole houses where the computer and television are in completely different rooms! Imagine that!
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:28AM (#24918857) Homepage

    AnyDVD + DVD shrink is brain dead easy to use if you really want to copy all the crap on the DVD.

    Want just the movie on your laptop use handbrake. easy as pie.

  • How is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

    by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:28AM (#24918863)
    DVD copying has been trivial for many years now with DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter. I'm sure there's already other programs out there that are even easier to use.
    • Insert Disk, start DVDDecrypter, hit "Go", burn iso to disk...

      Of course DVDDecrypter is not exactly legal these days. Which is a shame, because it strips all that nasty region coding and other crap out of the image as it goes along.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)
        Insert Disk, start DVDDecrypter, hit "Go", burn iso to disk... Of course DVDDecrypter is not exactly legal these days. Which is a shame, because it strips all that nasty region coding and other crap out of the image as it goes along.

        It's been a long time since "being legal" was something to aspire to. The only actions that are legal in this arena are those that harm the average man on the street. Being criminal is the same as being a freedom fighter these days.
      • by eln (21727) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:00AM (#24919209) Homepage

        It's really lame that they make stuff like DVDDecrypter illegal but still insist on sticking to the region encoding crap. In the US, the only way I can get some foreign content is to purchase it from a foreign location and use DVDDecrypter to get rid of the region encoding so I can actually view it using my region 1 DVD player.

        Why is it that in a so-called "global economy" we are limited to buying and viewing DVDs produced for our own region without circumventing the encryption on the disc (thereby technically violating the DMCA)?

        • by purpledinoz (573045) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:24AM (#24919541)
          Region encoding is the biggest bullshit ever. I moved from Canada to Germany, brought my DVDs over, and my friends can't play them because of region encoding. Great. And they wonder why people download? Fuck you MPAA.
          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Region encoding is the biggest bullshit ever. I moved from Canada to Germany, brought my DVDs over, and my friends can't play them because of region encoding. Great. And they wonder why people download? Fuck you MPAA.

            Not so much the MPAA, but the film companies and distributors worldwide. We already had a region-free experiment ("HD-DVD"), and while consumer opinion was one thing, theatre owners worldwide were much more upset because the HD-DVD would be released in one region (e.g., North America) while it

        • by Zymergy (803632) * on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:43AM (#24919847)
          I prefer use AnyDVD. It is based offshore and kept very current. :) http://www.slysoft.com/ [slysoft.com]
          AnyDVD can strip region Coding too... plus it rips HD-DVD and Blu-Ray HD content too (removing all CCS, Region coding, and other DRM like BD+, etc..)
          You can burn back to a blank DVD (double or single layer DVDs, but DVD-R works best in most players) or to a blank Blu-Ray "BD-R" using the burner of your choice.
          Standard set-top players should play the burned disks just fine in most modern DVD drives. (I use CloneDVD2 for this)...
          I find taking one (or each type) of your burned disks to the store and trying it on the set-top DVD players *before* purchase (where DVD drive showrooms are available) makes pre-sales testing go smoother. Not all set-top DVD players are created equal nor are they all well-endowed by their creators...
          A Blu-Ray burner is way too costly at this time, but I have ripped a few Blu-Rays with AnyDVD HD (same program, but you can pay for the more expensive HD ripping key if desired) and they sure look good playing from their DRM-Free and Region-Free images off my HDD (at 1920x1200).
          Who says that HDCP (another hardware-based DRM schema) monitors are required to watch digital HDMI Blu-Ray content on my PC!
          I am SURE that rips of disks that have no region coding and no CCS and BD+ or any other DRM would play on about any flavor of *nix that had a media player which can handle the format...
          Blu-Ray "BD-R" burners need to come down in cost to a reasonable level and blank media needs to be under $1 per disk... then I'll just go to that. Business as usual.

