Monthly Archives: April 2011

Ripping DVDs

I’ve been poking around a bit lately at ripping some of the TV shows I have on DVD to MKV format, so I can store them on my ReadyNAS NV+ and play them via XBMC on whatever computer on my network. After some issues, I think I have it figured out. It doesn’t help that the show I was trying first is Supernatural, and there are more titles on the disc than there are shows, because some have recaps and some don’t. And they aren’t in any sensible order, so you have to watch the video to see which episode it is.

Season 1 Disc 1
title00: S01E01 46:22
title01: S01E04 42:08
title02: S01E04 41:13 (no recap)
title04: S01E02 43:10
title05: S01E03 43:27
title07: S01E02 41:33 (no recap)
title08: S01E03 42:32 (no recap)

See how annoying that is? Hopefully some of my other shows aren’t so bad. It doesn’t help that I haven’t seen past episode 9 of season 1 yet, so I can’t easily tell what episode sometime is.

Anyway, I’ve decided on using MakeMKV to grab things from the disc, and then run it through Handbrake to convert into the format I want. For some reason ripping directly with Handbrake causes it to have all sorts of audio and video glitches (on my Windows system, it does work fine – although slower – on my Mac). But since I don’t want to encode all of it anyway, the extra step works fine.

At some point I plan to pick up a Zotac Zbox HD-ID40-U to use as a HTPC. It’s currently on sale at NCIX but I’m going to wait until at least the summer to see what spare cash I’ll have for something like this. I’ve seen some reviews and video of how well it works, and I’m impressed. Perfect for what I want it for. I already have a hard drive and 4GB of memory lying around from my laptop, so it won’t cost me as much. And I’d likely stick Ubuntu on there so I don’t have to pick up another copy of Windows 7 (I miss playing around with Linux anyway).


We finally got around to playing Settlers of Catan with four people, and I found it to be rather long and boring. With a lot of downtime between your turns. I also had a couple of games of Memoir ’44 last weekend, and that was a lot of fun. Looking forward to more games of that.

In work news, our yearly inventory is finally over, and it apparently went well. We sure put enough work into it, and I’m glad it’s done. Next thing to look forward to after some long weekends are my holidays! Can’t wait. Even if I have no plans, it’s just nice to be off.