          (Of Course, I purchase ALL of the disks that I "rip" and copy for MY PERSONAL USE ONLY, Ahem..) You know, for my Non-Windows and Non-OSX boxes and for use in other devices that I own...
          "Backup Copies". Also great for the typical destructive 2-18 year olds who want to "watch" a copy of my new movie and often return it scratched because apparently they used it as a slider to move furniture...
          I Purchased AnyDVD and CloneDVD2 two years ago (and later the HD upgrade for the AnyDVD ripper) and they are still going strong with frequent and free updates and it has worked on hundreds of DVDs and a few Blu-Rays and several HD-DVD disks too ever since.
          I NEVER pay Real Networks for anything...
  • by Cryophallion (1129715) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:31AM (#24918893)

    I'm assuming they get by the legality of selling it by stating it is for use for the single copy you are allowed to make. Still, I'm sure they'll see some pressure from the content providers.

    Most "average" users I know play they're dvds on their tvs, not their computers. I hope they explicitly state only plays on a computer on the label, or a lot of average customers will be rather annoyed.

    Finally, I remember something about dvd shrink (which is extremely easy for average users when used with dvd-decrypter, though not legal in the us) may be actually legal in the EU since CSS does not effectively protect the content. Here [pcworld.com] is a link to one of the articles. Any way we can push this through in the US?

  • in 3....2....1....
  • "Simple" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:32AM (#24918907) Homepage
    It uses DRM. No way can it be simple.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      No way can it be simple.

      Think not?

      simple [merriam-webster.com]:

      4 a: lacking in knowledge or expertise <a simple amateur of the arts> b (1): stupid (2): mentally retarded c: not socially or culturally sophisticated : naive; also : credulous

  • by Coopjust (872796) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:33AM (#24918925)
    ...violate the DCMA, regardless of the limitations? It cracks encryption without permission of the copyright holder...

    Even so, I'll agree with other /.ers and say that I think that the title is deceptive- when people think of DVD movies, they think of movies that will play in their car or living room, not in a limited number of computers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrZilla (682337)
      It does not violate the DMCA, since they do not remove the CSS, and they have a license to use it.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:34AM (#24918937)
    Real just don't have a clue. If they had any sense their software would work like this:
    • You can rip any unencrypted DVD you like via a 1-click tool. For free. It takes 2-5 hours after which you have a lovely H264 or AVC file to do with as you please.
    • You can insert any encrypted DVD you like and instantly download a DRM'd digital copy of it for $2.
    • You can buy / rent movies from Real Network's online service.
      • The result is people would flock to Real Player just like they flocked to iTunes when it offered free CD ripping.

        Attempting to bilk people for $30 software that makes a DRM'd copy of a movie just isn't going to fly when free and non-free tools already exist that rip DVDs to any format you like. Especially when Real Networks is reknowned for producing bloated spyware laced crap. If you want to go free, find DVD Decrypter & Handbrake and you can rip and encode movies suitable for a variety of formats and devices. If you want non-free then use AnyDVD and Nero Recode. The tools are not as simple as they could be but they work and they work extremely well.

    • after which you have a lovely H264 or AVC file

      Wow, H264 or AVC? What if I want an MPEG-4 Part 10 file?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      You can rip any unencrypted DVD you like via a 1-click tool. For free. It takes 2-5 hours after which you have a lovely H264 or AVC file to do with as you please.

      Who would pay MPEG-LA and various other patent holders for a license to use H.264 and friends? Or did you mean s/H264/Theora/g?

  • "the DVDs it makes will only be playable on the computer where they were created" - i.e., they are not copies of the original DVD's, and probably not DVD's at all.

    Looks like a completely useless product, and the fact that it got Slashvertised shows that some people have no sense of shame at all.

  • by FZer0 (585622) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:35AM (#24918951) Homepage
    Please (buffering...) insert the (buffering... buffering...) DVD to be co...(buffering)pied.
  • TOTALLY worthless (Score:5, Informative)

    by v1 (525388) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:40AM (#24919007) Homepage Journal

    Two step process for me. Mac The Ripper to decrypt/rip the entire DVD (menus and all) to a VIDEO_TS folder on my hard drive. Insert CD, click a button. Not too technical.

    From there I can use VLC to play it as much as I want on any computer I copy it to. Can have a large HD full of complete DVDs immediately accessible. (and there are apps that will jukebox them for you)

    From there I have to use a commercial app like Roxio's Toast to burn it to a physical CD, that works in a real DVD player. But Toast has always been a very good product, worth the coin. Drag and drop the VIDEO_TS folder into Toast and click burn. Only slightly more technical procedure than MTR.

    Did I mention MTR strips out the NOOPs ("operation not permitted" when trying to FF past the FBI warning etc) and also removes region coding, during the rip?

    Who on earth would pay for REALcrap?

    • Re:TOTALLY worthless (Score:4, Informative)

      by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:59AM (#24919207)

      Just an FYI, if you have Mac OS X 10.5, you can place the Video_TS folder into the Movies folder (or an alias) and use Front Row.

      • by v1 (525388)

        oh that is good to know. I was going to ask around for jukebox software recommendations, but if front row works, that's just fine.

        I wonder when Disk Utility will support burning VIDEO_TS folders?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by greed (112493)

          If you're willing to drive a commandline, you can use mkisofs to make an ISO out of that VIDEO_TS folder. Er, and install cdrtools either yourself, through fink, or through the other open-source repository thing that isn't fink but I don't use 'cause I already learned fink by the time it came around.

          % ls -F MyDVD
          AUDIO_TS/
          VIDEO_TS/
          % mkisofs -dvd-video -o MyDVD.iso MyDVD

          Pretty sure that's all that's needed. Now you can burn with cdrecord or DiskUtility.

          I'm NOT sure about getting usable dual-layer ISOs out o

    • by zaren (204877)

      "One" step process for me.

      Fast DVD Copy to re-compile DVD and burn it to another DVD with my Mac. I only have a single-layer burner, so I get to walk through and de-select content like foreign language audio (like I can speak French!) to make some discs fit, but there's still things shipping these days on single-sided media that will fit with no re-compression.

      This is how I protect the investment I make on the DVDs I buy for the kids - make a backup, give the kids the backup, hide the original. When the bac

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MojoStan (776183)

      TOTALLY worthless

      Two step process for me. Mac The Ripper to decrypt/rip the entire DVD (menus and all) to a VIDEO_TS folder on my hard drive.

      Who on earth would pay for REALcrap?

      Maybe those that think that, unlike Mac the Ripper, REALcrap is "legal" software from a legitimate company? TFA [nytimes.com] even mentions Mac the Ripper and calls it "illegal":

      • "Since then, anyone who wanted to make a backup copy of his "Star Wars" or "Lost" DVDs had to turn to free but illegal programs on the Web, with names like Handbrake and Mac the Ripper. These programs are hard to legally stop because they have many creators who are typically overseas and have few resources. They are used mostly by sophisticated
  • How hard? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Monday September 08, 2008 @09:52AM (#24919145) Homepage

    DVD Decrypter, DVD Shrink. How hard is it, really?

    I could teach my wife to do that in about five minutes. As an added bonus, it's free, it removes region protection, it removes UOP's (possibly the most annoying part of the DVD format to most people), keeps all the menus, shrinks it onto the cheaper single-layer DVD-R's with virtually zero visible difference and it doesn't have silly restrictions. A program with silly restrictions to stop a particular format from having silly restrictions?

    I just backed up a couple of my boxsets using this because they were slightly damaged when we took them on holiday with us and I don't want to pay for them again if we do damage them. The majority of the time was spent looking at a little window wending its way through the DVD and swapping discs (I only had the one DVD-writer drive plugged in at the time and had to swap original for blank constantly).

    I even did it using WINE because the PC with the writer was a home Linux server, and it worked perfectly. I very much doubt you could make it THAT much simpler, except possibly joining the two programs together and incurring the wrath of the DVD industry by doing so (does this software strip region-protection? It doesn't mention it).

    I can't see anybody using this... people "in-the-know" enough to distinguish between DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM etc. and who know that this "is possible" are probably already doing it. I can't even get my parents to copy their CD's before they scratch them and that's a one-click operation. I can't see them doing it for their DVD's even if it's a one-click operation with this software. And, to be honest, I'd rather show them the "two-click" method that gets rids of the UOPS because that would astound them and they would kill to have that feature on their existing DVD's.

  • by Huntr (951770) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:02AM (#24919225)
    When's the last time Real mattered? They chose the wrong path a long, long time ago and something as stupid as an automatic DRM inserter doesn't get them headed in the right direction. This company seems to have no clue about the realities of digital content use and management.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      When's the last time Real mattered? They chose the wrong path a long, long time ago and something as stupid as an automatic DRM inserter doesn't get them headed in the right direction. This company seems to have no clue about the realities of digital content use and management.

      I remember mocking its 1998 version as obsolete back in 1998, and since then they seem to have fallen farther behind their competition. So maybe 1997.

  • by digitalhermit (113459) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:08AM (#24919299) Homepage

    Unlike free alternatives, which generally require some technical knowledge and make it difficult to copy an entire DVD with extras, etc.,...

    What??? Maybe you're right.. there are a ton of steps..

    Using DVDShrink and CDBurnerXP. Steps to copy a disk:

    1) Insert DVD.
    2) Launch DVDShrink.
    3) Select Open Disc.
    4) Select Backup.
    5) Choose Backup location (make note of this location).
    6) When complete, exit DVDShrink.
    7) Launch CDBurnerXP.
    8) Select Burn Disc from ISO.
    9) Eject the source DVD and insert a blank DVD.
    10) Select the source ISO.
    11) Press Burn.
    12) Wait

    Actual time outside of the wait is about 20 seconds of real work.. Of course, I've listed EVERY step. If I detailed how to save a file in Notepad it would take quite a few steps...

    1) Wait until the computer boots.
    2) Click on Start.
    3) Click on All Programs.
    4) Click on Accessories.
    5) Click on Notepad.
    6) Type your message into the editing window.
    7) Click on File.
    8) Click on Save.
    9) When prompted, select a location to save your file.
    10) Press OK. (or SAVE)
    11) Select File.
    12) Select Exit.

    • My mother used to make notes exactly like that when I showed her how to do stuff on the computer. She had half a notebook filled up. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.
      • If she could actually remember how to find things in that notebook, be very, very glad. At least that way, you don't have to teach her how to do stuff like that again. And again. And again...

    • by Inda (580031)
      Your list in DVD Shrink is too long. I don't have it installed here, nor have I used it in a while, but I'm 99% sure you do not need to save the ISO.

      Us power users like to save ISOs, but Joe Public does not.

      It is a one-click application. Maybe click "Next" to everything...
      • Hehe... look at that.. you can do it all in one tool.

        But that would just completely destroy my argument that free tools are hard to use. :D

      • by swb (14022)

        The later versions (IIRC, development stopped a couple of years ago) would integrate with Nero and burn the ISO more or less automatically, but you would need two drives to make it purely automatic and not include a swap-in-the-blank step.

        But it is about a simple as it can get, and at least to my eyes, the discs I've backed up really look about as good as the originals, at least on my 42" Grand Wega using a cheap up-converting DVD player. Serious videophiles I'm sure would object, but I've got too many oth

  • Real?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fishbulb (32296) on Monday September 08, 2008 @10:19AM (#24919457)

    They're still around?

    • by Kjella (173770)

      They're still around?

      Old companies never die, their name is simply bought by someone that think delivering a completely different product under the same name will be better than making one for themselves. For example the new SCO had nothing to do with the old real SCO. Napster is still arond too, if only in name. I don't know why they do it, it doesn't bring out one bit of nostalgia in me it's more like they're walking on someone's grave.

      • In the case of Napster, I can see John Q. Public being fooled. Napster was, after all, what started the whole music piracy thing. There's a certain quality of rebel-ness to it, and the logo is cool, too.

        Of course, I get the same feeling you do, since I understand how completely different they are, and how they've really got nothing to do with the original Napster.

        But in the case of Real, I really don't see the point. Anyone who would recognize the name would also remember it being nothing but pain. Unless y

  • From TFA: "While sure to raise the ire of Hollywood, the program does have significant limitations: the DVDs it makes will only be playable on the computer where they were created; or, users can pay $20 per computer to play the DVDs on up to five additional computers."

    So, it does NOT create standard DVDs. Right? Meh. I'll stick to DVDShrink, thanks.

  • I'm sure that Real would prefer to pretend that SlySoft [slysoft.com] doesn't exist.

    Better luck next time...

  • by zmollusc (763634) on Monday September 08, 2008 @11:55AM (#24920709)

    How do RealNetworks stay in business? Are they secretly funded by Microsoft as a distraction? A front for CIA? What the heck is going on?

    I look forward to the advertising campaign:
    'Hey there, do you find the region encoding and DRM on DVD not restrictive or costly enough? Here at RealNetworks we have the answer to your prayers! Order today and we will double the price _and_ infect you with Hepatitis C!'

  • You gotta love the state of modern capitalism.

    "Mr. Johnson, the consumers aren't adopting our products!"

    "Well, what can we do?!?!"

    "Perhaps instead of selling anything or contributing anything of value, we could undermine other products that act as direct competitors."

    "Isn't that, like, illegal?"

    "Fuck no. We live in a world where the rules make Ayn Rand look like a fuckin' pinko mole!"

    "Cool. Let's do it. WAIT!"

    "What now?"

    "What if someone does this to out product? Like, say a group of kids introduces a sy

  • While we're on the subject, is there any way to transcode DVDs to divx with a .avi container on linux systems?

    I'm trying to create .avi files similar to what I can download from torrents that will play on a DVD player that can also play Ultra Divx files. (see this player: http://www.amazon.com/Philips-DVP5140-Multiformat-Windows-Support/dp/B000F2KUK8/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1220573310&sr=8-1 [amazon.com] )

  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Monday September 08, 2008 @01:00PM (#24921499)
    The studios and copyright holders have it all wrong, in my opinion. Instead of charging $20 for a movie with all kinds of copy protection that doesn't prevent piracy (the pirates will ALWAYS find a way around copy protection), they should take Steve Jobs' approach (where do you put the apostrophe on a name that ends with "s"?). Charge $5 for a movie on a media that contains all the copy protection in the world. Charge $20 for the same movie on a media that has NO copy protection. The average viewer doesn't have the technical prowess to copy either type of movie so it doesn't matter anyway. The low price for a movie will mean that it won't make sense to pirate some crappy quality movie and waste the time downloading and burning it onto a disc, so most viewers won't bother; they'll just pay the $5 and purchase it legitimately. For those who feel that non-DRM is somehow better, they'll pay $20. And for those who are going to pirate the movies anyway just because they feel they need a library of 10,000 movies they'll never get around to watching, well, what difference does it make? Suppose they copy the movie. Even if it were NOT available for easy copying, chances are they would NOT shell out any money, even if it were a penny, to buy the movie legitimately. So the studios don't really lose money in this case. Yes, an additional copy of the movie was made and they weren't paid for it, but they wouldn't have been paid for it even if the copy were not made. In other words, make the movies cheap to buy legitimately and the majority of the population won't bother to pirate them because there won't be any incentive to do so. Chances are the studios will make more profit even though the price per unit is lower because more movies will be sold. Would you pay $3 to rent a movie when you can buy your own copy for $5? Would you bother to burn a copy from a friend that costs $1 for the disc, more if the burn fails a bunch of times and you have to re-do it, and waste the time bothering with it and jumping through all the hoops to make a watchable disc? No way! You'd just drop five bucks and get the damn movie!! I think it's a win-win. Any economist will tell you that when prices are higher, demand is lower and vice versa.

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